How to make slow cooker sausage risotto (video)

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I like to think of risotto as a more sophisticated version of mac and cheese; creamy, cheesy, carb-y, and comforting. It’s also a pain to make if you do it on the stovetop, but this slow cooker version (recipe below) couldn’t be simpler or more delicious. Serve with a green salad for a satisfying meal.
Traditionally, risotto is made by adding warm liquid to rice in small batches, resulting in tender grains suspended in a creamy, starchy sauce. In the slow cooker, you can add the liquid all at once and forgo constant stirring. Pre-cooking the sausage is necessary to prevent greasiness in the finished dish, but this impressive, fast, and flavorful result is well worth the effort.
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Cooktop Cove
Slow Cooker Sausage Risotto
6
20 minutes
2 hours 30 minutes
2 hours, 50 minutes
1 tablespoon butter
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
2 cups arborio or other short-grain rice
½ cup white wine
4½ cups (820 ml) chicken broth or stock
1 cup (75 g) parmesan
2 tablespoons cold butter
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup half and half (optional)
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat. Then add garlic, and stir for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up with a spoon or spatula until well-browned. Add rice and cook for 1 minute. Deglaze pan with white wine and stir until all the little bits on the bottom of the pan are lifted.
Pour sausage mixture into the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker. Add in chicken broth. Cover and cook on high for 2½ hours, until rice is tender.
After 2½ hours, add parmesan and 2 tablespoon butter, stirring until cheese and butter are both melted and fully incorporated.
Garnish with extra parmesan and fresh parsley then serve.
Tip: For extra creamy risotto (optional step done in video), mix in 1 cup half and half after you mix in parmesan and butter at the end.
Pro tip: If you don't feel like making a salad, you can add a bit of green to the risotto by stirring in 5 oz. of fresh baby spinach when you add the parmesan.
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