tomato and sausage risotto

[Note: This risotto got some fresh photos in 2020.]

Alex cooked dinner last night and, oh, what a meal he made! Two weeks ago, my mother forwarded me this Tomato and Sausage Risotto recipe from her Martha Stewart Everyday Food newsletter — like it surprises you that it runs in the family — with only the caption “this was very good.” I have been meaning to make it ever since, but I guess we can argue I lost my chance. As I put together a grocery order on Saturday night, aligning it to recipes Alex would want to cook this week and food I could assemble for myself while working at home, this risotto was at the top.

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Because it’s fantastic! And really, how could it not be? Mom recommends it. It’s thick, hearty, actually contains flesh (something of a rarity on this site, I realize) and enough greens that if you’re too tuckered out to also assemble a salad, oh, it’s already in there. Of interest to nobody but me, it’s also ridiculously easy to eat with one hand, so gloppy and chunky in all of the best ways, as well as a most delicious of one-bowl meals.

And then he did the dishes.

brown the sausage and onionadd the riceadd the tomatoessimmer and stiradd the spinachtomato and sausage risotto

As for the whole, you know, sling thing, I’m feeling a little better. The myriad of bruises are edging into rainbow stage, an eyesore but as any klutz knows, the first step in the right direction. Morning seems to be the worse time as I’ve stubbornly refused to take the heavier painkillers they’ve prescribed me, the thought of being groggy or even dizzy more frightening than discomfort. This morning, I plopped myself on the sofa waiting for the Advil to kick in and though I’ve resisted this so far, flipped on the morning talk shows. If there could be a better sign that I had made the right choice, Martha (OMG! Martha!!1!) herself was on, explaining Borat to her audience as “poopy humor.” Oh people, how could this not be a good day?

tomato and sausage risotto

Tomato and Sausage Risotto

  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf spinach (10 to 14 ounces), washed well, tough stems removed, chopped (about 7 cups)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter

In a small saucepan, combine tomatoes (with their juice) and 3 cups water. Bring just to a simmer; keep warm over low heat. [Updated note: I never do this. You can easily add cold liquids to risotto, just takes a few moments extra to absorb.]

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add sausage and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up sausage with a spoon, until sausage is opaque and onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add rice; cook, stirring until well coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring until absorbed, about 1 minute.

Add about 2 cups hot tomato mixture to rice; simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes. Continue adding tomato mixture, 1 cup at a time, waiting for one cup to be absorbed before adding the next, stirring occasionally, until rice is creamy and just tender, about 25 minutes total (you may not have to use all the liquid).

Remove pan from heat. Stir in spinach, parmesan, and butter; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately (risotto will thicken as it cools), and sprinkle with additional parmesan, if desired.

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272 comments on tomato and sausage risotto

  1. tammy

    oh risotto, how i love thee… we typically do a mushroom or lobster risotto… love them both however this might have to be our new try next time we are in the mood…

    i too have begun to have a rainbow of brusies since my crash landing down the stairs on sunday morning. here’s a trick to the medicine… take 1/2 a pill… it will do the job and you won’t be groggy…

  2. Jenifer from Memphis

    *drool* I think I have found the dish to fix my boyfriend for New Year’s Eve. It’s perfect, it’s warm, and it looks like it induces cuddling. Also, Deb, I’m making the mac n’ cheese for the second time! I brought some in for my coworkers after I made the initial batch and it was specifically requested for the Thanksgiving potluck that we’re having tomorrow! Good job. :D

  3. Sharon

    A double coincidence! (Are you stalking me, gawd!) I made this recipe this past Sunday, and indeed it is pretty darn good. :D I was afraid of the spinach at first, but i washed it a hundred times to be sure.

  4. I may have to print this out and have my husband make it for ME sometime. If Alex can do it, I’m sure my Tom can do it. ;) I can’t believe I’ve never actually had risotto before.

    ps. I thought of you last night as I made a recipe from your dear Ina, her Croque Monsieurs, which came out fabulous.

  5. I”ve been wanting to try that one since I got the issue it’s in. My husband doesn’t like sausage though, so it’s going to have to be one of those recipes I make when he’s on the road for work. Glad it tastes as good as it looks.

  6. The Martha dinner. The Martha cure. Martha does it all.

    I’m glad you seem to be starting to mend. That was a nasty sounding fall. Sounds like Alex is taking good care of you while you recover.

  7. The risotto looks heavenly. I usually just stick to a plain risotto made with chicken broth, onions, garlic and occasionally throwing in some halved, sauted shrimp, but this recipe is definitely worth it. Maybe I too will have the man in my life make it… he’s been up to cooking lately.

    Hope your clavicle is doing better! Did you get copies of the x-rays btw? You should post them up :)

  8. Do you think it’s ok to substitute whole grain brown rice for the Arborio? Because this dish looks sooooo yummy, but I’ve had to make some dietary changes that only allow brown rice.
    And???? I managed to injure my foot again – apparently dropping firewood on it once wasn’t enough, so I did it again. Doesn’t that make you feel less klutzy now?

  9. WHAT a gorgeous blog, hilarious commentary and beautiful photographs. The risotto sounds divine. I would like to invite you to look at my blog, but NOT at the photographs; I’m completely embarrassed now I’ve seen yours. Enjoy, and you are definitely bookmarked on my computer and I’ll describe your blog on mine. Keep cooking and writing, please!


  10. megan

    This looks fantastic- I’ve never really been drawn to risotto until looking at your pictures! I’ve never tasted it, but have always thought it just looked like over-cooked, mushy rice. (I have issues with food texture…). I can’t wait to make this one!

  11. sara

    i made the risotto last night. It was fabulous (I’m eating it for lunch again today) but I found that there wasn’t enough liquid in the 28 oz can of tomatos to cook all the rice. I added another 14oz can of tomatos. I added it slowly, 1 cupful at a time as directed. Perhaps the heat was too high?

  12. Laura

    I hate to be the only nay-sayer here, but I made this recipe last night and it was really disappointing. Seemed under-seasoned and uninteresting, even a bit raw from all that tomato/water broth. A whole lot of stirring for very little flavor.

  13. I got my husband to make this as well. His first risotto and boy, was he proud! We both thought it was very good and thankfully he cut the recipe in half or we would have eaten the 4 servings on one night. Thanks!

  14. amy

    Made this last night–superb! You do need to liberally season with salt and pepper though, especially if you’re using no salt added canned tomatoes. But overall, we loved it–the husband devoured his portion in about two minutes ;).

  15. Yep, ours was good, too — we didn’t use the whole can of tomoatos — there was about 3/4 of a cup left. I thought the amount of spinach called for was a little out of control, though. I used less than half the amount. This was tasty — very “comfort food.”

  16. Mike

    Well done! This is a great recipe for the chilly nights that still lurk. Thanks. Hat tip to Pioneer Woman for leading me here.

  17. Amanda

    I made this last night and my boyfriend claimed it was the best risotto he’s ever had. Like a few others, I did end up using more liquid than it called for (in the form of chicken broth, as I didn’t have any more tomato liquid) and I had to cook it for about 40 minutes to get a creamy enough consistency. I also subbed the white wine for chicken broth plus a squirt of lemon juice and it seemed to work great.

    It did need a fair amount of salt and pepper, and I added some garlic with the onion, which made the whole dish intensely flavorful. I definitely recommend doing that. I also just tossed in a whole bag of baby spinach at the end, so no chopping was required there. All in all, it was a winner!

    Oh, and we had it with the “famous” no-knead bread…delicious!

    thanks for the post,

  18. Emily

    My mother and I just made this for dinner, for my father and ourselves, it was amazing. it was the first time we had ever made risotto and i can’t say enough good things about it. thank you so much!

  19. Andrea

    I just made this for dinner and it was fantastic. I subbed in half of the spinach with arugula which gave it a nice bite.

  20. Megan

    Thursday night is the big food day each week at my house and this site has given me o much stuff to work with! I made this risotto tonight and there was silence for like 20 minutes cuz everyone was too involved with eating. It was a complete hit. I added a clove of garlic like Amanda and a few chopped basil leaves at the end which added a nice fresh flavor. Great recipe!

  21. Shannon

    This was incredible. My boyfriend had never had risotto before and after taking one bite said, “This is amazing… why have I never had this before… it’s incredible.” and after finishing “I’m so full, but I could eat so much more of this it’s so good”. haha :) Love it. I used 1/2 the spinach because I got sick of chopping it, but it was still a good amount. And I used hot sausage, too. It wasn’t too spicy. This is an incredible dish; I will be making it a lot in the future! Thanks :)

  22. Molly

    Not only was this wonderful and tasty! But……ALSO, my friend Maggie and I were just gchatting and catching up from our long weekends, and shared that we had done some cooking. What did we make? without knowing in advance? Both of is made this Risotto.
    THANK YOU SmittenKitchen! what a great way to start the week (it’s also great to have leftovers for lunch!).


  23. Timmy

    This was amazing. I used the sweet sausage since I’ve never been a fan of spicy foods but as I was eating it all I could think was “it needs the spicy sausage to give it just that little bit of a kick”. So I would recommend a spicy sausage instead of the sweet for whoever hasn’t tried this yet. It was also beautiful to look at!

  24. Sarah

    Made this over the weekend – got rave reviews!!! Like others I added some garlic at the beginning and finished it off with some fresh basil at the end! Fabulous!

  25. This is my fourth SK recipe, and as usual it was delicious and ended up looking exactly like your pictures through the whole process. I used 2 sweet Italian chicken sausages and 1 spicy Italian chicken sausage. Perfect! Just enough heat. I am now a devout follower and proselytizer. Anytime I want to make something, I check your archives first! And then I tell everyone on Facebook to look you up! Thank you for giving me some culinary skill!

  26. Lulu

    Hi I am a new reader/fan or yours. I found you through a knitting website of all things. I made your amazing risotto last night and it was wonderful. Thanks for dinner! cheers

  27. Amanda

    I made this last night and threwin a peeled and chopped up medium sized eggplant with the sausage and onion and cooked it until soft before adding the rice. Gave it a nice silkiness as the eggplant cooked down to nothing recognizable but was yummy. I didn’t pay attention to portions with teh sausage, etc and realized I’d about doubled it so doubled the rice. Wish I hadn’t. 1) We have enough for armies and will freeze the leftovers and see how it comes out with more tomato broth to loosen them up as we eat them. 2) I think we’ll add more sausage and maybe zucchini and such as we eat the leftovers.

  28. Chelsea

    I made this tonight and it was excellent. It’s quite hearty and would make an excellent Fall/Winter dish, but the spinach added enough green to make it suitable for spring and summer as well. Thanks!

  29. Sara Mae

    OH MY GOODNESS! This was so tasty and so easy! Risotto is easily one of my favorite meals and this just proved it. I might make it again this weekend – that’s how much we loved it.

  30. Shannon

    Hi! Awesome recipe. Made this last night for my husband who lovingly tries everything I make and he loved this recipe! Definately will be making this again and will be inviting people over to share it! Thank you:)

  31. Lanna

    I am very thankful that I stumbled upon this recipe on your site. It came out perfectly. It was my first attempt at risotto and my roommates said it was restaurant quality! Thanks for putting it up!

  32. This dish is so good. I made it for dinner tonight (for the second time), and I just keep thinking about the leftovers that are in the fridge. I used hot turkey sausage and a whole pound of spinach, and it was delicious and comforting. Perfect for the cooler weather that we are starting to get.
    Thanks for the recipe; it is definitely a keeper!

  33. Emily D

    My husband adored this dish! And I loved it too! I must admit, I put way too much sausage and not enough spinach, so next time I’ll follow your directions on that. But this recipe is definitely a keeper! Because we’re newly married (4 months tomorrow!), my husband and I have a google doc of ‘good meals’. This risotto is on that list.

  34. Natalie

    Is it an absolute disaster if one tries to make risotto with anything other than arborio rice? For instance, if I tried it with my student-budget long-grain stuff, would it really, truly not work?

  35. tanya

    Great dish!

    This risotto is easy to make (though time consuming: what with all the chopping stirring, it takes about an hour). It is not expensive.

    The risotto is very flavorful. However, as some readers advised, I used both, sweet and spicy, sausages. The combination is perfect. I used good quality (though not expensive) cooking wine and added 1 cup chicken broth to the tomato mix. And I added some chopped basil before serving.

    I used about 1.5 cups rice and the amount of liquid recommended in the recipe was more than enough for that. I used about 8 ounces of spinach and that was almost too much. So I would think that for 1 cup rice, 10 ounces, as the recipe says, would be overwhelming, I would use just 5.

    Thank you, Deb!

  36. Jessica G

    wouldn’t you know, I have a bunch of italian sausage and it’s pouring rain so risotto sounded good. i looked and looked on the web and then thought, let me see what’s on SK. of course, exactly what I was looking for. you are the best!

    1. Clare Klein

      I made this last and thought it was amazing! My question is, do you think it would be a bad thing to use frozen spinach? Last night I used fresh and it was wonderful, but this while staying home and avoiding the store, I was wondering if I should try making it again with my frozen spinach?

  37. I’ve been planning to make this all week for a cozy Friday night in! This is my go-to recipe for comfort food, and I probably make it once a month.
    I’ve been in a position where I didn’t have white wine in the house, so I subbed chicken broth…though it was still fantastic, I definitely recommend making a trip to the liquor store. The wine gives it a little oomph!
    Considering Hurricane Ida is making everything cold and wet here, I’ve been counting down the hours until tonight’s dinner! I agree with Jessica G…rain=risotto!

  38. Emily

    Just made this for the parents. It was my first risotto, and man was it good! Dad usually makes creamy white risottos with mushroom bases, so it was nice to have something different. Thanks! :)

  39. kevininLA

    I love this risotto! second time I’ve made it. I’m usually inclined to make a salad with a risotto. I think the sausage and spinach help this dish transcend risotto world to stand in full-on dinner world. My wife said, “where’s the salad?” and I said, “there’s a ton of spinach in this!”

    I used chicken andouille sausage…the spice kick helps.

    one pot, two plates. awesome.

  40. I cannot get enough risotto, and this recipe was no exception. A real winner with my husband too. We used hot turkey sausage, though I might be so adventurous as to try some chorizo next time. We have a Spanish market in town that makes the good stuff. The spinach was the perfect addition for flavor and color. Thanks!

  41. Izzy

    Ok, I know that this post is coming up on four-years-old, but… I couldn’t help but comment on how much I loved this recipe. I made it on a cold winter’s night for me and my grandparents as “something different”. Much to my shock (somewhat resistant to change, they are) they loved. Even the notoriously hard-to-please Italian grandfather thought it was a great.

  42. Kari D

    Oh my, this is maybe the best recipe yet from smittenkitchen and that’s saying A LOT because I live for Deb’s fantastic recipe each day (or every other day). That said, this is a great dish and well worth the constant stirring. YUM to the MY!

  43. denise

    this was delicious. i made it with long grain, brown rice. you can use brown rice instead, but the only thing is that it absorbs less liquid and it absorbs liquid MUCH slower. If you are going to make it w/brown rice, just allow double the amount of time for all the liquid absorbing. i used the 28oz can of tomatoes w/3 cups of water like the recipe called for and after almost an hour i was so hungry i just drained the liquid that was still remaining so i could go ahead and eat! but it is still great this way!

    other modifications: i used tomatoes w/basil, oregano and garlic seasoning. i think this gave it more flavor. and i used a 9oz bag of baby spinach. the only thing i’ll change for next time is making a double portion- for a whole family, this quantity is barely enough.

  44. GabyR

    YUM! I made this the night after reading your recipe, and it turned out so well! It made 7 servings for us, but I have found that American servings are pretty big compared to Australian servings. I couldn’t find any fresh spinach at my grocery store so used frozen instead, but it still turned out delicious. Thank you for posting so many amazing recipes :)

  45. Meghan

    This turned out really well. I ended up using some chicken sausage from our CSA which lightened it a bit. And, I didn’t have spinach so I just threw on some fresh basil at the end. Delicious.

  46. Greene

    I showed this to my guy for dinner tonight and after a bit tiff about following directions (heh) he used it for a base. Instead of water he use chicken stock, put the tomatoes (we used fresh) into the onions and sausage (added a dash of green onion and flat leaf parsley from dinner the other night) and used heavy cream instead of butter and used butter instead of oil. Very heavy but oh so good. Oh, and we added brown pearl mushrooms.

    My only qualm is that it made waaay too much for the two of us.

  47. Jennifer

    I just made this for the first time…. Delicious! I have celiacs and this is such a great recipe to add to my gluten free menu! I spiced it up by adding 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 of a green pepper, red pepper flakes. Mmmm! Thanks!

  48. Alexia

    Oh so Yummy! Had fancy sausage and arborio waiting for this recipe! Didn’t have the spinach, and had to use can of tomato paste… but sun-dried tomatoes spiced it back up! Thank you!

  49. Steph

    My boyfriend and I just finished a bowl of this delicious risotto! Thank you so much for the recipe….

    PS Couldn’t find any fresh spinach, so I used frozen spinach as well. Dethawed and threw it in at the end. Worked perfectly.

  50. Made this for a celiac-sibling and its now in the standard rotation. I used Carnaroli instead of Arborio rice, and lots of Gruyère instead of Parmesan. It was so creamy, and so, so good!

  51. AG

    I made this earlier this week and OMG it was amazing. Used the spinach from our produce-share and turkey sausage. YUM. I did add some mushrooms which I had to sauté in a separate pan because I didn’t want their juices to screw up the liquid in the risotto recipe! We all chowed this down – and the leftovers the next day were equally awesome. I love the idea of the diced tomato and juices as opposed to the traditional chicken stock!

  52. courtney

    We made this a few weeks ago and it was AMAZING – seriously one of the best things I have made in awhile. One question, though: what is the best way to re-heat risotto?

  53. Anna

    Yummy dish! I used basil leaves instead of spinach. I over salted it a bit and definitely had to use all of the liquid. I might have used more tomato juices and less water.

  54. David

    I just cooked this dish for the first time tonight. OMG was it ever good. I added just a touch more Parmesan cheese and a little extra white wine to thin the mixture. I served it with some Asiago cheese bread and it was fantastic!

  55. Lindsay

    I’ve made this risotto as written a couple of times, and it’s one of my favorite cold-weather meals. My husband isn’t a fan of tomatoes, so I’ve also substituted sauted mushrooms for the tomatoes and used chichken stock instead of the tomato juice. Both ways are delicious!

  56. Amber

    Made this for the first time tonight. Instead of using diced tomatoes, I whirled whole plum tomatoes with basil in the processor for a few seconds. I used half spinach, half mustard greens. Delish!

  57. Scott

    My Sister turned my brother and I onto this recipe. The tomato and sausage was great even though Im not a huge fan of cooked tomato so I made it again and changed it around to suit my likes even more. Instead of tomato and the juice I used chicken stock, extra butter, extra parmesan, and milk and made it more of an alfredo. I used andouille sausage to spice it up.I sauteed some mushrooms seperate and added them in at the end with the spinach.wonderful. I cant wait to dig into more of your recipes this fall. Dinners will be exciting again with somthing new on a regular basis. Thank again Deb!

  58. jenniegirl

    Usually I hate leftovers, but my husband pulled this out of the freezer and was eating it up for lunch. I begged for a bite, and then said…”I love leftovers…well, I don’t, but I love this….” Best lunch I’ve had for a long time.

  59. amanda

    Just made this…added portabella mushrooms and a good helping of sage. Also used chicken stock instead of the water. How delicious!! This just made it’s way into my “Must make twice a month during the winter” recipe section!

  60. Faith

    I’ve had my eye on this recipe for quite a while, but never had all the ingredients. Finally today I decided it was time to come up with some substitutions, because I HAD to have this. So I caramelized some yellow onion in place of the sausage and Oh-My-Wow! I don’t think these leftovers will last long….

  61. Love it…. just made it for my super-skeptical-of-my-consistently-awesome-cooking boyfriend who initially said he wasn’t hungry. He had one bite, and declared it delicious, and proceeded to eat 3 bowlfuls.

    At the very least, this was worth the “i told you so!”

    Replaced a bit of the water with some chicken stock i already had in the fridge, added a few cloves of garlic, and used sweet sausage with a good palmful of chili flakes… Sooo good!

  62. Loren

    Made this for a group dinner with all my college friends last week and I have been craving it ever since! Not only is it gorgeous but the ingredients are fairly inexpensive and it is a perfect way to fend off the cold, plus it tastes just as good if not better the next day! Yum, thanks!

  63. This was amazing! An awesome first experience cooking risotto. It took all mine and my husband’s willpower not to eat the whole pot of this for dinner. (Though I think there is only slightly less than one portion left for my lunch tomorrow.) After we got done eating my husband looks at me and asks “Can we just have this for the rest of ever?”. I would totally agree and go a long happily with this plan if we had more sausage and spinach. However, I think we are totally making it again next week and probably every week until we get tired of it (hard to imagine that happening…maybe summer will stop our need for it).

  64. marjorie

    LOVED this!!! First time making risotto and this recipe was simple and great to follow. I added a few more spices to my sausage and really crushed the tomatos–and it turned out perfectly. I also didn’t use as much spinach or onion…my boyfriend is not a huge fan of either :) I had at least 3 helpings….delicious! thanks for posting!!

  65. paul

    I’m a beginning cook, but when I made this recipe I had people urging me to quit my day job to become a professional chef.

  66. Deb, I have to tell you that this is pretty much the best thing that I have ever eaten. My boyfriend would very happily eat this three times a week. Thanks!

  67. I made this for dinner tonight and it was fantastic. I took Amanda’s advice and added the garlic and am very glad that I did. The flavor combination was great and it made a very balanced filling dinner. Thanks for the recipe!

  68. Fanya

    Delicious. I used Kokuho rose rice (a sushi rice, but it has the same quality of becoming plump and moist and juicy when cooked), and instead of a can of tomato, I just chopped up 3 tomatos and boiled them in water, and ate with spring mix instead of spinach. I don’t know if it’s just my sausage, but it’s flavorful enough that I didn’t need any salt or pepper. Not tomato-y or red like yours, might have to make tomato sauce. (I remember reading that canned tomato is one of the worst canned food because the acid in the tomato react with the metal can and do something bad in long term, so yeah).

  69. Sara

    Made this tonight- pretty good and more healthy version of risotto. Subs: fresh diced tomatoes, turkey sausage, olive oil instead of butter, added fresh basil and a big bunch of chopped collard greens (which I added along with my last cup of water.) It’s enough for 6 meals total. Thanks for another delicious and inspiring recipe.

  70. Hanna

    Wow, I was in a hurry and completely overlooked step 4. My husband was still ranting and raving about it – said it was bomb and both of us took a fork to the pot when it was empty. Thanks for a great recipe!

  71. Amanda

    I made this tonight and it was fantastic. I added mushrooms to step two while the onions and sausage cooked and added a little chicken broth to the can of diced tomatoes instead of water. I also used a chicken sausage that had garlic and basil in it, more sweet than spicy. Yum! Thanks for the recipe!

  72. Joanne

    I think good sausages are the key to this; I didn’t realized the ones I had were so-so until I tried the risotto & thought ‘It’s ok but not great. Why?’ Then I had some leftover sausage I’d cooked & thought ‘Ah-ha!’ That’s why. So can’t wait to try again with better (fattier :) sausages.

  73. Laura

    I love all your recipes that I’ve tried (and that’s a lot of them), but this is one of the best of all. It makes such delicious risotto! Thanks for sharing.

  74. Ladotyk

    This was a nice, hearty dinner. It takes a while just to cook the risotto but was otherwise fuss-free. I love one-pot meals, and especially ones with a shopping list I can memorize, so this will be a good go-to week-night dinner.

  75. Georgie M

    Deb, just wanted to say – you’re my new hero.

    I’m an 18 year old lass from the UK, and before going to university in September I thought it best that I widen my culinary knowledge a bit (I make a meaaan pesto linguine, but I have a feeling I might get a little bored after 3 years of the stuff).

    Over the last week I’ve made this risotto, your french onion soup AND your chocolate soufflé cupcakes, and all have turned out to be absolutely marvellous. I’m having so much fun and love everything about your blog, and will be trying another few recipes this week! And the one after! And probably the one after that!

    THANK YOU xx

  76. Abby

    Made this on Sunday and it was big hit!! Thanks! I did use about 1/2 the spinach the recipe called for and didn’t chop it and it worked amazingly.

  77. Michelle

    Discovered your lovely blog via the BBC Food website a couple of weeks ago and have had trouble tearing myself away ever since! Made a tomato/sausage (chorizo) risotto inspired by this recipe last week which was lovely and well-recieved by my hubby too! (I used it as an accompaniment for some grilled fish and topped with steamed mange tout). Looking forward to trying more recipes – hoping to do the 7-layer cookies in red white and blue for the Queens Jubilee! Thanks for such the inspiration! M

  78. Katie

    Oh my goodness. I make risotto regularly; I’ve made most varieties, and tried all sorts of methods. Basically I thought I was set when it came to risotto. This is by far the best risotto I’ve ever made. I love how your method keeps it so creamy; some recipes I’ve tried it seizes up pretty quickly, which is still tasty, but less good. This is going to be a staple. Thank you!!

  79. Alice

    Wow oh wow was this amazing. I always thought of risotto as fussy and fancy, but I was distracted (as usual) and made a couple little mistakes (but really, when is an extra cup of wine a mistake?) and it still turned out GREAT. The leftovers were amazing for lunch today as well. I’m new to the site and I’ve already got about 15 recipes lined up to make “this week sometime”…we’ll see how that goes! Thanks for a great, informative, and truly funny site. Cute kid, too!

  80. linner

    it’s delicious! i’ve never made risotto before & was a bit wary of following the exact measurements b/c some of them seemed too much…but i never should have doubted! it came out perfectly, and now i have friends begging me for the recipe. thanks very much! :)

  81. Cole

    I made this tonight and it was delicious! I substituted vegetarian “sausage” (Field Roast brand) and it turned out wonderfully. Thanks for this and all the other great recipes!

  82. this! is! fantastic!

    Changes I made since I hit the farmer’s market yesterday and wanted to make use of everything I brought home!:
    -3 cloves of garlic and a dried red pepper while the onion.
    -garlic sausage cut in small dice rather than italian sausage.
    -beet leaves, washed and chopped, sauteed in olive oil for 5 minutes before adding to the dish.

    Epic. And a second round will be here again by the weekend (win!)

  83. Grace

    This is madly college-student accessible. Granted, most college students don’t have access to multiple saucepans, but if you do, then it’s a cinch. I used brown rice- whoever pointed out that it takes twice as long wasn’t kidding, mine took an hour and a half- and added some thyme. I also didn’t put in all the spinach, because I lost patience after about 8 oz, and I left out the sausage, butter, and cheese for my vegan roommate. Both of us thought it was delicious. Next time I’d add garlic. And maybe more thyme.

  84. Emily

    And this is what I love about smitten kitchen. Almost 6 years after this recipe is published . . . I have a hankering for risotto and I know I will find something. And I do. Delicious. Nom Nom Nom! Thanks Deb!

  85. Faith

    Made this last night to RAVE reviews from the boyfriend. Said it was his favorite risotto I’ve ever made (and I make risotto like once a week at least). I used a mixture of sweet/spicy italian sausage which turned out to be perfect!

  86. Laken

    I know this recipe has been posted for a long time, but since I’ve wandered back to your site about a dozen times over the past several months specifically for this recipe, I thought it was time to leave a comment. I make risotto pretty regularly, and often add spinach. Since I’ve made this recipe, I haven’t made “plain” risotto again! I love, love, love, the tomatoes and sausage in this – it’s a perfect one pot meal and I’m so glad my friend recommended your site (and this recipe). Best. risotto. ever!!!!

  87. Aimee

    Hi i have made this recipe at school last week and i am making it for me and my family today, mum, dad, brother and sister and me! I was just wondering how long it takes to cook and how long it takes to prepare as i think it does not say or i just can find it! i know this recipe has been posted on this webcsite for a long time so apologies for such a odd apearance comment, please help ASAP
    Aimee Coddington

  88. Mallory

    Long time fan, and I’d just like to echo that this recipe is really great. I made it for, probably, the 10th time tonight. So. Delicious.

  89. Jen

    I am a few years late to the game, yet this is a great and easy recipe. I adapted the herbs a bit and it was delicious, even reheated the next day! Glad to be a subscriber to these delicious recipes.

  90. Rachel

    It tastes like pizza! A creamy, rich, deconstructed version of my favorite sausage pie (skipped spinach, added a handful of chopped parsley and, during the onion stage, some dried Italian herbs, and finally garnished plates with grated parmigiano reggiano).This dish even inspired conversations about establishing Friday Family Risotto Nights! Thanks for sharing!

  91. Kate

    I am completely obsessed with this recipe. This was my first attempt at risotto and I’ve been making it for years now. Delicious every time!

  92. Betsy

    Absolutely delicious the night we made it, and it was even better leftover! The risotto turned out nice and creamy, and had a lot of flavor. Thanks for another great recipe Deb!

  93. Caroline

    So, this sounds amazing but I’ve got a texture weirdo who won’t eat tomatoes in chunks. Do you think I can hit the tomatoes with my immersion blender before combining them with the rice, or will that make everything weird and overly gloppy?

    PS I asked you a similar texture-based question about your goulash recipe, just wanted to tell you it was delicious and I now get goulash requests about once a week.

    1. deb

      Hi Sohpia — I haven’t tried it but it seems doable. If you have another risotto recipe for a slow-cooker, or a source for one that you trust, I see no reason not to use the same directions/time estimate here. Would love to hear how it goes if you try it.

  94. elizabeth

    I made this today. I followed the directions exactly and it was well received by my husband and MIL. I will definitely make this again. Thanks :)

  95. Karina

    This recipe was absolutely delicious. I made it with short grain brown rice. Just plan to cook a little longer (like double!).

  96. Katy

    I made this using the leftover soup from the smitten kitchen roasted tomato soup with broiled cheddar top…I just watered it down with some extra chicken stock and water…it was amazing!!

  97. Maria

    So I made your naked tomato sauce last night, very good, but now left with 2 + cups of tomato juice. I think I’m going to try this with the leftover juice. Do you think that will work?

  98. Maria

    Just wanted to update you: So I made this tonight with the tomato juice from the sauce + 2 cups of chicken broth. I completely omitted the can of tomatoes. It was amazing. What a great recipe and easy way to use up the tomato juice. Keeper!

  99. Alyssa

    Love this recipe–so simple and delicious. Initially, I only bought a half pound of sausage, so the first serving felt like it needed something a little extra (in addition to the extra 2-3 cups of spinach I added), so I added a fried egg on top of the second serving I had. So hearty and filling with plenty of veggies included. Great addition to the dinner rotation!

  100. Jacqueline

    I pulled out some locally-made Mexican chorizo from the freezer last night to thaw, but I had no idea what to do with it and I didn’t want to just fry sausages again.

    Thankfully, Deb, you had the answer for me! What a wonderful recipe, I enjoyed it very much!

  101. Cathy

    I wanted to make a main-dish risotto recipe instead of a side dish. I found this and was a little skeptical, but decided to try it. Wow, were we happy with the way this turned out. I used one can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes and one with oregano and basil low-salt. I also used baby spinach that ws already pre-washed. I saw the comments about lack of flavor, but made it exactly as written and salted more generously than I normally would.

    I added the spinach when it was still simmering, turned off the oven and then added the cheese. I must say, not only was it delicious, but really filling with the sausage added to it. If my husband has anything to do with it, this will be on the regular rotation of meals. Simple to prepare also.

  102. Dana

    Ok, so one of my girls doesn’t like the texture of cooked tomatoes, I substituted a can of tomato purée. I added the amount of water called for and tasted the tomato broth it was lacking flavor. I stirred in some tomato chicken bullion to punch up the flavor. My family enjoyed it very much. Except the picky one, I forgot she only eats fresh spinach. She was happy to pick out the spinach. Thank you for this recipe.

  103. Karen

    Such a disappointment. I have enjoyed every recipe from Smitten Kitchen but this one is unremarkable. The tomato liquid made the flavor come off too watered down and the dish overall was bland. It was easy to make but it lacks depth. I will not make this again.

  104. Sheila

    I made this tonight for the first time and it is AMAZING! It will absolutely be part of my regular repertoire! I made it with spicy Italian sausage which was the only change I made – SO good!!!

  105. Laura

    What a range of opinions! I used 4 cups of homemade turkey stock instead of 3 cups of water and added a T of sugar as I do with all tomato dishes and beefed up the salt. I thought it was fabulous and have had it for leftovers more times than I should admit today. (since it has spinach I feel OK if it’s my only food of the day.:-)

  106. Shelly

    I made this for the family last night, as my first risotto, ever, and OMG yum! I took the comments to heart and used chicken stock in place of water with the tomato mixture. I had locally made chicken sweet Italian sausage and that was the perfect accompaniment. Thank you!!

  107. Erin

    I made your Parmesan broth last night and am pumped to try it. Is it gilding the lily if I use that on a rich risotto like this?

  108. breadandsutter

    I made this on Saturday and it was delicious! I could almost trick myself into thinking it was healthy because of the spinach…

    I did find myself hankering for garlic, so I added a few minced cloves along with some fresh basil. I definitely recommend using hot Italian sausage for extra flavor!

  109. Made this last night. So easy and delicious. I was worried that it wouldn’t be enough for 4 people (including 2 teenagers), but we actually have some leftover. I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I’m not one to repeat recipes very often as I like to mix things up, but this one went straight into my keeper file. Thanks!

  110. Emily

    I’d like to take this to a friend who is sick. How long do I have from the time I pull it off the stove before it gets too thick and heavy?

  111. Leslie Magnin

    I just love your recipes and have printed out so many of them that Office Max thanks you for all of the ink. They are simple and delicious!!

  112. CS

    This recipe gets a ‘yumba’ = very tasty, and was easy to make too! Had a 2 lb Costco container of Roma cherry tomatoes that needed to be used up, saw this recipe in my feed this morning and dinner was sorted! Heated a little olive oil and tossed the halved tomatoes into the pot and brought them up to a boil, added 2.5 cups water (since the fresh tomatoes were going to have more liquid than canned) then turned the heat down low so it simmered. A pinch of cayenne would have been nice to add to the tomatoes if I’d thought of it, as well as a couple smashed cloves of garlic. Used Trader Joe’s uncooked Italian chicken sausages and a bag of his spinach (which I forgot to chop, just stirred it in and it eventually wilted). Did not need to add ANY salt, but did add freshly ground pepper to the sausage/onion melange and at the end. Garnished with chopped fresh basil since we had some.

  113. Wendy

    Made this for dinner and it’s a wonderful recipe! I added fresh basil and oregano (both thinly sliced) a few minutes before adding the spinach, cheese and butter. We had grapefruit yogurt cake for dessert – I love your blog!

  114. Andrea Synnott

    Made this in my new Instant Pot, added about 6 cups finely chopped kale, did high pressure for 4 minutes. It needed about 2 minutes of sautéing after quick pressure release. Delish!

    1. danitaday

      Would love more details on how you made this in the instapot. Did you use the same amount of liquid? Did you saute sausage / onion in instapot first? I’m new to using my instapot and when I saw this recipe I immediately felt it could be adapted for it. – thanks

      1. Kim

        Made this in the instant pot tonight, following instructions in one of the comments. It was tasty, but just ok honestly. I’m not sure the sausage holds up to being sautéed then pressure cooked. My husband said he thought it was ground beef :-/
        I think this is one that should be made on the stove, but just one woman’s opinion!

  115. Janice

    WOW!! This was SO GOOD! I followed the recipe almost exactly….I had 1lb of hot Italian sausage, and only 5ozs of baby spinach (which looks like roughly the same amount in your picture and in your finished product)….but those were my only unintentional changes. But this was absolutely amazing and I DEFINITELY plan to make it again.

  116. Michelle G.

    I made this for our Valentine’s dinner this year and it was great! I used a whole pound of ground mild Italian sausage because I didn’t want that extra 1/4lb floating around in the fridge. I also added a small clove of garlic, omitted the wine (we don’t drink), and just added spinach until it looked good to me. Neither of us had ever had risotto before, but we are definitely risotto fans now! Thanks for the great recipe! :)

  117. Zantha

    I really liked this but tweaked a little. 2 cups chicken broth (had on hand and needed to use), one cup water and the tomatoes..spiced them up with basil, thyme, oregano, cayenne and a teeny bit of smoked paprika. I also cook the rice dente, cover and let steam five minutes. I always have a hard time getting risotto to the correct consistency but this worked like a charm. Since I already had a second dirty pot from the tomatoes I sautéed the spinach in the butter the recipe called for with garlic while I let the rice steam, and that way I could add the spinach but leave extra liquid behind. I stirred constantly but that’s just a personal preference with risotto. I’ll definitely be making again!

  118. Jen

    Omg! Just made this risotto dish!! Amazing!! My kids loved it. I think I’ve made dinner this week with all of your recipes! Thank you!!

  119. Anita W

    This was delicious. But as with all risotto recipes, it took far longer to cook than the time indicated. Two things: it does not need any additional salt, and I added a clove of minced garlic (from a tube — love those) as recommended by another commenter.

  120. Bobbie H

    I made this for dinner last night. It was a huge hit! Kids loved it and said I need to add it to our regular rotation. I used chicken Italian sausage to reduce the fat content and added some garlic and basil as well as a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to punch up the flavor a bit. Thanks for another great recipe!

  121. patty

    Delicious. Made just as stated and it was perfect. Devoured it all, sadly, no leftovers. Thanks for another great recipe.

  122. This was so good! We used hot Italian sausage to give it some spice, and the flavor was really delicious. Even better, it was super-easy (so long as you’re willing to be patient in letting the arborio rice do its job). This will be my go-to recipe when I want to impress guests with my cooking.

  123. Worked marvelously swapping Costco power greens for spinach. This will definitely be on the regular weeknight rotation. The 1/2 cup of wine in the recipe made my husband and I feel not quite as bad about killing the rest of the bottle on a Tuesday evening.

  124. I make this all the time now and it has become a family favorite. I’ve made it with Turkey Sausage to keep the fat content down, and no one is the wiser. I’ve also made it without the cooking wine when I didn’t have any around, and simply increased the liquid slightly. That worked too, though I like it better as written. Absolutely great recipe that has convinced me that risotto isn’t as hard to cook as I’d always believed.

  125. Jennifer

    I made it this evening with a full pound of sausage, chicken stock instead of wine, fresh diced tomatoes, and a little less spinach (out of laziness of washing and chopping). I knew my husband and I would like it, but was concerned about the 3 kids, ages 5-11. Much to my delight it was an instant hit and was dubbed “Pizza Rice.” Thanks for another great recipe!

  126. C

    I really want to make this for a one-pot (okay, two I guess) gluten-free (sigh, there’s always one) dinner for a group of friends. Is there any reason why I should be scared of doubling it while making it on my first try? Anything I else need to factor in? Can I make it ahead of time and reheat/warm it up to lower my stress levels? Or should I just pick a chili recipe and avoid this challenge? I’ve always been a bit scared of risottos, mostly based on watching Top Chef and how they always fail there.

    1. C

      To follow up, I cowboyed up made it last night, doubled and all. Super easy, no one should be afraid. This was a huge hit with the group, everyone raved, and it can’t be any harder to make doubled vs. the size above.

      Adjustments I made:
      -added two cloves of garlic, and two pinches of red pepper flakes, as others suggested, to the onion/sausage at the beginning. I highly recommend this step.
      -used the 1 lb rolls of uncased sausage (I honestly don’t know why anyone would buy links and then uncase them, unless you’re much fancier than me), 1 lb of hot, 1 lb of mild, but I think next time I’d just use chorizo as someone suggested to give a bit more spice. I used the whole rolls (2 lbs total) because I didn’t want the leftover sausage in my fridge, and I don’t think it made it too meaty.
      -substituted 3 cups of chicken stock for the water, but forgot to account for the doubled recipe, luckily, we had enough liquid and it worked out, but I realized this after the fact.
      -added 11 oz. of baby spinach at the end, seemed like plenty of spinach to me, didn’t chop, wilted just fine.
      -added a whole 5 oz container of grated parmesan, and more to taste on each serving, because when are you ever going to regret more cheese?
      -added some sauteed red pepper at the end just to use it up/add some texture.
      -added the basil chiffonade

      1. Dana

        So delicious! I made this for my family last night and it was a huge it! Will be making if again. Love all of your recipes! Your site is my go-to!

  127. Abby

    This is a go-to recipe for us and we’ve been making it regularly for a few years. Minimal ingredients, 1 pot, delicious flavor…what more could you want?

    This was the first Smitten Kitchen recipe I tried and I’ve been hooked ever since.

  128. Katie

    This was hands down the best risotto I have ever eaten. It took no time at all, and it tasted amazing. At first I was worried about the sausage to rice ratio but it turned out totally fine. I used diced tomatoes with herbs & spices, and added some garlic powder. The hot Italian sausage paired perfectly with the tomatoes making it not overwhelming but just a nice kick. Topped with lots of parm of course.

  129. Katie

    This easily made 10 servings. We felt we could have easily cut it in half to save waste. Delicious and so simple! I hope to add mushrooms next time.

  130. Karen

    Hi. I would like to make this rissotto mostly because it has protein.. BUT.. I keep Kosher. Would you sugest I use tuna steak instead of the sausage?

  131. Amy

    So, I took the plunge tonight and tried making an instant pot version of this. I think it was a success! My husband took one bite and moaned, then said this is going in the favorite weeknight go-to recipe category!
    Here is what I did:
    – I made it veggie, as hub is a vegetarian. Had a link of pork spicy sausage I intended to saute up separately for me, but it still tasted so good without it…so I just dug in without bothering.
    – Using the instapot saute setting, sauteed onion in oil a few minutes then added 3 cloves minced garlic to saute a few mins more.
    -Added rice to saute, then deglazed with the wine (same proportions as above). Drank rest of wine in a can.
    – The biggest challenge here in adapting to the instapot is figuring out the rice to liquid ratio adaption. I took a cue from this article ( that suggested to half the liquid for pressure cooking risotto. So I was aiming for a total of 2 cups liquid for 1 cup rice, based on Deb’s recipe above calling for close to 4 cups liquid (I didn’t count the wine in this amount as most of it had cooked off already).
    – To get 2 cups, I drained the can of diced tomatoes (I used San Marzano), which gave me a generous half cup tomato juice. Then I made 1.5 cups veggie broth from boiling water and stock paste (Better than Bouillion brand, No Chicken flavor). Added all that liquid and the diced tomatoes to the pot and stirred in.
    – Covered pot, set for 6 mins manual pressure cook time. Since pot was already hot from saute and hot broth ingredients, it probably took about 6-8 mins to come up to pressure temp (the dreaded warm-up wait).
    – Quick release of pressure once done cooking, looked pretty soupy but the rice was nice and soft. Turned it on saute again for a few minutes to cook down a bit while I tore up the spinach.
    – Stirred about 4 oz spinach and the parmesan cheese to the pot. Also added some pepper, basil, italian seasoning and a little crushed red pepper for oomph. No salt needed due to the salty broth.
    – The extra few minutes saute time helped firm up the texture a bit, but do watch closely and stir as it started to stick to the bottom of the pan a bit. Still was a looser texture at serving but I did not mind this at all.
    – What would I do differently? Make a double batch for leftovers for sure! Will add spices into the main cook time to help meld them in. Might try kale as the green, I think that could be tasty.
    Enjoy trying this in the Instant Pot everyone! Thanks again to Deb for a winner of a recipe!

    1. Just wanted to say this Instant Pot version worked really well for me. I included the sausage and used regular stock, but otherwise the followed these instructions to the letter. The proportions were just right, as was the time, six minutes on high pressure. Per the advice, I doubled the recipe the second time I made this in the Instant Pot and it turned out great. Thanks for figuring this out, Amy!

  132. Josie

    This was delicious! I used red wine as I had some left from last night. I also used lightlife meatless sausage (meatless Monday) and my husband and I both enjoyed this. Will definitely make again. Thanks, Deb!

  133. MC

    This our go to family dinner recipe (my sister asked for it every time it’s our turn to cook!). We generally use about 1/2 cup more rice without adjusting anything else, fire roasted diced tomatoes, and no cheese or butter. It’s still delicious!!!

  134. Libby Benedict

    Coming late to the party, but bringing the goods. One way to make this recipe sing is to substitute fresh tomatoes for the canned variety. Right now, late summer early girls are at their peak and the impact to the recipe is astounding. I cut 1.5 lbs of early girls into a large dice, salted them, then let them sit in a bowl to release their juices. I ended up using all the juice and most of the tomatoes (not all were necessary). Added a couple of cloves of garlic when the onions were sauteing, too. This risotto is a fabulous recipe that needed a little flavor boost…and the fresh tomatoes did the trick.
    Big fan of Deb’s

  135. Sophia Weston

    I made this tonight. I was surprised by how fast and easy it was, AND satisfying!! It’s the perfect meal for a cool fall day, makes for a perfect cozy meal.

  136. medaisies

    This risotto has become one of my husband and my favorite meals. In fact, we have started making it every Election Day, therefore renaming it (in our house) Election Day Risotto. A foolproof and delicious dish that works for both a celebratory night with wine or to comfort-eat in your PJ’s? Perfection.

  137. Kathy

    I was wondering if you had a good substitution for wine in recipes for those who can’t drink. I see in this one chicken stock was suggested but that wouldn’t always work. Ideas?

    1. deb

      There’s no one-size-fits-all-recipes solution but you might use stock, you might use an unsweeteened apple juice, you might look around for a nonalcoholic wine (they’re not everywhere but they’re more places than even 10 years ago, and some are delicious). Here, I’d probably use 1T wine vinegar and the rest with stock.

  138. Esse J

    We had an amazing crop of heirloom tomatoes this year, but when canning our diced tomatoes we ended up with more than a few jars that had an excessive liquid-to-tomato ratio. Enter this recipe, which is PERFECT for that weird tomato liquid that would have gone to waste and allowed us to taste summer in January. So delicious. My husband, toddler and I were fighting over the leftovers.

  139. Rob

    I make this recipe all of the time and it checks all the boxes: great leftovers for lunches, easy to halve, and a perfect way to get veggies into the main course to avoid making multiple sides! I usually add some red chili flakes and garlic to the onion and sometimes substitute hot italian chicken sausage if that’s on sale. Thanks for a favorite!

  140. Gillian

    I have to say this was definitely not the best thing I have made out of Smitten. It was a little bland and the tomatoes made it sort of gloppy as opposed to creamy. I think I will stick with traditional risotto. Using stock. This one just didn’t work for me —

  141. Thank you. This worked really well tonight. I couldn’t get Italian hot or sweet sausage so I used my (UK) supermarket’s chorizo style smoky sausage and, if I’d had some, I would have grated Manchego cheese over it.

  142. Lisa H

    This risotto was unexpectedly amazing! I’ve made it twice in the last 3 weeks, my husband and 11 year old inhaled it. Who would have thought Italian sausage and diced tomato water would be the basis for a great risotto. Creative and fantastic, thank you!

  143. Meghan

    I LOVE this risotto recipe! It’s made it’s way into my rotation of recipes I regularly make. It’s even better when you’re a single person like me and can make a batch last 3 or 4 days! :) budget friendly too!!

  144. Jo

    I made this vegetarian using shiitake mushrooms instead of sausage. Sautéed mushrooms and onions together and added red pepper flakes. I also only added 2 cups water to the tomatoes to concentrate the flavor. We love the sausage version too but hardly missed it!

  145. Betsy

    We call this Pizza Rice in our house. The kids love it–currently 5, 3, and 1 years old. I love seeing the chopped up spinach get gobbled up. Thanks Deb!!

  146. Mary Ellen

    Finally got to make this today. My husband and I are so glad I did. Made as instructed and it is delicious. Thanks, Deb, for another keeper.

    1. deb

      It won’t get as risotto-like (and might break down) but should otherwise work. Probably needs less liquid and cooking time but I’m not positive.

  147. Andrea

    Just saw your ig story! Question about the tomatoes: your story commentary suggests you don’t like diced tomatoes, but it’s what’s listed in the ingredients. Would you suggest crushed tomatoes instead for a less chunky consistency? Also, if you skip the step of simmering tomatoes and water together, do you just add the tomatoes, let it cook down for a few minutes, and then proceed to add ~1 c water at a time until the desired tenderness is achieved?

  148. Julia

    Delicious!!! Made it with farro. It needed a little extra liquid and it took a little extra time, but well worth it. A perfect quarantine dinner.

  149. Sue Rodriguez

    Can this be made w regular rice? I have all the ingredients except arborist rice, and due to quarantine I can’t get out to find it. Have plenty of regular long grain white rice though

  150. Amy

    We made your barley risotto with greens a couple weeks ago and loved it (and had most of a 32 oz bag of barley sitting in the cupboard), so I swapped barley for rice in this recipe, with vegan hot Italian sausage and about 4oz by weight of a spring mix instead of the spinach (sized down because there was SO much of it that the original 10oz would have overwhelmed the other ingredients; possibly other greens don’t wilt down as much as spinach?); and added a pinch of red pepper flakes.

    It was SO good; the hardcore meat eater in the house went back for seconds even after hearing about the veg sausage, and it made SO much! Four adults ate well with no sides needed and still had a bowl of leftovers for my lunch the next day. A delicious and economical weeknight dinner; cannot recommend highly enough.

  151. Mary

    Hi, I don’t think I’ve ever commented on a recipe before. But this one was so, so, so good! My SO said it was one of the best things I’ve made and asked if we could include it on our usual rotation. I used chicken sausage seasoned like Italian and also seasoned the tomato + liquid with some generous salt and pepper.

  152. Jennifer Casarella

    I made this. It was delicious! I did add some oregano, because I just can’t help myself from tweaking, and used a 14 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes plus the 28 ounce can of diced as I was 1.5 x-ing the recipe. Loved.

  153. Sabrina Pirri Epstein

    One of my favorite things I’ve ever made! Sooo delish! I used chicken sausage & my pickiest family member cleaned his bowl 🤗 can’t wait to make it for a crowd!

  154. Ellie Tregoning

    I just made this and loved it! I used pearled barley instead of rice because it is just what I had, and it worked well. I used cheapish canned tomatoes that were more watery than saucy. Because of this, I decided to add sundried tomatoes packed in oil, and it added more tomato flavor. I think I’d include this again if I make it again. Thank you Deb!

  155. Tammy

    Made this risotto tonight using organic tomatoes and both sweet and spicy sausage from the butcher counter. Very tasty and easy to make! On the table in about 40 minutes from start to finish. Paired it with some crusty artisan bread…yum! My husband requested to put this in the regular rotation. A winner for us.

  156. Lisa P

    This is the type of recipe that makes me feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven. My husband and I made this for the two of us. We had plenty of left overs, yet we still wanted to eat more of it for days afterward. We used hot sausage, and we think that’s the way to go!

  157. Laura

    My partner and I made this the other night and it was out of this world delicious! Plus it was fun to be in the kitchen together and working together. We made a few modifications: used full pound of fresh turkey sausage he linked himself, kale instead of spinach, and added 2 cloves minced garlic. We will definitely make it again – maybe next time with a little more rice to accommodate the extra sausage. My partner took it to work to share with a friend who also raved about how amazing it was. Anyways, thank you so much for the wonderful recipe! Love the site and have made so many of your posts. All are winners – this one especially.

  158. Cece Peterson

    I’ve made this several times, and it’s fabulous exactly as written! Having said that, I have started tweaking it a bit: I add sliced mushrooms (if I have some) and a tsp of minced garlic in with the sausage. Also replaced some of the water with chicken stock. I like spicy; hubby, not so much. So I sprinkle red pepper flakes on my portion when I serve it. This is a recipe that will be in regular rotation at our house. Thanks so much!

  159. Judith

    When I made this, I upped the Arborio to 1-1/2 cups, and it worked perfectly with the amount of liquid in the recipe. It also helped fill up my sixteen year old!

  160. Maryse42

    This was very tasty, Deb! I made it in the Instant Pot (6 minutes at pressure and natural release) with mild Italian Beyond Sausage (I know you’re not a fan, but it worked well here), half kale (cooked with the risotto), and half spinach mixed in at the end as recommended. Added some garlic and red pepper flakes at the saute stage. It was a great way to use up greens that were a bit limp and past their prime!

    1. Maryse42

      I forgot to say I used half the water called for since there wouldn’t be any evaporation. No faster than cooking it as written, but less effort for sure!

  161. Erin

    I want to let you know that I have made this numerous times for friends, family, and new parents. It’s always amazing and tasty! I’ve riffed with garlic, ramps, chard, and even beyond meat Italian sausage (cook the sausage separately!) . Bonified staple in my home!

  162. Kim

    The first time I made this, I did it in the Instant Pot following guidance from another comment. My husband, lover of Italian Sausage, was not impressed and said the sausage tasted like ground beef :-( My toddler, loved it haha

    I made it again the traditional stovetop way last night. I sauteed the sausage, then removed from the pan, and made the risotto separately. Mixed everything together at the end. It was fantastic! Hubby liked it! Toddler still loved it!

    I will probably try the Instant Pot again (not stirring risotto is too tempting esp with the kiddo running around!) and will try sauteeing the sausage in the IP, removing, then mixing in after the risotto has been pressure cooked. I feel like that would keep all of us happy!

  163. Amy Kaiser

    This was absolutely delicious, prepared just like the recipe except a blend of mild & sweet Italian sausage. This will be in the weekly rotation for a while. It made a ton, really serves 6-8.

  164. Julie

    I absolutely adore this recipe. I have been making this for years and it’s one of my fiancé’s favourites.
    Over the years I’ve tweaked it- it’s near perfect as written but I thought I would share my changes.
    -I often leave out the onions as my partner is not a fan
    -I add some minced garlic around when I add the risotto just to elevate it a little more
    -I usually skip the wine as I rarely drink white wine. I really don’t think the wine is necessary or adds much!
    -If I have a parmesan rind I’ll throw that in as well (when I add the rest of the Parmesan)
    -I usually skip the salt/pepper (I use hot Italian sausage which is well seasoned) but I DO add some red pepper flakes for a bit of spice

  165. Neha Kapileshwarker

    Could you recommend a vegetarian option for the meat? Not necessarily looking for meat substitutes. If I omit is that ok? TY!

  166. Susan

    Thank you for reposting this. When I saw it I realized we had not had it all winter. Not sure how that happened, as we love this! I was short on tomatoes (only a 14.5 oz can) so I added some beef broth and a couple tablespoons of Sundried Tomato Spice (Adun Spice, a Cleveland local). Other than that, followed the recipe exactly. So good, as usual!

  167. Teresa from east Tennessee

    Made this tonight with fresh made Turkey sausage ( not in casings) and I added some more fennel seeds. Everything else was by the book!! I also used bone broth instead of water with the tomatoes and used all but maybe a half cup! Right about 26 or 27 minutes I took it off the heat!! So so easy and perfect! Thanks for this recipe!

  168. Gina

    This seemed like a fairly straight forward, minimal ingredient risotto recipe to try for first time risotto-making. Added some roast garlic I had from another recipe, and some mushrooms. It was good. Needed something to make it great. I like someone’s suggestion of a dash of cayenne. I think maybe red pepper flakes. Next time. This one is staying in the recipe book.

  169. Ali

    I had a baby two weeks ago and a friend brought this risotto to us for dinner. It was by far the most comforting meal, like a hug in a bowl after a long day of lots of tears from me and baby. Now this will always be a special meal to me. I hope to make it myself once I have more energy.

  170. Hannah

    I’ve had good luck freezing risotto in the past, so made this recipe as part of my baby-on-the-way cooking and freezing adventures. Came out great! I used turkey sausage simply to mix up what proteins we’ll have on hand in the freezer, and I added a bit of garlic and red pepper flakes while browning the meat. I also managed to squeeze in a whole pound of baby spinach at the end—still delicious and decadent-tasting!

  171. Leah

    Made this last night with the first of my garden tomatoes, I let them come to a bit more than a simmer in the separate pot which I think helped them break down more to the consistency of canned tomatoes. Followed some other commenters suggestions and added basil with the spinach, I also added in a lot of kale I had from the garden too – so good!!