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overhead shot of pesto risotto with chicken in pasta bowl

Pesto Risotto

Risotto loaded with homemade pesto, asparagus, cheese and chicken make this dish the perfect Italian comfort food that's easy to put together.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 484kcal
Author Ryan Beck


  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 small shallots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 5 oz goat cheese
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup pesto (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 2 cups shredded chicken from rotisserie chicken


  • Heat butter and olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook for about 3 minutes, until tender. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute Add rice and stir to coat, cooking for another minute. Add chicken stock that is simmering 1 cup at a time, stirring the rice constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more.
  • While risotto is cooking preheat oven to 400°F. Discard tough ends of asparagus and toss with salt, pepper and olive oil. Roast at 400°F for 8 minutes. Slice into 1 inch pieces and set aside.
  • Once the rice is tender (should be between 20-25 minutes), add the goat cheese, Parmesan cheese, pesto, asparagus and shredded chicken. Stir to combine. Taste and if needed add salt and pepper. Serve with some Parmesan cheese on top.


  • Toast/cook the rice in butter/oil so it absorbs the stock slowly without becoming soggy.
  • Use hot stock so when you add to the rice it won't cool everything down and mess up the cooking process.
  • Slowly add the stock and wait until it is absorbed before adding more which allows the rice to create that creamy starch you expect from risotto.
  • Stir the risotto often enough, but don’t stir so much your arm gets tired. It should be just enough to keep the risotto from burning.
  • Keep at a medium simmer throughout cooking, otherwise your risotto with take forever.
  • Cook until al dente. Risotto should have some body and bite to it and not be too mushy or starchy.
  • Wait until rice is finished cooking before stirring in the rest of the ingredients.


Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 484kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 812mg | Potassium: 142mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 800IU | Vitamin C: 8.3mg | Calcium: 180mg | Iron: 3.1mg