Serve this pretty, pesto-flavored risotto alongside roasted chicken or pork roast or serve with a big salad for a light dinner. We add a splash of wine along with each addition of broth to give the dish a more pronounced wine flavor. If you'd prefer the wine to be more subtle, add the entire cup at the end of Step 3 and cook, stirring, until the liquid is gone, then begin adding the broth. You can substitute more broth in place of the wine.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2011


Recipe Summary

1 hr


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the broth remains steaming, but is not simmering.

  • Rinse spinach thoroughly with cold water and place in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and punch several holes in it. Microwave on High until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool, then squeeze out excess moisture. Transfer to a food processor or blender, add basil and puree until smooth; set aside.

  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add shallots (or onion) and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add rice and salt and stir to coat.

  • Stir 1/2 cup of the hot broth and a generous splash of wine into the rice. Cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue to cook on medium-low, adding broth in 1/2-cup increments followed by a splash of wine, and stirring frequently after each addition, until most of the liquid is absorbed. The risotto is done when you've used all the broth and wine and the rice is creamy and just tender, 25 to 35 minutes total. Stir in the reserved spinach-basil puree.

  • Remove from the heat; stir in 3/4 cup cheese and pepper. Serve sprinkled with pine nuts and the remaining 1/4 cup cheese.


Note: Chicken-flavored broth, a vegetarian broth despite its name, is preferable to vegetable broth in some recipes for its hearty, rich flavor. Sometimes called “No-Chicken Broth,” it can be found with the soups in the natural-foods section of most supermarkets.

Tip: To toast pine nuts: Place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

288 calories; protein 10.4g; carbohydrates 34.4g; dietary fiber 1.8g; sugars 1.7g; fat 10.2g; saturated fat 2.5g; cholesterol 7.2mg; vitamin a iu 3326.6IU; vitamin c 5.9mg; folate 56mcg; calcium 181mg; iron 2.3mg; magnesium 53.7mg; potassium 400mg; sodium 612.2mg; thiamin 0.1mg.

Reviews (5)

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5 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
I didn't put a wine there but it was awesome! When my partner saw it he didn't trust it but after the first taste he has changed his mind:D delicious Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Great basic recipe! I made this for dinner tonight for my husband & myself. I didn't use the spinach because after I pre-cooked and pureed it (before adding the basil) it smelled just awful! I didn't have any more otherwise I would have just tossed it in at the end right before my last addition of broth/wine. Anyway I made a chiffonade of the basil threw in some dried Italian seasoning extra garlic and tossed in some cooked chicken breast at the end. It turned out delicious!!! OMG! It was great! It did take a while to cook but it was really worth it! Pros: Tasty alternative to an unhealthy dish! Cons: Time consuming to make...but worth it! Read More
Rating: 3 stars
Healthy risotto This risotto is pretty good overall. I know it is healthy because i threw a whole bag of spinach and basil in it. The only drawback is that because it has spinach in it it gave weird after taste and feel to my tongue and teeth. Also little bits gets stuck between teeth just like pesto - make sure to check yourself in the mirror afterwards! Pros: full of spinach and basil for healthy meal Cons: weird after taste Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Love it! I made this last night and it was a complete hit. I did add more garlic than the recipe called for because we're garlic nuts. All of the flavors blended very well together though the basil was a bit 'green' tasting. I'd probably cook it a bit after stirring it into the risotto to tone that down. It's not difficult to make but it is something you have to keep an eye on though I bet it could be easily adapted for a crockpot. Pros: easy fun color tasty Cons: not fast Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I have a question: do you think it would be possible to make this & then keep it warm or reheat it and not ruin the texture? Read More