Chicken Sausage and Spinach Risotto

The thing I love about risotto is that it is a blank slate in which you can add a wide array of flavors. You can just let your imagination run wild!  I love the flavor combination of sausage, peppers, and dark greens so came up with this easy recipe.

I wanted my risotto on the lighter side so I used chicken sausage, but you could use pork if that is what you prefer.  Also, don’t limit yourself to just spinach since any dark green would be great in this!  Use whatever is fresh and in season.  Enjoy!

Chicken Sausage and Spinach Risotto (printable recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4-5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 10 ounces of sweet Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 12 ounces arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 ounces baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup basil, chiffonade
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for garnish
  • Salt and pepper

In a small saucepan heat chicken stock and keep warm.

In a stockpot, heat butter and olive oil on medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add in sausage and break up meat with a large spoon until crumbly and cooked through. Add in bell pepper and arborio and saute until the rice is coated with fat and slightly toasted, about 3 minutes.

Pour in white wine and bring to a simmer. Let wine reduce completely, while scraping up any sausage that is stuck on the bottom of the pan. Stir in tomato paste then ladle in warm stock so it just covers rice. Stir and let simmer. As stock reduces, keep adding liquid, about 1 cup at a time, and continue stirring.

Once rice is almost cooked through, about 10-15 minutes, fold in spinach. After the spinach has wilted and the rice is completely cooked, stir in basil and Parmesan cheese. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary. Ladle risotto into bowls, garnish with a little more Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Serves 2-4


AuthorAmy Koch
Kombucha Chicken with Pineapple and Bell Pepper

Making a play on Sweet and Sour Chicken, kombucha adds a whole new element to the flavors of this Chinese-American dish.  Kombucha is fermented sweet tea so along with the sweetness, there’s a vinegar aspect and a hint of earthiness from the black tea.

The pineapple and bell peppers work amazingly with the honey, soy, and cilantro sauce.  Keeping the vegetables in large chunks retains their crunch and allows you to eat them more easily with chopsticks.  A little chili brings some heat into the mix and the ginger brings a brightness and a burst of flavor.

Everything takes about an hour - when served over saffron rice (recipe below) and with a side-salad, a healthy meal emerges.  

Kombucha Chicken with Pineapple (printable recipe)

  • 6 thighs of chicken
  • 1 teaspoon of oil
  • 16 ounces of plain kombucha
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger, minced fine
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 jalapeno, diced fine
  • 1/2 pineapple, cut into chunks
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablesopoons cilantro, minced
  • juice of one lime
  • salt and pepper

Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.  In a pan over medium-high heat, add about a teaspoon of oil to cover the bottom and add the chicken, skin-side down.  Sear the skin until it is crispy, about 10-12 minutes.

While the chicken is crisping, in a small pot, bring the kombucha to a simmer.  When the chicken is done searing, add it to the pot with the kombucha.  Allow the thighs to simmer for 30 minutes.

Drain the oil and rendered fat from the pan and add the jalapeno, carrot, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, ginger, honey, and a teaspoon of salt.  Make sure to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Turn the heat down to low and let all of these reduce while the chicken braises.

After 20 minutes, add the pineapple and bell pepper to the pan with the sauce.  10 minutes later, when the chicken is done braising, pull the thighs from the kombucha and add it to the pan with the pineapple and the bell pepper.

Turn the heat to high.  Give everything a few turns to coat the chicken well, about 5 minutes.  Kill the heat, add the lime juice and the cilantro and serve hot over rice.

Saffron rice
Follow instructions for 4 servings of rice from package and add a pinch of saffron (about 10 “hairs”) and a tablespoon of butter.  Be sure to rinse the rice well.


Authordavid koch
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What a great meal for a dark and stormy night.  The mushrooms and the peas add a wholesome goodness to the body of the pasta and the chicken.  We lightened up the cream sauce a little from the original and it was still plenty umptious.  The Parmesan and the breadcrumbs add a little crunchy topping for that extra touch of texture.  

This is adapted from Giada De Laurentiis' Chicken Tetrazzini: Giada's Family Dinners.



  • 9 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts on the bone with the skin
  • 2 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced well
  • 1 Tbs chopped thyme leaves, fresh
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream at room temperature
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg, freshly ground is best
  • 12 ounces linguine
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and olive oil and roast for about 35 minutes.  Allow to cool a bit and shred with your fingers or two forks.  Put the chicken into a bowl and set aside.

Butter the inside of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. 

Add 1 Tbs each of butter and oil to a pan.  Add the mushrooms and sauté over high heat until the mushrooms soften and start to become golden, about 10 minutes. Then add the onion, garlic, and thyme, and sauté until the onion is translucent, another 8 minutes or so. Add the wine and simmer until it evaporates. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the chicken.

Melt 3 more Tbs butter in the same pan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 2 minutes to make a light roux. Whisk in the milk, cream, chicken broth, nutmeg, 2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Increase the heat to high. Cover and bring to a boil - then simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly.  Whisk often (about 10 minutes).

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook until it is tender but but not mushy, about 9 minutes. Drain water. Add the linguine, sauce, peas, and parsley to the chicken and mushroom mixture. Toss until the sauce coats everything well..

Transfer the chicken and pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish. Mix the cheese and breadcrumbs and sprinkle the over the pasta. Dot with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Bake uncovered until golden brown on top and the sauce begins to bubble, about 25 minutes. 

AuthorAmy Koch