Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vegetarian Italian Sausage Risotto Recipe

Mmm...risotto. So good and so easy to do as a one-pot meal.You can also do this one in the rice cooker. For that method, cook the sausage and onion ahead, throw all the ingredients except cheeses in the rice cooker and press "white rice" for a fuzzy logic cooker, or depress the button for a standard rice cooker. Stir in cheese after cooking cycle is complete and allow to melt on warm cycle.

Vegetarian Italian Sausage Risotto


1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

16 oz. Italian "sausage" (original recipe calls for sliced links, I used ground Gimme Lean sausage-style meat instead)

1 C apple juice

1 C onion, diced

1 Tbsp. garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1.25 C rice

1 cup Chardonnay or dry white wine (can also sub apple juice)

3.5 cups veggie broth

1 cup peas, frozen

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

1/2 cup Romano Cheese, grated


In a large saucepan, cook the "sausage" in apple juice. Remove from pan and slice, if applicable. Heat oil in a large stockpot, add sliced sausage and onion, cooking until browned and softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and thyme, cook for one minute longer. Add wine and rice and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Stir in 3 cups of the chicken broth. Lower the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until broth is absorbed. Add the rest of the chicken broth slowly, stirring until rice is cooked and creamy. Stir in peas and cheeses; cook until heated through. Serve.

Freezing Directions:

Follow all directions above. Allow to cool. Package in freezer containers. To serve: Thaw. Slowly warm on stove top, in slow cooker or in microwave. You may need to add a little chicken broth to bring it back to it’s creamy texture.

Servings: 4

The Results
This really is a good recipe as it started out, but I think my mistake was in switching to sausage crumbles. They just don't have the oomph of the link sausage. So, this is BORING. It's kind of like eating the sausage gravy from biscuits and gravy, but mixed with rice. I had this with my Red Lobster-style garlic cheddar biscuits and the biscuits saved the meal. Next time I think I'll try it with Soy Chorizo and maybe some green chiles.

Well, I couldn't get the soy chorizo at the regular grocery store and I didn't want to go all the way to the specialty store, so I made "chicken soysage" and replaced the link sausage with that. And oh my goodness, yum. The rice, like before, was delicious. And with the added spice of the chicken soysage the whole thing was way more yummytastic. I didn't use the green chiles. Instead, I dredged the "chicken" pieces in egg and milk and then flour spiced with red peppers, salt, pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning. I pan fried those pieces for a few minutes and then put all bu the cheese into the rice cooker (I used brown rice this time). It was so good. I highly recommend it either with the link soysage or this "chicken soysage" creation and brown rice.

Find the original recipe here.


  1. hey Kristi!
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  2. The use of apple juice is interesting. Does it come out in the final flavors?

  3. Not strongly. I think to get a strong apple flavor, you'd need to do applesauce. This is more of a chicken stock replacer. The flavor is pretty subtle.