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Beer risotto with sausage and gouda

This past month I have prepared risotto three times; that’s 3 more times than I’ve made risotto the entire last year! I’m a huge fan of risotto but never find the urge to prepare it for myself. That is, until, I thought of a new way to prepare this Italian dish. Risotto is usually prepared with rice, white wine and chicken stock, cheese and whatever protein and add-ins you desire. While watching a cooking episode about beer dishes, I thought, “why not prepare risotto with beer instead of the white wine?” A couple days later, I attempted the recipe and was pleasantly surprised with how delicious it came out to be! I present beer risotto with spicy sausage and gouda! 

beer risotto

beer risotto

beer risotto

Beer risotto with sausage and gouda
Serves 4
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569 calories
51 g
70 g
28 g
21 g
10 g
410 g
778 g
4 g
0 g
15 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 569
Calories from Fat 248
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 28g
Saturated Fat 10g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 70mg
Sodium 778mg
Total Carbohydrates 51g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 4g
Protein 21g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 tbsp oil
  2. 8 ounces spicy sausage, sliced
  3. 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 cup arborio rice
  6. 12 oz dark beer, room temperature
  7. 3 cups chicken stock
  8. 1 tbsp butter
  9. 1/2 cup grated gouda cheese
  10. salt and pepper
  11. Chopped parsley for garnish
  1. Pour the chicken stock in a medium sauce pot. Keep warm over low heat.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in large saute pan over medium heat. Add the sliced sausage and saute until browned, about 3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Add chopped onion and garlic to the same pan. Saute until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the rice and saute for 1-2 minutes or until there is a slightly nutty aroma.
  4. Add half of the beer and stir until it is fully absorbed. Add the remaining beer and stir until it is fully absorbed. Add a ladle of the chicken stock and cook until fully absorbed, stirring frequently. Continue adding the stock in increments once the rice appears almost dry. Cook until the rice appears creamy and is al dente, about 20-30 minutes total.
  5. Stir in 1 tbsp butter and the grated gouda cheese. Add back the sausages. Season risotto with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
Cherry on my Sundae

**Helpful tips and common mistakes

If you ever watched Top Chef or Hell’s Kitchen, you will recognize that risotto is one of the most difficult dishes for chefs to accomplish. Risotto is an Italian dish made from short grain rice. It requires a slow cooking process to evenly cook the rice and can easily be under or over-cooked. Don’t let these qualities derail you from attempting to prepare this dish at home! If you take your time and follow my hints, your risotto will come out perfect every time.

First step, heat the chicken broth. Adding hot broth to the rice keeps a constant temperature, shortening the cooking process. When you’re ready to cook, use a heavy bottomed sauce pan or straight sided saute pan to allow even cooking.

While cooking the risotto, use a wooden spoon to stir the rice. A wooden spoon is less likely to break the grains of the rice as opposed to a metal spoon. 

In most recipes, there is only about 1/4-1/2 cup white wine added to the risotto. For my beer risotto, I decided to increase the amount of beer and decrease the amount of stock. I wanted the flavor of the beer to be more prominent than the stock. Choose a dark beer to impart more flavor. 

The standard ratio of rice to liquid is 1 cup rice to 3-4 cups liquid. Adjust accordingly as you cook your rice. As the rice absorbs the liquid, it releases its starches and becomes creamy. The butter and cheese at the end help finish the dish. Be careful when seasoning with salt and pepper, keeping in mind that the sausage is already salty. You can use a spicy sausage like I did or use sweet Italian, Andouille, chicken apple, whatever you prefer. 

When I first took a bite out of the risotto, I was surprised at just how delicious it was. The smoky, spicy sausage cut the heaviness of the dish, while the rich, smooth gouda brought the entire dish together. The dark beer added a nutty element while the rice was perfect al dente. Wash it down with another glass of beer for a real treat! 

beer risotto

beer risotto



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Comments: 13

  1. Betsy @ Desserts Required 03/12/2014 at 1:32 am Reply

    What a great idea to make risotto with beer. I NEVER would have come up with that one but I am thrilled that you did!

    • cma0425 03/13/2014 at 3:03 pm Reply

      It’s such a simple substitution but changes the entire dish completely!

  2. Jackie Patti 03/16/2014 at 12:52 pm Reply

    I LOVE this idea, it’s so creative!

    • cma0425 03/16/2014 at 4:42 pm Reply

      Thank you! A simple substitution goes a long way!

  3. Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron 03/17/2014 at 12:12 am Reply

    Absolutely gorgeous photos! This looks amazing! Pinned :)

    • cma0425 03/17/2014 at 12:22 am Reply

      Thanks so much!

  4. Rachel 03/18/2014 at 1:23 am Reply

    I attempted this recipe, i used kielbasa and smoked Gouda iand it taste delicious! Though the color came out more brown than the yellow yours appears to be, could that be because of the change in ingredients or was it something I might’ve done wrong when it came to sautéing?

    • cma0425 03/18/2014 at 8:23 pm Reply

      It could have been either the beer or if you toasted the risotto longer than I did. You might have just used a darker beer than I did, but I’m glad the dish came out well!

  5. Prontip 03/17/2015 at 2:37 am Reply

    When you say dark beer. Do you mean like Guinness or something lighter?

    • cma0425 03/17/2015 at 3:24 pm Reply

      It can be Guinness or something a little lighter, just as long as it’s not an IPA. Keep in mind that the darker the beer, the stronger the flavor.

  6. Prontip 03/18/2015 at 11:16 pm Reply

    Cooking this right now. If it’s still under cooked, what do I do?

  7. Prontip 03/18/2015 at 11:32 pm Reply

    Nevermind. I did it! Can you tell I was in a panic? It came out great!

    • cma0425 03/19/2015 at 2:44 pm Reply

      Sorry I didn’t reply quicker. Glad it came out great!

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