Slow Cooker Chicken Barley Soup
Some notes about the ingredients:
Tomatoes–I used a can of petite diced tomatoes for this soup. However if you want it to have more of a tomato-y base instead of chicken broth base then you can use a can of crushed tomatoes. You can see the difference from this version of the soup versus the crushed tomatoes version here.
Barley–I buy pearl barley (or pot barley) in the bulk section of the grocery store. Don’t use the quick cooking kind (par-boiled) for this particular recipe or the barley will be overcooked and mushy.
Chicken/Turkey–we made a turkey on Sunday and had leftovers so that’s what I used this time around. In the past I’ve used this seasoned shredded chicken and I’ve also used raw chicken breasts or thighs. It doesn’t really matter too much.
More Healthy Soup Recipes
Slow Cooker Chicken Barley Soup
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 4-6 hours on low
- Total Time: 58 minute
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 cup celery, finely diced
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1/2 cup pearl barley (not the quick-cooking kind)
- 1–2 cups shredded chicken (pre-made) OR 1 1/2 pounds uncooked chicken breasts or thighs
- 3 1/2 cups chicken broth (or 3 cups water and 3 1/2 tsp better than bouillon* chicken base)
- 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- In a microwave-safe bowl combine the onion, garlic, tomato paste, olive oil, basil, celery and carrots. Microwave for about 4-5 minutes, stirring every minute. Transfer to the slow cooker.
- Add in the barley, chicken, chicken broth, tomatoes, salt, bay leaf and pepper into the slow cooker. Stir a bit and cover.
- Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours, until barley is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken (if it was uncooked) and shred or cut into bite size pieces. Stir the chicken back into the pot.
- Ladle into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
For this recipe I used my 6 quart oval Kitchenaid slow cooker.* I love this slow cooker (you can see me talking about it in a video here). It cooks low and evenly. I love the medium heat choice because most slow cookers that I’ve seen only have the option of cooking on low or high. If you’re going to buy just one slow cooker, this is the one that I recommend.
(Get the INSTANT POT version of this recipe here)
- Category: Soup
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Serving Size: 1 cup serving
- Calories: 141
- Sugar: 2 grams
- Sodium: 657 mg
- Fat: 5 grams
- Carbohydrates: 17 grams
- Protein: 9 grams
Kaye M. says
Can I halve this to do in a 2.5 qt. Crockpot?
Can we cook the chicken in the slow cooker, shedding halfway through?
Can you freeze this?
Yes, I think this would freeze nicely!
Kathy B says
I have frozen it and it works perfectly!!!
Dorothy Collins says
Cooking quicker version on stovetop. Alas, 3 1/2 c. broth didn’t begin to cover the ingredients. I hate to think what would happen if I had added the barley! Are you sure it is 3 1/2 c. broth?
yep! But if you want it more brothy you can always add more!
Whenever I search for a slow cooker recipe, I always end up back on you blog. I have leftover Christmas turkey and look forward to making this tonight.
[email protected] says
I hope you liked it! I love this one and make it often 🙂
Tonight. Fingers crossed. Thanks so much!
Barley soup is one of my favourite dishes ever! Especially in the wintertime. It's such a warm hearty meal! 🙂
Do I also see carrots in there? (I'm totally making this tonight… yum!) Thanks!