This one-pot recipe for Oven-Baked Chicken Risotto will easily become a new family favorite meal. This no-stir method is the easiest way to make risotto and the flavor is out of this world!
Picture this: you are sitting at a fancy restaurant (kid-free). You order off the menu and enjoy the creamiest, most flavorful risotto along with a glass of fine wine. If you've heard anything about risotto, you know that it often requires a lot of attention to make and you truly savor this special treat on your night on the town.
Okay, back to reality. We all can dream, right? Reality is that on busy weeknights with two (soon-to-be three) busy girls, I just want to get dinner on the table that's easy as well as delicious.
What if I told you that you can make risotto at home without standing over the stove the entire time? This chicken risotto is a flavorful comfort meal that can be enjoyed as a weeknight meal or be served at your next dinner party!
What is Risotto?
Risotto is a popular Italian dish made with a short-grain rice called Arborio that's cooked in a flavorful broth and can be made with the addition of proteins and/or vegetables.
Unlike when making regular rice where you combine all the liquid and rice together and simmer, traditional risotto is made by slowly adding the liquid in stages. This allows the starches to release and create a creamy sauce for the plump arborio rice.
Traditional risotto requires a good amount of time standing at the stove stirring it while the liquid absorbs, and you add some more. While delicious, I wanted to find a way to recreate this dish as an easy baked version that's perfect for a busy weeknight!
How to Make It
Grab your Dutch oven as it's the only pan you'll need for this recipe. The components for this Oven-Baked Chicken Risotto are made in steps and then combined and baked.
Prep - season the chicken with salt & lemon pepper. Get your Dutch oven nice and hot and brown the chicken until it has some nice color (it doesn't have to be fully cooked at this point). Move the chicken to a plate and set aside.
Next, sauté the onion and garlic then add the rice. Sauté the mixture for a couple minutes until the rice just begins to turn translucent.
At this point, there will be a bunch of yummy goodness stuck to the bottom of the Dutch oven from the browning of the chicken and the flavor of the onion and garlic. This is all flavor! When you add the chicken broth to the pan, the liquid hitting the hot pan will deglaze the pan and release all those yummy bits back into the dish.
Add the chicken broth slowly and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan well. Add the chicken back in and bring the mixture to a simmer, cover and move to the oven. No more standing over the stove!
Bake - bake the risotto for 30 minutes covered. After half an hour remove the cover and bake another 10 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Finish - to finish the risotto add milk, parmesan cheese and frozen peas. Bake the risotto for another 5-7 minutes to heat everything through and allow the rest of the liquid to absorb.
The risotto is best served right out of the oven. A dish like this really doesn't require any side dishes as it already includes a protein, grain and vegetable although a simple garden salad would be a nice addition.
I always like to top my risotto with some extra parmesan cheese and a dash of black pepper.
Arborio Rice Alternatives
Arborio rice is typically a common ingredient found in most grocery stores, but if you can't find it there are some alternatives. These substitutes will work, but none will be able to quite duplicate the creamy, plump arborio rice.
Common substitute suggestions:
- Sushi rice
- Basmati rice
- Pearled barley
Check out some other Arborio alternatives here. Please note that the cooking time may need to be adjusted if using one of these substitutes.
A Dutch oven is a great addition to your kitchen bakeware stock! It is heavy bottomed to withstand high heat and maintains heat evenly. I love using mine for soups, roasts and dishes like this baked risotto as you can start it on the stove and put it right in the oven to finish. If you are able, I'd put a Dutch oven on your wish list!
If you don't have a Dutch oven, another oven safe skillet with cover will work for this recipe. Just be sure the handle and cover are ovenproof.
Another option would be to make prepare the risotto in a skillet or saucepan and move it to a oven-safe baking dish before putting it in the oven.
If you have leftover chicken you can absolutely use it for this recipe. I would make the risotto according to the recipe (just skip the browning the chicken part). After baking for 30 minutes, remove the cover and add in the chicken before adding in the milk, peas and cheese to allow everything to get hot.
Other Main Dishes You'll Love
Have you made one of my recipes? I’d love your feedback on the comment box and star rating below the recipe!
Oven-Baked Chicken Risotto
- 2 tbsp. olive oil divided
- 1 # boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1" chunks
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. lemon pepper
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ cups arborio rice
- 4 cups chicken broth
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup parmesan cheese shredded
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken thighs with salt & lemon pepper. Add to the Dutch oven and brown 4-5 minutes until the chicken has some nice color (doesn't have to be fully cooked). Remove chicken from the pan.
- Add another 1 tbsp. olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add onion and sauté 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another minute.
- Add arborio rice and stir frequently until the rice just begins to turn translucent.
- Stir in chicken broth, being sure to scrape the bottom of the Dutch oven. Add the chicken pieces. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then cover and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove cover and bake another 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes stir in milk, parmesan and peas. Place back in the oven for another 5-7 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed.