Spinach and Parmesan Risotto: An Arm Workout You’ll Love


It’s been awhile since you and I talked about risotto. The last time was the lobster risotto that I wanted to eat every day for the rest of my life. I was craving it again and the weeone won’t join me in this endeavor, so I don’t make it often. Plus, there’s that whole “arm workout” portion of making risotto.

Risotto seems like a scary thing, but it’s really super duper simple as long as you’ve got good arms. You see, it’s all about the stirring and it takes about 30 minutes of stirring to make a batch, so if you alternate arms, they each get a good 15 minutes of exercise. I suppose that helps burn off the dinner before you even eat it, right?

I had some spinach on hand and wanted a vegetarian meal, so I made a basic risotto using vegetable stock and added fresh spinach and some parmesan cheese at the end to flavor it. I remembered the grape tomatoes that needed to be used so added them to the mix as well. I didn’t regret that last move. The sweet of those tomatoes made the dish.

This is an arm workout you can’t regret. In fact, I’m looking forward to the next time I put my fingers to sleep stirring.

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Spinach and Parmesan Risotto
Nutritional Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Serving size: 1¼ cup
  • Calories: 283.5
  • Fat: 7.0g
  • Saturated fat: 4.2g
  • Unsaturated fat: 2.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 47.6g
  • Sugar: 2.4g
  • Sodium: 1172.1mg
  • Fiber: 4.3g
  • Protein: 10.9g
  • Cholesterol: 17.6mg
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Risotto sounds intimidating to make. Although it takes some tending and lots of stirring it's a straightforward dish that anyone can master.
  • 3-1/4 to 3-3/4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth (can use chicken)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon light butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked arborio rice
  • 1 package (6-8 ounces) fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
Now What?
  1. In a small pan, heat the broth and keep it warm while you are preparing the dish.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter then add the onion, cooking for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute, then add the rice, cooking for 2-3 minutes, stirring so it does not burn.
  3. Add 1 cup of the warmed broth to the rice slowly and stir until all of the broth is absorbed into the rice. Continue to add broth, ½ cup at a time stirring constantly. Each time allow the liquid to be completely absorbed before adding the next ½ cup of broth.
  4. Cook until the risotto is creamy and the rice is almost tender, about 20 minutes.
  5. Add the spinach, cheese and pepper; cook and stir until spinach is wilted. Add tomatoes and stir until they are warmed through.



  1. Kim
    January 25, 2013

    Having made risotto a few times, we know what a work out it is, but so worth the end result! Yum! 🙂

  2. Chris
    January 28, 2013

    I just had my workout today. I did a mushroom risotto. I need my regular exercise as to that. I really love that kind of exercise. Forget about the gym!

    • Terri
      January 28, 2013

      It’s PERFECT exercise!

  3. Mamacita
    February 4, 2013

    I was skeptical about crockpot risotto until I tried it. It really does work. Although Lord knows I could use an arm workout…

  4. gigi
    February 5, 2013

    ok, i’m giving this one a go tonight for dinner. I’ve got it all on hand, so you are saving me from a trip to the market today…Thanks!!! Love risotto.

    • Terri
      February 5, 2013

      I hope you love it as much as I did. Risotto’s a bit of work, but simple work at least. Let me know how you like it!

      • gigi
        February 6, 2013

        Made it last night & it was a huge success!! Seriously…I came home from swim practice with my 3 at 7:45pm, was about to just pour bowls of cereal but decided to just try it & I whipped it up in no time. I’ve made rissoto many times before, but this recipe is fantastic. I’ve got all the ingredients right in my pantry which is huge for me. Stripped down, super easy & super adaptable. LOVED the fact there was only a 1/2 TBSP of butter in the recipe, a guilt free indulgence…Hooray!!!
        I’ve filed it away as my go-to rissoto base & now will mix it up depending on what kind of veggies are left at the end of the week. THANK YOU!!!

        • Terri
          February 6, 2013

          So glad you liked it! Yes, I play around with butter / oil amounts and try to keep it to the bare minimum needed so that I can indulge in foods I love without feeling guilty. Thanks for the feedback.

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