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. Precooking the sausage is necessary to prevent greasiness in the finished dish, but the 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 chicken broth or stock
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
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. 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 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.
Serve, garnishing with extra Parmesan and fresh parsley.
Tip: For extra-creamy risotto (optional step done in video), mix in 1 cup half-and-half after you mix in the 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 ounces fresh baby spinach when you add the Parmesan.
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