This Italian Sausage and Mushroom Risotto recipe comes from the DeLaura-Abate family archives and is the best risotto I've ever had! Full of mushrooms, sweet Italian sausage, and flavored with red wine, this sausage risotto will have your guests coming back for seconds and thirds!
My friend Rita's grandparents emigrated to the United States from Italy in the 1930s and settled in New Jersey to raise a family of six. Both sides of the family brought wonderful Italian recipes with them, one of which was this delicious Sausage Risotto.
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The Story of the DeLaura and Abate Families - Italian emigrants who came through Ellis Island and settled in New Jersey to raise six children.
The Sausage and Mushroom Risotto had many variations within the family: it seemed that each of the six offspring made it a different way—Santina—who was my friend Rita's mother—made her risotto with rice, sausage, mushrooms, and red wine; Marie used rice and tomato sauce; Lucille had rice and sausage, and the others had variations as well.
And of course, now their children—Rita, her sisters, and their cousins—all make the risotto different ways. There are at least three variations of this sausage risotto in the family cookbook.
Helpful Tools and Ingredients
- Large Dutch oven - I love my Le Creuset, but I know they are expensive. I think the Lodge Dutch ovens are a great alternative. But if you can ever get to a Le Creuset Factory Sale, do it! That's where I bought most of mine and they are guaranteed for life.
- Chef's knife
- Large cutting board - my favorite!
- Olive oil
- Sweet Italian sausage
- Red wine
- Chicken stock
- Chicken bouillon
- Salt and pepper
- Kitchen Bouquet (optional)
How to Make Sausage Mushroom Risotto
Step 1. Heat olive oil and butter in a large Dutch oven.
Step 2. Add chopped onions and garlic and sauté for about 8 minutes until tender.
Step 3. Add the sausage and stir around with the onions, breaking the sausage with a spoon so it will brown evenly.
Step 4. When the sausage has browned, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Step 5. Bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring frequently, until rice is cooked and creamy.
Cook's Tip: If rice becomes too thick, add water in ½ cup increments and/or additional chicken stock.
Tips for Sausage Risotto
- Flavor boost: To add even more flavor to this risotto, caramelize your onions and roast the mushrooms in the oven.
- Make-ahead: This Sausage Mushroom Risotto is a great make-ahead dish! You can make the whole thing and then just reheat before you're ready to serve. You may need to add a little extra stock or water.
- Freezing: You can absolutely freeze this risotto. Just place in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
- While Rita's mother used long-grain rice, most chefs will suggest arborio rice for risotto. However, an article from Culinary Lore says that the Best Rice for Risotto is actually Carnaroli rice, which is also grown in Northern Italy. And thanks to Amazon, you can get it delivered right to your door!
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ lbs. sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing and crumbled
- 1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
- ¾ cup dry red wine
- 1 quart chicken stock, plus additional if needed
- 2 ½ cups extra long grain rice
- 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet, optional
- Heat olive oil and butter in a large Dutch oven on medium heat.
- Add onions and garlic and saute for about 8 minutes.
- Add sausage. Break up with spoon if needed.
- When the sausage has browned, add the rest of the ingredients.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring frequently, until rice is cooked and creamy.
- If rice becomes too thick, add water in ½ cup increments and/or additional chicken stock.
Update Notes: This post was originally published March 12, 2015, and on November 5, 2019, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.
Looking for more risotto recipes? Try this Spinach Risotto with Peas.
And check out my Pasta Bake with Chicken or Sausage for another great Italian style recipe.