This Parmesan and Kale Risotto seems fancy, is actually not

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If you're ever like, my [insert dinner partner here] and I could really go for a nice meal tonight, but our bank accounts are emptier than we'd like so I guess we'll have to cook but it's Saturday so I'm feeling kind of lazy and also can it be smothered in cheese...

Have I got the meal for you.

I think risotto is one of those things that people are intimidated to make, mostly because everything you hear about risotto is that it's time-consuming and hard to make and blah meh not true.

The thing about risotto is that you have to stand over the pot pretty much the entire time you're cooking it. But what you're doing is easy (basically, stirring), and there are barely any ingredients involved, so it's not a bad trade off.

I make this classic risotto whenever I feel like eating Kraft mac and cheese but want something a little bit more elegant. I can't recommend fresh Parmesan cheese enough. And don't hate on the kale just because it's good for you. Embrace it. Embrace the risotto. Serve with two large glasses of red wine, and have a happy weekend.

Parmesan and Kale Risotto


  • 5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped shallots or onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1½ cups arborio rice
  • Salt
  • 1 cup dry white wine, or more chicken broth
  • 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Pepper
  • Kale, a couple handfuls' worth, chopped
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Bring the broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so that it's simmering, and let it simmer there the whole time you're cooking.

In a large, deep skillet set over medium heat, add the oil and the shallots (or onion) and garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add the rice to the skillet along with a big pinch of salt. Stir and let cook for about 1 minute until toasty and fragrant.

Stir 1/2 cup of the broth into the rice. Stir and let it cook until the liquid is absorbed. Make sure the heat is high enough so that the mixture is constantly sizzling. Keep adding 1/2 cup broth and keep cooking until it's absorbed. Slowly add the wine each time, too, until you've used all of the broth and wine. The risotto will start to become delightfully thickened and creamy. Taste the risotto when you've used all the liquid and see if it's done. This will take about 25 minutes. If ready, remove from the heat. If not, add a bit more liquid and taste again.

Remove from skillet and scoop into a large bowl. Stir in cheese and pepper to taste.

Return skillet to stove over medium-high heat and add a big splash of olive oil. Add kale, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until kale is wilted.

Serve risotto atop a pile of kale, and garnish with more fresh Parmesan cheese and more salt and pepper depending on your taste. Eat!