Monday, March 11, 2013

Risotto with Greek Yogurt and Peas

Peas are one of the few vegetables that I enjoyed growing up.  I was one of those crazy picky kids.  In the special case of tomatoes, I would eat gallons of ketchup or salsa, but put actual slices of tomatoes in front of me...eww.  My parents always told me that it would change when I grow up and never...ever... did I really believe them back then.
Here, however, I would have had no problem since I have always enjoyed peas.  I think its because they are slightly sweet and sort of a "pop" in your mouth.  They're fun! It also helps because there is some super tasty risotto to go with it.  What's special in this particular risotto is the creaminess being aided with Greek yogurt rather than the traditional butter and cheese.  Don't worry though, there is a generous helping of Parmesan here.

You only need an hour to create a homey Italian classic that isn't as bad for you as you think.

Risotto with Greek Yogurt and Peas
Prep Time: 40 min
Cook time: 20 min
Serves : 4
Inspired by: Food Network Magazine : March 2013

  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 3 inch Parmesan rind
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 3 Tbsp chives, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (plus more for topping of course)
  • 1/4 plain non-fat Greek yogurt
Combine the chicken broth, 3 1/2 cups water, and the cheese rind in a large pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, discarding the rind when done.  Keep this liquid warm.  In a skillet, heat the olive oil and add the shallots.  Cook until they are soft and translucent, but do not brown them (about 3 minutes). 
Add the rice, and cook, stirring constantly, until toasted (about 2 more minutes.)
Add the wine, and cook, stirring, until almost all of the wine has evaporated (about 2 minutes). Add 1/2 cup of the broth/cheese liquid and stir constantly, until the liquid has absorbed.
Keep doing this in the 1/2 cup increments until the rice is tender and creamy (around 20 minutes).
Once creamy, add the thawed peas, and stir until heated through (a minute or so).  Remove the risotto from the heat.
Add Greek yogurt, grated Parmesan, and all but 1 Tbsp of the herbs.
Vigorously stir everything until creamy.  Divide risotto between 4 bowls and top with the left over herbs and extra cheese.

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  2. If you have prepared a large enough batch of greek yogurt, there are plenty of recipes in which it can be used to replace sour cream or even plain yogurt.
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