Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Barley

Swap your traditional oatmeal for barley in this heart-healthy, fiber-rich breakfast barley. This cinnamon and apple hot cereal is a welcome morning meal on a cold day.

Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Barley


A few months ago, a client asked me to develop a warm breakfast cereal recipe using a grain other than oatmeal. After quite a bit of thinking, researching, digging in my pantry, and perusing the grocery store aisles, I decided to make a hearty breakfast porridge using barley. The barley in my pantry had certainly been gathering dust since the last time I used it was the summer of 2014

Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Barley

Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Barley

Because this barley recipe is so versatile. Essentially, if you can follow the directions on the box to cook barley then you can create any flavor combo you desire. I love pairing apples and cinnamon together but you could easily adapt this fiber-rich recipe to use sweet summer berries, peanut butter and bananas, or even make it savory by stirring in tomatoes and basil and topping with a poached egg.

Have you ever tried barley for breakfast? If not, step outside your comfort zone and try this whole grain recipe one morning.

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Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Barley from Holley Grainger



Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Barley

  • Author: Holley Grainger
  • Yield: 3 servings 1x


Keep leftover barley stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop by stirring in 2 tablespoons of milk then heating.



  • 1 cup uncooked pearled barley
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh apples


  1. Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add barley, bring water to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 35 to 40 minutes or until most of liquid is absorbed. Stir in walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add ½ cup milk, stirring until mixture is creamy, barley is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Add an additional ½ cup milk, if necessary, to reach desired consistency.
  2. Divide barley evenly among 3 bowls. Top each bowl with apples.