This spinach risotto recipe begins with a flavorful soffritto. Enjoy this creamy and delicious Italian risotto as a main or side dish any time of the year!
All risotto dishes should come with a warning… no skill is required!
After you have made risotto once or twice, you will realize how easy it is to prepare.
It’s true! The only thing you need is a little patience.
Then, once you know how to make risotto, incorporate different ingredients and it becomes a new side dish. There are truly endless variations!
Whether making an asparagus or mushroom variation, you won’t believe how easy it is to make this Italian classic comfort food.
After all, who can resist a creamy risotto recipe?
As you probably know, Italian rice has the magical ability to absorb a lot of liquid and still maintain a chewy texture.
This characteristic is also observed in this arborio rice recipe for rice pudding and this delicious Italian Easter dessert, rice ricotta Easter pie.
Your friends and family will be so impressed!
Let me show you how effortless it is to make.
A printable recipe card at the bottom of this page has the specific amounts for each ingredient. This is just a summary.
- Hot broth. Vegetable, chicken, or beef. Homemade is best. If using commercial, buy low sodium.
- Olive oil. A personal preference. Butter can also be used.
- Italian soffritto. An aromatic combination of diced onions, carrots and celery sauteed in olive oil.
- Garlic. Use as much or as little as you like.
- Arborio rice. The high starch content of this rice is essential to obtain the creamy consistency of risotto.
- White wine. A simple dry white wine works well. It can be replaced with an equal amount of stock.
- Fresh Spinach. Such a healthy vegetable.
- Parmesan cheese. Freshly grated is always better.
- Butter. Just a pat.
- Parsley. Italian flat-leaf and fresh is best.
- Lemon juice. Optional.
- Lemon zest. Once again, optional, but a little goes a long way in brightening the dish.
- Salt and pepper. To taste.
Heat your vegetable broth (3-4 cups of stock) in a medium saucepan. Maintain a low simmer throughout the whole process. Any basic risotto recipe requires the slow addition of broth to the arborio rice grains, so it’s important to have the hot broth ready.
We also need to prep all the vegetables. Finely chop an onion (½ cup) or shallot (1 medium), celery (1 stalk), garlic (2 cloves), and carrot (1 stick). Give the spinach a few rough chops (about 100 grams).
Finally, grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese (4 tablespoons) and set it aside. Now that our prep work is done let’s begin.
How to make risotto
Over medium-low heat, drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté the diced onion, carrot, and celery for about 5-7 minutes or until translucent. Stir frequently.
The next step is to add the minced garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or so. Finally, stir in the rice (1 cup).
Keep stirring the rice mixture for about 4-5 minutes. The rice edges should begin to turn translucent and just begin to turn a light golden brown.
Increase the heat to medium-high, add the wine or broth (½ cup) and give it a good stir. Stir constantly until absorbed. This should take 30-60 seconds.
Let’s add the chopped spinach. Combine it properly with the rice mixture.
Add ½ cup of hot broth (at a time) into the rice mixture and frequently stir until the broth is absorbed.
Add the broth (½ cup at a time) and occasionally stir until it is absorbed.
Repeat this method for approximately 20 minutes.
At the end of 20 minutes, start tasting your delicious risotto. The texture should be al dente but still creamy.
Remove from heat and stir in the butter (1 tablespoon) and the cheese (4 tablespoons). A teaspoon or so of freshly squeezed lemon juice is optional, but it will add a hint of freshness.
Garnish with chopped parsley and zested lemon peel (if using).
Serve immediately with a grating of additional Parmesan (if desired).
- Always use arborio rice to make risotto. This short-grain rice has the magical ability to absorb a lot of liquid without becoming mushy.
- Prep your ingredients. The timing of adding the ingredients is crucial to obtain a risotto with the perfect texture. All ingredients must be ready.
- Allow the broth to be absorbed slowly. To achieve the creamy texture risotto is famous for, the broth must be absorbed slowly, over medium heat.
What to serve with risotto
Almost anything! There are many great options for pairing risotto with different main dishes. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
As a side dish, try pairing this risotto with chicken spiedini. The creamy and earthy flavors of the risotto would complement the richness of the chicken.
Alternatively, you could serve it with a seafood dish, as the rich risotto would highlight the delicate flavors of the seafood. Scallops, shrimp or cod are all great options.
Whatever you choose, risotto is sure to be a delicious addition to your meal!
Easy spinach recipes we love
As previously mentioned, there are endless variations in making arborio rice risotto.
This easy risotto recipe I am sharing with you today results from my efforts to use some vegetables I had in my fridge.
It is that easy once you start with a simple risotto recipe.
Let yourself be inspired… use different vegetables, replace the Parmesan with different cheeses, and add a couple of tablespoons of basil pesto, Sun-Dried cherry tomatoes, or even garlic scape pesto!
You can also add roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions or use pureed vegetables!
You are only limited by your imagination!
So the next time you are wondering what’s for dinner tonight? Why not make this comforting meal?
I would love to hear about some of your easy risotto recipes!
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★★★★★ If you have made this spinach risotto recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Spinach Risotto Recipe
- 3-4 cups vegetable broth low sodium
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 1 small onion minced minced, about ½ cup
- 1 carrot finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup arborio rice uncooked
- ½ cup white wine or chicken broth
- 100 grams spinach fresh, chopped, about 2 cups
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated, plus additional for serving(optional)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice optional
- zested lemon peel optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place the broth in a medium saucepan and bring it to a low simmer. Keep warm.
- Over medium heat, drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet.
- Saute the onions, carrot and celery for about 5-7 minutes until translucent. Stir frequently.
- Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.
- Add the rice.
- Keep stirring (frequently) for about 4-5 minutes. The edges of the rice should begin to turn translucent and just beginning to turn a light golden brown.
- Increase the heat to medium-high, add the wine (or broth) and stir constantly until absorbed. This should take about 1 minute.
- Add the chopped spinach. Stir to mix well with the rice mixture.
- Stir in ½ cup of hot broth into the rice mixture.
- Stir frequently until the broth is absorbed.
- Keep adding the broth (½ cup at a time) and stirring until it is absorbed. Repeat.
- At the end of 16-20 minutes, start tasting your risotto. The texture should be al dente but still creamy.
- Remove from heat and stir in the butter and the cheese. The addition of lemon juice is optional.
- Garnish with zested lemon peel (if using) and chopped parsley.
- Serve immediately with additional Parmesan (if desired).
- Always use arborio rice to make risotto. This short grain rice has the magical ability to absorb a lot of liquid without becoming mushy.
- Timing is everything! Prep your ingredients. The timing of the addition of the ingredients is crucial to obtain a risotto with the perfect texture. All ingredients must be ready.
- Allow the broth to be absorbed slowly. In order to achieve the creamy texture risotto is famous for, the broth must be absorbed slowly, over medium heat.
This post was originally published on September 16, 2019 and republished on April 8, 2021 with updated content. Thanks for watching and sharing!
My Mom makes Rizzo she uses white rice and follow the instructions to make the rice While the rice is cooking she adds chopped carrot and chopped celery and continues to cook the rice about 20 mins Towards the end of the cooking time she adds homemade tomato sauce. Once everything is cooked and married well she removes it from the heat and services it will grated parm
Sounds wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing!
Thank you for the recipe!! Very good! I did make some changes as I made it in the Instant Pot.
I meshed your recipe with another risotto recipe for the Instant Pot. It saved me from having to stand and stir it for a long time. I sauteed the vegetables in the olive oil as directed in your recipe. I also sauteed 1 cup of the arborio rice a bit and then added 2 cups plus 1 Tlbs. of low-sodium chicken broth, salt and pepper to taste and then the spinach. I stirred it well. Then I set the Instant Pot on High Pressure for 6 minutes. Once cooked, you allow for the pressure to release manually by switching the valve to venting. Remove lid and stir in butter and parmigiano. Let rest for 5 min. stir and serve. This time I did not add the lemon. Next time I will.
Sounds great! Thanks so much for sharing Shalynn.
Risotto is one of my favorite foods! Can’t wait to try this spinach risotto!