Butternut Squash and Barley Salad with Poached Egg

The biggest struggle with my love with food is maintaining a slim waistline. I love healthy foods but I also love my fatty, greasy, heart-attack foods. I’ll start the week motivated to eat clean with plenty of vegetables and protein but I always find myself ending the week with a more indulgent meal. Does it still count as dieting if I get 2 or sometimes 3 cheat days? Well, this butternut squash and barley salad is one of those meals I enjoy during the beginning of the week. With a healthy whole grain like barley, beautifully roasted squash, fresh arugula, and sweet cranberries, this salad is light yet satisfying. Not to forget the creamy poached egg to round out this tasty meal! 

butternut squash and barley salad
butternut squash and barley salad
butternut squash and barley salad

Serves 4

Butternut squash and barley salad with poached egg

45 minTotal Time

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  • 1 cup barley
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • Squash
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Apple cider vinaigrette
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Remaining ingredients
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 eggs, poached
  • 2 oz shaved Parmesan


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine barley and water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until tender and the water is absorbed, about 45 minutes.
  3. Toss cut butternut squash with cinnamon, nutmeg, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes or until tender.
  4. Prepare vinaigrette by whisking together vinegar with maple syrup and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Toss together barley with roasted squash, arugula, and dried arugula with vinaigrette. Divide onto 4 plates. Top with poached egg and shaved parmesan. Serve.

**Helpful tips and common mistakes

When preparing salads, especially vegetarian salads, I like to add a whole-grain to fill me up. I find that if the salad is composed of almost all vegetable, I get hungry within 2 hours. Adding barley eliminates that issue while still keeping the salad on the healthy side.

I admit, this salad is more appropriate during the fall and winter because of the apple cider vinaigrette and squash, but I enjoy this year-round. The bitter arugula with the sweet cranberries, hearty barley, and roasted squash all work perfectly together. Finish it with a runny yolk and shaved parmesan and I’m in heaven! 

butternut squash and barley salad



Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles


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  1. The combination of textures and colors make this dish look stunning, and I'm sure it tastes fantastic too!
    • cma0425

      I always say the more colorful a dish, the better!
  2. This is GORGEOUS! I would be willing to eat this at the END of the week, too. :-)
  3. This looks great, love the poached egg on top. Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Happy Easter, have a great weekend!
  4. Stephanie

    Really? 44 grams of fat? In one serving or the whole thing? Looks very delicious. Thank you for sharing it.
    • cma0425

      The amount of fat is a little skewed because I didn't write the amount of cheese and the calculator inputs all of the ingredients for the dressing, which you should have extra of. The main sources of fat is the cheese, egg and olive oil so don't worry, it's still a healthy dish!
  5. Kathy

    This salad looks so delicious and healthy!...where's all the sodium coming from (1152mg)?
    • cma0425

      I was stumped by this as well until I realized that because I did not specify the amount of parmesan cheese in the recipe, the nutrition calculator was incorrectly computing the numbers. I have now added in that detail and now the information is more accurate (I calculated the numbers myself and came out with very similar numbers). The sodium is now 471mg which is mostly coming from the cheese and poached egg. Hope this helps!
  6. Someone is using this as their own on Twitter, same photo, claiming it's theirs
  7. Danielle

    I made this tonight for dinner and it was amazing!! Healthy and filling. My husband loved it too. Thanks so much for the recipe!

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