This creamy, healthy Beet Risotto is here to flaunt it, and we should all take note. I created it out of a special fondness I have for foods that suffer misunderstanding and neglect. Let the beets shine!
As the kid who always got picked last in gym class, I can appreciate a vegetable that many wouldn’t want on their plate.
In fact, until I tried roasted beets (like in this Beet Salad), I myself was not a fan.
Still feeling skeptical? Let the creamy textures of rice and loads of Parmesan cheese in this risotto woo you!
Creamy, dreamy, and comforting, beet risotto celebrates, rather than shuns, this hearty root vegetable and makes the most of the beets’ wonderful qualities:
- Oven roasting draws out the beets’ natural sweetness and earthiness.
- 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.
The best part? Beet risotto feels fancy, but I assure you it is simple to make.
Meaning, if only for one dinner, beet risotto gives this mis-maligned vegetable its well-deserved moment in the spotlight.
How to Make Beet Risotto
This comforting risotto is a colorful new way to enjoy tender, slow-cooked Arborio rice thanks to the addition of roasted beets and Parmesan cheese. (For another cheesy rice dish, try this Broccoli Rice Casserole.)
It’s romantic hue makes it a perfect Valentine’s Day dinner recipe or romantic date night dinner recipe too!
- Beets. While their gorgeous color alone should be enough to get you on Team Beets if you need a little convincing, perhaps the fact that these little gems of nutrition are also packed with fiber, folate, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C will sway you. (If you’re a fan, you’ll LOVE the Beet Salad with Honey Orange Ricotta in The Well Plated Cookbook).
- Arborio Rice. One of life’s little miracles is this way this Italian short-grain rice slowly releases starch to turn into a pot of creamy goodness when cooked slowly. (This Slow Cooker Risotto with Butternut Squash is another favorite of mine.)
- Vegetable Stock. Choose a high-quality stock for the most flavorful creamy beet risotto.
- Shallots + Garlic. A solid foundation for any stovetop recipe. Could use yellow onion.
- White Wine. A dry white wine, like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, are best for risotto.
- Parsley. For a dash of color and freshness.
- Parmesan Cheese. Has a sharpness that contrasts the sweetness of the beets and up the creaminess factor to another level.
- Roast the red beets, peel, then cut into wedges.
- Puree 1/3 of the roasted beets with the stock. Puree until smooth (the mixture will be very liquidy, like beet juice). Then transfer to a saucepan and simmer.
- Sauté the shallot, parsley, and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the rice to the pot, stir, then add wine.
- Gradually add a ladleful of the beet stock to the risotto, stirring and simmering until mostly absorbed before adding more.
- Once all of the stock has been incorporated, stir in the remaining beet wedges and serve. ENJOY!
Pair this risotto with a glass of your favorite dry white wine. My personal favorites would be a classic Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Both are great for making the risotto too.
- To Store. Cooked risotto will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. 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.
- To Freeze. You can freeze risotto in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge before warming. Note that the texture will change slightly once thawed and reheated, however. If you don’t mind this, go ahead and freeze. Otherwise, I suggest eating leftovers within 3 days.
Meal Prep Tip
Turn this beet risotto recipe into a weeknight-ready meal by roasting the beets ahead. Once cooked, peeled, and chopped, the beets may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Then simply pick the recipe up at Step 2 when you’re ready to prepare the risotto.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Blender. A simple blender (or food processor) is all you need to perfectly puree the tender beets for this recipe.
- Dutch Oven. This is my favorite everyday Dutch oven for everything from risotto to Red Wine Braised Short Ribs.
- Saucepan. For keeping the beet-infused stock warm while preparing the beet risotto.
Beets, it’s your time to shine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Patience! Don’t rush the process. If you want that perfectly creamy, rich texture you need to work low and slow to gradually release the starches from the risotto. It may be tempting to turn up the heat but try to resist the urge. It will be worth it, I promise!
While I have never made this recipe vegan, I imagine it could be done with great success. Opt for vegetable stock rather than chicken stock and omit the Parmesan cheese. If you want to add a little extra creaminess or cheese-like flavor, you could try stirring in a bit of nutritional yeast or coconut cream. If you give this a try I’d love to know your results. (This Creamy Vegan Risotto is another option to consider.)
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh, whole beets
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken stock if you don't need the dish to be vegetarian
- 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 the 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 this 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 the remaining 2 tablespoons of 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 for 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.
- TO MAKE AHEAD: Roast and store the cooked, peeled, and chopped beets in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Then pick the recipe up at Step 2 when you’re ready to prepare the risotto.
- TO STORE: Cooked risotto will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- TO FREEZE: You can freeze risotto in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge before warming. Note that the texture will change slightly once thawed and reheated, however. If you don’t mind this, go ahead and freeze. Otherwise, I suggest eating leftovers within 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: 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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