Breakfast Fruit Salad with Pearl Barley & OJ Vinaigrette

Breakfast fruit salad is a light, nutritious & sweet start to your day. Combine tender & chewy Instant Pot pearl barley with cut fruit & a quick OJ vinaigrette. Kid-approved!

Breakfast fruit salad is a light, nutritious & sweet start to your day. Combine tender & chewy Instant Pot pearl barley with cut fruit & a quick OJ vinaigrette. Kid-approved!

Hand pouring OJ vinaigrette from a jar onto breakfast fruit salad

If your family is bored of the usual breakfasts and you don’t want to heat up the kitchen in the morning, make a double batch of pearl barley in your Instant Pot (or stovetop) and enjoy it all week cold!

Kid-Approved Vegan Breakfast

Kids love fruit… oh, if only broccoli was as easy as grapes! 😂My 9yo daughter is often my first taste-tester for a new recipe. Hey, I’m cooking & sharing for YOUR FAMILY, so anything not family-approved doesn’t make the cut.

Child's hands eating fruit salad with a pink spoon
Kid-approved breakfast fruit salad!

My Sweetpea was initially a little skeptical of the pearl barley, but I said “It’s like oatmeal rice” (she loves both of those). She tried one bite and then ate the whole bowl! Since then, she’s eaten this breakfast fruit salad with the pearl barley hot and cold and gobbled it up both ways. It also makes a yummy summer snack.

Let’s Make Breakfast Fruit Salad!

Whole, fresh fruit and barley grains on a white background

This breakfast has it all: pearl barley to fill you up, your daily recommended fruits all in one delicious meal, a juicy dressing and salty pistachios sprinkled on top.

Pearl Barley is Your New Favorite Grain

In this fruit salad, you want to use a grain that will NOT turn into oatmeal mush. It needs to be a sturdy grain that can be added to a juicy, fruity salad and keep its chewiness. It is similar to a chewy brown rice or farro, with a nice mild flavor a bit like oatmeal. It’s not technically a whole grain because the bran is removed, but it DOES have more fiber than any rice and is filling like oatmeal. Pearl barley is a winner for breakfast!

I learned a lot from this article at The Kitchn: “How to Cook Tender, Chewy Barley“.

Barley and water in an instant pot

Stovetop: Yes, you can easily make pearl barley on the stovetop! Just follow the instructions on your package of pearl barley. It generally takes about an hour to cook.

Instant Pot: I live at very high elevation and like making food as easy as possible. So I used my Instant Pot. Rinse the barley first. 1 cup pearl barley & 2 1/4 cups water. Cook on manual for 25 minutes, and natural release for 15 minutes. Drain any excess liquid remaining.

Fruit Salad

I used orange, grapes, strawberries and blueberries because they’re kid-friendly and our favorites. But literally ANY fruit combination would be delicious! Try kiwi, banana, raspberries and apple…. or mandarins, pear, blackberries and cantaloupe.

Then either put all the fruit in a large serving bowl with a hefty scoop of pearl barley in the center OR scoop barley into individual bowls and top with fruit.

Close up of breakfast fruit salad - cut strawberries and oranges with grapes and blueberries, topped with pearl barley

OJ Vinaigrette

In a small cup, stir together 100% orange juice, apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Pour over the serving dish or individual bowls. It is such a simple way to add BIG juicy flavor! And you can just tell your kids that you’re just pouring OJ over their fruit… they won’t know the difference. 😉

Hungry for More Fruity Recipes?

Other ways to enjoy pearl barley

Pearl Barley Breakfast Fruit Salad

Breakfast Fruit Salad with Pearl Barley & OJ Vinaigrette

  • Author: Katie Allen
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 55
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Breakfast fruit salad is light, nutritious & sweet. Combine tender & chewy Instant Pot pearl barley with cut fruit & a quick OJ vinaigrette. Kid-approved!



Pearl Barley

  • 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
  • 2 1/4 cup water
  • pinch salt

Fruit Salad

  • 1 orange, peeled & sliced
  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 cups grapes
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios

OJ Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup 100% orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar


Pearl Barley

  1. Rinse pearl barley under running water.
  2. Add to Instant Pot with water and salt.
  3. Set to “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” for 25 minutes (high altitude: 30 minutes).
  4. The Instant Pot will take a few minutes to come to pressure, then begin counting down the time. 
  5. When the 25 minutes is done, let it natural release pressure for 15 minutes.
  6. Pour contents through a strainer over the sink, to drain the excess water.

OJ Vinaigrette

  1. In a small cup or jar, whisk together OJ, apple cider vinegar and olive oil.

Assemble Fruit Salad

  1. Fill a large serving bowl with the cut fruit.
  2. Use a serving spoon to make a hole in the center.
  3. Scoop cooked pearl barley into the center (hot or cold).
  4. Pour OJ vinaigrette over fruit & barley.


  • To cook pearl barley on the stovetop: Bring 3 cups water or broth to boil. Add 1 cup Pearl Barley, reduce heat and simmer for 50 to 60 minutes. 
  • This recipe is suitable for vegans & vegetarians.
  • Storing leftovers: Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The acidic vinaigrette keeps fruit fresh. Delicious served hot or cold!
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: pearl barley, fruit salad


  1. This sounds like the most delicious breakfast in the world! And all the beautiful colors! YUM!

  2. I’m always look for new and kid approved breakfast recipes. My kids get tired of eating the same thing but they also aren’t willing to try very much when it comes to breakfast. Excited to try this breakfast fruit salad!

  3. I’ve been looking for light and healthy breakfast recipes so saving yours for later! Love the colors!

  4. I am copying your recipe right now! Looks delicious and perfect for a morning meal! Very healthy too… and refreshing! Thanks for sharing!

  5. This is a great idea- a filling breakfast salad! Glad to hear it’s kid approved too!

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