Green Risotto With Pistachio Pesto


This fresh, green take on traditional risotto is a perfect dinner for the beginning of spring when the days are brighter,but the temperatures are still cool. The key to this recipe’s delicious flavors are the two distinct elements. First,you’ll stir together a standard risotto base with sautéed buttery onions, white wine, and chewy Arborio rice. Whilethat cooks, you’ll make a quick pesto from parsley, basil leaves, spinach, and pistachios. This ensures the herbs andspinach stay vibrant, rather than becoming muddied from a long cook time. Hot tip: make sure the risotto is at agenerous simmer before transferring to the oven, which will ensure quicker cooking.

Green Risotto With Pistachio Pesto Recipe
Photo: Victor Protasio
Hands On Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
6 serves


  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 1 ½ teapoons kosher salt, divided

  • 2 cups arborio rice

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 5 cups hot chicken broth, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic, smashed

  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach, divided

  • 3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about ¾ cup), divided

  • ¾ cup roughly chopped unsalted roasted pistachios, divided

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook onion, 2 tablespoons butter, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large oven-safe pot over medium, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 8 minutes. Add rice; cook, stirring constantly, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes.

  2. Add 4 cups hot broth to pot. Bring mixture to a simmer over high. Remove from heat; stir once and cover. Transfer to oven and bake until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes (rice won't be cooked through).

  3. Meanwhile, make pesto: Process parsley, basil, oil, garlic, 2 cups spinach, ½ cup cheese, ½ cup pistachios, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt in a food processor until smooth.

  4. Return risotto to stove over medium. Stir in remaining 1 cup broth; simmer, stirring often, until rice is al dente and risotto is creamy, about 6 minutes, adding more broth as needed to reach desired consistency.

  5. Fold in remaining 1 cup spinach, pesto, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Top with remaining ¼ cup each cheese and pistachios.

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