Healthy Lemon Basil Risotto is the perfect lighter, gluten free side dish. The combination of lemon zest and fresh basil gives it a rich, delicious flavor!
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This Healthy Lemon Basil Risotto is the perfect side dish that feels decadent while being made with great ingredients! It has light lemony flavor + is super simple to make.
Perfect when served alongside Lemon Rosemary Crockpot Whole Chicken or your favorite roasted veggies!
Before I started my site, I had never made risotto because I always thought it was really labor intensive. I had heard that you need to cook it for hours and use loads of butter/heavy cream to make it taste yummy.
(that rumor is false, btw)
One day I decided to give it a try without using loads of unhealthy fats and without spending all day slaving over the stove. And it came out so yummy!
Healthy Pumpkin Mushroom Risotto was the first type of risotto that I ever made, but I wanted to try something that used lots of citrus and herb (my favorite flavor combo!) so I came up with the recipe for this Healthy Lemon Basil Risotto!
Ingredients for healthy risotto:
Here’s what you’ll need to make it: onions, lemon, parmesan cheese, garlic, rice, olive oil, white wine, basil and broth.
What makes this risotto healthy?
- Less fat – traditional risotto is made with heavy cream, butter, and lots of cheese. I used less cheese and cooked the risotto low and slow in broth to achieve a rich texture without a ton of fat
- Minimal ingredients– This recipe only has 10 ingredients, all of which you probably already have in your fridge or pantry!
Tips for making healthy risotto
- Stir. Make sure to continuously stir the risotto to avoid it from burning!
- Cook over low heat. Be sure to cook the risotto low and slow – you don’t want to over cook it!
- Use good quality cheese. You don’t want to be using parmesan from the green bottle in this recipe! Get a real block of parmesan and grate it yourself for best results 🙂
Substitutions for this risotto
Wine: You can omit the wine and substitute it with chicken stock if you prefer to not cook with alcohol
Basil: You can substitute basil for your favorite herb. Parsley, sage or oregano will all be delicious! I highly recommend using fresh herbs!
Rice: You can use brown or white rice in this recipe. I haven’t tried it with arborio rice but I think that would work too!
Pumpkin – If you’re looking for other healthy risotto recipes – try this Healthy Pumpkin Mushroom Risotto
Other healthy side dishes you might like:
- Harvest Quinoa and Brown Rice Salad
- Garlic Rosemary Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Crispy Garlic Thyme Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Easy Farro Salad
- Healthy Lemon Parmesan Roasted Asparagus
Healthy Lemon Basil Risotto
- Heat olive oil in pan. Add in onions and garlic to olive oil. Sauté until translucent, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add in rice, 2 cups of broth, wine and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes over medium heat until the rice starts to absorb the liquid.
- After rice has simmered, stir in remaining broth, cheese, herbs, lemon juice, lemon zest and spices. Stir constantly on medium heat for 5-10 minutes until rice has absorbed all liquid and is creamy.
- Remove from pan, top with chopped fresh basil (optional) and enjoy!
- You can omit the wine and substitute it with chicken stock if you prefer to not cook with alcohol
- You can substitute basil for your favorite herb. Parsley, sage or oregano will all be delicious! I highly recommend using fresh herbs!