Chorizo and Pea Risotto

A white bowl full of chorizo and pea pearl barley risotto

Spicy, salty chorizo and sweet peas are a match made in heaven – particularly in this chorizo and pea risotto, which uses pearl barley instead of risotto rice for a lighter, easier dinner.

This isn’t technically a risotto at all; it’s made with lovely pearl barley (I had some left in the cupboard from my Pearl Barley, Vegetable and Bacon Broth) which makes it comforting, light and less labour intensive than a normal risotto. However – and it is a big however! – you can use ordinary risotto rice in this recipe. See the ingredients notes for my tips for using it.

You already know I love the flavour combination of chorizo and pea (Chorizo and Pea Pilaf, Creamy Chorizo and Pea Gnocchi) and they work just as well as always in this tasty recipe. Mixed with parsley and just a little crumbling of feta (instead of the parmesan you’d normally have on a risotto) it’s a winner.

Chorizo and Pea Risotto – The Ingredients

  • Chorizo ring – use your favourite one, spicy or mild.
  • Onion – use either one medium/large white onion or three shallots.
  • Garlic – feel free to up the garlic according to your taste!
  • Pearl barley – pearl barley is delicious and full of good things. The texture works really well in this dish. If you want to use risotto rice instead, simply add 350g risotto rice when I add the pearl barley in the recipe. Tip in the tomatoes, but don’t add the chicken stock all at once – instead, add it bit by bit, stirring all the time until the liquid has been absorbed. Repeat until all the chicken stock has been used and the rice is al dente.
  • Chopped tomatoes – any kind will do.
  • Chicken stock – or 1 litre water and a good chicken stock cube.
  • Frozen peas– better than unfrozen for freshness!
  • Parsley – optional
  • Feta – optional

Cooking the Risotto

This is a simple one pot meal, perfect for a weeknight. Here are my tips for success:

  1. Make sure the chorizo is cooked properly

    The first step is cooking the chorizo. You want it to be golden and crisp (but NOT burnt!). Cooking it releases the delicious oils which you’ll use to cook the rest of the ingredients.

  2. Using pearl barley = less effort

    If you opt for pearl barley, you simply add it to the pot and leave until cooked. Using risotto rice will mean that you need to keep more of an active role (as explained above).

  3. This is a great reheating dish!

    Keep extra for lunch the next day. Simply pop it in a bowl in the microwave for 3 minutes.

A white bowl full of chorizo and pea pearl barley risotto

Chorizo and Pea Pearl Barley Risotto

Save This Recipe
Harriet Young
A delicious pearl barley risotto with chorizo and pea, topped with feta
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4 people


  • 225 g chorizo ring
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 350 g pearl barley
  • 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 250 g frozen peas
  • 1 handful chopped parsley
  • 10 g feta


  • Slice the chorizo and put in a large pan over a medium heat. Cook until golden and crisp.
  • Chop the onion and garlic and add to the pan. Sizzle for 30 seconds, then add the pearl barley. Stir to coat it in the chorizo oil, then tip in the chopped tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer for 25 minutes, until the liquid is mostly absorbed.
  • Throw in the peas, heat for another 2-3 minutes until the peas have cooked through, then season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the chopped parsley and the chorizo. To serve, top each bowl with a little crumbled feta.
Keyword chorizo, peas, risotto

8 responses to “Chorizo and Pea Risotto”

  1. Beautiful site. I love recipe ideas. Thank you for visiting my blog.

  2. Mmm yummy! I love chorizo and peas together work so well in harmony:)

    1. Oh me too, one of my favourite flavour combinations!

  3. 5 stars
    This looks delish, you got me with one pot dish! I look forward to giving this a try!

  4. 5 stars
    Love everything risotto. This was very easy and simple to make. Delicious.

  5. 5 stars
    Now this looks and sounds absolutely divine.

  6. 5 stars
    This simple to make and fabulous flavored barley risotto is a perfect meal for my family. I am really excited to try this combination of flavors.

  7. 5 stars
    Outstanding recipe thanks so much! tasted so much good!

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Hi there!

I’m Harriet, writer and cook, and I’m so pleased to have you here! I love nothing more than cooking delicious food and sharing it with the world. You can find out more about me here.