Risotto is often one of those dishes we save for restaurants, under the assumption that it takes way too long to make at home. While the extra arm workout can be a plus, sometimes you simply don’t have the energy to stir a pot for an hour (we get it). Luckily, it turns out there are plenty of recipes that don’t require half your evening to make. Check out these 19 healthy risottos—authentic and not so much—that cook up in 30 minutes or less, so that you aren’t tuckered out by the time you tuck into them.
1. Butternut Squash Risotto With Sausage and Crispy Sage
Butternut squash purée makes this risotto extra creamy without a drop of actual cream necessary (plus, it’s an extra veggie serving). With nutmeg and sage adding classic fall flavors and a generous cup of white wine also in the mix, it’s hard to pick our favorite part of this recipe.
2. Baked Chorizo and Asparagus Risotto
Ingredients like chorizo and manchego cheese make this dish both comforting and unconventional. Stir the rice for a little while to release the starches and then let the oven finish the job, so that you’re getting classic risotto creaminess even after putting in literally half the work.
3. Goat Cheese and Bacon Quinoa Risotto
If you just can’t with taking the time to cook Arborio rice, use quinoa for a speedier way to get your risotto fix. Not only does quinoa cut down the cooking time to 20 minutes, but paired with the turkey bacon and the goat cheese, it also amounts to high amounts of protein per serving.
4. Steel-Cut Oats Risotto With Mushrooms and Chicken Sausage
This dish has the look and texture of a typical risotto, but that’s actually steel-cut oats instead of rice in the pan. Flavored with butter, chicken sausage, veggies, and Italian seasoning, it may cause traditionalists to wince, but there’s no denying how good (and fast) this recipe is.
5. Quick Pasta Risotto
Get the best of both the pasta and risotto worlds by using rice-shaped orzo in this dish. It cooks right in the pan in just 25 minutes while still looking and tasting like risotto. A perfect one-pot meal for a busy weeknight.
6. Mushroom and Chicken Risotto
Opting for regular rice instead of the Arborio kind, this simple risotto can be whipped up in a record 20 total minutes—we recommend going for brown rice for a nuttier, chewier, heartier texture with a higher fiber count.
7. Lemony Shrimp Risotto With Broccoli
With flecks of parsley scattered throughout the pan, this risotto is also a good-looking dinnertime centerpiece. The juice of an entire lemon squeezed in toward the end lends a refreshing zing to the otherwise hearty dish.
8. Saffron Shrimp Risotto
If saffron-scented risotto Milanese and garlic shrimp scampi had a food baby, this would be it. Rich in both protein and flavor, and enough for two generous servings, this one has “date night” written all over it.
9. Green Risotto With Seared Scallops
Ideal for entertaining (or for St. Paddy’s Day, given its color), this risotto is a showstopper. Just one look at its vibrant green appearance, and its unusual ingredients, such as fresh mint and sour cream, and you’ll know exactly what we mean. Plus, with just a tablespoon each of cheese and olive oil in the entire recipe, it’s actually a much lighter take on a traditionally heavy dish.
10. Prawn Lemon Rocket Risotto
You’re just 20 minutes away from al dente rice, juicy prawns, and leaves of arugula combined into one perfect risotto. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, this recipe alone might be a good enough reason to get one.
11. Salmon Bulgur Risotto
With chopped salmon, dill, capers, and olives, even this risotto seems to know the healthy (and tasty!) benefits of the Mediterranean diet. To add even more nutrition to the dish, high-fiber bulgur takes the place of rice.
12. Asiago Shrimp Risotto
Another product of the pressure cooker, this risotto opts for Asiago over Parmesan cheese for a semisweet touch, plus tarragon and parsley to give the dish some freshness. Our favorite part is the fact that the rice needs to be stirred for fewer than five minutes before the cooker takes over.
13. Parmesan Risotto With Lemon Butter Scallops
There’s a fair amount of butter in this recipe (hence its name), so you may want to file this under the “special occasions” category. Then again, given all its cheesy, melt-in-your-mouth goodness, we wouldn’t blame you if you suddenly decided that every day was a special occasion.
14. Eggplant Parmesan Quinoa Risotto
This nontraditional recipe combines two classics into one healthy meal: You’ll be sautéing the eggplant instead of frying and using protein-packed quinoa instead of rice. It may be inspired by traditional favorites, but you won’t find this on the menu at your local Italian restaurant.
15. 20-Minute Rainbow Veggie Risotto
This recipe was invented as a way to get picky children to eat their veggies, but you could serve it up to any discerning adult, and they’ll happily devour it. Why wouldn’t they? After all, colorful, creamy, cheesy carbs know no age limits.
16. Mexican Risotto With Sweet Corn and Cotija Cheese
Purists may want to look away for this one, but they’d be missing out. The combination of brown rice, cotija cheese, jalapeños, and cilantro may be a sharp detour from the classic risotto recipe, but what’s in a name when it tastes this good?!
17. Zucchini Mushroom Risotto
Simple but elegant, this risotto stirs in zucchini and mushrooms for some extra veggie action, while white wine and basil are easy but effective ways to add flavor. Reduce the amount of cheese if you want to keep it lighter; while a full cup sure lends a lot of richness, a little less will still go a long way.
18. Mushroom and Pea Risotto
This totally meatless and dairy-free risotto gets its creaminess from vegan butter and almond milk, which mix beautifully with the starches from the rice. If you couldn’t imagine a risotto without cheese, this might just change your mind.
19. Cauliflower Risotto
Anyone looking for a lighter way to enjoy their favorite carby dishes will especially appreciate this recipe. Pulsed cauliflower replaces rice (you’ll get a full cup of it per serving), and coconut milk makes sure the dish stays rich without dairy. We saved the best part for last: This takes a total of 10 minutes to throw together.