Basil Pesto Risotto

Basil Pesto Risotto

Pre-quarantine I would say that medical school limited me in my ability to cook the gourmet meals I typically enjoy making. Not only am I on a budget, but I also don’t have the time. I became a quick fan of 1 pan and bake. Eating the same thing like every week. *inserts sad face*

With this sort of extra time I now have on my hands, I devoted some of it to trying new recipes and honestly doing one of my favorite things, cooking. Cooking is such a big stress reliever for me and it is also my way to broadcast my creativity.

Anywho, I don’t like talking too much on my recipe posts so here it is, basil pesto risotto. Looking for your next quarantine date dinner, or just want something yum to meal prep? Here ya go.

Had this at Stubborn Mule, and decided to recreate. It had also been a while since I put my risotto skills to the test. You can do this too if you follow the steps. Stay safe and stay home peeps.

As always, stay fabulous!

What you need:

  • 2 chicken breast cut in half (can also substitute w/ 4 chicken thighs)
  • 1.5 cups Arborio rice (a little goes a long way)
  • Chicken stock
  • 1 can of your favorite basil pesto
  • Shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • Pearl mozarella
  • 1/4 cup of chopped onion
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • Optional: red pepper flakes

Instructions:

  1. Season the chicken however you like, but be sure to add 1tbsp -2tbsp of basil pesto to the marinade. Let the chicken marinate for at least 2 hrs for the best flavor.
  2. Chop 1/4 cup of onions, 1 cup of cherry tomatoes in half, and roughly chop a handful of cilantro.
  3. In a non-stick pan on medium heat add 2tbsp of olive oil. Fry your chicken on both sides till nice and crisp. Remove chicken and set aside on a plate.
  4. To the same non-stick pan add 2 tbsp of butter and the chopped onions. Stir onions around.
  5. While onions are sautéing, add the entire box of chicken stock to a seperate medium saucepan on medium heat. (Just heating up the stock)
  6. Now back to the pan with the onions. Add 1.5 cups of Arborio rice. Stir the rice around intermittently stir for the next 2 minutes. Your pan should still be on medium heat, do not change it.
  7. Add 1 cup of the warmed stock to the pan with the arborio rice. Mix around intermittently.
  8. Once you can no longer see the stock sitting over the rice (takes maybe 2-3 minutes) add another cup of stock and stir around intermittently.
  9. You will continue to repeat this step until you have no stock left. At this time the risotto should be completely cooked. It will have a creamy texture to it.
  10. Pour in the entire can of basil pesto, add in chopped tomatoes, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 1tsp of red pepper flakes, and the mozzarella pearls. Stir all together.
  11. Add chicken page into the pan, sprinkle more parmasean cheese cilantro to garnish.
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