Weeknight-Friendly Risotto: A Delicious 30-Minute Meal

A new recipe for Lemon and Green Pea Risotto uses pantry staples to create a flavorful dish in 35 minutes. The recipe's adaptability allows home cooks to easily adjust flavors and add ingredients based on what they have on hand.

Nitish Verma
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Weeknight-Friendly Risotto: A Delicious 30-Minute Meal

Weeknight-Friendly Risotto: A Delicious 30-Minute Meal

Risotto, often perceived as a time-consuming dish, can be prepared in under 30 minutes, making it a perfect option for weeknight meals. A new recipe from "Cook What You Have" utilizes pantry staples, including Arborio rice, frozen vegetables, and Parmesan cheese, to create a flavorful and adaptable dish that serves four people.

The recipe, titled "Lemon and Green Pea Risotto," transforms basic ingredients into a creamy and satisfying meal in just 35 minutes from start to finish. Key ingredients include 1 cup Arborio rice, 11⁄2 cups frozen peas (thawed and patted dry), 3 tablespoons salted butter, 1 small finely chopped yellow onion, 1 quart low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, lemon zest and juice, and grated Parmesan cheese.

To begin, the broth and water are brought to a simmer in a medium saucepan. In a separate large saucepan, butter is melted and the onion is cooked until softened. The rice is then added and stirred constantly until the grains become translucent at the edges. Next, hot broth is gradually incorporated, with the rice simmering and absorbing the liquid over the course of about 20 minutes.

In the final steps, the remaining butter, peas, lemon zest and juice, and Parmesan are stirred in off the heat. The risotto is seasoned with salt and pepper to taste, then served sprinkled with fresh herbs like parsley, basil, or mint, along with additional Parmesan if desired.

The beauty of this recipe lies in its adaptability and use of common pantry ingredients. Home cooks can easily adjust the flavors and add in other vegetables, proteins, or seasonings based on what they have on hand. By mastering this basic technique, endless variations of creamy and comforting risotto can be created.

With this weeknight-friendly recipe, risotto no longer has to be reserved for special occasions or restaurant dining. In just 35 minutes, using ingredients likely already in the kitchen, a delicious and impressive meal can be on the table, even on a busy weeknight. As the recipe's headnote states, this dish truly allows cooks to "cook what you have" and turn simple staples into something extraordinary.

Key Takeaways

  • Risotto can be prepared in under 30 minutes, making it a perfect weeknight meal.
  • This recipe uses pantry staples like Arborio rice, frozen veggies, and Parmesan cheese.
  • The "Lemon and Green Pea Risotto" recipe serves 4 people and takes 35 minutes to make.
  • The recipe is adaptable and can be customized with various veggies, proteins, and seasonings.
  • Mastering this basic technique allows for endless creamy and comforting risotto variations.