Spinach Artichoke Risotto is the ultimate creamy, comfort food with all the flavors of the classic dip. Put this easy vegetarian entrée or side dish on the table in only 30 minutes!
This post is sponsored by BJ's Wholesale Club, but my love for their fresh, affordable products are my own.
Easy Spinach Artichoke Risotto
What do you do when all you want for dinner is a big bucket of cheesy spinach artichoke dip?
Just dip. Nothing else.
That was me this past Monday. The day I should be eating ultra clean after a weekend of partaking in way too much of all things carbs and hops.
No joke. I could have eaten a whole 5 gallon bucket of that stuff for breakfast if I had it around. A big beautiful bucket of ooey gooey, creamy, cheesy af, spinach artichoke dip and a fork.
The adult inside of me said "No way! It's healthy smoothie time" Then I realized, that's right I AM AN ADULT, and I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want.
So while I'm out running errands, I make a little pit stop into by my local Bj's to pick up the ingredients for the dip. By the way, I'm really loving this Bj's Wholesale Club membership I got a couple of months ago.
It's been a wonderful resource to have during the winter when the local farm CSAs aren't running or have limited products and I've been pretty impressed so far with the quality of Bj's grass fed products and organic veggies.
What is risotto rice?
Risotto is made out of Arborio rice, an Italian short-grain rice. When cooking the Arborio over low heat and adding liquid, the short grains will absorb the liquid and release starch at the same time, resulting in an ultra creamy risotto.
I'll eat risotto with anything and it's one of my favorite side dishes for salmon too.
So, while I'm shopping for dip ingredients, I see this huge bag of Arborio rice for $8.99!!! What??!!?!?
Can't believe I buy a small little 2 pound bag for the same price at another grocery store right down the street. SOLD!! And in the cart it goes.
Then, I have a breakthrough. What if I combined the spinach artichoke dip with the rice to make an actual meal? That way I don't look like an idiot eating just dip for dinner!
Heck yes! Spinach artichoke risotto for dinner it is! Honestly, sometimes I wonder why I haven't won the Nobel Prize yet.
Here are some of my favorite things I bought on my trip. That Bolthouse Farms Organic carrot juice is $6.99 at my local store.
I paid just $3.99 at Bj's (with a $1.00 off in-club coupon), so I bought 3 of them!
Also, I got a HUGE hunk of Havarti cheese for the risotto. This Monday is getting better by the minute.
Found this wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese too. It's the same one I buy from my local grocery store, but it's $3.00 less per pound here. Winning!!
One of the best things about shopping for cheese at Bj's is that if you turn around, there's all the champagne and wine!!!
Wooohooo! Of course, I had to pick up a bottle of my fav champagne to have in the house for Valentine's Day.
Best price in town and it comes with a fancy bottle koozie. Fyi, I have about 10 of these koozies at home.
If you want one, please email me your address and I'll send one right out to you!
Hope you enjoy this Spinach Artichoke Risotto as part of a romantic Valentine's Day dinner in or as a regular weekday meal.
Spinach Artichoke Risotto
FOR THE SPINACH ARTICHOKE MIXTURE:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion , chopped
- 3 cups frozen chopped spinach , thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 cup artichoke hearts (not marinated) , chopped
- 1 garlic clove , finely minced
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper , optional
- salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE RISOTTO:
- 7-8 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , divided
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- 3 cups Havarti cheese , shredded
FOR THE SPINACH ARTICHOKE MIXTURE:
- Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a heavy-bottomed large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the spinach, artichoke hearts, garlic, and crushed red pepper (optional) to the onions and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove mixture from pan and set aside.
FOR THE RISOTTO:
- Heat the broth in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and keep hot (broth must be hot before adding to rice). In the same large pan that the spinach artichoke mixture was cooked in, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the Arborio rice and cook, stirring continuously, for about 1 minute, making sure all rice is coated with the butter.
- Add the wine and stir constantly until the wine has fully absorbed into the rice, about 1-2 minutes. Add the hot broth, 1 cup at a time, to the rice and stir constantly until the broth is almost fully absorbed into the rice. Continue to add the broth until the rice is tender and mixture is creamy, about 20-25 minutes. Add more broth for a creamier texture. Rice should be slightly al dente (firm to the bite), not mushy, and a very creamy texture.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in the Havarti cheese, the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, and the spinach artichoke mixture. Stir well and heat through for a couple of minutes. Serve immediately.