As much as I love classic risotto (hello ultimate comfort food!), nine times out of ten, I just don’t want to be bothered making it. Between the stirring and the time involved, I can never seem to find a way to fit it into my weekly menu.
Enter quinoa risotto, which is an everyday spin on the classic dish. Because we are using quinoa in place of arborio rice, the recipe is pretty hands off. And even better? It doesn’t take as long to cook!
Now, this risotto obviously does not taste exactly the same as the traditional dish. However, it is packed with plenty of flavor from some shallot and garlic, and takes on a slightly creamy and sticky texture from a touch of extra broth and crumbled goat cheese. Combine that with a hint of lemon zest and fresh parsley, and you wind up with a fun spin on risotto that is comforting yet also light.
While you can absolutely serve the risotto however you would like, I couldn’t resist topping it with roasted root vegetables, one of my favorites this time of the year. The veggies bulk up the risotto nicely, making it perfect for a weeknight meal.
If you choose to top your risotto with the roasted veggies, use your judgment to cut them all to about the same size. This ensures that they roast evenly in the oven. You also want to use enough oil to give all the veggies a light coat – so use more or less as needed.
When cooking the quinoa, be sure that you don’t let all of the liquid absorb before you stir in the goat cheese. This helps give the final dish a more risotto-like texture.
A light yet comforting risotto made with quinoa, goat cheese and lemon zest! Top with roasted root vegetables for a complete meal.
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes
Total Time:45 minutes
Yield:about 4 servings
For the veggies:
1 medium-large sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch sticks
1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into 2-inch sticks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
For the risotto:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the veggies:
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Add the sweet potato, carrots and parsnip to a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, then sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Toss to combine and spread in an even layer. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until the vegetables are tender and starting to brown.
For the risotto:
While the veggies roast, add the olive oil to a medium saucepan set over medium heat. When hot, add in the shallot and garlic, and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, until the shallot has softened. Add in the quinoa and cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute, stirring almost constantly, until toasted. Pour in the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover, turn down the heat, and simmer for about 12 to 14 minutes, or until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Add in the goat cheese and mix until it starts to melt. Remove from the heat. Add in the lemon zest and parsley, and mix to combine. Let stand for about 5 minutes, then stir in salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, spoon some of the risotto into a bowl and top with some of the roasted veggies.