Roasted Broccoli Cheddar Risotto with Crispy Onions.
Broccoli cheddar risotto is my new favorite thing!
I mean, this is basically like risotto mac and cheese. It’s unlike any risotto I’ve tried and so ridiculously good, I can hardly stand it.
It doesn’t even look as good as it tastes! The pictures don’t do it justice, I swear.
It’s probably a sin to put cheddar cheese in risotto but here we are!
Yes yes I know that I just gave you another risotto recipe last month, but I couldn’t help it.
I had leftover arborio rice and this combo… who can resist?!
Plus, it comes together nicely because you can make the broccoli while the risotto cooks. Or you could even use leftover broccoli!
So while the risotto was doing its thing, I took that time and actually roasted the broccoli. I don’t think it’s any secret how obsessed I am with roasted broccoli. Which, yes, still blows my own mind considering I loathed any and all vegetables when I started this blog. But it’s true! And it’s easily my favorite, most-made vegetable in this house.
I love roasted broccoli because of the charred, crispy edges, the depth of flavor that roasting brings and how it changes the texture so it’s more than palatable. You don’t necessarily HAVE to roast it if you don’t want to! You could steam, use a bag of frozen steamed broccoli even, or chop it small and keep it raw and just let the residual risotto heat soften it a bit.
Totally up to you! I will always go with roasting.
And I make this risotto just like the scallop risotto that I posted last month. I use a dry white wine (like sauvignon blanc) and if you don’t have it on hand or don’t consume alcohol, you can just use more chicken or vegetable stock.
Stir the risotto until plump and creamy, stir in the cheddar cheese (I like to use freshly grated white cheddar, but I threw in some sharp yellow cheddar too so you could see it!) and fold in the broccoli.
Then the topping!
Oh, it’s freaking good. I sprinkle a couple of the crispy onions on top for extra flavor and crunch. I just use the store bought version for this. You can also make them yourself if you wish, but I find that it’s unnecessary for this recipe. These make a huge difference on top and just add something really special.
Finally! It’s up to you whether this is your main dish or a side dish. I know most restaurants considering risotto to be the main dish. I could easily eat this as the main dish – and the kids would too.
Eddie definitely prefers it as a side dish, so you can serve it as a side, or throw something else in it to bulk it up. Rotisserie chicken, smoked sausage, even beans.
Now excuse me while I go dive into a bowl of this!
Broccoli Cheddar Risotto
Broccoli Cheddar Risotto
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- kosher salt and pepper
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ cups arborio rice
- ¾ cup dry white wine, like sauvignon blanc
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 ounces freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ cup crispy onions, such as French’s or 365 brand
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the broccoli florets on a baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden.
- In a separate saucepan or stock pot, heat the stock on low until it’s warm.
- In another saucepan or pot, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil on medium-low heat. Stir in the garlic with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in the rice. Cook, stirring often, to toast the rice for 3 to 5 minutes. The rice should be translucent.
- Once the rice is translucent, stir in the white wine (or you can just use extra stock). Cook until the wine has been absorbed. Add 1 cup of the warm stock, stirring continuously, until the stock is absorbed. Repeat again with 1 cup of stock, stirring until absorbed. Repeat this process with another 2 to 3 cups of the stock, until the rice is creamy and al dente. You want it to appear “hydrated” – and want there to be some liquid left when serving. This process should take about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Stir in the butter until melted. Stir in the white cheese until melted. It is richer than parmesan, so it will be creamier than traditional risotto. Taste the rice and season it with salt and pepper as needed. This will depend on how salty your cheese is, so I suggest adding as much as you need!
- Stir in the roasted broccoli, or serve it on top of the risotto. Top the risotto with the crispy onions and serve immediately.
Heaven in a spoon.