Easy Baked Parmesan Risotto Recipe

Baked Parmesan Risotto Recipe is creamy, cheesy and oh so easy. This oven-baked version of the favorite Italian rice dish requires hardly any stirring making it convenient enough for any night of the week. Serve as a side or entree. Either way, the whole family is going to fall in love with this recipe.

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Creamy Baked Parmesan Risotto on a white plate with a fork

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Easy Baked Parmesan Risotto Recipe

If you’re not serving risotto with dinner this week, then you’re not doing weeknight dinner right. This easy baked parmesan risotto recipe is everything you need in your life. It’s the perfect comforting side dish that will get you out of that side dish rut, and leave everyone fighting for seconds. 

Topped with crispy pancetta and fresh parmesan cheese, there is nothing to not like about this one. Even if you’ve never made risotto before you’ll have no problem! It’s simple and tasty. 

So make this tonight for a unique side dish, add chicken for a main dish, or pack it in your lunch box for a hearty lunch. 

Easy Baked Parmesan Risotto in a bowl with a fork

What is Risotto?

I’m not going to lie, for a long time, I loved risotto but didn’t totally know exactly what it consisted of. I knew it was basically a thick creamy rice-based dish, but that’s about it. 

Now I know that it is actually a rice dish that is cooked with broth and mixed with things such as, butter, onions, white wine, or parmesan cheese. All of these ingredients come together to make the amazing rich and creamy consistency and flavor we love so much.  

What is Aboriro Rice?

So now we know what risotto is, it’s time to figure out what makes the rice used to make risotto unique. Arborio is Italian short rice. What makes Arborio different is that it is a  rice that is high in amylopectin starch. This starch is what gives risotto its creamy texture. The oval grains are about a quarter of an inch long and typically white.

You can usually find this type of rice in most local grocery stores, but if you can’t find it, long-grain white rice will work as well. 

One serving of Baked Parmesan Risotto on a white plate with a fork

How To Make This Baked Parmesan Risotto Recipe

You will love making baked risotto. It’s really a simple version of what can sometimes be a complex recipe. Just follow along with these instructions, and you’ll be on your way to digging in, in no time!

Cook the pancetta over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate. Add onion and garlic to the pancetta drippings and cook until translucent. Once translucent, you’ll stir in the rice and cook for until lightly toasted. Next, add the broth, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to rice mixture and bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then cover and bake.

After baking is complete, remove the risotto from the oven, place over medium heat, then uncover the dish, add the remaining broth, Parmesan and butter. Cook until rice is al dente and creamy, then stir in the frozen peas and serve immediately. Top with pancetta and more parmesan if desired. 

Easy Baked Parmesan Risotto in cast iron braiser

How To Serve Parmesan Risotto

As I mentioned before, you can serve this recipe a couple of different ways. My personal favorite is to serve it alongside a simple main dish, like chicken or fish, to give the meal a more filling component. 

You can also serve it on its own as a main dish if you want a lighter meal. It works great served for lunch or offered as an option for an at-home brunch party. 

What To Do With Baked Risotto Leftovers

Risotto is best eaten right away, so, another way to serve the parmesan risotto is to use the leftovers to make risotto balls. As the mixture sits it tends to get thicker and dry out a little, making it not as great to eat just as is, but luckily, you can take the leftovers and make a whole new dish! 

To make your own risotto balls, check out this recipe for leftover risotto balls

Tips For Making The Best Baked Risotto Recipe

Risotto can be a little fickle at times, so be sure to follow these tips and you’ll end up with the most amazing result every time! 

  • When adding your liquid at the beginning, be sure to just dump it all in at once. This agitates the rice grains and helps with make the creamy texture in the end. 
  • Don’t forget the lid! You’ll need it to make sure the heat is distributed evenly.
  • Be sure to keep the heat very low. You don’t want to end up with a pan that’s full of burnt rice at the bottom. The low heat lets the liquid absorb at a slower pace. 
  • The mixture might seem runny at first, but give it time, it will thicken up. 

Baked Parmesan Risotto on a white plate with a fork

More Side Dishes You’ll Drool Over!

Simple Italian Salad – With homemade zesty vinaigrette pairs perfectly with any Italian meal. It’s quick and easy and rivals any restaurant. Pair it with cheesy garlic bread to really complete your meal!

Pull-Apart Garlic Bread with Blue Cheese and Rosemary – This golden loaf is topped with roasted garlic, butter, blue cheese, and rosemary. A super easy recipe that makes the perfect addition to any party, get-together or meal.

Roasted Cauliflower With Feta and Garlic Crumbs – Roasted cauliflower goes to a whole new level when you add sweet Italian dressing, feta cheese, and brown butter and garlic crumbs!

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Easy Baked Parmesan Risotto photo collage

Tools used to make this Easy Baked Parmesan Risotto Recipe

Enameled Cast Iron Braiser: The pan’s flat base allows for more than braising, including techniques like poaching, searing, roasting, stir-frying and browning, and is perfect for this risotto. 

Enameled Cast Iron Covered Round Dutch Oven: I use my dutch oven cook up all sorts of mouth-watering dishes cooked on the stovetop or in the oven.

Stainless Steel Box Grater: My favorite cheese grater with a non-slip base makes grating anything simple. 

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Easy Baked Parmesan Risotto Recipe

Easy Baked Parmesan Risotto Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 31 minutes
Total Time: 36 minutes

Baked Parmesan Risotto Recipe is creamy, cheesy and oh so easy. This oven-baked version of the favorite Italian rice dish requires hardly any stirring making it convenient enough for any night of the week.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces finely chopped pancetta
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1½ teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 6 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a Dutch oven or heavy bottom skillet with a tight-fitting lid (I use my Braiser), Cook pancetta over medium heat and cook 6-8 minutes until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate. Add onion and garlic to the pancetta drippings and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until translucent. Stir in the rice and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until lightly toasted.
  2. Add 5 cups of broth, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to rice mixture and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cover and bake 18 minutes.
  3. Remove risotto from the oven and place over medium heat. Uncover, add the remaining 1 cup of broth, Parmesan and butter. Cook stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes until rice is al dente and creamy.
  4. Stir in the frozen peas and serve immediately. Top with pancetta and more parmesan if desired.

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