This easy dairy free chicken vegetable risotto is a family favorite! It’s cozy and comforting, but not a lot of fuss. Feel free to use your favorite kind of broth here–veggie, chicken, and beef broth all work!
- 1 small onion, diced (about 1 heaping cup)
- 1 bell pepper, diced (about 1–1 1/2 cups. I prefer to use a mix of colors–use what you like!)
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 3 Tbsp olive oil (more, if needed)
- 8 cups broth* (or 8c water + 2–3 Tbsp bouillon*)
- 1–2 c. cooked cubed or shredded chicken
- 3/4 – 1 cup frozen peas (don’t thaw)
- 2 green onions, sliced
- salt and pepper, to taste.
- In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat 3-4 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and pepper and saute until just translucent. Add rice and stir to coat well, adding a little extra oil if necessary. Toast the rice slightly over medium heat, then add chicken and all 8c of beef broth.
- Stir frequently over the next 20-30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and creamy. It’s okay to walk away during the first 10-15 minutes, but you’ll want to stay close during the last 10 or so minutes. Add additional broth or water if necessary.
- When the risotto is creamy and tender, stir in frozen peas and green onions. Salt and pepper, to taste.
*Gluten & Dairy Free Notes: Many commercial broths and bouillons contain gluten and/or dairy. Be VERY careful when reading your labels. I like Better Than Bouillon Organic Beef Base (only the organic kind is gluten free). Imagine and Pacific Natural brands are also safe. As always, read your labels to be sure!
Why do you add the broth all at once? In traditional risotto recipes, you add the broth about 1/2 cup at a time, slowly stirring the entire time until the risotto is creamy and the grains of rice have softened. BUT. Tyler Florence posted on his Instagram feed how he’s started making risotto by stirring the rice and all the liquid at once, rather than adding 1/2c of broth at a time to the rice. It’s SO much simpler, a little faster (about 15 minutes faster!), and the same (if not better) creamy results!
Let’s Talk Broth. I’ve made this MANY times in the last five years. I’ve tried it with chicken broth, vegetable broth, and beef broth and really enjoyed all of them. Use what you like and what you have! Good-quality broth is divine. If you’re out of broth but have a good quality bouillon (I like Better Than Bouillon Organic Beef, Veggie, or Chicken Base) that works great, too. I know the bouillon isn’t all-natural or nutritionally perfect. (I know!) But sometimes, you need speed or something helpful in a pinch.
More Veggies. You can absolutely add more veggies to this if you like. One of my favorite additions is a few handfuls of whatever greens I have in the house (usually spinach). I stir the greens in right at the end, and the residual heat from the risotto wilts the leaves and helps them blend right in. Other yummy add-in are carrots or mushrooms, which I add right at the beginning with the onion and bell pepper.
Notes for Kids & Picky Eaters. Some kids have texture issues with different veggies (mine do!). You can help off-set this by grating (or even pureeing) your onion instead of dicing it. The grated onion will blend in a LOT better texturally with the arborio rice. Also, if your kids eat carrots, they may find it easier to eat the bell peppers if you stick to orange peppers. For some reason, they don’t seem as “scary” as the brighter reds and yellows. Or, you can swap in carrots in place of the peppers for a slightly different flavor.
Vegetarian or Vegan? You can still make this! Omit the chicken and up the veggies (add 1 cup diced carrots and 1 cup minced mushrooms) in with the bell pepper and onion and use vegetable broth.
- Category: main dish, chicken, rice
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: American, Homestyle
Keywords: risotto, dairy free risotto, chicken vegetable risotto, chicken risotto, vegetable risotto, gluten free risotto, risotto recipe