Sausage, Pepper and Mushroom Risotto

This sausage, pepper & mushroom risotto is a hearty meal – just add some Italian bread and a big salad!

Sausage, Pepper & Mushroom Risotto - A hearty meal that needs only Italian bread and a big salad as an accompaniment! |

This risotto recipe has been a huge family favorite for nearly ten years now.

It’s one of the first “fancy meals” that I learned how to cook back in my mid-20’s, and it was an instant hit. is one of the very first meals that I taught myself how to cook and it quickly became a favorite with my family. Each year when my mom’s birthday rolls around, I offer to make her whatever she’d like for dinner… and every single year since I first made this risotto recipe, it has been her request. Yesterday was her birthday and when I asked what she wanted for dinner, she didn’t even hesitate… “the risotto with sausage, peppers and mushrooms!”

I can probably stop asking at this point 😉

Sausage, Pepper & Mushroom Risotto - A hearty meal that needs only Italian bread and a big salad as an accompaniment! |

If you’ve never made risotto, it is most definitely a labor of love… while not a difficult dish in terms of complexity, it is a little time-consuming and requires constant attention. Once you have sauteed the sausage, peppers and mushrooms, deglazed the pan with wine and added the arborio rice, the stirring begins! Risotto gets its wonderfully creamy texture from broth being added a little bit at a time and stirred into the rice until mostly absorbed before adding more. The result is absolutely worth it and from start to finish, it still takes less than an hour to make.

(I’ve seen some recipes for oven-baked risotto, but I’ve never tried it, so I’m not sure if it would result in the same creamy consistency. Have any of you tried it?)

This risotto recipe is a perfect special occasion meal; it can be served as a main dish and goes great with a loaf of Italian bread and a salad.

Sausage, Pepper & Mushroom Risotto - A hearty meal that needs only Italian bread and a big salad as an accompaniment! |

One year ago: Beef Enchiladas
Four years ago: Honey Cake
Five years ago: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting

Sausage, Pepper and Mushroom Risotto

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

This sausage, pepper & mushroom risotto is a hearty meal - just add some Italian bread and a big salad!


5 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons salted butter
8 ounces Italian sausage, casings removed
½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
4 ounces white button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups Arborio rice
¾ cup dry white wine
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley


1. Add the broth to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and reduce the heat to low.

2. In a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sausage and saute, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks, until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, pepper and mushrooms, and saute until tender, stirring occasionally and scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 1 minute.

4. Add ½ cup of the simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender and the mixture is creamy, about 25 to 30 minutes total. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese.

5. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan cheese to pass at the table.

(Adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis)

This recipe was originally published on September 27, 2009.


84 Responses to “Sausage, Pepper and Mushroom Risotto”

  1. Liz Brooks on September 28, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    I’ve never made risotto before, it really intimates me!


  2. Danielle on September 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    I’ve just recently had my first experience with Risotto…and now I need to expand with all the fun flavors. This looks great!


  3. Christina on September 28, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    I love risotto, and this sounds like a great combination of flavors. The speckles of red and green give it a nice look!


  4. penny aka jeroxie on September 28, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    I love risotto. This is nice and simple and I would add salami to mine! YUM!


  5. eatlivetravelwrite on September 28, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Oooh – beautiful and perfect for this fall weather!


  6. MY LIFE IS YUMMY on September 28, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    ohhh, that looks wonderful. I dont know why I never made risotto before! I should start


  7. anncoo on September 29, 2009 at 6:22 am

    I’ve never try Arborio rice before…would like to try some.


  8. nicole on September 29, 2009 at 7:07 am

    i love how creamy arborio rice gets. your pictures captures that!


  9. Amanda Garbutt on September 29, 2009 at 8:00 am

    This looks delicious. I recently had a risotto with smoked lardon in it, next time give it a try. It adds a campfire smokiness that is not only addictive but kicks up the delicate flavor of risotto into a real main course!


  10. Michele on September 29, 2009 at 9:09 am

    What a beautiful dish! I never had risotto with sausage in it but this is the second sausage risotto I’m seeing today and it’s only 9 am! If you want to see Dajana’s here’s the link.


  11. lululu on September 29, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    i could have risotto every dinner! yours is my perfect choice!
    you take really good pictures too!


  12. Jackie on September 29, 2009 at 11:22 pm


    I was wondering could I use Italian Turkey sausage in this recipe, also what brand of dry white wine did you use.


  13. Katie on September 30, 2009 at 11:03 am

    All I can say is Yum!


  14. theUngourmet on September 30, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    What a beautiful risotto! I love the combination of ingredients in this!


  15. Michelle on September 30, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Jackie,

    You could definitely use Italian turkey sausage in this recipe. As far as white wine, I actually don’t remember which brand I used – I typically just use whatever I already have on hand, which is usually always a pinot grigio.

    I hope that helps and that you enjoy the recipe!


  16. Eliana on September 30, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    This risotto has comfor written all over every grain of rice. I absolutely love the recipe.


  17. Simply Life on September 30, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    YUM! Looks great!


  18. Chaya on October 2, 2009 at 12:30 am

    I make sausage only a few times a year so why is it that tonight, while it is cooking, this is the third blog, that has a recipe. I love the rissoto with it. Why didn’t I think of that. Sounds delicious.


  19. ruth on October 4, 2009 at 6:12 am

    Excellent recipe!


    • Antonia on May 28th, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      Mmm mushroom riotsto drool Sorry, I lost my trail of thought there for a second. My favourite video would have to be Episode 3 Pasta/Risotto. Why? Well, I didn’t really know what to make for dinner tonight and now I know. I will have to get your riotsto as a take away and claim it as my own handy work. Nifty huh!? OR I could win the prize and surprise my hubby with a fancy dinner and little Dutch rendezvous and totally say that I paid for it. He’ll be mine forever, and ever, and ever mmm riotsto


  20. BE on October 5, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Just wanted to let you know I was inspired by your beautiful photos and we made this risotto for dinner last night. Delicious! My photos aren’t as mouth-watering as yours, but the actual meal was yummy!


  21. Joan on October 12, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    This is one of our favorite recipes….My husband has also adapted it to make it in the pressure cooker. Have to agree with BE above — ours doesn’t look quite as good as your photo – but still yummy!


  22. Sharon on December 27, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    This was delicious. Thanks so much for the recipe! I only had 4 oz of Italian sausage, and it turned out fine; in fact it was the perfect amount. With a side of roasted broccoli (from the amateur gourmet) and a simple salad with vinaigrette dressing, this was the perfect meal. Enjoying it right now with a glass of albarino!


  23. AerynA on April 17, 2010 at 5:08 am

    I’m a vegetarian and so I stuck in faux sausage and used veggie broth and WOW did it turn out AMAZING. My first time making it too! Lovely lovely recipie! Thank you!


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  27. erica on September 27, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Any ideas of what brand of faux sausage (or other product) to use for the vegetarian folk? Looks yumm!


    • Michelle on September 28th, 2010 at 7:29 pm

      Hi Erica, I’m not a vegetarian and am not very familiar with faux sausage products so unfortunately I don’t have any suggestions. Can anyone else help out with recommendations?


      • Kristen on October 28th, 2010 at 8:31 pm

        I bet this would be great with some TVP from Morningstar Farms or Boca, especially if seasoned like Italian sausage.


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  29. Kristen on October 28, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Okay, finally made this tonight for my honey’s birthday, and we cannot keep from eating out of the dish! It’s easy and delicious and perfect!! Thanks for the recipe!


    • Michelle on October 30th, 2010 at 8:18 pm

      Yay! Happy birthday to your sweetie!


  30. cathy on November 9, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    just a quick question about the risotto… can you omit the wine… also can you use chicken broth from a can or do you need to use homemade broth?


    • Michelle on November 10th, 2010 at 2:51 pm

      Hi Cathy, Yes you can omit the wine, just substitute more chicken broth in its place. You can definitely use canned chicken broth (or in a carton) – I never make homemade stock.


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  32. Danielle on February 11, 2011 at 3:43 pm


    Just an FYI…this risotto was UH-Mazing! My other half has requested it again for dinner this evening. I usually just thick-slice a whole wheat bread to go with! Love it! Thanks so much!


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  34. Jeannette Dailey on July 11, 2011 at 8:17 am

    This looks yummy. I am going to try this. I love trying new things, just have to get my family to try it is the hard part.


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  36. Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking on July 12, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Michelle, once again another successful recipe!! This dish COMPLETELY rocked our world!!! We had never tried risotto, but now we are completely hooked!! I’ve already posted a baked recipe for today, but I’m going to do a bonus post because this was just WWAAYYYYYYYY too good NOT to share!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
    BIG, BIG HUGS!!!!


    • Michelle on July 13th, 2011 at 1:00 pm

      Yay so glad you enjoyed this!


  37. Gina on August 11, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight, and all my husband could say was…”Wow, this gets better with each bite!” It was a huge hit! Thanks for sharing.


  38. Claire on September 9, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    I’ve made this a couple of times now for my parents, they love it! Even my Dad who is a carnivore when it comes to dinners – easily remedied, I just added more italian sausage! Now they want the recipe to take camping with them! Keep up the recipes – they’re ALL great!


  39. Thomas Andrew on November 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    I’m going to give this recipe a shot tonight!


  40. BridgetSoup on January 5, 2012 at 12:39 am

    This looks delicious and so perfect for this cold weather were getting finally in NY…. one question though… do you have any substitutes for the mushrooms? Unfortunately the fella wont eat them!


    • Michelle on January 5th, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      You could omit them or just throw in more peppers.


  41. Tara on January 10, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Gonna try this tonight. Looks fantastic. One thing: would it be possible for you to enable printing of your recipes with the photo? That would be amazing. Thanks!


    • Michelle on January 11th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      Hi Tara, I am working on that as we speak! Stay tuned for some updates soon!


  42. Liz on January 11, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    I think that this would also be a great side dish or part of a buffet if I was serving larger numbers…I know that it says “serve immediately” but can it also be made ahead and reheated without compromising the quality of the dish?


    • Michelle on January 12th, 2012 at 5:28 pm

      Hi Liz, With risotto the quality definitely gets compromised the longer it sits and it’s definitely not the same re-heated. It has a smooth and creamy consistency when it is first served that you really can’t replicate once it has cooled. It might not matter to you though; you could do a trial run, reheat it, and if you like it then go with it!


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  46. Danielle on May 31, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    I’ve made this risotto several times and it is amazing. My hubs is on a health kick lately. Is there any way to substitute the arborio rice with quinoa?


    • Michelle on May 31st, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      Hi Danielle, I have never made risotto with quinoa, so I’m not sure how it would turn out, but I have used barley before, and that has been good!


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  53. Tammy on June 9, 2015 at 12:16 am

    Delicious! Super easy to make. Instead of dry white wine, I used Marsala and it really intensified the flavors.


  54. Bella B on September 29, 2015 at 1:01 am

    This has such a great colour!

    xoxoBella |


  55. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way on September 29, 2015 at 7:09 am

    You had my heart and tummy with risotto!! I could eat a variation every single day. I’m excited to try your version.


  56. Sues on September 29, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Risotto was one of the first dishes I learned, too, and I used to make it ALL the time. I recently added it back to my “make ASAP” list and this recipe is making me crave it even more!


  57. Kathleen on September 29, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Looks great. As soon as we start getting some fall weather I am making it!


  58. Marla on September 29, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this. I am going to try making it tonight. I can’t wait.


  59. Katie on September 29, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    You should try the Americas test kitchen risotto trick. It eliminates the stirring by using a covered le cruset pan. I’ve made it several times this way and it still comes out with the awesome creamy consistency and saves your arm in the process.


  60. Jane M on September 29, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Michelle, part of this post is off subject but felt this might be a helpful article for you. I don’t know if you subscribe to “the kitchn” but this article was in their email today. The comments left by the readers are very good as well.

    Your risotto recipe looks fabulous and I will be making it very soon. We love all types of rice recipes here and I like the ease of one-pot meals. 🙂


  61. Michelle on September 29, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Somehow I missed this recipe the first time around. But, this is an absolutely gorgeous dish! Love love love risotto and will have to try this one. It really is a fun dish to make. Perfect for a rainy fall evening meal. Can I ask what “kind” of salad you would pair with this, including your recommendation for the dressing? This would go so well with a nice glass of wine too. Risotto is a nice choice when you need a somewhat impressive presentation, and this one is really beautiful!


  62. Claire on September 30, 2015 at 11:22 am

    I’ve never made risotto before so please excuse the dumb question – how can all the broth get absorbed and the final dish still be creamy? Is there a point during the addition of broth (say, after 4 cups or something) that it will no longer absorb but just start making a nice creamy mixture? I just want to make sure I know what to look for! Thanks!


    • Michelle on October 1st, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      Hi Claire, I’m not sure how the science of it works, but the arborio rice just continues to get plumper and plumper! You definitely aren’t left with any un-absorbed broth.


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  64. Mary Frances on September 30, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    I’m so glad you reposted this recipe, it’s too good to not be shared. I LOVE mushroom risotto and sausage sounds like a great addition to the dish. I’m super excited to make this for my family!!


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  66. Angela Angeline on October 16, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    I have never made risotto as I have always felt rather intimidated by the babying of the rice. However this recipe made me want to try it.
    I just made it for dinner today and it is definitely a winner!


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  68. Kelsey H on November 30, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    I have to say, I read this recipe and started to make it a couple years ago, and it is one of my all time favorites! I go back to it often, thanks for sharing


  69. Vicki on January 19, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    This is a great recipe! I have made it several times. I am wondering if it can easily be doubled or even tripled?


    • Michelle on January 21st, 2016 at 9:09 pm

      Hi Vicki, Thank you! Yes, I have scaled it up many times for a larger group.


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  71. Marla on October 8, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Doubled this for company this evening and it was a huge hit with everyone! I’ve never made one of your recipes that we didn’t love.


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