Sausage Risotto

5 from 3 votes
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Sausage Risotto is a hearty, satisfying dish that combines the richness of Italian sausage with the creamy texture of Arborio rice. 

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Why Make This Sausage Risotto

When it comes to comfort food, few dishes can rival the creamy, flavorful goodness of a well-made risotto. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, this dish is sure to impress. Also consider my One Pan Chicken and Orzo for a quicker dish with similar flavor.

This dish is a symphony of Italian inspired flavors and the rich sausage offers protein and crave worthy texture. You can make this meal for meal prep or ahead of time, it heats up quick and the leftovers are just as good as fresh risotto.

Risotto is an Italian rice dish, primarily made from Arborio. What sets risotto apart is its slower, methodical cooking method, the rice is slowly simmered with flavorful tomato broth, to create a creamy and luscious texture. This process requires patience and constant stirring but gives you a dish that’s worth every bit of effort.

Ingredients Needed

Small bowls and plates with veggies and broths in them on a counter.

Arborio Rice. This is the base of the dish. You can find this in the rice aisle or in the international aisle.

Italian Sausage. I like to go for spicy Italian sausage but mild will also work. If you love sausage try my Tuscan White Bean Soup.

Canned Diced Tomatoes. Any variety will do, just be sure they are pre diced.

Roasted Red Peppers. I use pre roasted in the jar for ease of time.

Seasoning. Salt, pepper, oregano, dried basil.

All other ingredients and measurements can be found in the recipe card below. 

Recipe Variations

Arborio Rice. Carnaroli rice is often considered the best substitute for Arborio rice because it has a similar high starch content and absorbs liquids well. You can also use a short grain rice like Calrose (sushi rice) but be mindful it will have less texture and the cooking times will vary a bit.

Sausage. Ground turkey, venison or chorizo will also work well.

Beef Broth. Any broth will do, beef adds the most depth of flavor to pair with the sausage.

White Wine. You may sub with sherry wine. You can also omit the wine and use broth for the deglazing of the pan.

steps to make this dish in skillets with all the cooking processes.

Steps To Make This Recipe

Step One. Heat 1/2 tsp oil in a large, deep, heavy bottomed sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Next, crumble the sausage into the pan and cook, breaking up any large pieces and stirring occasionally, until the meat is cooked through and crisp at the edges (photo 1). Drain the excess grease and move the sausage to the side. While the sausage is cooking, add the diced tomatoes with juices, roasted red peppers and beef broth in a medium saucepan over low heat and keep it at a very low simmer to blend the flavors (photo 4).

Step Two. In the same pan that’s lightly greased from the sausage, add onions, seasonings and garlic. Sauté for about 3 minutes on medium/low heat (photo 2). Next, add the rice and stir until the grain is coated with fat. Continue stirring the rice until the edges have turned translucent but the center is still opaque, about 3 minutes (photo 3). 

Step Three. Add wine into the pan to deglaze everything and simmer, stirring constantly, until the wine has reduced a bit and about 3-5 minutes. Begin incrementally adding the tomatoes and broth mixture one 1 cup at a time, stirring often. Keep the heat on medium low to ensure the rice doesn’t burn. Wait to add another ladle until the liquid has been almost completely absorbed by the rice (photo 5).

Steps To Make Continued

Step Four. Continue adding broth mix until the rice is al dente and no longer crunchy. Begin tasting the rice after about 15 minutes to gauge how far it has cooked. The risotto is done when is resembles a thick porridge about 25-35 minutes (photo 6). If you do run out of liquid and feel you want to cook the rice a bit more, add any leftover broth or a bit of water, 1/4 cup at a time. 

Step Five. Stir the chopped spinach into the risotto is done, let it wilt. Remove the risotto from the heat, add in the parmesan, sausage and butter. Serve immediately and add more parmesan, salt & cracked pepper if needed.

*store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze for up to 2 months.

Skillet full of cooked risotto and Parmesan cheese on top.

Recipe FAQs

What type of sausage is best for making sausage risotto?

You can use either mild or hot Italian sausage, depending on your preference. Mild sausage provides flavor without much heat, while hot sausage adds a spicy kick.

Can I make sausage risotto without wine?

While wine is commonly used in risotto to add depth of flavor, it can be omitted it and subbed for extra broth.

My risotto won’t cook all the way

Add 1/4 – 1/3 cup of extra broth or water if the rice is still not fully cooked and if all the tomato broth is used up.

How can I make this healthier?

To make this healthier, use a lean ground meat in place of the sausage. Ground turkey or venison would be a great substitute. Use low sodium broth and unsalted butter to lower sodium.

Recipe Tips

Use a Wide, Heavy Pan. A wide, heavy-bottomed pan or skillet allows for even heat distribution and more surface area for stirring, which is essential for creating a creamy risotto. it will also give you a lot of surface area for stirring. A dutch oven will also work.

Sear the Sausage Well. When cooking the sausage, ensure you brown it thoroughly. This caramelization adds depth of flavor to your dish.

Stir and Add Liquid Gradually. Consistently stir the rice to release its starch and create the creamy texture. Add the broth one ladleful at a time, allowing each addition to be mostly absorbed before adding more. This gradual process is key to achieving a creamy consistency. If you need extra liquid, use broth or water once the tomato broth is gone.

Recipe Pairings

This recipe is filling and satisfying on its own. It would pair lovely with my Garlic Rolls, or a nice green salad like my Lemon Kale Caesar.

Other Dinner Recipes To Try

If you loved this recipe let me know! Also, follow me on Instagram & Pinterest for even more fun recipes to make you feel good from the inside out. Thanks for being here.

White ceramic bowl with risotto and tomatoes and a gold fork on the side.
5 from 3 votes

Sausage Risotto

Sausage Risotto is a hearty, satisfying dish that combines the richness of Italian sausage with the creamy texture of Arborio rice. 
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 6

Equipment

  • heavy bottomed deep skillet or dutch oven
  • sharp knives

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb sausage, *see notes
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers
  • cup low sodium beef broth, *see notes
  • cup yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp chopped rosemary
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ cup dry white wine, *see notes
  • 2 cup arborio rice , *see notes
  • cup spinach, chopped
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • 1 Tbsp butter

Instructions 

  • Heat 1/2 tsp oil in a large, deep, heavy bottomed sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Crumble the sausage into the pan and cook, breaking up any large pieces and stirring occasionally, until the meat is cooked through and crisp at the edges. Drain the excess grease and move the sausage to the side. 
  • While the sausage is cooking, add the diced tomatoes with juices, roasted red peppers and beef broth in a medium saucepan over low heat and keep it at a very low simmer to blend the flavors.
  • In the same pan that's lightly greased from the sausage, add onions, seasonings and garlic. Sauté for about 3 minutes on medium/low heat. Add the rice and stir until every grain is coated with fat. Continue stirring the rice until the edges have turned translucent but the center is still opaque, about 3 minutes.
  • Add wine into the pan to deglaze everything and simmer, stirring constantly, until the wine has reduced a bit and about 3-5 minutes. Begin incrementally adding the tomatoes and broth mixture one 1 cup at a time, stirring often.
  • Keep the heat on medium low to ensure the rice doesn't burn. Wait to add another ladle until the liquid has been almost completely absorbed by the rice.
  • Continue adding broth mix until the rice is al dente and no longer crunchy. Begin tasting the rice after about 15 minutes to gauge how far it has cooked. The risotto is done when is resembles a thick porridge about 25-35 minutes (photo 6). If you do run out of liquid and feel you want to cook the rice a bit more, add any leftover broth or a bit of water, 1/4 cup at a time. 
  • Stir the chopped spinach into the risotto is done, let it wilt. Remove the risotto from the heat, add in the parmesan, sausage and butter. Serve immediately and add more parmesan, salt & cracked pepper if needed.

Notes

*ground turkey, venison or chorizo will also work well. 
*veggie or chicken broth will also work for this recipe. 
*Carnaroli rice will also work well. 
*sherry wine is a good substitute.
*store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to4 days. You can also freeze for up to 2 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 544kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 1480mg | Potassium: 716mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 959IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Bailey
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6
Calories: 544
Keyword: dinner, italian dinner
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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was hearty and delicious really loved the sausage add in. I get very sick of beef.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this last night and we almost at the entire thing between two of us! I’m looking forward to the leftovers for lunch it was excellent. Never thought to add sausage to risotto.