Sweet Potato Barley Risotto with Italian Sausage

Every Wednesday my girl friend Kate and I get together for a play date. Our kids are two weeks apart and they love to play together. These play dates are great for us moms too; we get to watch the kids play and socialize… win/win.

Since we spend most of the day chatting away, I always find myself at 5 O’clock with no dinner plans, scrambling to throw something together. Not an ideal end to any day. Then Kate told me about this crock pot Barley Risotto, [hers is vegetarian] so I gave it a try and my family liked it…my husbands only critique was that he wanted it to have meat.

I came up with this recipe and it was a huge hit. Play date days are now slow cooker days too, no more stressing about dinner!



1 Sweet Potato [chopped into small cubes]
1 Small white onion [finely chopped]
1 package Italian Sausage [Hot, Mild, Sweet… whatever you like]
1 1/2 cups pearl barley
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups spinach [chopped fine]
1/2 tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning

1. Heat the EVOO in  a large skillet over medium.

2. Add your Italian Sausage and break into small pieces. Cook until sausages are browned and cooked through.

3. Add the onions and sauteed until onions are softened.

4. Add garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper & Italian seasoning. Stir together for about a minute.

5. Add white wine, stir together for about a minute.

6. Add chicken stock and barley, bring to a boil, stirring often.

7. Place chopped sweet potatoes & spinach in your crock pot.

8. Pour stock mixture over the top and stir well.

9. Cook on low for about 7 hours, or until barley & sweet potatoes are cooked through.

Top with a touch of parmesan cheese and enjoy!



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