Barley Risotto with Sausage and Mushrooms

Smartpoints value per serving
Total Time
1 hr 48 min
15 min
1 hr 33 min
Cremini mushrooms are woodsy-flavored, earthy brown mushrooms that when allowed to grow fully, become portobello mushrooms.



2 cup(s)

dried shiitake mushrooms

¾ oz

olive oil

2 tsp

cremini mushroom(s)

8 oz, thinly sliced

uncooked onion(s)

1 medium, finely chopped

white wine

¼ cup(s)

uncooked turkey sausage(s)

1 pound(s), Italian, casings removed

reduced-sodium chicken broth

3 cup(s)

uncooked pearl barley

1 cup(s), pearl variety

grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup(s)

dried sage

2 tsp, 2 tablespoons chooped fresh

regular butter

1 tsp

black pepper

½ tsp, freshly ground


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the mushrooms; let stand 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid, and coarsely chop the mushrooms.
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the soaked mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms and onion are very tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the wine; bring to a boil. Cook until the wine evaporates, about 3 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking the sausage up with a spoon, until it begins to brown, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the reserved mushroom soaking liquid, the broth, and barley; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the barley is tender, about 40 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, sage, butter, and pepper and serve at once. Yields generous 1 cup per serving.


Substitute brown button or white mushrooms if cremini aren’t available. If you’re pressed for time, use quick-cooking barley instead of the pearl barley—it cooks in 10 to 12 minutes.

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