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Barley Tico Salad

This Central American inspired salad uses barley instead of the usual white rice. This salad can be served over greens, or stuffed into a fish taco. Or, enjoy it as an easy to pack, satisfying salad for lunch.

2 cups (500 mL) cooked pearl or pot barley
2 green onions, finely sliced
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 sweet red or yellow pepper, finely chopped
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1 can (14 oz / 398 mL) pineapple tidbits, drained, reserve juice
1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped cucumber
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
1 tsp (5 mL) liquid honey
1 tsp (5 mL) ground turmeric
½ tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
½ tsp (2 mL) ground ginger
½ tsp (2 mL) hot chili sauce (Tabasco)

In a salad bowl, toss together cooked barley, green onions, jalapeno, sweet pepper, avocado, pineapple tidbits and cucumber.

In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together reserved pineapple juice, canola, honey, turmeric, cumin, ginger and chili sauce for the dressing.

Toss dressing with barley mixture. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow flavours to blend
Makes 8 servings (¾ cup / 175 mL each).

Nutritional Information (per serving):

Calories: 130
Protein: 2 g
Carbohydrate: 22 g
Fibre: 4 g
Sugars: 7 g
Fat: 4.5 g
Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 22 mg
Potassium: 194 mg


  1. Pat Ferris

    Tried Barley Tico Salad – enjoyed it immensely , as did my guests. BUT we were uncertain about the word TICO. Can you please clarify. Thanks

    • Caitlan Carver

      ‘Tico’ a colloquial term for a native of Costa Rica. Costa Ricans are usually called ticos by themselves and persons of other Spanish-speaking countries, in place of the more formal costarricenses. This is a staple salad in Costa Rica—we added barley to the mix and voila! 🙂 Glad to hear you enjoyed it.


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