Spinach and Artichoke Risotto - inspired by a favorite dip, this creamy risotto is full of spinach and artichokes and is topped with crispy pancetta and a squeeze of lemon.
Spinach and Artichoke dip is a long-standing favorite of mine. My daughter and I love to order it whenever we find ourselves at certain chain restaurants. Creamy, cheesy, and full of spinach and artichoke hearts...what's not to love! So, these flavors seem like a perfect pairing for a creamy and cheesy risotto.
Risotto can seem intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Here are my tips for a successful risotto every time.
- Be patient. Arborio rice needs 25-30 minutes to cook. If cooked too fast, the rice will not be creamy but al dente. If cooked too slow, the rice will be gummy.
- Saute onions, shallots, or leeks for a flavorful base before adding the rice. Garlic, rosemary, thyme, or tarragon can also be added for extra flavor.
- Toast the rice in the pan before adding the liquid to lend a nutty flavor.
- Use chicken or vegetable stock, not water, to impart more flavor. Some white wine can be used along with the stock. Replace ½ - 1 cup of stock with white wine.
- Heat the stock before adding to the risotto. Adding cold liquid will slow down the cooking process.
- Stir parmesan cheese in at the end (off the heat). Cream cheese or mascarpone cheese can also be added at the end for a creamy richness.
- Fold in crispy bacon or pancetta to add texture and a salty bite.
Spinach and Artichoke Risotto
This recipe starts by sauteing shallots and garlic in butter. Saute until translucent and add the Arborio rice. Stir the rice to coat with the butter and let toast for a few minutes. Then, start adding the chicken broth, two ladles at a time, allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding more, stirring frequently.
While the rice cooks, saute the spinach and artichoke hearts in a little butter. This helps to get rid of any excess moisture and ensures the spinach and artichokes are warmed through before being added to the risotto.
To finish the risotto, stir in cream cheese until melted to provide an extra creaminess. Add in parmesan cheese too. Then, fold in the spinach and artichoke hearts and finish with a squeeze of lemon and top with crispy pancetta.
Rich, satisfying, and delicious! Serve alongside beef, chicken, or seafood. Alternatively, this risotto is substantial enough to serve as a main dish. If you try this recipe, please leave me a comment or tag me on Instagram @mycasualpantry.
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Spinach and Artichoke Risotto
- 4 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
- 10 ounces chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 14 ounces canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 4 slices pancetta, for garnish
- juice of one lemon
- In a small skillet over medium heat, saute the pancetta until brown and crisp. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Crumble and set aside.
- Add the chicken broth to a small saucepan and warm over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat. Add the diced shallot and saute 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for one minute. Add the arborio rice, stirring to coat the rice with the butter. Saute for 2-3 minutes to toast the rice.
- Add two ladles of chicken broth to the rice, stirring to incorporate. Cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Add two ladles of stock at a time, stirring and simmering until stock is absorbed before adding more.
- Meanwhile, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the drained and chopped spinach and artichoke hearts to the skillet. Season with thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Saute until hot throughout.
- When all of the stock has been absorbed and the rice is al dente, turn the heat off and add cream cheese. Stir until melted and combined. Stir in parmesan cheese. Add the spinach and artichokes, stirring to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Finish with a squeeze of lemon and top with the crumbled pancetta.