Beet Risotto with parmesan

I created Beet Risotto out of a special fondness I have for foods that suffer from misunderstanding and neglect.

I attribute this penchant to an elementary school career spent being picked last in gym class. Sure, my knees were knobby and I wasn’t the flashiest on the four-square court, but with a bit of patience and coaching, I could surprise you. I feel the same way about one of my favorite vegetables: beets.

Beet Risotto Recipe

In a high school cafeteria, beets would be banished to the table in the back with the lima beans, prunes, and other funny-looking edibles.

In a Broadway musical, they would be cast in the chorus, never as the lead.

Today, I’m thrilled to be giving a vegetable that we too often shove to the side of our plates the starring role at dinner with Beet Risotto.

Creamy, dreamy, and comforting, Beet Risotto celebrates, rather than shuns, this hearty root vegetable. It makes the most of the beets’ wonderful qualities—and I don’t just mean their personalities.

Oven roasting draws out the beets’ natural sweetness and earthiness (as Beet Salad proves), an ideal counterpoint to the dry white wine classic to risotto. Their smooth texture blends beautifully with the Arborio rice as it slowly transforms from hard grains into a velvety pot of lusciousness.

Finally the beets’ ruby red hue shines loud and proud. This is Beet Risotto, and Beet Risotto will be noticed and adored.

As proof of Beet Risotto’s power, I should tell you that Ben doesn’t share my enthusiasm for beets. He views them with the same eagerness one typically reserves for dentist appointments—a necessary evil to good health.

Kind, obliging wife that I am, I cooked Beet Risotto anyway. He loved it. Could beets be the nerdy girl you made fun in high school who returned after summer vacation as a total babe?

Beet Risotto says yes.

With its charming color and heavenly texture, Beet Risotto feels fancy, but I assure you it is simple to make.

Add the liquid slowly and stir regularly, and your risotto endeavors will be more successful than you dare to imagine.

I love cooking risotto with friends—it gives us an infallible excuse to hang out in the kitchen, sip wine, and snack on too much cheese—and Beet Risotto is especially perfect for an intimate dinner, because its red color just shouts romance (or, um Valentine’s Day?).

Beet Risotto is also attainable on a weeknight. Roast and slice the beets in advance, and you’ll be dishing up Beet Risotto in less than 40 minutes.

Beet Risotto with Parmesan

If only for one dinner, Beet Risotto gives a mis-maligned vegetable its well-deserved moment in the spotlight.

I suspect if you try it, however, you’ll be adding beets to the menu more frequently.

Beet Risotto. A gorgeous, healthy dinner.

After all, everyone loves an underdog.

Beet Risotto. A gorgeous, healthy dinner.

Beet Risotto

5 from 1 vote
Even beet skeptics fall for this roasted Beet Risotto! Roasting the beets brings out their natural sweetness and earthiness, and their silky texture is ideal for creating the creamiest risotto. Plus, the bright ruby red hue is oh so fun. If you’ve never made risotto, there is no need to feel intimidated. Simply ensure you add the liquid gradually, stir often, and you will be more successful than you ever imagined :)

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 1 hr 40 mins
Total: 1 hr 50 mins

Servings: 4 servings


  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh, whole beets
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetables stock
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 large shallot finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving


  • Place a rack in the center of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Cut off the beet leaves near the tip of the beet (save the beet greens for another use) and scrub the beets well. Toss beets with 2 tablespoons olive oil, then wrap in tin foil (small beets can be wrapped together; large beets should be wrapped separately). Place beets on a baking sheet to catch any juices, then roast for 50-60 minutes, until fork tender (time will vary depending upon the size of the beets.) Check the beets every 20 minutes to ensure they are not burning on the bottom. If they begin to scorch, drizzle with a little water, then rewrap and continue cooking. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Slip off beat skins and slice into 1/2-inch thick wedges. (At the point, the beets can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.)
  • Place 1/3 of the roasted beets into a blender or food processor with the stock. Puree until smooth (the mixture will be very liquidy), then transfer to a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Reserve remaining beet wedges.
  • In a large, sturdy pot or Dutch oven, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium-low. Add shallot, parsley, garlic, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the rice to the pot and stir to coat, then add wine and cook 2 minutes. Carefully add 2 full ladles of the beet puree, salt, and pepper. Stir and simmer over low heat until most of the liquid is absorbed, 5-10 minutes. Continue to add the beet puree, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes and ensuring the rice isn’t sticking to the bottom. With each addition, continue to cook and stir until the mixture seems almost dry, then add the next 2 ladles. Continue until you have used all of the liquid and the rice is soft and creamy, about 25 minutes. Stir in reserved beet wedges.
  • Serve immediately, topped with Parmesan cheese.


Make-ahead tip: Store roasted, peeled, and chopped beets in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Storage tip: Cooked risotto will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Rewarm gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding vegetable or chicken stock (or in a pinch, water) as needed to prevent the risotto from drying out.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Look at that gorgeous burgundy color! Gotta admit, I’m not crazy for beets but I’d sure as heck eat a dish as pretty as this! Wonderful recipe, Erin. Easy and so elegant!

    1. “Easy and elegant” <---You said it! That why I love love love risotto so much. Oh, and it's total creamy goodness too :) Happy Valentine's Day!

  2. I tried fresh beets for the first time in my life 4 months ago and have fallen completely in love with them. I can’t wait to try your recipe :)

    1. Same here Ashley! I didn’t always like them, but now I am totally hooked. Maybe this means we have grown up tastes now? Hmmmmm (says the girl who still loves Teddy Grahams)

  3. I love beets (though I wasn’t a fan when I was a kid). This dish looks great – so colorful and I bet it is yummy!

  4. If you have a pressure cooker try cooking your beets that way. Really cuts the time ani I think it intensifies the flavor.q

    1. Thanks so much Jocelyn! Risotto is a miracle worker. Ben looked at me like I was crazy when I made this (not a beet lover), and then he ended up loving it!

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