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Risotto is one of my favorite dinners—it makes me feel like I have it all together, no matter how stressful my day has been. If I have the time, I make traditional risotto. But if it's a hectic weeknight and I need an easy dinner before a workout, I throw together a hands-off version.
Classic risotto is made with Arborio rice, cooked by gradually adding broth until the risotto reaches a creamy consistency. I've included a couple of rice-based risotto recipes below, as well as versions made with barley (my favorite grain) and orzo pasta. Risotto is an easy dish to adapt based on seasonal produce and dietary restrictions—in the summer, I make risotto with beets and in the fall and winter I use butternut squash or frozen peas and salmon. For a vegetarian option, pick a vegetable-based recipe and swap in vegetable stock.
- Salmon and Pea Risotto: a weeknight-friendly risotto recipe that comes together relatively quickly thanks to a couple of convenience ingredients: frozen peas and canned salmon.
- Beet Risotto: a vegetarian recipe perfect for tender young beets from your CSA or garden. Parmesan and fresh lemon juice nicely balance the sweetness of the beets.
- Baked Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash: A vegetable-packed risotto with butternut squash and spinach. Instead of being cooked like a traditional risotto (gradually adding broth and simmering on the stove), all the broth is added at once and the risotto is baked in the oven.
- Mushroom Barley Risotto: My favorite risotto recipe, thanks to its rich flavor from three types of mushrooms (and a splash of white wine!)
- Orzo Risotto with Sun Dried Tomato and Spinach: Another weeknight-friendly recipe, this unconventional take on risotto is made with orzo pasta and milk. All the liquid is added at once and the risotto is simmered on the stove.
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