This Southwestern slow cooker barley casserole with ground turkey may not be pretty to look at, but it’s healthy, flavorful and couldn’t be easier to prepare! Even my 4-year-old devoured it.

Southwestern Slow Cooker Barley and Ground Turkey Casserole - Get the easy recipe on RachelCooks.com

Sometimes when I develop a recipe, I really want to share it with you guys but I’m reluctant to share it because the recipe is homely and kind of plain.

This slow cooker barley recipe is NOT FANCY AT ALL. But, it’s delicious! Warm, comforting, and easy to make. There’s my dilemma: it doesn’t look gorgeous but I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t share this recipe with you.

I also had a difficult time naming the recipe. Casserole? Stew? It’s somewhere in between the two, I think. It’s hearty, warm, full of flavor, cheesy…basically everything you love in food, right?

Southwestern Slow Cooker Barley and Ground Turkey Casserole - Get the easy recipe on RachelCooks.com

E loved scooping this up onto chips and eating it that way. So did Ben for that matter. N continues to survive on breakfast alone — little stinker. I was still recovering from oral surgery when I made this (sick of hearing about that yet?) so no chips for me, but it really hit the spot and required minimal chewing. (Gross? Sorry.)

Southwestern Slow Cooker Barley and Ground Turkey Casserole - Get the easy recipe on RachelCooks.com

And it’s unbelievably simple to make. Start like you’re going to make turkey tacos. Sauté ground turkey with peppers and onions. Add taco seasoning. Throw the meat, onions, and peppers in the slow cooker with beans, corn, pearl barley, and chicken stock.

Stir in a generous amount of cheese when it is all said and done and you’re presented with satisfying, filling comfort food. With really minimal effort. This slow cooker barley casserole is perfect if you’re just had oral surgery, or if you’re just human and hungry.

Serve it with a nice kale salad or some warm bread.

Southwestern Slow Cooker Barley and Ground Turkey Casserole - Get the easy recipe on RachelCooks.com

Barley is so nutritious!

If you’re looking for more great barley recipes like this slow cooker barley casserole, try these:

 

Southwestern Slow Cooker Barley Casserole with Ground Turkey

Southwestern Slow Cooker Barley Casserole with Ground Turkey

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes

This slow cooker barley casserole may not be pretty to look at, but it’s healthy, flavorful and couldn’t be easier to prepare! Even my 4-year-old devoured it.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1.25 pound (20 ounces) lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning (more to taste)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup uncooked pearl barley
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • Optional ingredients for topping and serving: Sour cream, salsa, diced tomatoes, avocado, fresh cilantro, sliced green onions, tortilla chips.

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add turkey, onion, and pepper and saute until turkey is cooked through. Add taco seasoning and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
  2. Add meat mixture along with corn, tomatoes, beans, barley, and chicken broth to a 6 quart slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until barley is tender and most of water is soaked up into the barley.
  3. Stir in 1 and 1/2 cups of cheese and sprinkle the remaining half cup on top. Cover until melted. Serve with tortilla chips if desired as well as any desired toppings.

Notes

  • 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning (as called for in the recipe) yields a pretty mild casserole. If you like it spicier, feel free to bump up the amount you use.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 492Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 538mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 12gSugar: 5gProtein: 25g
RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.
Verdict: It’s been winter forever, and this completely hits the spot.
Husband’s take: He loves this! Ate the leftovers at least twice.
Changes I would make: None are necessary, but if I have something green in my fridge, it benefits greatly from a fresh garnish like cilantro or green onions.
Difficulty: Very easy.