Barley, black beans, and sweet corn come together in an easy, tasty vegan burrito. Make this barley burrito filling in the slow cooker for a quick and healthy weeknight dinner.
We all know how much I love taco and burrito recipes and I really love using my crockpot. This is super quick for a busy weeknight.
...or good for dinner on a Sunday after an afternoon spent playing outside in the snow.
Make these black bean and barley burritos in the slow-cooker
This meal comes together quickly, quite literally a dump and forget kind of meal. Everything goes into the crock pot.. black beans, uncooked dried barley, frozen corn, spices, some canned tomatoes with green chillies...
Cooking with Barley
Barley is one of those ingredients that I have a real hard time with. It's not that I don't like it. I do! But I have so few recipes where it really works. This is one of those recipes where barley works.
In my opinion, barley needs flavours that can work with its earthy flavour and chewy texture. It's not as easy to work with as rice or quinoa. Barley needs other components that will stand up to it.
Which is why I think this recipe works so well. The sweetness of the corn and the bold, Mexican spices let the barley do its thing. Texture. Barley is all about texture. Let other ingredients do the flavour part.
Like in this kale and barley bowl, lemon is the predominant flavour. And in this broccoli salad - olives and sundried tomatoes are the strong flavours needed.
How to make Black Bean, Corn and Barley Burritos
It's best if you have a slow cooker or crockpot that is programmable for this recipe. Especially if you are getting dinner ready before work in the morning. This burrito filling only needs 4 hours on low heat.
At 4 hours most of the liquid is absorbed and the barley is perfectly cooked. My crockpot will turn itself to warm when done, holding dinner until we are ready to eat, like this one. Totally taking all the stress out of dinner.
Once that yummy filling is ready just warm up some soft tortillas, prepare your toppings and dinner is ready. Easy Peasy.
Keep this meal vegan by skipping the cheese and sour cream or using dairy-free alternatives. I'm happy without. But this is totally up to you and gives you an easy option to keep everyone happy - vegans, vegetarians, what have you. This recipe is slightly adapted from Cooking Light.
Crockpot Black Bean and Barley Burritos
In the Crockpot:
- 2 cups fat-free lower-sodium organic vegetable broth
- 1 cup uncooked pearl barley
- 1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions about 3, white and green parts
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice the juice of half of a lime (slice the other half and serve with the burritos)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 19 oz cooked black beans rinsed and drained, or about 2 cups
- 540 mls canned diced tomatoes undrained (about 2 cups)
- 4 oz diced green chiles, undrained (1) 4 oz can
- 1 clove garlic minced (I add this in the last 15 minutes)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- salt to taste
- 8-10 8-inch flour tortillas
- shredded sharp cheddar cheese vegan alternative or your choice
- thinly sliced lettuce
- sour cream vegan alternative or your choice
- Chopped fresh cilantro optional
- In the base of your slow cooker dump all ingredients up to diced green chillies. Set slow cooker on low heat and cook for about 4 hours, or until barley is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
- About 15 minutes before serving add minced garlic and fresh cilantro to the crockpot. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary. (This will depend on whether you use low or no sodium beans, tomatoes and stock).
- To serve, offer toppings - fresh green onions, fresh chopped cilantro, shredded cheese, salsa and sour cream. Fill each burrito with 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup of filling and add toppings as desired.
- Leftovers store nicely for 3-4 days refrigerated or in freezer for up to a month.