Looking for that perfect date night meal? Try this leek risotto with goat cheese! This comforting and delicious veggie risotto recipe comes together in about 30 minutes with minimal ingredients. No need to go out for dinner! Enjoy a restaurant favourite in your own kitchen!
Risotto is one of my absolute favourite things to make.
I love the whole process of making risotto.
How ya gotta stick with it.
How creamy dreamy it gets.
And how delicious it tastes.
Traditionally, risotto is made with Parmesan cheese (like mushroom risotto).
Today though? I’m sharing this creamy risotto with goat cheese!
Ingredients for Leek Risotto
- Arborio rice
- Vegetable broth
- Wine (use something you enjoy drinking)
- Olive oil
- Salt, pepper, and Herbes de Provence
- Goat cheese
What Type of Rice Should I Use?
Arborio rice is a popular choice for risotto. It’s a short grain rice and it’s readily available.
You can find it in your supermarket usually where you would find rice or pasta (it usually comes in vacuum sealed packages).
Arborio rice is super starchy, which is why risotto is so creamy dreamy delicious!
And don’t rinse it! Normally when one would prepare rice, you’d give it a little rinse under cold water to remove that excess starch. Don’t do that here!
How To Make Risotto
Full details on how to make this leek risotto are in the recipe card below, but here are the basics:
- Add broth to a saucepan and place over low heat to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, add butter and olive oil to a pan. Once butter is melted, add sliced leek, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until the leek is tender and remove for use later.
- Add a little more oil to the pan and stir in rice and toast. Tip: We are not actually browning the rice here, just warming for a couple of minutes.
- Add wine and stir. Cook until absorbed.
- Pour in broth, about a ladle at a time, stirring after each addition. Simmer/cook, stirring occasionally, and adding more broth as it’s almost evaporated. Continue this process. Tip: You want a medium simmer (not too low and not roaring).
- When rice is almost done (at about the 15-minute mark of cooking the rice), add leek mixture back to the pan, along with remaining salt, pepper and Herbes de Provence. Continue cooking rice a little longer until it’s rich, creamy, and al dente.
- Once you’ve reached your desired consistency, turn off the heat and stir in butter.
- Stir in goat cheese.
- Now it’s time to serve and enjoy this delicious leek risotto!
How Do I Know When Risotto Is Done?
Though this is a pretty easy recipe, it is a labour of love.
You don’t put risotto on and leave it. You stay with it.
And, if you’re like me, you sip wine whilst doing so!
The key here is to add the broth in increments. Slowly add broth, stir, and simmer until it’s almost absorbed before adding more.
What you are doing here is encouraging the starches to release from the arborio rice. We aren’t boiling rice here.
Once the rice is added, the whole process can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes and you may not use every last drop of broth.
Use visual and taste cues when making risotto.
So, what should ya look for?
The rice should be plump but still have a slight bite. You definitely don’t want the rice to be mushy, but you don’t want it raw either. Think like when you are making pasta — ya know, an al dente consistency.
The consistency is creamy and will be even more so once the final dab of butter and goat cheese is added.
Okay, tell me you don’t want to dive into that pan right now!
Add More Flavour
Garnish is always a good idea with whatever you are making. It not only adds visual interest but can add another element of texture, colour, and flavour.
Upon serving, this leek risotto is lovely with any of these flavour boosters:
- Sprinkling of lemon zest
- Freshly chopped parsley
- Finely minced chives
- Thinly sliced green onion or
- Toasted pine nuts
Tips for Making This Risotto Recipe
- Prep everything before starting! Everything moves along quickly once you start so have everything ready to go.
- I used a herb/chive goat cheese to really amp up the flavour, but you could totally use regular if that’s what you have on hand or prefer.
- Unsalted (no salt added) vegetable broth was used, but you can use water. You will be missing out on delicious flavour, though! Having said that, if you don’t have 4 to 5 cups of veggie broth on hand, you can dilute the broth with a little water.
- If you use a regular broth or even a low sodium variety, you may want to adjust your seasoning accordingly.
- Don’t skip keeping the broth warm. Why? If you add cold broth to hot rice, you’ll immediately bring the temperature down and slow down the whole cooking process.
- Herbes de Provence was used (basically, a mixture of herbs, which could include basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme and sometimes others). You could use another herb, if you prefer, or a combo of what you have on hand. Sage and thyme work lovely with leek.
- Don’t serve your perfectly cooked risotto in cold bowls. Just like this tip for warming plates, use the same process to warm your bowls.
- Enjoy immediately!! Risotto can lose its lushness as it sits. Don’t fret if it does! Add a little more warm broth to loosen.
More Easy Recipes for Two
If you try this leek risotto with goat cheese, be sure to leave a comment below!
Leek Risotto With Goat Cheese
- 4.5 to 5 cups unsalted vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1.5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large leek, cut in half lengthwise and sliced thinly into half moons (white, light green and tender darker green parts only, not the tougher dark green part), about 2 cups. Rinse well and drain before using as leek can contain debris/dirt between the layers.
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1 cup arborio rice
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ teaspoon Herbes de Provence, or dried thyme or sage
- 1.5 tablespoons herb or chive goat cheese (or regular)
Garnish Ideas (optional)
- Fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- Green onion, sliced thinly
- Chives, minced
- Toasted pine nuts
- Lemon zest
- Pour vegetable broth into a saucepan over low heat to warm through.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 12-inch heavy-bottomed sauté (or deep) pan over medium heat.
- Once butter is melted, add leeks and garlic. Season with ¼ teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 8 minutes or until leeks have softened. Transfer the leek/garlic mixture to a plate and set aside.
- Add remaining ½ tablespoon of olive oil to pan and stir in rice. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring to coat rice in the oil. Do not brown rice.
- Pour in wine and stir. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until wine has evaporated
- About a ladle and a half at a time (about ½ cup), add vegetable broth to rice, stirring after each addition. You don't want the heat too low, nor too high (a medium simmer, not vigorous simmer, is what you should be going for). When broth has almost evaporated, continue adding more broth and stirring every so often, cooking the rice and encouraging the rice to release its starch as it cooks. (The starch in Arborio rice is what gives the risotto a nice, creamy consistency.)
- After about 15 minutes (and when rice is almost done), return the leek/garlic mixture to the pan, and add remaining ¾ teaspoon of salt, remaining ¼ teaspoon of black pepper, and herbes de provence. Stir.
- Cook rice for about 5 minutes more (adding broth, as necessary) until rice is cooked to about al dente (not too mushy and not hard) and you've reached your desired consistency. Don't cook until all broth has evaporated. You want a bit of a looser consistencyNote: You may not use all of your broth here. It generally takes about 4.5 to 5 cups until the rice is cooked and the consistency is reached.
- After about 20 to 25 minutes of cooking rice (and when it's cooked), turn off heat. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and goat cheese. Note: If you feel like you need to loosen (or thin) things, add a touch more broth and just heat through.
- Serve immediately into warm bowls. Garnish to taste (if desired) with parsley, green onion, chives, pine nuts and/or lemon zest. Enjoy! Yields two generous main course servings or 4 appetizer servings.
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.
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Tried this recipe?
If you do make this recipe, thank you!! It would mean so much if you could leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed it, and it helps other readers too!