Sausage and Mushroom Barley Risotto

Sausage and Mushroom Barley Risotto in the slow cooker

Skip the excessive stirring and let your slow cooker do the work to bring this hearty risotto dish to the dinner table. You can cook the risotto on the weekend and keep it tucked in the refrigerator for a quick reheat on your busiest night of the week.

Adapted from Best of Bridge: The Family Slow Cooker

Serves 6

You’ll Need

  • Vegetable oil
  • ½ lb. mild Italian sausages
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups pearl or pot barley
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Prep and Cook

  • In a large skillet, heat a generous drizzle of oil over medium-high heat. Squeeze sausage out of its casing into the pan and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned. Using a slotted spoon transfer sausage to a 4 to 6-quart slow cooker.
  • Drain off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the skillet and sauté onion until softened, and just starting to brown. Add garlic, salt and pepper; sauté for 1 minute and transfer to the slow cooker.
  • Stir in mushrooms, barley and stock. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or until most of the liquid is absorbed but the mixture is still creamy.
  • Stir in spinach and lemon juice; cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Serve hot.


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