With a simple oven-baked method and fresh ingredients that get stirred in at the end, this Baked Brown Rice Risotto is an easy option for family dinner.
We went to a friend’s house for Easter dinner yesterday and we all contributed elements of the meal. I love that potluck-style meals are the norm here in the Midwest when eating with others because it takes the pressure off of hosting and it means that we all get to share some things from our own kitchens. It took me a while to decide what to bring, but I eventually decided to make a baked risotto since I thought it would be kid- and parent-friendly, and that it would go nicely with ham.
This Baked Brown Rice Risotto is based on a recipe from Ina Garten. I made enough changes that I thought I’d share it with you today. It’s incredibly easy and it’s a nice option for a dinner party or meal with a wide range of ages. It’s soft enough for newer eaters, features toddler-friendly ingredients including peas, rice, and Parmesan, and yet it’s delicious enough for parents to enjoy. (It goes really well with white wine!) You can also make it ahead of time and warm it right before dinner, so it’s a stress-free entree option.
- Be sure to cover the rice for half of the cooking.
- When you remove the pan from the oven at the end of cooking, there may be a little liquid left and the rice may not be 100% super soft. This is okay! It will continue to cook a bit as it sits.
- Use a broth that you like the flavor of and season to taste with salt if needed.
(This recipe was retested in May of 2018 to ensure that the rice cooks through. And I decreased the amount of rice and broth to make a smaller amount since it was made so much more than most families could eat. The amount of the vegetables and cheese remains the same.) We like this as a vegetarian main dish or as a side for a meat main. You can also double it and use a larger pan to feed a crowd. Adapted from Ina Garten
- 1 1/2 cups long grain brown rice
- 1 quart reduced-sodium chicken stock
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 1 medium zucchini, finely diced (about 2 cups)
- 3/4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
- 4 tablespoons butter, cubed
- 1/2-1 teaspoons salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Add the rice and chicken stock to a 2 or 3 quart baking dish. Cover with foil tightly and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Remove from oven. (There may be a little liquid in the pan and there may be a few bits of rice that aren’t yet 100% super soft yet. It’s okay as it will keep cooking in Step 3!)
- Stir in the peas, zucchini, Parmesan, butter, and salt until well combined. Cover tightly for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Use vegetable stock to make the dish vegetarian.
Stir in 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves before serving for more flavor.
Try diced asparagus in place of the zucchini.