Pesto Meatball Risotto

Pesto Risotto

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Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings

Risotto is made by slowly cooking rice in chicken broth or stock, adding the liquid slowly while stirring. This forces the rice to release starch, which makes the finished dish creamy. This recipe is not difficult; it just takes a bit of time to make and some patience. As the end of the cooking time nears, start tasting the rice so you'll know when it's perfectly cooked.

Frozen precooked meatballs are the best choice for this recipe, but you can certainly make your own if you'd prefer. The meatballs should be hot when they are stirred into the pesto, so they don't interfere with the cooking process.

Serve this flavorful recipe with some white wine, a tossed green salad or a fruit salad, and enjoy every bite.


  • 1 16-ounce package frozen meatballs (precooked, baked, or homemade meatballs)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine (or chicken broth)
  • 4 to 6 cups chicken broth
  • 7 ounces refrigerated basil pesto (or 1 cup prepared pesto)
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Prepare the meatballs as directed on package. Set aside.

  3. Put the chicken broth into a medium saucepan and place over low heat.

  4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook and stir until vegetables are tender about 6 to 7 minutes.

  5. Add the rice; cook and stir for another 2 minutes or until the rice is coated with the oil.

  6. Add the white wine; cook and stir until all of the wine is evaporated.

  7. Then start adding the chicken broth, a ladle at a time, stirring frequently, until the rice is al dente. The whole process should take about 20 minutes.

  8. When the rice is done, stir in the pesto, cheese, meatballs, and butter.

  9. Remove the skillet from the heat and cover. Let stand for 5 minutes. Then uncover, stir gently, and serve immediately.

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