Broccoli Cheddar Risotto

Broccoli cheddar risotto plated

Broccoli cheddar risotto is pretty much my perfect side dish. One of my favorite veggies combines with creamy, cheesy rice for a side that might be better than the main dish!

Risotto typically involves creamy rice, wine, and parmesan cheese. The rice usually cooks slowly while the warm broth is slowly added.

In this recipe, the rice and stock cook together, and cheddar is used in the place of parmesan. This version is not classic risotto, but just as delicious.


Broccoli: Sautéed in olive oil until crisp tender.

Garlic: Great savory flavor.

Arborio Rice: The classic risotto rice.

Chicken stock: The liquid to cook the rice and adds more flavor to the dish. I use low sodium.

Cheddar cheese: Wonderful melty cheese brings broccoli and rice to another level.

Butter: Just a bit to add richness.


You will start by adding olive oil to a saucepan. Add broccoli and sauté until starting to get tender. I prefer broccoli to be a little crisp in the final dish. If you prefer vegetables completely tender continue to sauté a little longer. Add garlic and sauté another minute. Remove broccoli and garlic and transfer to a plate.

Add rice, chicken stock, and salt. Bring to a boil then allow to simmer for 25 minutes. Stir occasionally to assure rice isn’t sticking to the bottom.

Add cheese and butter to the rice and stir until cheese is melted. Add broccoli back to the pan and stir until broccoli is heated.

Season generously with black pepper.

A simple fish or chicken main along with broccoli cheddar risotto is a wonderful dinner. This is a worthy side to any main entrée. Enjoy!

If you love risotto, check out this lemon and herb variety!

Broccoli Cheddar Risotto

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 2 servings


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups broccoli florets chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ½ cup arborio rice
  • cups low sodium chicken stock
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp butter
  • fresh ground black pepper


  • Add olive oil to a medium-sized sauce pan over medium heat.
  • Add broccoli and sauté until the broccoli is crisp-tender. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute. Transfer broccoli to a plate and set aside.
  • Add rice, chicken stock, and ½ tsp salt to the sauce pan. Stir.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover with a lid and decrease to low heat to maintain simmer. Simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Uncover the pan and check that the rice is tender and done. Add cheddar cheese and butter and stir with the rice until melted. Add broccoli back to the pan, stirring until the broccoli is heated. Season with pepper.
  • Serve immediately.
Keyword Creamy, Savory, Starch

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