Home ยป Broccoli-Cheddar Risotto

Broccoli-Cheddar Risotto


I seriously don’t know how single parents do it. Mr. Prevention was out of town last night and I had every intention of leaving work at 4, getting home at 5, and then working out and making dinner. Of course, that didn’t happen.

A stat lab had to be taken to the hospital and after a day of meeting preparation, I was the appointed lab-runner. How ever did I get so lucky? So at 5:30pm, there I am at a wreck of a hospital undergoing MAJOR renovations, searching for the lab. Um, I had planned to have been home, done with my workout, and making dinner by this time.


I’m focused on home/workout/getting the dog out, and the lab wants to ask me questions that I haven’t a clue the answers to. A frustrating 90 minutes and 25 miles later, I was home and in no mood to workout. And of course, Lily was BOUNCING off the walls with a long day’s worth of pent-up energy. A bulldog…bouncing off the walls. Can you picture it? Scary.

I looked at her and felt my stomach churn with hunger. Dinner wasn’t going to make itself…the workout would have to wait.

broccolicheddarrisotto3Lily and I compromised on a walk and then I started on dinner…a dinner husband would’ve loved. I seem to have a knack for making some of the best when he is away for work.

But lucky for him, he was around the night I made this Broccoli-Cheddar Risotto. I was recently making a mental note that it has been far too long since I last made risotto, and while I love the wine and salty meat traditional risottos, I was wanting something a bit outside of the box.


Make a mental note and you shall receive, I guess. It was the following morning that I was lazily waking up for the day when this recipe popped into my inbox from Faith’s blog. I love when menu planning becomes THAT easy.

With its basic ingredient list and weekday simplicity, this was sure a hit. This is a cross between the ultimate comfort food and classy food that is sure to win over any kid, or any man. Don’t let the looks fool you, the melted cheddar cheese makes its way around and between every morsel of creamy Arborio rice. Delicious!



Broccoli-Cheddar Risotto from An Edible Mosaic

4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 Tbsp olive oil
6 slices uncured turkey bacon, finely diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup Arborio rice
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice + 2 1/2 Tbsp water
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 cups broccoli florets, chopped small
1/8 tsp black pepper
4 oz 2% sharp cheddar, shredded
2 Tbsp Italian parsley, minced for garnish (optional)


Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat; turn heat down to low so it stays hot as you cook the risotto.

Heat the oil in a separate medium saucepan over medium heat; add the turkey bacon and cook until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove the turkey bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside for now. Add the onion to the oil you cooked the turkey bacon in and cook until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rice and cook until slightly browned and nutty smelling, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the lemon juice/water mixture and cook until evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir in the garlic, broccoli, and black pepper.

Turn heat down to medium-low. Add 1/2 cup of the hot stock to the rice, stirring constantly until the liquid is almost completely absorbed, then adding more stock in the same manner. Continue this way until the risotto is tender with just a slight bite to it, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Turn off heat and stir in the cheese and turkey bacon; add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle parsley on top (if using) and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings (about 1 1/3 cup each)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 393 calories; 15.3 g. fat; 41 mg. cholesterol; 497 mg. sodium; 45.5 g. carbohydrate; 2.3 g. fiber; 12.3 g. protein

Result: Fantastic! For a vegetarian option, omit the turkey bacon. This recipe offers up a nice balance of carbohydrate, protein, and fat while being moderate in sodium. Serve with a tossed salad and a great glass of red wine. Italy is about to meet American in one clever and delicious way! Enjoy!


Since the workout didn’t happen last night, that’s first on the agenda today. If another busy day goes by without a workout, I may never get my groove back. Gotta make it happen.

Be well,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. Joanne
    February 23, 2012 / 6:46 am

    I’ve definitely had those days a few times at work. It’s SO frustrating. But at least you knocked out a delicious dinner!

    I’ve been on a mini risotto kick lately and so this broc/cheese version is SO pinned. It’s my favorite childhood veggie side all dolled up!

  2. Gina (The Candid RD)
    February 23, 2012 / 7:11 am

    Yep, sometimes you have those nights where you just have to stay late. I had one of those nights last night too, at work until 8:30pm doing that kidney store tour! IT was sort of disastrous Nicole. I needed you! They kept quizzing me about phosphorous and I was completely out of my element. They kept saying wha tI was talking about had too much phosphorus, but EVERYTHING has phosphorus!! UGh.

    The risotto sounds fabulous. We just got ferro something or other in our bulk department, and it’s loaded with protein and fiber, and it says it can work in risotto recipes. I really can’t wait to try it one day!

    • Nicole, RD
      February 23, 2012 / 7:17 am

      Aw! Well everything does have phosphorus, literally, so it’s really hard to limit. My poor patients ๐Ÿ™

      Farro is sooo good. You will love it! Giada has a lot of farro recipes. It’s spendy, but I love it more than wheat berries ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Kate
    February 23, 2012 / 7:36 am

    That’s why (pre-baby) I used to get up at the crack of dawn for working out. After work it’s the last thing I want to do, and you never have to worry about something running late at 4:30 am!

  4. The Home Cook
    February 23, 2012 / 8:18 am

    I wish my husband liked risotto. I love it but he just isn’t a fan. This sounds SO good.

  5. Amy B @ Second City Randomness
    February 23, 2012 / 8:32 am


    Good luck getting the workout in! I hate nights where you come home and want to work out so bad and just… can’t… Something I assume I’ll have to deal more regularly when I have a family, but for now, my single self throws a fit!

  6. Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life
    February 23, 2012 / 9:13 am

    Looks delish!

  7. Anna @ On Anna's Plate
    February 23, 2012 / 10:03 am

    Those days always seem to happen to me when I’m on my own too.

    This looks tasty!

  8. Heather
    February 23, 2012 / 10:11 am

    I hate getting home later than I anticipated.

    Looks like you put together a great meal anyway – I love risotto and haven’t had it in a long time. This looks like a great recipe!

  9. Jessy
    February 23, 2012 / 11:43 am

    This looks amazing. As usual. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Kristen (swanky dietitian)
    February 23, 2012 / 12:19 pm

    This looks incredible! I just hate how sometimes life just happens and it doesn’t work out. Unfortunately for me, I usually take the workout out of the equation. I am trying to do better with holding myself accountable for that.

  11. Samantha Angela
    February 23, 2012 / 2:18 pm

    The worst part of being stucka t work and missing your workout is that not only are you pissed that you had to work late, but you’re also pissed because you didn’t get your workout endorphin rush.
    I pretty mcuh have to exercise after work, otherwise I’d be one crabby mofo.

  12. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh
    February 24, 2012 / 10:53 am

    This looks fabulous! If I say the word risotto the Mr is going to think that his cue to order that Robostirrer thingy. He’s been dying to have an excuse to get it!

  13. Claire
    February 25, 2012 / 1:40 pm

    I stumbled upon this recipe by accident and tried it last night – it was so good – I really like your philosophy – if you don’t love eating it you are never going to make a permanent change — Thanks so much

    • Nicole, RD
      February 25, 2012 / 5:19 pm

      Claire: I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! And thank you for your sweet comment ๐Ÿ™‚

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