A Squared: What's For Dinner Wednesday: Spinach, Mushroom & Bacon Risotto

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Spinach, Mushroom & Bacon Risotto

There is something so comforting about a bowl of risotto. It's become one of my favorite dishes as I have gotten older... probably because it is reminiscent of a grown up mac and cheese. It's also a great dish for some experimenting in the kitchen. Risotto is a blank canvas for tons of different ingredients-- seasonal vegetables, squash, herbs, meat, different cheeses. There are so many ways to customize it.

For a chilly night in, I decided to make a super savory version of risotto. Lately I have been loving the combination of fresh thyme and mushrooms, which is crazy because I have never really liked mushrooms at all... I guess my taste buds are maturing? I digress.

I started by sauteing a  little bacon until crisp and followed that by cooking the mushrooms and then the risotto in the same pan. It was a fantastic way to build that salty and savory flavor throughout the entire dish and the entire cooking process. The fresh thyme is a great complement to the mushrooms and fresh spinach brightens up an otherwise rich dish. This risotto is actually fairly simple to prepare and, like all of my favorite dishes, is ideal for a weeknight dinner or for impressing guests at a dinner party.


  • 3 cups fat free reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 5 strips of center-cut bacon
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tbs. dry white wine, divided *Sherry wine would also be a nice substitute here
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1-1/2 cups spinach leaves, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan, bring chicken broth just to a simmer. Cover and keep hot over medium low heat until you are ready to use it.

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add bacon to the pan and cook on both sides until brown and crispy. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain well and then crumble the bacon into small pieces.

Add mushrooms and 1 Tbs. wine to the pan and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Once the mushrooms have softened and most of the liquid has evaporated, transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add 1 Tbs. olive oil and the butter to the pan and adjust heat to medium. Add the onions and saute until tender (not brown), about 3 minutes. Add the Arborio rice and stir to coat. Pour in the remaining 1/3 cup of wine and simmer, scraping up the browned bacon bits and stirring until it has almost completely evaporated, approximately 3 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth and stir constantly until the broth has almost completely absorbed, for 2-3 minutes. Continue stirring the rice and repeat the process of adding 1/2 cup broth at a time. Allow each 1/2 cup of broth to absorb before adding the next. Pour in the last 1/2 cup of broth along with the sauteed mushrooms, thyme leaves, and spinach and continue stirring to cook until the rice is chewy and firm.
Remove from the heat. Stir in the grated cheese, remaining oil, half of the crumbled bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowls, sprinkle with remaining bacon, and serve warm.

Want more risotto? Try this recipe for Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Risotto!

Follow on Bloglovin


  1. This recipe is so delicious - I'm craving it at 8am! I'll be definitely trying this out sometime this week!
    - Monica

    1. There is bacon in it, so I think it would be a totally acceptable breakfast. And the leftovers made a really good lunch the next day too!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...