Baked risotto with sausage, barley & fresh green beans

AS THREATENED PROMISED, baked risotto has made its way into our weekly repertoire and here’s why: the kids love it! Plus, a baked version of this traditional Italian dish is easy to make before they even get home from nursery school. Sitting on the stove, it’s ready to be warmed again at dinner time. No muss, no fuss and more importantly no afternoon whining… Ta-da!

Again, I followed the technique found in the latest issue of O (The Oprah Magazine), which to my delight, involved stirring exactly once. But I also added barley to this recipe to make it more filling and nutritious, too. Here goes.



  • 3/4 pound sausage (chicken, turkey or pork)
  • 1 medium onion, shredded
  • 1 large or 2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 cups chicken or beef stalk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups fresh green beans, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large skillet or Dutch oven with a lid, cook sausage over medium heat until browned. Remove sausage to a plate lined with paper towels (when cool, dice with a knife as needed for little eaters). Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of grease, turn heat to medium-low, then add onion. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add carrots. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium and add rice and barley. Cook for 2 minutes, just allowing rice mixture to become golden brown. Add wine or water with vinegar, stir and allow to reduce, about 3 minutes. Return sausage to the pan and add chicken stock (or beef stock or bullion) and water plus salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and put in oven for 20-25 minutes.

When the rice has absorbed nearly all the broth, take out and stir. Add green beans and put back in oven without the lid, for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven, add basil (or parsley), butter and 1 cup of Parmesan cheese. (Save the remaining 1/2 cup to garnish each bowl.)  Stir and put in bowls. Add grated Parmesan cheese plus extra virgin olive oil to serve.

Meanwhile, my usual helper is sacked out! Seems like a good night for comfort food.



  1. Kate says

    I just made this using some wild boar sausage. My two year old said, “Yum! Good stuff!” Thanks for a great (and easy) recipe.

  2. kitkat148 says

    I wanted to make this but noticed the sausage was removed at the first step – when do you return it to the pan?

    • charityc says

      Sorry about that! Put the sausage back in before you put the whole thing into the oven. I updated the recipe now.

      Cooking for kids, or at least writing kid-friendly recipes, seems to require more sleep than I’m getting! :)

      Thanks for your note, Charity

  3. charityc says

    Ah, that’s so great to hear! We have lots of boar in Italy, usually in tomato ragu. Delicious. Thanks for your note, Kate!

  4. Lori says

    My brother has an uncanny ability to show up at mealtimes. He called the other day and said he was swinging by in an hour, and I could serve him lunch, if I wanted. I was just putting the risotto in the oven when I got his call, unbelievable! I often make large quantities of food and freeze it for my boys, well, they greeted this delicious-meal-made-with-love with curled up noses and tongues sticking out to drop every last bit of food out :(. So, when my brother and teenage nephew asked for giant second helpings, I said yes. The adults loved this one, but not so much the litte tikes. Can’t win them all.


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