Sausage Risotto

Sausage Risotto with tomato and spinach is a family-friendly way to enjoy a classic dinner. It’s also easy, cheap, and a great midweek meal.

I love risotto. Personally, I favour a mushroom risotto with white wine. But the kids don’t like that much, so I wanted to create a risotto recipe that we could all enjoy. 

This is a proper kid-friendly risotto that mine absolutely love.

If there’s one thing that my kids love, it’s sausage. I can get them to eat most things if there’s an added sausage. Although, in fairness, I should say mine aren’t particularly fussy!

The thing with risotto is people can be a bit snobby about it. You’ll be told that you should only use certain types of rice, that you must stir in a specific way and that it should be al dente and not mushy. 

But, you know what, when you are cooking for kids, you can’t always be so precious about things. If the kids are more likely to eat mushy risotto, that’s what you should give them. I’m not a traditional Italian cook.

My risottos are not authentic. But my family enjoys them, and we all get a nice, filling, and nutritious meal. 

Sausage risotto in pan from above

If you want a risotto for kids, you might need to break some of the “rules”

You cook Sausage Risotto in a way that works for you so that your family enjoys it without worrying about what it’s meant to be like. 

What Works Well in Risotto?

Everything. I like a basic mushroom risotto, chicken and veg, and fish. 

I do like to add some vegetables, though. Onions and garlic for the base flavours, and then I often just throw some frozen peas or corn in.

close up of sausage risotto in pan

I added Spinach to my sausage kids risotto, which worked really well, and the colours look great. 

Typically if I’m making mushroom or chicken risotto, I use chicken stock and white wine for the sauce. Sausage Risotto with Tomato Sauce I just felt, worked better and seemed to make it a little more kid-friendly. 

What Kind of Sausages Should You Use in Sausage Risotto?

Again, don’t be snobby! If you can use a fancy Italian sausage in your sausage risotto with spinach, do it. If you want to try something different, add German sausages. If you are on a budget and need to use frozen sausages or 70p store-own sausages, that’s fine too.

Use what you’ve got or what you can afford. 

Top view of frying pan with rice, sausages, spinach and tomato

I gently brown my sausages in the pan before placing them on a baking tray in the oven at a low temperature (around 120 degrees C – fan-assisted) for 20 minutes while I cook the rest of the risotto.

By then, your sausages should be cooked through. But, if when you slice them, they aren’t quite cooked, put them back in the oven at a higher temperature or under the grill to finish them off before adding them to the rice. 

What Vegetables Go Well with Sausage Risotto?

I like to add spinach to my Sausage Risotto Recipe. It’s easy, you just add it at the very end and stir it through until it withers, and the flavours work well together. 

3/4 shot of served risotto, frying pan and another bowl in background

Other options could include adding fresh tomatoes, peppers, butternut squash, or courgettes. I’d just add something your family enjoys and that you know everyone will eat. 

Is Risotto Healthy?

Yes. An easy risotto recipe is a great way to get more vegetables into your diet. There’s butter, but not too much.

3/4 shot of served risotto, frying pan and another bowl in background

Risotto feels like a creamy and indulgent meal, and it’s certainly comfort food. But because that creamy texture comes from the starch of the rice, not cream, it’s not as unhealthy as you might expect. 

The fat content will very much depend on what sausages you use. But cooking them in the oven means that a lot of the fat has come out before you add them to your risotto. 

Can You Make Risotto with Normal Rice?

Kinda. 

Sausage and tomato risotto in frying pan, 2 served bowls to sides with parmesan

Ideally, your ingredients for Sausage Risotto should include risotto rice. I tend to use Arborio, but Carnaroli is good too. Many people prefer it and find that the grain maintains its shape better. 

But, if you’ve only got normal rice, either long-grain white or basmati, it will do. It won’t be quite the same, it might not be as creamy, and the timings might be different.

It won’t technically be a risotto, but who cares? It will be a tasty meal, and it won’t hurt you!

Whatever you use, please weigh it! 

Sausage and tomato risotto in frying pan, 2 served bowls to sides with parmesan

Rice never looks like enough when you first add it, but it grows far more than you could ever imagine! I’ve so often just kept adding more until, eventually, I have to get out a second pan!

Should Risotto Be Dry?

No, but you don’t want a soupy risotto, either. 

Ideally, it shouldn’t be so dry that you can mould it into a shape, but it shouldn’t be so wet that the rice is swimming in stock. 

Risotto with sausage and tomato in frying pan, 2 served bowls to the sides

As you drag your spatula through the middle, it should leave a thick groove that the rice slowly slides back into, not one that fills straight away. 

Risotto should have a creamy, almost gluey texture, not dry, but not wet either. 

Can You Overcook Risotto?

Yes. Personally, after about 20 minutes of adding stock, when the rice looks thick and fluffy, I start to taste it and then serve it when the rice is soft, but you can still feel that it’s rice. 

If you add too much stock, it can become too runny, and the rice all mixes into a mush. Some people prefer this texture, though, and it still tastes good, so don’t worry too much. 

Risotto in frying pan, 2 served bowls to sides

Do You Need to Stir Risotto Constantly?

No, I don’t think you need to stir risotto constantly. 

You should cook your sausage risotto at a medium simmer. As the rice expands to fill the pan, it moves around, and the grains rub against each other. This helps release the starch, giving you a creamy family-friendly risotto.

served risotto in bowl on blue placemat

When I add a ladle of stock, I stir it through so that it’s even. But I don’t stir constantly so that my arm falls off. 

Tips for The Perfect Sausage Risotto

So, the tips. But remember what I said about doing what works for you, to create a risotto that your kids love. If that means ignoring all of my tips, do it!!

  • Don’t rinse the rice first. You need the starch.
  • You don’t need to stir risotto all the time. Stir a lot, but once the rice has started to expand and fill the pain, it agitates itself as it simmers, releasing the starch. Stir lots, but don’t worry about taking a break.
  • Add the stock ladle at a time and stir until absorbed before adding another. 
  • Keep the stock on a low simmer on the hob.
  • You might not need all of the liquid, but you may need more. Make some extra stock if needed, and taste the rice after every ladle after about 20 minutes when it looks thicker and fluffy.
  • Risotto should be soft, not crunchy, but you should still be able to tell that it’s rice, not a pile of mush. As you drag your spatula through, it should leave a groove that takes a while to fill up. It shouldn’t be soupy, but nor should it be so dry that you can mould it into a shape.

How Long Can You Keep Risotto in the Fridge?

If you want to keep leftover risotto, remove it from the cooking pan straight away and place it in a cool tub or bowl to cool. When cold, cover and store in the fridge. I wouldn’t keep it for longer than two days.

You can reheat risotto in the microwave, on the hob or in the oven. Just add a little extra water or stock, stir well, and make sure the rice is piping hot before serving.

Disclaimer: While I aim to be as accurate as possible, any advice in this post, including but not limited to, cooking times, quantities, nutritional information and storage and freezing guidance is based on my own experience. Please use your own skills, knowledge and judgement, and get up to date food safety information. 

Other Sausage Recipes for Kids

Sausages are perfect if you are looking for cheap family dinners. Other quick mid-week meals the kids will love with sausages include:

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Sausage and tomato risotto in frying pan, 2 served bowls to sides with parmesan

Sausage Risotto


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4.8 from 20 reviews

  • Author: Donna
  • Total Time: 1 hours
  • Yield: 4 Portions 1x
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Description

Sausage Risotto with tomato and spinach is a family-friendly way to enjoy a classic dinner. It’s also easy, cheap, and a great midweek meal.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoon Cooking oil
  • 6 Sausages
  • 40g Butter
  • 1 Red Onion (Diced)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (Crushed)
  • 300g Arborio Rice
  • 500ml Chicken Stock
  • 400g Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Rosemary
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 50g Parmesan (Plus extra to serve)
  • 100g Spinach

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 120 degrees (fan-assisted).
  2. Mix the chicken stock and chopped tomatoes in a saucepan and place on the hob to keep warm over a low heat.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan before adding the sausages.
  4. Gently brown the outsides of the sausages before transferring to a baking tray and placing in the oven to finish.
  5. Add 25g of the butter to the frying pan and melt.
  6. Tip in the onions and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes until soft and translucent.
  7. Add the rice and stir, cooking for 2 minutes until coated in butter.
  8. Add 1 ladle of stock to the rice and stir well.
  9. Once this has absorbed, add another ladle and stir, repeat for around 20 minutes until the rice has expanded and is soft, but not mushy.
  10. Remove the risotto from the heat.
  11. Remove the sausages from the oven and slice.
  12. Add the sausages, rosemary and a good pinch of salt and pepper to the rice, return to the heat and stir, adding more stock if needed.
  13. Add the rest of the butter and parmesan and stir in vigorously.
  14. Sprinkle over the spinach and stir through until withered.
  15. Serve straight from the pan, sprinkling on extra parmesan if desired.

Notes

  • You may not need all of the liquid, or you may need to make extra stock, it’s best to taste after 20mins and then add more to taste.
  • You can add more stock if the risotto is too dry when you add the spinach or sausage.
  • If the sausages aren’t quite cooked when you slice them, return to the oven on a higher heat, or grill for a few minutes.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Easy Midweek Meals
  • Cuisine: British

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 651kcal
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Sodium: 1412mg
  • Fat: 46g
  • Saturated Fat: 17g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 23g
  • Trans Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 37g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 23g
  • Cholesterol: 98mg

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Any nutritional information is given as a general guide only and may not be accurate. The information is provided using an online calculator and is specific to my ingredients. Please make your own calculations if you want precise information. 

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Author
Donna Dundas
Donna Dundas is an experienced family food blogger who has been creating easy and wholesome recipes for over 7 years. Her blog is a must-read for anyone looking for filling and delicious recipe ideas, that reduce waste and minimise stress.

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