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Recipe for Risotto

Recipe for Risotto – This Recipe for Risotto is a healthy take on your classic risotto recipe. And while most risotto recipes aren’t all that bad for you, we created this one free of dairy and arborio rice for a super clean version. We also added quinoa for an extra nutritional boost!

If you’re looking for easy and healthy side dish recipes to put on your meal plan for the week, this one most definitely fits the bill! Ready to learn more? Keep reading!

recipe for risotto

Recipe for Risotto

This Recipe for Risotto is different from the rest, offering totally clean ingredients, and a major nutrition punch with added quinoa, and tons of veggies! Because this dish is full of veggies and whole grains, you can also expect a massive dose of phytonutrients, and fresh, plant-based flavor!

Like mentioned above, most risotto recipes aren’t completely terrible for you. Featuring staple ingredients like arborio rice, vegetables, cheese, butter, and broth, the average recipe is quite simple. However, here at Clean Cuisine, we believe the cleanest, and most nutrient-dense diets are free of dairy, and empty carbs.

The Problem with Dairy

Dairy consumption has been repeatedly drilled into us as an essential part of a balanced diet for years now. We’ve been told that milk is essential for proper calcium and healthy strong bones, a great source of vitamin D, and offers a hefty dose of protein with each glass. 

recipe for risotto

Unfortunately, the negative side effects of dairy, and the fact that we can easily source all of these vitamins, minerals, and benefits from other sources has been left out.

So what’s the problem with dairy? From creating unhealthy immune responses in the body, to the fact that 75% of adults are lactose intolerant, to how dairy has been linked to actually pulling calcium from your bones, there’s really no good reason to consume it, especially with all of the abundant and delicious vegan alternatives these days! Besides, this recipe is bursting with so much flavor, we promise, you won’t even notice it’s missing!

What’s Wrong with Arborio Rice?

Arborio rice is a short-grain, white rice that readily gives off starch as it cooks. Arborio rice has the distinction of absorbing flavors very well, and achieving the super creamy quality so loved in traditional risotto recipes. The problem with Arborio rice is that it is a fiber-poor, refined grain and not exactly a nutrient-dense food source. It’s pretty much just an empty-calorie carbohydrate.

recipe for risotto

So…what is a good substitute for arborio rice? Any short whole grain rice is a great substitute for Arborio rice in risotto recipes. Short grain brown rice, or even ultra-nutritious, antioxidant-rich black rice, or Himalayan Red can replace Arborio rice.

Adding Extra Nutrition with Quinoa

The name risotto comes from the Italian word for rice. So, I suppose technically risotto should have some sort of rice. But when it comes to cooking, there are no hard and fast rules. You can absolutely use risotto-making techniques to create a “risotto” using other whole grains, such as quinoa. My easy Recipe for Risotto uses one-part quinoa and one-part short grain brown rice. However, I have also made the recipe using only quinoa.

recipe for risotto

Not only is my Recipe for Risotto far healthier than traditional risotto recipes, it still offers the same rich and creamy comfort-food deliciousness. And, just like the Arborio rice, the quinoa soaks up the flavors of the vegetables, herbs and garlic.

This easy recipe is hearty enough to serve as a side dish or even as an entree. Serving your risotto as an entree and want to make it a bit heartier? Try topping it with a soft boiled pastured egg, or pastured chicken or turkey. Enjoy!

Recipes to Serve with Risotto

Like mentioned above, while you could easily mix in some eggs, pastured chicken or ground turkey to make this recipe a meal on its own, it is also a delicious side dish! Here are some of our favorites main courses to enjoy alongside this Recipe for Risotto.

Chicken Artichoke Recipe: This dairy and gluten-free Chicken Artichoke Recipe is smothered in a creamy spinach and artichoke cream sauce!

Recipe for Stuffed Cabbage Rolls: Recipe for Stuffed Cabbage Rolls get a clean eating makeover with a boost in flavor and nutrition. Pastured beef and loaded with vegetables.

Healthy Meatloaf Recipe: Our Healthy Meatloaf Recipe takes the classic meatloaf recipe and adds tons of delicious vegetables and seasonings. You will enjoy every single slice of this grass-fed beef meatloaf.

recipe for risotto

Ready for the full recipe? Let’s get into it!


Recipe for Risotto

This Recipe for Risotto is a healthy take on your classic risotto recipe, free of both dairy, and arborio rice!

recipe for risotto
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  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x



  1. Bring the broth to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer.
  2. Place leeks in a food processor and shred. Repeat with carrots. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; add garlic and sauté 30 seconds.
  4. Add shredded leeks and carrots and sauté 3-4 minutes, or until tender.
  5. Season vegetables lightly with salt.
  6. Add the rice and quinoa to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle the thyme on top of the grains.
  8. Add the Chardonnay; stirring until liquid evaporates.
  9. Ladle 1/2 cup of the hot broth into the pan with the grains and add the tomatoes, stirring constantly. Continue adding the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, and continue periodically stirring until the liquid has been absorbed before adding each subsequent 1/2 cup of water.
  10. Cook the grains over medium heat for about 25 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently so the grains do not stick to the pan.
  11. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the semi-thawed corn kernels.
  12. Cover the pan and let the risotto sit for 15 minutes before serving.
  13. Optional: top risotto with pecans. Enjoy!

Last Step! If you loved our recipe, leave us a review below. This helps future recipe makers and ensures continued high-quality recipes for years to come!


You can also make this recipe without using any brown rice by simply increasing the amount of quinoa to 1 cup.

© 2024 clean cuisine Recipe by:

Ivy Larson

In 2010, Clean Cuisine was launched because Ivy Larson wanted to share her anti-inflammatory lifestyle and delicious recipes using ingredients in their most natural and nutrient-rich state. In 2020, Ivy passed the website to Aimee and Madison. Since then, they have been adding new recipes and nutrition posts while updating old recipes and articles. Thanks for visiting Clean Cuisine!

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[…] a lot more work and effort to create good tasting healthy dessert recipes than it does to whip up a quinoa risotto or a black bean burger. And let’s face it, why bother even eating a dessert if it […]

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