Traditional risotto is a beautiful thing.
Tender specks of ivory colored grains cook gently, until their natural starches release into the pot creating a creamy, oozy risotto…
You pay top dollar for this stuff in a restaurant.
But when you think of homemade risotto, you might picture an old Italian lady stirring (and sweating) over the stove.
Thankfully, there’s baked risotto.
This method yields a beautiful, creamy risotto without a significant departure from the original.
Yes, it’s a little bit thicker.
And yes it’s made in a Dutch oven as opposed to a wide open skillet.
Risotto purists would probably have a field day with this version but hey, it’s typical Tuesday night cooking, not a village cook-off.
This recipe starts out by browning good-quality Italian chicken sausage on the stove (if you are a vegetarian, see Kitchen Notes below).
Once that’s done, sauté onions, celery and garlic in the same pot, then in goes the Arborio rice to lightly toast. Deglaze with dry white wine, stock and tomatoes.
The real time-saver here is eliminating the back and forth motion of adding the stock 1 ladleful at a time; just dump it all in.
Bake for about 40 minutes or so, which leaves you just enough time to make a quick salad and clear the junk off your kitchen table.
And then, you will be rewarded with this…
The end result is not quite as ‘oozy’ as traditional risotto, but it’s definitely too creamy to call ‘baked rice’.
But one thing’s for sure: it’s a wonderful, comforting meal the whole family will enjoy.
• • • • • • • • •
Tips: You will need a Dutch oven or another oven-proof pot with lid for this recipe.
This might sound obvious but I’m going to say it anyway: keep canned tomatoes, stock and Arborio rice in your pantry; frozen pre-chopped celery and onions in a ziploc bag (respectively); sausage in your fridge/ freezer; and you will be ready for an easy dinner any night of the week. Just do it.
In the recipe, I only add the browned sausage to the risotto towards the end of cooking. It’s more flavorful this way.
Substitutions: If you don’t eat meat, just leave it out. You could easily sub vegetables; hunks of cauliflower, artichoke heats, zucchini, and kale come to mind. Give them a light sauté first, and they will finish cooking in the oven.
Make-Ahead: Risotto has a tendency to thicken as it sits, so this is best made fresh. However, you can brown the sausage 1-2 days in advance to save time.Print
creamy baked sausage risotto
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins
- Yield: 4 with leftovers
For the Chicken Sausage
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3/4 lb Italian chicken sausage
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 rib of celery with leaves (if you have any), thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup Arborio rice
- splash of dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
- 1x 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 3 cups of good-quality chicken broth (or stock), plus more as needed
- salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley (I used the curly kind)
- parmesan cheese
- extra olive oil, for serving
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- In a 6 qt. Dutch oven, or another oven-proof pot with lid, warm the 1 tsp. of olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and brown on all sides, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer sausage to a cutting board. Pour out any residual oil and clean the bottom of the pot with a paper towel.
- To begin the risotto, add the olive oil and butter to the Dutch oven. Saute the onions, celery, and garlic over medium-low heat until the vegetables begin to soften, abut 5-7 minutes.
- Add the rice. Stir the grains to coat, 1 minute.
- Deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Simmer for 1-2 minutes or until the wine is slightly reduced.
- Add the tomatoes and chicken broth, and give it a stir.
- Place the lid on top and transfer to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice the sausage into rounds.
- At the 30 minute mark, add the sausage to the pot. Continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes. The risotto is ready when the grains are tender, but still have a slight bite to them.
- Remove the pot from the oven and peek inside; adjust consistency with more chicken broth or simply keep it the way it is. Risotto is very forgiving. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the chopped parsley.
- Serve warm with a drizzle of extra olive oil and plenty of parmesan cheese.
Just wanted you to know that it was just right the next evening. Very comforting and a bit luxurious.
Emilie Raffa says
Fantastic! Thanks for reporting back :)
I made the risotto tonight but it didn’t turn out thick at all. I wonder if I should have drained the tomatoes? I used a heaping cup of chopped onion, the 3 cup chicken broth, 3/4 cup Arborio rice, a splash of wine. I baked it covered for 30 minutes and covered it again when I added the sausage rounds. The flavors were good. Tomorrow I hope it will be just right,
Emilie Raffa says
Hi Joan! Hmmm…not sure why. I know it will thicken up more as it sits. See how it goes tomorrow! x
This looks awesome. I have ginger sausage purchased at the local farmer’s market and thoght to give this recipe a try. Never baked risotto and willing to give a try tomorrow night.This dish looks so good. Thanks for the recipe.
Hello Larry! You’re welcome! The local ginger sausage sounds absolutely incredible- don’t think I’ve had that before! Hope you enjoyed the recipe.
Jacqueline Cox says
This sounds sooooo amazing. I am going to be making dinner for my mom’s birthday tomorrow and I definitely think this will be perfect! With this https://www.homeyou.com/fruit-of-the-forest-swirled-cheesecake-gluten-free-low-fat as dessert! Thanks for sharing, my mom will love it!
Hello Jacqueline! You’re welcome. Hope you had a lovely birthday celebration ;)
Melissa | Bits of Umami says
Love risotto, but I’m always too scared to try and make it. Or maybe I’m too lazy to try? Haha. Well, this makes it real easy. Lazy girl approved!
Amy L says
Looks yummy. I pinned it. Thank you!
Thank you, Amy! And thanks for pinning!
Making it tonight for a book club potluck! I’ll let you know how it turned out.
(Doubling the recipe…wish me luck.)
Hello Susan! Wonderful. I hope your guests enjoy the dish.
It was delicious! It did take almost an hour longer because I doubled the recipe.
Oh, and — I had to buy a bottle of wine for the “splash.” BONUS!
BONUS is right!
I’m so glad it was a hit. You know, I was wondering about the cook time if you doubled the recipe; thanks for letting me know. It makes a lot doesn’t it?
Gourmet Getaways says
These are all ingredients I keep on hand so I will be making this the next time I can’t be bothered cooking!
Thanks for sharing X
You are very welcome. That’s fantastic you keep these ingredients on hand- this will be ready in no time then! Enjoy :)
danielle // rooting the sun says
emilie – baked risotto is absolutely the best magic in the kitchen! beautiful dish always. xo
That’s a lovely way of describing it; I love how you think! xoxo
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
I’ll skip the old, sweaty Italian lady and take this dish any day Emilie! So much easier and just as tasty, I’m sure! Can’t wait to try!
I hope you enjoy! xo
Jessie Snyder | Faring Well says
This is so gorgeous Emily! I only mad risotto for the first time this past winter (a vegan recipe I created) and was over the moon excited about it. What a cozy dish it is! And your baked version here sounds so yummy too, plus I love anything you can just throw in the oven and forget about ;). Happy weekend now lady! Hope you get some gorgeous outdoor time with your fam – xoxo
Thank you love! xoxo
Del's cooking twist says
What a wonderful comfort dish, Emilie. Looks so tasty. I need to try it soon! Thanks for the recipe!
You are quite welcome, thank you Del! xoxo
Traci | Vanilla And Bean says
Hehe! I love this method, Emilie, but have yet to try it. I’ve all the ingredients on hand.. so this will be happening soon with mushrooms, I’m thinking. I love a good thick risotto, so this is right up my alley. It is pure comfort food at its finest! Gimme a big glass of vino and I’m in heaven! Thank you for this my dear! xo
Oh, Traci! You can make a veggie version and it will be so good! It’s more of a method than a recipe really; adapt as you see fit. With wine, of course :)
Laney (Ortensia Blu) says
Perfect weeknight recipe! Never a problem with baked risotto – like you said, it’s not the village cook off.
Right? Simple and delicious always wins. xo
Thank you! xo
Same here. Always hesitating of making risotto. But we love eating rice at this house. So will give this a try. Looks delicious! Thank you Emily!
You’re welcome, enjoy!
WHOAAA! Baked risotto.. Genius.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact that I do not need to wait by the stove and stir for an hour. :) Such a great recipe.
And those photos.. You make anything look AHHHMAYZING girl. And this risotto is no exception. <3
You are too kind… I think you (and Dwight!) would like this recipe, it’s wonderful for simple cooking! xo
This looks lovely. I have tried a baked risotto once but it didn’t turn out well. Cant wait to give yours a go.
Hi Cristie! Yes, this can happen sometimes especially if there is not enough liquid to start with. To expand on that thought- I have found that the texture of baked risotto can be remedied by adding more stock at the end of cooking to loosen it up. If you make this, do let me know how it goes! xx
Diane Gilman says
Going to make the creamy baked sausage Risotto this weekend. Double checking if the Arborio rice and liquid ratios are correct? Recipe calls for only 3/4 cup of arborio and 3 cups of broth and 14 oz can tomatoes?
Hi there! Yes! The measurements listed in the recipe above are correct. It seems like too much liquid in proportion to the rice, but it works. In fact, you might need to add a little bit more stock at the end (to loosen, as needed). Thanks for double checking and enjoy the dish!
Megan @ Meg is Well says
I’m so excited to learn that I can make risotto in the oven! I usually only make risotto when I have time to spare and want to get some exercise in.
It’s a wonderful technique, Meghan. You can vary the recipe too, adding more veggies, chicken and whatever else you’d like! It’s great having the oven do most of the work for you. :)
Laura | Tutti Dolci says
This is brilliant (because who has time for all that stirring? I call that an arm workout I don’t need ;))
You are too funny. My arm hurts just thinking about it… lol ;)
Christine Pajonas says
Can’t wait to try this!
Wonderful! I hope you enjoy! x
Oven risotto is such a good compromise for a weekday dinner. And this sausage risotto looks delicious.
Hello Allyson! I agree! It also allows you to use up any odds and ends in your fridge, or to stretch out protein for the family, as I’ve done here with the chicken sausage. x
Love risotto but never want to take the time to make it! Now I will. This recipe sounds delicious!
Thanks again as always!
You are quite welcome! Although this dish is a little thicker than a typical risotto, it’s delicious and satisfying especially during a busy week :) Enjoy!
rebecca | DisplacedHousewife says
I love all of your tips! Especially keeping chopped onion in the freezer — that’s genius!! A fun thing to do with risotto leftovers is to make arancini. xoxo
Hi Rebecca! I have a special chopper that I use for my onions; it’s one of those hand held tools with the different plates you can change for dicing. I buy a big bag of onions, chop up the whole thing, and freeze in ziploc bags. It takes no time at all, and is great to have on hand for spontaneous cooking. I go into more detail in my book ;)
Laura M says
This looks delicious!!! Making it this weekend!!! Love the hands-off approach to risotto.
Thank you, Laura! The hands- off method is fantastic. I hope you enjoy the recipe! xx