Barley Risotto with Italian Sausage and Peppers is just the kind of warming meal I want on a cold winter night. Creamy, nutty barley topped with that classic combo of Italian sausage and peppers, it’s warming, hearty and filling. Just the kind of curl-up-in-front-of-the-fire-with-a-bowl meal that I crave when the temperature drops!
I love this barley risotto for so many reasons! First, this dish 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. Oh, and did I mention that it has the creaminess of traditional risotto without all the stirring AND you make it in ONE pan??? Oh yeah -and Italian sausage and peppers!!!!
And it’s made with barley!!!
Yes, barley..which is also one of my favorite ingredients to work with! Not only is it the perfect partner for the sausage and peppers in this risotto, but it’s also delicious in salads like this Moroccan Citrus, Cauliflower, and Barley Salad and this Chopped Cauliflower Salad.
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 and peppers barley risotto.
How to Make Italian Sausage and Peppers 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 and stock and simmer. Add the sausage back to warm and then serve!
Other grain dishes you might enjoy!
- Farro with artichokes, caramelized onions, and mushrooms
- farro salad with tangerines and dried blueberries
- Roasted Pepper, tomato and Farro salad
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 1/2 inch dice or cooked shredded chicken
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion medium dice
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1/2 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.
- 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.
If quick cooking barley isn't available, cook regular barley in stock and then add to the sauteed vegetables.