Risotto – literal translation “little rice” – is a northern Italian short-grained rice dish that has a creamy texture due to the rice releasing its starch as it cooks.

Risotto has a bad reputation for being difficult. True, it does require some stove-top babysitting, but it’s not a difficult dish to make.

This rendition of risotto has two easy to grill ingredients added to make it a hearty meal. I paired it with an arugula salad to round out the meal.

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Grilled Italian Sausage and Fennel Risotto

  • Author: Robyn


  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • salt pepper
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 1 package Aidell’s Italian chicken sausage
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese (NEVER THE IN THE JAR PROCESSED STUFF!)



Prepare the risotto:

Saute onion in oil and butter for 3 minutes. Turn heat on burner to medium low and add garlic, being careful not to burn it. After the garlic becomes fragrant, turn burner back up to medium/medium high and add rice, stirring for about 2 minutes.

Stir in 1 cup of broth, Continue cooking and stirring until liquid is absorbed. Continue to do this one cup of broth at a time as each one becomes absorbed. (This will take about 40 minutes over all).

Meanwhile, turn on your grill and prepare the burners for medium heat. Add Aidells sausage and grilled fennel bulbs. Cook the fennel until it has char marks on both sides and is slightly wilted. Cook the sausage until you have recognizable char marks on both sides. Try to turn both the fennel and the sausage only once during the course of grilling to avoid overcooking.

After the last cup of broth has been added to the risotto and it has cooked down, add the grated parmesan. Next, chop up the fennel and sausage into bite sized pieces and then add them to the pot of risotto.

Let all ingredients cook together for about 5 minutes. Add generous amount of sea salt and pepper and additional fresh grated parmesan when serving.

Serve with arugula tossed with balsamic and olive oil! For insight into wine pairings for grilling, check out “A Good Time with Wine” blog by Mathew Horbund.

There will be no leftovers with this dish, it is too yummy!!

grill girl, grilled italian sausage and fennel risotto


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