Italian Sausage and Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom risotto with Parmesan cheese, mushrooms, and sweet Italian sausage.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 (as a main) to 8 (as a starter).

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian sweet sausage, removed from casings, crumbled
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, diced
  • 10 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, diced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups Madeira (divided, 1/2 cup and 1 cup)
  • 6 cups chicken stock (use gluten-free stock if cooking gluten-free)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese (for topping)

Method

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1 Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage to the pan, spreading it out in an even layer. Do not stir, but allow to brown on one side for a couple minutes. Then stir and allow to brown a little more. Add the mushrooms, thyme, and oregano and cook until mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the Madeira and scrape to deglaze the pan, about 1 minute. Set aside.

2 Heat chicken stock until it is steamy or simmering in a large saucepan and keep warm over low heat.

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3 Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice; stir 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 cup Madeira. Cook, stirring constantly until Madeira has been absorbed, about 2 minutes. Ladle in a little hot stock, just enough to barely cover the rice; simmer until almost absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until rice is just tender and mixture is creamy, adding more stock by ladlefuls, stirring often and allowing most stock to be absorbed before adding more, until rice is tender, but still firm to the bite, about 20-25 minutes.

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4 Stir in the sausage and mushrooms. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese to serve.

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Comments

  1. lydia

    Sounds like the perfect partnership — I would happily do the stirring, if someone else did the provisioning and prep! There is something quite rhythmic about making risotto, just like the rhythm of kneading bread.

  2. Andy

    This recipe sounds great! My fiance and I both love risotto and who doesn’t love Italian sausage? The only problem is she’s allergic to the large mushrooms (I found out the hard way on our first dinner date). She can eat the small button mushrooms, do you think this would taste ok with just them? I think I’ll make it anyway and see!

  3. Elise

    Hi Andy – I think you could easily replace the mushrooms mentioned here with button mushrooms or other types of mushrooms.

    To Anonymous – We loved it! Basically, anything with those ingredients is going to end up high on our list.

  4. Trig

    Aah you can’t go wrong with sweet Italian sausage and portabello mushrooms, especially in a risotto. And the great thing about risotto is that it’s one of those meals for using up various bits and bobs around the kitchen, I always base mine on whatever I can find during my “risotto rummage”.

  5. Annie

    This is a serious version of a slapdash one-pot meal I sometimes make on cold winter days. I saute some garlic in a saucepan, crumble up hot italian sausage and saute that, add chicken broth to the garlic, bring to boil and add the sausage and brown rice. While that’s cooking, I either chop and steam some fresh broccoli or defrost some frozen and then add it at the end.

  6. IanFJ

    Thanks for admitting that risotto actually takes quite a while to cook.

    I’ve never eaten a restaurant-mde risotto, but am starting to experiment at home. I really enjoy what I’ve made so far, but every recipe tells me that it should only take 15 minutes stirring time, which, of course, it never does. I am always scared to serve the dish to my family because I don’t know whether it has cooked long enough. Now that you’ve told me it can take as much as 30 minutes, I can breathe easier and trust the results.

  7. Tom in Boston

    I made this on Monday…oh was it ever good! It was the sausage that got me to try risotto-making again…great idea!

  8. Richard

    For my version of this, I add a small amount of dried wild mushrooms to the stock while it is heating. It really bumps up the mushroom flavor of the risotto.

  9. Robin

    I made this last night for dinner and everyone loved it. I used a different variation of ingredients. I used porchini instead of shiitake mushrooms, Marsala instead of Madeira, and spicy sausage instead of sweet. There was nothing left after I made it.

  10. vanessa

    One of my favorite reasons to make risotto is that if I’m cold, physically chilled to the bone, standing over the risotto and stirring it for 30 minutes will warm me right up…and then the actual eating provides a warmth internally. Risotto…I love it.

  11. nikkipolani

    I tried this recipe last night (though with 1/2 the butter and turkey Ital sausauges) – turned out fabulous! It refrigerates well; I’m eating some now for lunch :-)

  12. jen

    I made this last night. I used really old cognac instead of the Madeira. I’d recommend the recipe. It is very good but also extremely rich.

  13. Jamie

    My husband absolutely hates mushrooms, which is sad for me, but I made this recipe substituting a cup of diced celery for the mushrooms, and it was fantastic.

  14. Amy

    This looks absolutely delish! I was wondering how much does this recipe feed?

    8 as a starter, 4 as a main. ~Elise

  15. Liane

    I made myself a barley ‘risotto’ with mushrooms (from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything) a few weeks ago. I used just plain old mushrooms, and with the chicken stock and cooking process even those tasted decadent at the end. So, if you don’t have fancy mushrooms, plain ones are just great.

    If you’re curious about barley, it takes FOREVER and by the time it was done I was about to pass out from the hunger and standing over the stove for an hour, and I was so hungry at that point that the barley was still kind of crunchy but I didn’t care. Yikes. Next time I will use arborio rice and hopefully it will seem like no time at all compared to my last experience. This recipe looks amazing and I am sure I will try it soon. I still have a couple other of your recipes in the queue to try first!