Broccoli Cheddar Baked Risotto

Risotto is a gem of a dish – always so creamy and comforting and satisfying – but since it takes a lot of standing over the stove and stirring, it’s not a dish I turn to on a rushed weeknight… or any weeknight, really. But it turns out that there’s a more set-it-and-forget-it preparation of risotto that’s much less involved! It involves a little bit of stovetop work but is finished in the oven so it takes very little of your attention overall. It’s just as creamy and delicious but is much less of a labor of love, which means you get a lot more risotto in your life. Weeknights included.

It starts the way many risottos start, by sauteeing some onion in butter before the grains of rice join them until they start to turn translucent. But that’s where the traditional preparation ends. After the stock is poured in, the Dutch oven heads into a hot oven on one rack, while broccoli goes on another on a baking tray.

After most of the liquid is absorbed into the rice, the broccoli gets stirred into the pot along with some cheddar and a bit of butter.

Amazingly, it has a very similar creamy texture that you usually get from all that stirring. The starch from the rice still combines with the broth and cheese to create a velvety sauce, so it’s as comforting as you could want it to be.

And while risotto can sometimes feel a little more elevated than your usual basic family meal, this broccoli cheddar combo is one that my whole family loves and I’m sure yours will too.

Broccoli and cheddar has long been a classic combination in soup, but it works equally well in this risotto. It has that same kind of warming comfort, you know? Risotto has always been easy to love, but when you can have it on the table in thirty minutes, it’s pretty much irresistible.

Broccoli Cheddar Oven Risotto

30 minutes to prepare serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 3/4 cups arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and position racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  2. Toss broccoli with olive oil and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Bring chicken broth to a simmer in a saucepan.
  4. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  5. Add rice and stir to coat with butter. Pour in wine and cook until evaporated, about 1 minute.
  6. Stir in the simmering broth, some salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and set on bottom rack of oven. Place tray of broccoli on upper rack.
  7. Bake until most of the liquid has been absorbed in the rice, about 20-25 minutes, stirring rice and broccoli halfway through cooking time.
  8. Remove from oven. Add broccoli to rice, along with 3/4 cup hot water, remaining butter, and cheese. Stir to combine, adjust seasoning as needed, and serve. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Food Network.

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