Delicious Broccoli Cheese Risotto is an easy and satisfying side or vegetarian main dish. It’s made with tender grains of arborio rice, fresh broccoli and plenty of cheddar cheese. Major comfort food that can be ready for dinner in less than 30 minutes!

This Broccoli Cheese Risotto is a creamy, dreamy recipe that’s great for family dinners or even the holidays. It’s fairly quick & easy to make and it’s gluten free, vegetarian, and so satisfying. It’s a restaurant quality meal (or side) that’s warm & cozy and absolutely delicious!

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Why you should make this recipe

  • Easy to make. This is an effortless risotto recipe that’s simple to put together with common ingredients.
  • Great for serving the family or guests. Serve this on busy weeknights as a meatless main course or prepare it for guests as a side dish during the holidays or for a special dinner.
  • So delicious. You will love how creamy, decadent and delicious this cheesy risotto tastes. Full of wonderful texture and flavor that will keep you satisfied and wanting more.
Stirring risotto with a wooden spoon.

Ingredients needed

This risotto recipe uses common ingredients that are easy to find. Here’s the lineup:

  • Vegetable broth. You’ll need 3 cups of veggie broth. Other broths work as well.
  • Butter. For cooking and adding flavor to the rice.
  • Garlic. Adds delicious savory flavor.
  • Arborio rice. Be sure to use arborio rice and not a long-grain rice such as basmati or jasmine. These varieties do not contain enough starch to achieve the creaminess we want in a good risotto. You can find arborio in most grocery stores in the grain section.
  • White wine. Provides wonderful flavor and a touch of acidity. Some good choices are chardonnay, sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio.
  • Broccoli. Fresh broccoli, chopped into small florets is stirred into the risotto at the end, until nice and tender.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese. For the best flavor and melty consistency, buy a block and grate the cheese yourself.

How to make this recipe

  1. Heat the broth. In a medium saucepan, heat the broth over low heat so that it’s steaming and warmed through but not simmering. You’ll leave this on the heat while cooking the risotto.
  2. Sauté garlic + begin cooking the rice. In a dutch oven or large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Once hot, add in the garlic, salt and pepper and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the rice, stir, and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. 
  3. Add wine to rice. Stir in the white wine (or additional broth). Cook, stirring often, until the wine is almost completely absorbed.
  4. Add broth to rice. ONE ladle-full at a time, slowly add in the broth. DO NOT add more broth until the previous ladle-full has been completely absorbed by the rice. It takes a few minutes each time. 
  5. Stir in broccoli + cheese. Before adding in the last ladle-full of broth, stir in the broccoli and then add the remaining broth. Continue to stir often. Once the broccoli is almost done (about 7 minutes), stir in the cheese until fully melted. Serve and ENJOY!
Making a cheesy broccoli rice in a large pot.

Expert tips

  • To keep the temperature from dropping each time you add the broth to the rice, it’s important to keep the broth simmering on the stovetop. This will help the rice absorb the liquid faster and give it the perfect texture.
  • The alcohol will cook out, but you can swap the wine for additional broth, if you’d like.
  • If you’ve got the time, we recommend using freshly grated cheese for this recipe. The pre-shredded cheese that comes in a bag is often coated with anti-caking agents and does not melt as smoothly as freshly grated cheese.

Frequently asked questions

Is risotto a pasta or rice?

Risotto is a traditional Italian side dish that’s made with short-grain arborio rice, cooked with broth until it reaches a creamy consistency. 

Is risotto hard to make?

Risotto is thought of as being a bit difficult to make, however, this recipe is actually really simple. It’s important to stir frequently because risotto’s creaminess comes from the starch generated when grains of rice rub against each other. However, you DON’T want to over-stir because stirring the rice too much will add air into the risotto, and give it a gluey consistency. Yet, if you don’t stir enough, the rice can stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.

Do you rinse arborio rice for risotto?

Don’t rinse arborio rice if you’re making risotto. The starch on the rice is important to create the creaminess of this dish, so it’s essential that you not rinse it off.

Wooden spoonful of cheesy risotto.

Serving suggestions

These cheddar cheese risotto works great as a vegetarian main course or as a side served with meat. It’s perfect with chicken Saltimbocca, baked chicken, pork, salmon or even vegan meatloaf.

Storage recommendations

Risotto is best served immediately. The rice continues to absorb the liquid as it cools making it drier and not as creamy.

If you do have leftovers, transfer them into an airtight container and refrigerate for three to five days. Reheat gently in the microwave for best results. If desired, stir in a little broth or water to thin it out and loosen it up a bit.

We do not recommend freezing this recipe.

Risotto made with broccoli and cheese.

As usual, PLEASE let me know if you make this recipe and how you like it! You can come back here and leave a comment or tag me on instagram (@foodwithfeeling).

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Broccoli Cheese Risotto served in a white bowl with a spoon.

Broccoli Cheese Risotto


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  • Author: Brita Britnell
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Delicious Broccoli Cheese Risotto is an easy and satisfying side or vegetarian main dish. It’s made with tender grains of arborio rice, fresh broccoli and plenty of cheddar cheese. A perfect way to warm up your chilly nights and can be on the dinner table in less than 30 minutes!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 3 cups of broth (I use veggie broth but other broths will also work well)
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice (sometimes called risotto rice)
  • 3/4 cup of dry white wine*
  • 3 cups of fresh broccoli, chopped (or more depending on how much you want)
  • 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the broth over low heat so that it’s steaming and warmed through but not simmering. You’ll leave this on the heat while cooking the risotto.
  2. In a dutch oven or large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Once hot, add in the garlic, salt and pepper and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the rice, stir, and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the white wine (or additional broth). Cook, stirring often, until the wine is almost completely absorbed.
  4. ONE ladle-full at a time, slowly add in the broth. DO NOT add more broth until the previous ladle-full has been completely absorbed by the rice. It takes a few minutes each time. 
  5. Before adding in the last ladle-full of broth, stir in the broccoli and then add the remaining broth. Continue to stir often. Once the broccoli is almost done (about 7 minutes), stir in the cheese until fully melted.
  6. Serve and ENJOY!

Notes

  • The wine can be subbed for an equal amount of additional broth. The alcohol will cook out but you can swap the wine completely as desired.
  • I like something like sauvignon blanc in this recipe
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 435
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Sodium: 805.3 mg
  • Fat: 27.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 23.2 g
  • Protein: 16.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 78.8 mg