This is not one of those pretentious, intimidating, fancy-schmancy risottos. Don’t get me wrong, I love those too (see Tomato Sausage Risotto or Mushroom Risotto). This risotto contains beer. And bacon. And a mound of cheddar cheese. This risotto would rather hang out at the corner bar, high fiving its friends and flirting with the server than slip the maitre d’ a few bills to be escorted to the premier table in a fine dining establishment. It would feel more comfortable perusing the aisles at Target than swiping its platinum card on 5th Avenue. This risotto is a rich, cheesy bowl of creamy rice with a tangy beer flavor and bites of smoky bacon. It’s delicious. Like all risotto, this takes some time to make since you have to stir the broth in a little at a time, but it’s worth it. This may not be the most elegant risotto out there, but it’s not trying to be. It knows what it is and it’s going to fill your belly, make your taste buds sigh with comfort and happiness and send any and all dinner guests home with smiles on their faces. So, serve this and be proud! It’s like a guilty pleasure, minus the guilt.
*Side Note: If you haven't yet voted, I was nominated for Fitness Magazine's Blog Awards in the Best Healthy Eating Blog category and I would love your vote! If you love my recipes, please consider taking a moment and supporting me here. I appreciate it!*
Bacon, Cheddar & Beer RisottoSource: adapted from Made in Melissa’s Kitchen
1 T light butter
½ a small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
12 oz bottle of beer
6 cups fat free reduced sodium chicken broth
1 ½ oz Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (I used the smallest hole side of a box grater)
¾ cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 cup 2% reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
4 slices cooked extra lean turkey bacon (I used Jennie-O)
¼ t cayenne pepper
1. Place the butter in a large sauté pan and bring it over medium-low heat until butter is just melted. Add onions and cook 3-5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute until garlic is fragrant. Add the rice and stir to combine. Cook an additional 2 minutes, stirring throughout.
2. Pour in the beer and turn the heat up to high until the beer begins to simmer. Reduce heat back to medium-low and add ½ cup of the chicken broth. Stir until the liquid dissolves and then add another ½ cup. Repeat until all the broth has been added and the rice is creamy and al dente.
3. Remove the rice mixture from the heat and add the cheeses, bacon and cayenne pepper. Stir until thoroughly combined and serve.
Make a creamy risotto...
...add bacon & cheeses...
...make your mouth happy!
Yields 8 (1 cup) servings. WW P+: 8 per serving* (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
Nutrition Information per serving from myfitnesspal.com: 280 calories, 41 g carbs, 7 g fat, 10 g protein, 0 g fiber
*You will notice that if you calculate the Weight Watchers points using the nutritional information below it comes out as 7 P+ per serving. Weight Watchers determines alcohol points according to completely different criteria than other foods, so when using the recipe builder, I believe the beer in this dish may be causing the discrepancy.