Overnight Barley Breakfast Bowl

The only thing better than overnight oatmeal is an overnight barley breakfast bowl. Yup, this barley porridge is delicious!

Overnight barley breakfast in a glass jar

Looking to vary up your breakfast routine? You have to try this overnight barley porridge with maple and chia seeds.

It features loads of protein and fiber––you get 17 grams protein and 18 grams fiber!–– from a combo of plant-based and dairy ingredients—and it’s simply sweetened with maple syrup. Yum.

You might be wondering how to eat barley for breakfast, but I’m about to tell you. It’s really easy, I promise. Now, overnight barley is star of this breakfast show.

These overnight grains will be one of the tastiest barley dishes you’ve ever tried.

Close up of a glass jar filled with barley breakfast


The ingredients for this overnight barley breakfast are really simple. You’ll need:

Pearled barley: I chose a very under-appreciated whole grain, barley, to make this breakfast recipe. Barley has a chewier texture than oats.

This is likely because its fiber content is found throughout the entire grain, not just the outer layer—and so barley is higher in fiber than other whole grains. It also offers more protein than many other whole grains, including corn, brown rice, and sorghum.

Chia seeds: I love adding chia seeds to everything from overnight bowls to smoothies. Why? Because they post both protein and fiber.

Greek yogurt: Here’s another protein-rich ingredient that adds creaminess to the breakfast.

Milk: This dairy adds additional protein and helps the barley and chia seeds to hydrate.

Maple syrup: I’m all for cooking with minimal added sugar, but I really love the taste of maple syrup. When sweetening my recipes, I prefer using pure maple syrup, versus table sugar, because it offers dozens of nutrients.

Yup, that’s right! These nutrients include 60-plus polyphenols, which are health-helping antioxidants that form when the sap is boiled to create maple syrup.

You also get the blood-sugar-helping mineral manganese, which helps to support healthy muscles, as well as the B vitamin riboflavin, important to the body’s cellular function.

Apple: I always encourage adding fruit to breakfast for extra hydration and fiber.

Hazelnuts: These are such an under-appreciated nut that provides both protein and fiber.

When I make any overnight grains recipes, I use at least one source of satiating healthy fat. In this case, you have the hazelnuts and chia seeds.

That fruit and nuts combo is so delish! In an overnight recipe, you could also use a nut butter such as almond butter.

So go ahead and elevate your dish with maple syrup and chia seeds for the ultimate brunch menu idea.

Why a barley breakfast is delicious

I’m a longtime fan of overnight oats (my mango oats in a jar and my high-protein overnight oats recipes are some of my faves!).

And while the breakfast staple made with rolled or steel cut oats is a delicious start to the day, I’ve been wanting to create a similar overnight cereal recipe with other breakfast grains.

Step-by-step instructions

Making this overnight barley breakfast bowl is so easy.

The first step? Just combine the barley, white chia seeds (two plant-based sources of protein and fiber are better than one!), yogurt, milk, and maple syrup together.

Then in a mason jar, layer the mixture with diced apples. Refrigerate overnight so the barley to soften and chia seeds can expand and soften.

Then in the morning, quickly toast the hazelntuts and remaining chia seeds and hazelnuts on the stovetop. Complete the recipe by topping the overnight barley bowl with the crunchy nuts and seeds.

So that’s a quick primer on how to use barley in an overnight breakfast recipe! This meal tastes like a barley yogurt breakfast porridge of sorts. 

I could hardly wait to open the fridge the next morning to see how the recipe turned out! (Spoiler: It was delicious.)

overnight barley breakfast

Recipe FAQ

How do you make this recipe vegan?

If you’re looking to make this a vegan meal, there are several options for replacing the yogurt and milk.

You could of course try vegan yogurt, and coconut milk and almond milk would also work well. It’s really simple to make those substitutions.

Do you need to cook the barley?

Nope! You don’t have to cook the barley when you soak it overnight.

Can you use just one type of chia seeds?

Absolutely. I used a combo of white and black chia seeds in my overnight breakfast grains recipe because I think the barley breakfast bowl looks prettier this way. You can feel free to use just one variety, if you’d like.

How much added sugar can you have in a day?

I included a minimal amount of maple syrup, just two teaspoons, in this barley yogurt breakfast recipe because I like to keep added sugar to a minimum.

The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar to 2 Tablespoons (6 teaspoons) per day for women and 3 Tablespoons (9 teaspoons) for men. So I skipped the brown sugar you might normally find in pearl barley breakfast recipes.

Glass jars filled with overnight barley breakfasts

More maple syrup recipes

This breakfast barley recipe will quickly become one of your favorite barley recipes! Looking for other recipes featuring maple syrup? I think you’ll love these:

Glass jars filled with overnight barley breakfasts topped with apples and hazelnuts

Now go ahead and make your very own barley overnight oats of sorts, starting today! Then this overnight pearl barley recipe will be ready to eat in the morning.


Note: This content was updated in June 2022 and was originally part of a partnership with Maple Syrup from Canada.

Overnight Barley Breakfast Bowl with Maple and Chia Seeds

Overnight Barley Breakfast Bowl

The only thing better than overnight oatmeal is an overnight barley breakfast bowl. Yup, this barley porridge is delicious!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 6 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 497 kcal


  • 3 tbsp pearled barley
  • 1 tbsp white chia seeds
  • ¼ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup low-fat milk
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1 tbsp hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp black chia seeds


  • Combine barley, white chia seeds, yogurt, milk, and maple syrup in a small bowl.
  • In an eight-ounce mason jar, layer barley mixture with apple pieces. Refrigerate overnight.
  • In a small nonstick pan over medium-high heat, toast hazelnuts and black chia seeds for 3-4 minutes; toss occasionally.
  • Top barley bowl with toasted nuts and seeds.


Calories: 497kcalCarbohydrates: 83gProtein: 17gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 56mgPotassium: 577mgFiber: 18gSugar: 33gVitamin A: 267IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 292mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Barley, Maple syrup, Overnight oats
Did you make this recipe?Mention @amydgorin and tag #plantbasedwithamy
The only thing better than overnight oatmeal is an overnight barley breakfast bowl. Elevate your barley dishes with maple syrup and chia seeds for the ultimate brunch menu idea. #sponsored @maplefromcanada #amyseatlist #breakfastbowl #brunchgoals #barley

Will you make this overnight barley porridge bowl? What are your favorite healthy breakfast ingredients? How do you cook with maple syrup? 

Breakfast / Brunch | Fast / Easy | Low Sodium | No Bake | Pescatarian | Recipes (Organizational) | Snack | Vegetarian |

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Recipe Rating

  1. Amy, I see barley hulled, pearled, flakes and grits. Can all these varieties be soaked overnight in milk and eaten raw the next morning ? Or must some of them be cooked ? Thank you !

    1. Great question! If you jump down to my Recipe FAQ section, you can see that I have an answer for you. No, you do not need to cook barley before consuming it, though soaking it overnight (as you do for this recipe) is best for the texture. Hope that helps!

  2. Should it still be pretty tough even after soaking? It was much harder than I expected in terms of texture. I soaked it for at least 12 hours. I’m just wondering if maybe I missed something here

  3. This sounds really good, but I’m confused about a couple things.

    1. The commentary talks about barley flakes, but the recipe calls for pearled barley.

    2. The commentary and recipe specifically say this soaks overnight *instead of cooking* but your answer to the first reader question refers to “cooking time”. Can you clarify?


    1. Hi Sam! Oh my, thank you for flagging these things. 1. I’ve updated the commentary to remove flakes. My recipe only uses pearled barley. 2. I’ve updated the comment. There is no cooking time! Thanks so much for catching these errors :). Enjoy the recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    This looks great. I didn’t know you could prepare barley this way without cooking it! Just a comment on nutrition: by not grinding the chia seeds you’re missing out on all the healthy omega-3 content they provide. But must of the soluble fiber is in the gel coating they create, so at least you get that benefit. Also, I’d probably use both rolled oats and rolled barley instead of pearled, and walnuts in place of hazelnuts, and raisins in place of maple syrup.

    1. Thanks Amy!!!!!! And Regan’s John for these additional tips. Why switch from pearled barley though? Also another possible enhancement: switch regular milk to Almond Milk. Can’t wait to try this recipe!!!!

  5. Are there any other grains that can be prepared the same way overnight e.g. farro? I’m kind of wondering about a mixed grain bowl.