Whenever I see risotto on a menu it just sounds so fancy! And I always think of those Food Network competition shows when the contestants try to make a risotto and the judges are all like “whoa, risotto in 15 minutes is BOLD!” So, when my sister Liz (aka resident chef) said she was going to do a risotto recipe I was a bit hesitant. Aren’t risottos tough? But then she served up this healthy version and I was smitten. This quinoa risotto is perfect as a side dish or main meal. Quinoa itself is packed with protein which makes it very filling. The recipe can be tweaked if you are vegetarian or partial to other veggies. Check it out below!!
4 oz package of diced pancetta / optional
1 shallot, diced
1 cup quinoa
2 cups of water
2 tsp of chicken base (or use chicken broth instead of water and chicken base) / swap for vegetable broth
3/4 cup frozen petite sweet peas / swap for snap peas or asparagus
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp butter
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In a saucepan, add pancetta and cook on medium-low heat until browned and crisp, about 10 minutes.
- Add the shallot, dash of salt and pepper, cook on low heat until shallots are translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Be careful the don’t get overcooked.
- Rinse quinoa under cold water in a fine mesh strainer then add to saucepan along with water and chicken base.
- Bring to a quick boil and then simmer until quinoa is cooked, about 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and add the thyme, frozen peas and butter and stir.
- Add the parmesan cheese, stir and serve hot.