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Broccoli Risotto Recipe: The Easy Weeknight Meal

As someone who loves cooking simple yet delicious meals, broccoli risotto has become one of my go-to recipes, and is the perfect combination of comfort and nutrition.

The best part is that it comes together in just 30 minutes!

creamy risotto in a fork bite


There are so many reasons why broccoli risotto is now a staple in my home. 

Firstly, this dish, from start to finish, can be prepared in one pot.

Secondly, It is easy to prepare. Even less experienced cooks can master this simple risotto recipe. 

And last but not least, it is soo comforting. 

The creamy texture and cheesy flavor make this dish resemble a warm hug.

How to Make Risotto

Making risotto might seem difficult, but with a little patience and the right technique, you’ll be able to master this Italian classic. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a creamy Risotto.

To prepare this delightful dish, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup Arborio rice – you can use Carnaroli rice or Vialone Nano
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I make my own vegetable broth with my homemade vegetable bouillon)
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cups frozen or fresh broccoli
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, for the “mantecatura” at the end
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

In the classic risotto recipe, the rice after roasting is deglazed with dry white wine, but in this recipe, I did not add it. 

Step 1

Start by cooking the broccoli, in a large saucepan with a drizzle of oil for about 10 minutes, if you want you can also boil them in the broth you will use for cooking the risotto. 

cook the broccoli florets

Step 2 

Heat the olive oil in the same large skillet where you cook the broccoli, over medium heat.

Add the chopped onion and sauté until it turns translucent.

Add the Arborio rice to the pan and toast the rice for a few minutes at medium-high heat.

This step helps to unlock the rice’s starch in the cooking process.

toast the arborio rice

Step 3 

Pour a ladleful of warm broth into the pan, and stir gently until the liquid is absorbed by the rice.

cooking process of the risotto with broth

Continue this process, adding a little broth at a time, and stirring continuously at medium heat.

Halfway through cooking (about 10 minutes in), add the broccoli florets to the pan.

Continue adding broth and stirring until the broccoli is tender and the rice is al dente.

Step 4 

Once the rice reaches the desired consistency, remove the pan from heat.

Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and the butter, allowing it to melt and further enrich the creaminess of the risotto.

manteca risotto with butter and cheese

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve as a main dish or a side dish alongside panko chicken, roasted chicken or blackened steak

Expert Tips

  • Use risotto rice such as Arborio or Carnaroli for its high starch content.
  • Toast the rice.
  • Stir the risotto gently with a wooden spoon to avoid breaking the grains and releasing excess starch.
  • Keep the broth hot.
  • Risotto should be rested in the pan for 2 to 3 minutes and then stirred before serving. This will do the trick to make the risotto release additional creaminess.

What to add to this creamy broccoli risotto

While Broccoli Risotto is delightful on its own, you can elevate its flavor profile by adding various ingredients. 

Here are some suggestions to make your risotto even more exciting:

  • Roasted chicken, shrimp, or salmon for protein.
  • Sautéed mushrooms like shitake or portobello.
  • Crispy bacon or pancetta for an extra flavor.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Crumbled feta or goat cheese.
  • Cheddar cheese, for a super cheese risotto.
  • Fresh herbs, like basil or parsley.

If you want to make this delicious risotto vegan, simply use vegan parmesan or any vegan cheeses and vegan butter.


Absolutely! If you have any leftover risotto, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

To reheat, place the desired portion in a pan over low heat or in the microwave, adding a splash of broth or water to revive the creamy consistency. Stir gently until heated through.


Is risotto a pasta or rice?

Risotto is an Italian dish made with a specific type of rice. Although it may resemble a creamy pasta dish, it is indeed a rice-based preparation.

Can I make Broccoli Risotto ahead of time for a dinner party?

Risotto is best enjoyed immediately after cooking to savor its creamy texture.

However, you can prepare the ingredients ahead of time and cook the risotto just before serving for the freshest results.

Can I use long grain rice? 

While it will cook, long-grain rice lacks the starch needed for a creamy sauce.

Stick to short/medium varieties designed for risotto because they have a higher starch content. 

creamy broccoli risotto

Broccoli Risotto Pintarest


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Yield: 2

Risotto with broccoli

Broccoli Risotto in a plate
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a medium-sized pot, heat the vegetable broth. Keep the broth hot during the cooking.
  2. Cook the broccoli in a large saucepan with olive oil for about 10 minutes on medium-high heat, you can cook them in the broth if you prefer.
  3. In the same pan where you cook the broccoli, heat the olive oil, add the chopped onion, and sauté until translucent.
  4. Add the rice to the pan and stir well, toast the rice for 4 minutes.
  5. Begin adding the warm vegetable broth to the rice, one ladle at a time. Stir continuously until the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle. Repeat this process until the rice is cooked al dente, which usually takes about 20 minutes. Add the cooked broccoli halfway through cooking, 
  6. Once the rice is cooked, add grated Parmesan cheese and butter to the pan. Stir well to combine all the ingredients and allow the cheese to melt. 
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve the broccoli risotto hot and garnish with some additional grated Parmesan cheese.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram and tag thebellavita_blog

More risotto recipes: 

Butternut squash risotto, perfect for fall evenings.

Tomato risotto, brings the flavors of summer inside on cooler days.

Beans risotto, meal full of fiber, protein and flavor. 

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Wednesday 22nd of November 2023

AMAZING! I served it with a pan fried salmon fillet and it was just perfect. I followed your instructions to a T and it came out so well. Hubby and I loved it, and even the kids enjoyed it. We'll be making it again.


Sunday 26th of November 2023

It brings me so much joy to hear that you found it amazing and that it made for a perfect pairing with a pan-fried salmon fillet.


Tuesday 21st of November 2023

I had this for dinner today and loved it! I was looking for a recipe using rice and broccoli as that's what I had in the fridge and was so happy to have found this one. Thank you for an easy and delicious recipe!

Sage Scott

Tuesday 14th of November 2023

Okay, don't laugh, but I just made risotto for the first time EVER a few weeks ago. It was a wild mushroom risotto and it was SO EASY in the Instant Pot. Now I'm obsessed with risotto, and the broccoli in this one caught my eye. I followed your ingredients and steps, but made it in the Instant Pot (to be sure I didn't mess anything up) and it was amazing! Definitely going to make this again, especially with the cold weather ahead.

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