Pea and Spinach Baked Risotto

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Pea and Spinach Baked Risotto

Our garden peas are only tiny shoots at this point, but all the trees and flowers now in bloom here in Indy have us in the mood for spring eats. So we cheated a bit with some frozen ones for this risotto – and boy was it worth it!  Plus, we used locally grown spinach from the market (though we’ll soon have our own as well!).

I am not exaggerating when I say the flavor of this risotto was outstanding. We didn’t play much with the original recipe from Real Simple except to substitute brown Arborio rice to make ourselves feel healthier (and because we have a lifetime quantity in our pantry). It would be just as good with white Arborio rice, or any other grain for that matter (we tried it with farro and had good results)

This recipe dispelled my previous notion that sautéing a shallot in butter and reducing some white wine couldn’t be THAT special (and should I really open a bottle just for this recipe?). Well yes, in fact, it lends a beautiful subtle flavor that only the French could devise. I’m now a believer!

We enjoyed the concept of baking the risotto instead of the traditional method stirring it over the stovetop – it made for easy preparation. Ours didn’t turn out quite as creamy as a normal risotto (likely due to the brown rice), but the flavor made up for any lack in that department. And that flavor made it hard to squeeze out the four servings the recipe promises – so you may want to make a bit more just in case :)

Our spinach was thanks to Homestead Growers; also check out Good Life Farms for some beautiful fresh greens available at the Indy Winter Farmer’s Market for the rest of the month.


Pea and Spinach Baked Risotto

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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 4


  • 1 shallot
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach (3 cups chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup brown Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Mince 1 shallot. Wash and roughly chop 3 cups spinach.
  3. In a Dutch oven or large ovensafe pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium high heat. Add the shallot, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup white wine and sauté until the wine is almost evaporated, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add 3 cups vegetable broth and 1 cup rice and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot and transfer it to the oven.
  5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the rice is tender. If the rice is slightly dry when finished, add a bit of hot water.
  6. Add 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 cup frozen peas, and the chopped spinach. Stir until thoroughly combined and the spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve garnished with additional Parmesan.



  • Reply
    Tammy D
    April 12, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I love risotto and am sad that I spent the first half of my life NOT making it (or even really knowing what it was)! I’ve never tried baked risotto, but will certainly try this.

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    April 12, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    I have never even thought about baking risotto… brilliant! And where do you buy your brown risotto? I have never seen that at my grocery store (maybe I need to try some kind of specialty food store…)? Love the pics, as usual!

    • Reply
      April 12, 2011 at 2:14 pm

      Thanks! We actually got our brown Arborio rice at Costco (hence the lifetime supply!).

  • Reply
    April 12, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    I totally love risotto and I think I must be putting peas into just about half of the risotto I make (and I make it quite a lot!) I’ve been lucky enough to have the first fresh peas already this season. Soo good!

  • Reply
    Amy Paulson
    April 12, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Do you realize that I am officially in love with your blog?!? Thank you for all the awesome recipes! I’m so excited to try this one out!!!

  • Reply
    April 12, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Your baked risotto is so fun, love the fresh spring flavors & pretty photo!

  • Reply
    Kelly Lester
    April 12, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Oh wow this looks so simple and yummy!

  • Reply
    Parsley Sage
    April 14, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Baked risotto is a brilliant idea. This looks super tasty and I’m sure it will be even better when you’re getting to use your OWN peas :) Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    April 16, 2011 at 4:40 am

    Loving the Primavera flavours in this risotto! I am a little skeptical about the baking though, I’m scared it would come out dry. I am a bit of a control freak though, I like to keep my eye on it!! ;D

  • Reply
    April 17, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I’ve never had baked risotto, but it’s a great idea. Happy Spring!

  • Reply
    April 19, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Great easy risotto recipe! Made heart healthy without salt and using less olive oil, in place of butter. Added mushrooms. Yummy meatless meal, thanks!

  • Reply
    May 27, 2011 at 10:19 am

    So, I’ve made this twice – it’s just that good! I did want to share a discovery. The first time I made the dish I had some white dry vermouth on hand from making various Julia Child dishes. The next time, I used Sauvignon Blanc. The vermouth version was a noticeable favorite – I was surprised at how much different it tasted! (note – i also like strong flavors, so if you prefer things a little more delicate, tread softly). Thanks!

    • Reply
      May 27, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      Great idea! I’ve been wanting to try dry vermouth a la Julia – I may just have to make this again!

  • Reply
    November 6, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Another new favorite! I was looking for something I could serve as a side dish to our baked fish and just happened to have everything I needed for this on hand….how lucky was I? I used white Arborio and it didn’t turn out as creamy as it does when cooked on the stovetop either, but it was delicious. The best part was getting to eat leftovers the second day for lunch!

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