Mushroom and Barley Casserole with Bacon, Gruyere, and Spinach #SundaySupper

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Through the year there are always ups and downs.  Sometimes I get stressed and lose sight of the good things in my life so I like to slow down at Thanksgiving and really think about what I’m thankful for.  This year, when so many people are struggling, I know I have a lot to be thankful for.  This week the #SundaySupper team is sharing what we are thankful for this holiday season as well as a recipe for Thanksgiving or Hanukkah.

First and foremost I’m thankful for a loving and supportive husband.  Frank is supportive of everything I do in life from teaching, to blogging, and everything in between.  He’s my rock in hard times and I’m thankful everyday for him.

The other big thing I’m thankful for is my family.  I have an amazing immediate and extended family that is close, caring, and supportive of each other.  I know many people who don’t have that with their families and I’m so grateful I do.  I talk to my parents several times a week, text my brother and his fiance weekly, and talk to my cousin and her son weekly.  About once a month we get together with my great aunt, my other cousins, and my aunt and uncle.  It’s so wonderful to be able to see everyone that many times a year, especially since we live several hours from any of them.

I’m also thankful that Frank and I were able to purchase a new house this year.  With all the struggles and the housing market fluctuating, we were still able to make a purchase of a great house this year.  There are so many things to be thankful for it’s hard to name them all!  I’m thankful that I have a job that enjoy, that I have friends I can count on, and that my husband and I are healthy.

Now that I’ve thought about all the things I’m thankful for it’s time to get into the other thing I love about Thanksgiving…the food!  Have you been thinking about your Thanksgiving menu?  I have!  Even though I don’t cook the actual turkey (that’s my moms job) I like to bring some side dishes that are a little out of the ordinary to change up our holiday table.  I’ve been using the weekends as my time to try out some new recipes.

Mushroom and Barley Casserole with Bacon

Over the past month I’ve pulled out around 50 Thanksgiving recipes from the cooking magazines I get each month.  I receive Cooking Light, Saveur, Taste of Home, and Vegetarian Times.  As a side note, if you receive Taste of Home magazine in the mail or if you bought the Thanksgiving (November) issue make sure you check out the section with the cookies-my Turtle Cookie Cups are featured as a pull out recipe card!

So I’ve been systematically choosing the recipes I think my family as a whole will like the best versus recipes I’ll try later on for my husband and I.  One recipe that I thought sounded interesting yet like something my family would eat was a Mushroom and Bacon Casserole.

The recipe is actually more of a mushroom and barley casserole but it has bacon, Gruyere, spinach, and sun dried tomatoes in it.  It’s a hearty side that isn’t too bad on the waist line and is filled with vegetables.  We tried it out and my husband was apprehensive about it but when he went back for seconds I knew it was a winner!

Mushroom and Barley Casserole with Bacon, Gruyere, and Spinach (adapted from Cooking Light, November 2013)
5 c. beef stock
6 slices bacon
1 onion, chopped
1 t. thyme
1 t. rosemary
6 garlic cloves, minced
16 oz. mushrooms, any type, sliced
1/2 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
2 c. medium barley
1/3 c. red wine
4 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded or chopped
1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, drained

1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Heat the beef stock in a saucepan over medium heat.  Simmer.

3.  Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until browned and crisp.  Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels, then chop.

4.  Clean the bacon grease out of the pan, leaving 1 tablespoon in the pan.  Return the pan to medium heat and add the onion, thyme, rosemary, and garlic.  Saute for 3 minutes.

5.  Stir in the mushrooms, salt, and pepper and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6.  Add in the barley and cook for 1 minute.  Then pour in the red wine.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid is absorbed.

7.  Add 2 cups of beef stock to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid is absorbed, about 7 minutes.

8.  Continue adding the remaining stock, 1 cup at a time, until it is all absorbed into the barley.  (about 20 minutes)

9.  Remove from heat and stir in the half of the Gruyere and bacon.  Stir in the tomatoes and spinach and mix well.

10.  Pour the mixture into a large baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bacon.  Cover with foil and cook for 10 minutes.

11.  Remove the foil and cook for 10 additional minutes or until the cheese has melted and the top is browned.

Mushroom and Barley Casserole with Bacon, Gruyere, and Spinach
Our Thanksgiving and Hanukkah Recipes






All American Wine Pairing Guide for Being Thankful #SundaySupper from Martin at ENOFYLZ Wine Blog


  1. I have only cooked with barley once and have been meaning to make it again, but I tend to forget I don’t have any because my dog gets into it and eats it. He some how will leave the dog bones a lone but he want sot eat rice, quinoa and barley. He’s so weird! Anyway your casserole sounds scrumptious!!!

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