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Risotto is hardly effortless fare, what with all that stirring over a hot stove. But instant brown rice and creamy Neufchâtel cheese can make a nutty, rich, stand-in version that's sure to be a family favorite. Substitute any vegetables you wish for the asparagus and bell pepper. Make it a meal: paired with a salad, this is a perfect vegetarian main course, or serve as a side dish with grilled chicken or steak.


Recipe Summary test

40 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring often, until soft and just beginning to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Add rice and garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add broth and bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.

  • Remove cover and spread asparagus and bell pepper on top of the simmering rice--do not stir into the rice mixture. Replace cover and continue simmering, adjusting the heat if necessary, until the liquid is almost absorbed and the asparagus is bright green but still crisp, about 5 minutes.

  • Add peas and cream cheese; stir until the mixture is creamy and the cheese is incorporated. Return to a simmer and continue cooking until the liquid has evaporated and the asparagus is tender, about 5 minutes more. Stir in 1/2 cup Asiago (or Parmesan). Serve topped with chives (or scallions) and additional grated cheese.


Per serving: 357 calories; 14 g fat (6 g sat, 4 g mono); 28 mg cholesterol; 59 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 13 g protein; 7 g fiber; 760 mg sodium; 329 mg potassium.

Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (54% daily value), Vitamin C (83% dv), Folate (32% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 3 1/2

Exchanges: 2 1/2 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 1 fat

Nutrition Facts

389 calories; protein 15.9g; carbohydrates 50.2g; dietary fiber 7.1g; soluble fiber 0.2g; insoluble fiber 1.5g; sugars 7.5g; monosaccharides 2.9g; disaccharides 2.4g; other carbs 35.6g; fat 15.5g; saturated fat 7.2g; mono fat 4.5g; poly fat 0.6g; cholesterol 33.6mg; water 203.2g; vitamin e alpha equivalents 2mg; vitamin e iu 3IU; vitamin e mg 2mg; sodium 737.5mg; omega 3 fatty acid 0.1g; omega 6 fatty acid 0.5g; alcohol 0g; caffeine 0mg; pyramid fat 0; exchange fat 0; trans fatty acid 0g; ash 1.8g; vitamin a iu 2858.2IU; vitamin a re 418.2RE; vitamin a carotenoid 182.4RE; vitamin a retinol 81.9RE; vitamin a carotene 1051.3mcg; vitamin b1 thiamin 0.3mg; vitamin b2 riboflavin 0.3mg; vitamin b3 niacin 1.9mg; niacin equivalents 3.1mg; vitamin b6 0.2mg; vitamin b12 0.1mcg; biotin 2.3mcg; vitamin c 17.9mg; folate 90.6mcg; vitamin k 62.6mcg; pantothenic acid 0.6mg; boron 38.2mg; calcium 200.3mg; copper 0.3mg; fluoride 0.3mg; iodine 0.6mcg; iron 4.2mg; magnesium 32.4mg; manganese 0.4mg; molybdenum 10.4mcg; phosphorus 142.1mg; potassium 379mg; selenium 4.7mcg; zinc 1.2mg; 40 butyric 0.2g; 60 caprioc 0.1g; 80 caprylic 0.1g; 100 capric 0.1g; 120 lauric 0.1g; 140 myristic 0.7g; 160 palmitic 2g; 180 stearic 0.9g; 161 palmitol 0.2g; 181 oleic 1.6g; 201 eicosen 0g; 221 erucic 0g; 182 linoleic 0.3g; 183 linolenic 0.1g; 184 stearidon 0g; 204 arachidon 0g; 205 epa 0g; 225 dpa 0g; 226 dha 0g; alanine 0.3g; arginine 0.5g; cystine 0.1g; glycine 0.2g; histidine 0.2g; isoleucine 0.3g; leucine 0.5g; lysine 0.5g; methionine 0.1g; phenylalanine 0.3g; proline 0.5g; serine 0.3g; threonine 0.3g; tryptophan 0.1g; tyrosine 0.2g; valine 0.4g; pyramid vegetables 0; exchange vegetables 0; energy 144.6kcal; aspartic acid 0.7g; glutamic acid 1.4g; phytosterols 31.6mg; thiamin 0.3mg; riboflavin 0.3mg; chromium 0mcg; pyramid bread 0; exchange starch 0; vitamin d iu 2IU; vitamin d mcg 0mcg; pyramid milk 0; exchange meat 0.