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Baked Risotto with Meatballs

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3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups basmati rice
7 cups chicken broth
1 (20 ounce) package frozen precooked meatballs, thawed
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 (10 ounce) package frozen peas, thawed
1-1/3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes

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Baked Risotto with Meatballs

  • Serves 6
  • Easy

About This Recipe

The first time I made risotto was long before anyone in the Midwest could buy basmati rice. The grocery stores carried long grain white rice and brown rice and wild rice – and that’s it. Well, and Minute Rice.

So the first risotto I made was with regular rice. And I loved it – and still love that recipe to this day.

But now you can get basmati rice even if you live in the tiniest burg in the country.

But you still have to stand at the stove and stir and stir as you add chicken broth so the risotto is creamy.

Or do you?

Meatball Risotto Top

The day I discovered baked risotto was the day that changed.

This recipe isn’t quite as creamy as the stovetop stuff, but it’s still wonderful. And it’s almost no work at all. You just need an oven (natch), an ovenproof skillet with a tight fitting ovenproof lid, some basmati rice and chicken broth, and a few other ingredients.

Enjoy this great recipe. I like to top it with some chopped fresh tomatoes to add a nice pop of color and flavor and temperature and texture contrast. But you can add some more grated cheese if you’d like.




Preheat the oven to 400°F. This is crucial - make sure that the pan with the lid on it fits in the oven. I have a double oven with a smaller top oven - my pan with the lid doesn't fit.


In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook and stir for 3 to 6 minutes or until tender. Add the rice.


Cook and stir for a few minutes or until the rice is coated with the onion mixture. Add the chicken broth all at once and stir. Bring to a simmer.


Stir the mixture, then top with the meatballs.


Cover the pan with heavy duty foil, and carefully fit the lid on top. Put it in the oven.


Bake for 20 minutes, then carefully remove the pan from the oven, remove the lid (use a hot pad - it will be hot!) and the foil. Stir the mixture and taste the rice. If it's tender and the liquid is absorbed, move on to the next step. If the rice isn't quite done, cover again and bake for another 5 minutes. I sometimes have to bake the last 5 minutes with the lid off if there's too much liquid.


When the rice is tender, add the butter, cheese, and peas and stir gently. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes, then serve with the fresh tomatoes.


Linda has a B.S. in Food Science and Nutrition with High Distinction from the University of Minnesota. Linda has written 37 cookbooks (and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005.

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