This easy cauliflower risotto recipe features roasted cauliflower and hearty chickpeas. Packed with nutrients, it’s a filling weeknight meal!
Roasted cauliflower is divine, so why not add it to risotto? Turns out lightly charred roasted cauliflower is the perfect addition to this creamy traditional Italian rice dish. Alex and I are big fans of risotto, but always looking to add more nutrients and protein to it to make it a filling main dish. (No way am I making risotto and another main dish!) Adding roasted cauliflower and chickpeas to this dish works like a charm. Here’s how to make it!
Why make cauliflower risotto?
Roasting the cauliflower while the risotto cooks brings out its beautiful flavor. If you’ve never made a risotto and are daunted, never fear: it’s actually quite a simple technique. It takes about 30 minutes of active time at the stove, but it’s absolutely worth it. Shallots + butter + white wine = a bit of heaven!
The basic technique for making homemade risotto? Saute minced shallot in butter, add the rice, and cook it down with a bit of white wine. Then add the warm broth a scoop at a time until the rice soaks up all of the brothy-goodness and becomes creamy and smooth. Add to this the roasted cauliflower, spinach, a bit of chickpeas and some Parmesan cheese, and you’ve got a meal bursting with flavor.
PS It’s worth opening a bottle of wine for this one. Don’t worry, the alcohol cooks down so all that is left is a beautiful flavor, so it’s kid-approved too!
Tips on how to make cauliflower risotto
Making risotto is incredibly easy, but it does require a lot of active cooking time. A few key things to keep in mind are:
- Prep all the ingredients first—before you start sautéing or simmering anything, do yourself a favor and prep all of the ingredients ahead of time. Risotto requires constant attention, so once it begins cooking you won’t be able to step away from the stove to measure anything.
- Warm the broth—in this roasted cauliflower risotto recipe, you’ll warm the broth in a separate pan while you’re prepping the other ingredients. Adding warm broth to the risotto rice helps everything cook better and ensures that you’ll end up with a perfectly creamy risotto every time.
- Soften the shallot first—you’ll need to sauté the shallot in a good amount of butter for a few minutes until it’s softened. Although you’ll be adding broth to the risotto, the shallot won’t soften properly if you don’t sauté it first.
- Don’t overcook the risotto—you can tell when the risotto is done when it’s gone nice and creamy and is softened. The risotto should have a slight bite to it and shouldn’t be completely mushy!
How to serve it
Looking for how to serve this roasted cauliflower risotto to make it a meal? Here are a few ideas:
- Big salad. We like serving with a salad like our Spinach Apple Salad, Arugula Salad, or Best Kale Salad.
- Garlic bread. As long as you promise to serve it with a salad, add our crunchy Easy Garlic Bread as a tasty treat.
- Want more ideas? Head to Best Sides to Serve with Risotto.
This cauliflower risotto recipe is…
Vegetarian and gluten free.Print
This easy cauliflower risotto recipe features roasted cauliflower and hearty chickpeas. It’s packed with nutrients and is a filling weeknight meal.
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Place 6 to 8 cups broth in a medium sauce pan and heat to a simmer; reduce heat and keep warm.
- Cut the cauliflower into florets (cut off the bottom, then cut the head in half and remove the florets). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place the cauliflower in the pan and drizzle on 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Mix to thoroughly coat. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, until tender and browned, stirring once.
- Meanwhile, mince 1 shallot. Then, in a large heavy-bottomed skillet, pot, or Dutch oven, heat 2 1/2 tablespoons butter over medium high heat. Add the shallot and ½ teaspoon kosher salt, reduce heat to medium, and cook until translucent, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups rice and stir to combine, about 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add 3/4 cup white wine. Cook, stirring, until liquid is almost evaporated, a few minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup warmed broth to skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until the broth is almost absorbed. Repeat, gradually adding broth 1/2 cup at a time and stirring , until rice is tender but still al dente and sauce is creamy (you may not need all the broth). The process should take about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Stir in the roasted cauliflower, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 4 cups spinach leaves, and 1 cup cooked chickpeas. Continue to stir until the spinach is wilted (or turn off the heat and cover the dish for a few minutes). Remove from heat and season to taste with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve immediately, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: cauliflower risotto, homemade risotto, vegetarian risotto
Looking for more easy Italian recipes?
- Easy Calzone Recipe
- Penne with Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
- Spicy Vegetarian Diavola Pizza
- 5-Minute Romesco Sauce with Gnocchi
- Parmesan Black Truffle Risotto
Last updated: January 2020
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.