Recipe Review

I Tried Ina Garten’s Recipe for One-Pot Oven Risotto and It Just Might Be the Best Rice Dish I’ve Ever Tasted

published Nov 2, 2022
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Ina Garten's One-Pot Oven Risotto
Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

Growing beyond her hit show, Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten has long since solidified herself as a staple figure in American food culture. In my opinion, the best-selling author and television host has a special way of bringing you into her world, whether it be through her new show, Be My Guest, ​​or by way of useful kitchen hacks you weren’t aware of. And due to a recent stumble upon her recipe for a one-pot oven risotto, I was instantly brought into her world yet again.

Although I was nervous about my first attempt at the recipe, something about it being one of Ina’s originals gave me all the confidence I needed. Featured in her new cookbook, Go To Dinners: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, this is one I couldn’t wait to take a swing at.

Get the recipe: One-Pot Oven Risotto

How To Make Ina’s One-Pot Oven Risotto

Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F and grabbing a medium (11-inch) Dutch oven. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat, then add thinly sliced shallots and cook for 2 minutes. Slice a pound of asparagus at 45-degree angles — about 1-inch apart — and add to the pot, cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Stir occasionally until al dente, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.  

Using the same Dutch oven, heat up another tablespoon of olive oil and add the Arborio rice, stirring until the rice is coated with oil. Next, add 4 cups of chicken stock and 1/2 tablespoon of saffron threads. You’ll want to bring that to a simmer before covering and transferring to the oven to bake for 35 minutes. 

Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

Once the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, remove from the oven and add a half cup of white wine, stirring until well incorporated. Add another cup of chicken stock, a cup of Parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons of butter, 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Stir aggressively with a wooden spoon for a few minutes, until the risotto is looking thick and creamy. Add more chicken stock if necessary, as you’ll want to keep the risotto very creamy. Finally, stir in the prepared asparagus and shallot mixture, and serve hot with a little extra Parmesan on top for taste. 

My Honest Opinion of Ina’s One-Pot Oven Risotto

Full disclosure: I was very unsure about making risotto. Being that I rarely ever eat it, I was not sure that I had the skills to make Ina proud when making it myself. To my surprise, however, I learned just how easy of a recipe this is and if you just follow the directions to the T, you’ll be enjoying an amazing meal in under an hour!

I’m mostly impressed with the simple list of ingredients combined with the outstanding flavor they all present, and how the final product left me craving second and third helpings. This is a recipe that is perfect for any family dinner, and while I can just make rice any day of the week, Ina’s risotto makes me feel like I did something extra special. 

Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

3 Tips for Making Ina’s One-Pot Oven Risotto

  1. Add more chicken stock. Make sure to have enough chicken stock on hand to accommodate using at least 5 cups’ worth. During the latter part of the recipe, you’ll want to have at least an extra cup on hand to use in keeping the risotto’s creamy consistency. 
  2. Parmesan for the win. While the recipe calls for a single cup of finely grated Parmesan, I opted to add extra during the final steps of the recipe, pouring in a little at a time until I was satisfied with the taste. Trust me — your tastebuds will thank you later.
  3. Have an open mind. If you’re like me and you’ve never made risotto before, remember to follow the instructions closely and don’t be afraid to get things wrong. This is a simple recipe and if you approach it with an open mind, you just might find some fun ways to alter the taste to your liking. Plus, you could stumble upon a new way to impress future dinner guests, too.

Get the recipe: One-Pot Oven Risotto