5-Ingredient Spinach Risotto

updated Apr 30, 2020
5-Ingredient Spinach Risotto

A creamy, cheesy, impossibly easy risotto that's adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand.


Prep10 minutes

Cook30 minutes

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Credit: Sara Tane

A big, bubbling pot of risotto is one of the most luxurious things you can cook for yourself. Although it has a reputation for being fussy or fancy, risotto is actually extremely practical — it has a magical way of transforming a bunch of pantry odds and ends into the most delectable dinner. In fact, this extra-easy five-ingredient version, which cooks in just half an hour, was inspired by the remains of a bag of rice, a hunk of Parmesan, and a box of frozen spinach crammed in the corner of my freezer.

Consider this recipe a starting point for your own homemade risotto journey, which I encourage you to embark on today. Big bowls of comfort await.

Credit: Sara Tane

Easy, Cheesy Risotto, Any Way You Like It

Risotto is incredibly adaptable to substitutions and add-ins. Although it’s most commonly made with arborio rice, you can make a very delicious risotto with any variety of medium- or short-grain rice, such as sushi rice or short-grain brown rice. And if you don’t have any white wine (a common ingredient in risotto), don’t sweat it — your risotto will still be packed with tons of rich flavor. If you find yourself missing that bit of acidity, add fresh lemon zest and juice or a splash of vinegar instead.

I love the fruity notes that extra-virgin olive oil imparts, but you can swap it with unsalted butter for a richer flavor. And if you’re looking to bulk up your meal, stir in a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas or leftover shredded chicken at the very end of cooking.

5-Ingredient Spinach Risotto

A creamy, cheesy, impossibly easy risotto that's adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 5 cups

    vegetable or chicken broth

  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 3 ounces

    Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 3/4 cup), plus more for garnish

  • 1 (10-ounce) package

    frozen spinach

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups

    arborio, sushi, or short-grain brown rice

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup

    dry white wine (optional)


  1. Place 5 cups broth in a medium saucepan over low heat and keep it at a very low simmer. While it is heating, finely chop 1 yellow onion. Finely grate 3 ounces Parmesan cheese (about 3/4 cup). If not using chopped spinach, break up 1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach into small pieces.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, high-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until toasted and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Add 1/2 cup dry white wine if using and cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

  3. Add the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently. Wait until the broth has been almost completely absorbed by the rice before adding the next 1/2 cup. Cook until the rice is al dente and the broth is creamy, 16 to 18 minutes total (you might not use up all of the broth). If you run your spatula through the risotto, the risotto should flow slowly to fill in the space. Stir in the spinach and cook over low heat until warmed through, about 1 minute.

  4. Remove from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately, garnishing each bowl with more grated Parmesan.

Recipe Notes

Add-ins: If you're looking to add some heft in the form of protein, stir in a can of rinsed and drained chickpeas or a few cups of shredded cooked chicken at the end of cooking.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.