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Tuscan Bean and Barley Salad (Costco Copycat Recipe)

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This Costco copycat Tuscan Bean and Barley Salad recipe is a delicious take on the store-bought side dish!  Cooked barley and beans and tossed with vegetables and fresh herbs, loaded with a light & tangy pesto dressing.

Want more hearty salad recipes? Try our California spaghetti salad, Asian bean salad recipe, or our creamy cottage cheese pasta salad!

costco copycat salad with beans and barley with a pesto dressing in a bowl.

This fresh and filling salad is a riff off of Costco’s Tuscan Bean Salad with pesto dressing – but easy to make at home with simple ingredients! I absolutely love Costco Salads, but sometimes I want a tasty salad without making a run to the store.

Easy and delicious, this is a totally re-creatable salad you can make anytime, no membership card required. And it’s made with simple ingredients like canned beans, pearled barley, and olive oil and vinegar for the dressing.

It makes a great side dish or a light lunch – loaded with vegetables and a light pesto dressing. And it’s a great make-ahead meal, so prepare it a day before, refrigerate and serve!

Why This Recipe Works

  • It’s light, refreshing, and herby!
  • It’s crunchy from the fresh veggies, and hearty from the beans.
  • This salad is made with simple ingredients and many pantry staples like beans and grains.
  • It’s vegetarian, and can easily be made vegan by swapping the cheese.

Ingredients You’ll Need

ingredients for bean and barley salad laid out on the counter: tomatoes, navy beans, chickpeas, green onions, pesto dressing, bell pepper, and feta cheese.
  • Pearled Barley: a fantastic grain for soups or salads, pearled barley is a hearty and satisfying addition to any dish! 
  • Chickpeas: my favorite pantry staple protein! You can use canned chickpeas (I’d highly recommend a low sodium or no salt version), or you can make your own chickpeas from scratch in the Instant Pot.
  • White Beans – I used Navy beans but you can use cannellini beans if desired.
  • Parsley – adds amazing flavor to this dish!
  • Vegetables: bell pepper, tomatoes, and green onions give this salad a wonderful crunch.
  • Feta cheese – I love the sharp and tangy feta in this salad, but you can omit it for a vegan version.
  • Pesto Dressing – made in just 5 minutes in your blender or food processor, this dressing has extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, fresh garlic, basil, and lemon juice.

Be sure to visit the recipe card below for full ingredient amounts and recipe instructions!

Substitutions and Variations

  • For this recipe, you can add in more vegetables if desired: diced cucumber or fresh baby spinach would be great additions.
  • Substitute feta cheese for a vegan or plant-based variety if needed, or omit it alltogether.
  • Instead of white wine vinegar in the salad, you can use balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or champagne vinegar.

How To Make This Recipe

a bowl of cooked parley ready for this easy copycat salad.

Step 1: Rinse the pearl barley, and add it and the water to a pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes over low heat. Once done, fluff with a fork and add to a large bowl.

a large wooden bowl full of salad ingredients like beans, cooked barley, chopped vegetables, and feta cheese.

Step 2: To the barley, add the chickpeas, navy beans, parsley, tomato, bell peppers, green onion, and feta cheese.

a blender full of basil garlic vinegar and herbs, with olive oil being streamed in.

Step 3: To make the dressing, add all dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor, and blend on high until smooth.

a hand pouring green pesto dressing over the bean and barley salad in a large serving bowl.

Step 4: Pour the blended pesto dressing over the salad.

a hand and a wooden spoon mixing the bean and barley salad with the pesto basil dressing.

Step 5: Stir well to combine!

costco copycat salad with beans and barley with a pesto dressing in a bowl.

Step 6: Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate overnight. Before serving, garnish with extra feta cheese and parsley if desired.

Canned Beans Versus Homemade

This tasty bean and barley salad has two great types of beans: chickpeas and navy beans. You can use either canned beans for this recipe, or make your own from scratch using a pressure cooker.

While I love the convenience of canned beans, I usually cook dry beans from scratch in my pressure cooker – the texture is better and it’s more affordable.  I use a large 7.5-Quart Instant Pot which is bigger than the standard model so I can batch cook more at a time. 

If you don’t already have one, the Instant Pot works wonders for cooking dried beans quickly, with no soaking required! While canned beans are convenient, they are often loaded with sodium. If you buy canned beans, I always recommend using a no-salt-added variety so you can control the amount of salt in your dish. 

Next time you reach for canned beans, consider investing in a pressure cooker instead! Homemade beans are incredibly cost efficient, and you can add seasonings and spices to the beans while they cook for extra flavor.

Dietary Modifications

  • This salad is vegetarian, to make it vegan or dairy free, omit the feta cheese or use a plant-based substitute.
  • Barley contains gluten, so for a gluten free variety, omit the barley and double the beans instead. Also ensure any dressing ingredients you use are certified gluten free if desired.
a large bowl of bean and barley salad topped with crumbled feta cheese and fresh parsley and green onions.

Recipe FAQs

How do you store this bean and barley salad?

Keep any leftover salad in an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Can you meal prep this barley salad?

Yes! This tasty bean and barley salad is hearty enough for meal prep and won’t wilt in the refrigerator. I like to cook a big batch on Sunday and enjoy it for lunches throughout the week.

What are the best beans for this salad?

I used chickpeas and navy beans for this salad, as they are small and pair well with the barley. However, you can use other bean varieties like cooked black eyed peas, French lentils, cannellini beans, or kidney beans too.

More Fresh Salad Ideas

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If you made this recipe, please leave a star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

costco copycat salad with beans and barley with a pesto dressing in a bowl.

Costco Tuscan Bean and Barley Salad

This Costco copycat Tuscan Bean and Barley Salad recipe is a delicious take on the store-bought side dish!  Cooked barley and beans and tossed with vegetables and fresh herbs, loaded with a light & tangy pesto dressing.
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 1-cup servings
Calories 216 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Salad

  • 1 cup dried pearl barley
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 14 ounce can No-Salt-Added Chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 14 ounce can navy beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1 large fresh tomato diced
  • 1 bell pepper chopped, any color (I used red)
  • 2 green onions chopped, about 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese

For the Pesto Dressing

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 3 cloves garlic pressed
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon each sea salt and black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Rinse the pearl barley, and add it and the water to a pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes over low heat. Once done, fluff with a fork and add to a large bowl.
  • To the barley, add the chickpeas, navy beans, parsley, tomato, bell peppers, green onion, and feta cheese.
  • To make the dressing, add all dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor, and blend on high until smooth.
  • Pour the blended pesto dressing over the salad. Stir well to combine!

Notes

Dietary Modifications
  • This salad is vegetarian, to make it vegan or dairy free, omit the feta cheese or use a plant-based substitute.
  • Barley contains gluten, so for a gluten free variety, omit the barley and double the beans instead. Also ensure any dressing ingredients you use are certified gluten free if needed.
Substitutions and Variations
  • For this recipe, you can add in more vegetables if desired: diced cucumber or fresh baby spinach would be great additions.
  • Substitute feta cheese for a vegan or plant-based variety if needed, or omit it altogether.
  • Instead of white wine vinegar in the salad, you can use balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or champagne vinegar.

Nutrition

Calories: 216kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 4gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gSodium: 883mgPotassium: 221mgFiber: 5gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1027IUVitamin C: 31mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 1mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a rating and comment below, let us know what you loved about it!

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5 from 11 votes (9 ratings without comment)

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