Barley Risotto with Italian Sausage and Peppers is just the kind of warming meal I want on a cold winter night. Creamy, nutty pearl barley and mushrooms topped with that classic combo of Italian sausage and peppers -true comfort food at it’s best!
Barley Risotto Recipe
Plus this easy barley risotto recipe is infinitely flexible! You can pretty much put whatever vegetables you have in it. You can make it ahead of time because this barley risotto reheats like a dream.
Which means you can make a big batch, stash it in the fridge and microwave a bowl when you need it.
This is definitely a major plus when you are running an all-night diner as I seem to be doing more and more these days.
Ingredients in you will need:
- Quick cooking barley or regular pearl barley.
- Chicken or vegetable stock
- Italian sausage – I used chicken Italian Sausage but feel free to use whatever type of Italian sausage is your favorite!
- Bell peppers – I used red, orange and yellow but you could also use green.
- Mushrooms – I used Cremini mushrooms because I like their richer flavor but regular white mushrooms can be used as well.
- Olive oil
- Madiera wine – OPTIONAL. I love the hint of sweetness the Madiera gives the risotto but if you don’t have any, feel free to use a dry white wine or leave it out altogether!
- Italian parsley
So what is barley and how do you cook it?
- Barley is a member of the grass family.
- Pearled barley is barley with the husk and bran removed and is the most common type sold in stores.
- To cook pearled barley, you combine barley and water or stock in a pan and simmer for 40 to 50 minutes.
- Quick-cooking barley is pearled barley that has been rolled and flaked like instant oats. The cooking process for quick-cooking barley is the same as pearled barley, except the cooking time is only about 10 minutes.
I am a big fan of quick-cooking barley, which is what I use in this sausage, peppers, and mushroom barley risotto.
How to make Barley Risotto
Step #1: Saute the sausage to get a nice sear on it!
Step #2: Remove the sausage and add the mushrooms. Saute, remove and then add the onions and peppers….
Step #3: Add the wine and cook and then the barley, mushrooms, stock and simmer. Add the sausage back to warm and then serve!
Like Quick and Easy Meals? Then I think you’ll love…
- Yogurt Marinated Chicken – the juiciest grilled chicken ever!
- Olive Chicken – Moroccan inspired chicken with green olives and lemon!
- Shrimp Louie – succulent shrimp with romaine, tomatoes, and hard-boiled eggs lashed with a Thousand Island like dressing!
- Teriyaki Chicken – the classic is kicked up with a sprinkle of ginger, orange zest and toasted sesame seeds
If you enjoyed this recipe, I would love to know!! Please leave me a comment and rate the recipe!!! Thank you so much!!
Italian Sausage and Peppers Barley Risotto
- 2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup quick cooking barley see note
- 8 oz. turkey italian sausage fully cooked chicken sausage, cut into ½ inch dice or cooked shredded chicken
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion medium dice
- ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
- ½ cup chopped yellow bell pepper
- 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
- 2 – 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 Tbsp. Madeira wine
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp. chopped italian parsley or fresh basil
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook sausage, until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. When cooked, remove from pan and set aside.
- Add olive oil to pan and heat until oil shimmers. Add mushrooms and cook, without stirring until mushrooms are browned. Stir and brown on the other side. Remove mushrooms and set aside.
- Add onions and peppers to pan and cook over medium-high heat until onions and peppers are tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add Madeira wine scraping up any browned bits.
- Add stock and then barley. Bring mixture to a boil and then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until barley has absorbed all the liquid. Stir in reserved mushrooms and sausage. Taste and adjust seasoning. Stir in parsley. Serve
- Quick-cooking barley can be found in some supermarkets and from natural food stores.
- If you are using regular pearled barley, cook the barley separately. Combine 1 cup of barley and 3 cups of stock in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer the barley for 25 – 35 minutes. The barley is done when it has tripled in volume and is tender and chewy!
- Proceed with the recipe as written, except you won’t need to add the stock to the saute pan!
- As I mentioned, this dish is very flexible. You could eliminate the peppers and add frozen, chopped spinach and top with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- For a meatless entry, add some sauteed tofu in place of the sausage or add a can of rinsed small white or garbanzo beans.