This isn’t the most colourful dish that’s gracing our table this season, but it just might be one of the most popular. I’ve made a baked risotto once a week for the past month, and it quickly gets devoured amid moans of happiness from the kids, who could eat some form of rice for every meal of the day.
I’ve made it plain, with Parmesan and lemon, and also jazzed up a little with baby spinach, chicken, and cheddar cheese for a special cheap and cheerful recipe package I put together for SavvyMom. This one-pot dinner is sure to rescue your busiest weeknight, as it’s mostly hands-off, leaving you free to help with homework or tend to other time-consuming tasks. Feel free to swap the cherry tomatoes, peas, or other family-favourite veggies for the spinach, and don’t hesitate to use leftover beef, pork, or cooked bacon in place of the chicken. Play with the recipe and make it your own; just be sure to include it in your meal plan for the coming week.
For more budget-friendly meals, check out this month's Eat Savvy feature over on SavvyMom.
Baked Risotto with Spinach and Chicken
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 5oz. fresh baby spinach
- 3 cups Arborio rice
- 2 cups cooked cubed chicken
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and set racks in the middle and bottom third of the oven. Place the stock in a large saucepan and warm over medium heat.
2. Melt the butter and oil in an oven-safe pot or Dutch oven (with an accompanying tight-fitting lid) set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Add the baby spinach and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until completely wilted.
3. Tip in the rice and mix until well coated. Cook for 1 minute, or until toasted and fragrant. Add the chicken and the hot stock and stir well. Place the lid on the pot and slide it into the oven, baking for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, stir, and return to the oven lidless, cooking for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Stir in the cheddar cheese and season generously with salt and pepper. Serve warm.