This oven baked brown rice risotto is a creamy, delicious dish that doesn’t require the constant stirring needed for traditional risotto. With asparagus, thyme, and lemon, it’s a comforting vegetarian meal for the early spring!
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Learning new kitchen hacks that save me time and energy without sacrificing flavor is pretty much my favorite hobby. And this is especially true when it comes to risotto.
Creamy, rich, cheesy brown rice risotto (with veggies of course!) is one of my favorite meals. I almost always order it when it’s on restaurant menus, and the time that goes into making good risotto makes me appreciate it even more.
But when I want to make risotto at home, it’s hard to find the time to stir and stir (and stir…) until the rice is creamy. So that’s why I’ve been experimenting with cooking hacks to streamline the risotto-making process.
But now that it’s spring, I wanted to make a risotto with spring veggies. Plus, I wanted try a new technique that I’ve heard good things about through the world of food blogging: BAKING risotto!
I know what you’re thinking – can you really bake risotto? Does that really work? Is baked risotto even good? The simple answer to all of these questions is HECK YES. So let me break it down for ya!
Recommended Ingredients and Tools for Baked Brown Rice Risotto
Traditional risottos are usually made with a short grain Italian rice called Arborio. Short and medium grain rices have more starch than long grain varieties, which is necessary to make a creamy risotto.
Can you substitute brown rice for Arborio?
Yes, but you need to use short grain brown rice. This type of rice has the whole grain intact, which means it’s more nutritious than refined grains, but it still has the high starch content you need for risotto.
I highly recommend Lundberg Family Farms organic short grain brown rice or a similar variety to use in this recipe. **Please note** that this recipe will likely not work with regular, long grain brown rice!
Finally, this recipe cooks best in a casserole dish with a lid (like this Le Creuset dish or something similar). If you do not have a lid, you can use a casserole dish or a 9×13 baking dish covered tightly with aluminum foil.
How to Make Baked Brown Rice Risotto
Once you have your ingredients ready, sauté the garlic and shallots with some olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the veggie broth, turn up the heat, and bring to a boil.
Put the rice into the casserole dish and carefully pour the broth mixture on top. Cover and bake for one hour. Fifteen minutes before the dish is ready, sauté the asparagus in a skillet with some olive oil, and grate the cheese.
Remove the rice bake from the oven and uncover. Almost all of the broth should be absorbed and the rice should be tender.
Add the asparagus, cheese, and thyme. Stir vigorously for a few minutes. If needed, add a splash of liquid (broth, water, or white wine). Serve warm with a squeeze of lemon or some lemon zest, and enjoy!
Tips for Storage, Reheating, and Serving
Baked brown rice risotto tastes absolutely amazing straight from the oven. Seriously, I needed to stop myself from eating an entire second lunch when I tested it!
But this recipe makes about four servings (as a side). So if you’re just cooking for one or two, I recommend storing the leftovers in an airtight glass container in the fridge. It should keep for up to five days.
Reheat in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or in a saucepan over low-medium heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly. You can serve this as a side to a protein or as a vegetarian main dish with a side salad.
For other asparagus recipes, see my Roasted Asparagus and Carrots, Shaved Asparagus Salad with Mint Tarragon Dressing, and the Asparagus and Mushroom Naan Bread Pizza.
So what do you think?! Be sure to report back and rate/review it in the comments below! Looking for more veggie-loaded dishes? Check out my Vegetable Recipe Library.
Baked Brown Rice Risotto with Asparagus
- 3 tablespoon olive oil - divided
- 2 shallots - peeled, trimmed, and diced
- 3 cloves garlic - minced or pressed
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1.5 cups short grain brown rice - dry
- 1 bunch asparagus - trimmed and sliced into 1″ pieces
- 1 cup parmesan - freshly grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- Lemon juice or zest - to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a casserole dish (with a lid) or 9×13 baking dish and set aside.
- In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for a few minutes, or until the shallots are slightly tender. Add the veggie broth, increase the heat, and bring to a boil.
- Fill the casserole dish with the dry rice and shake the dish with your hands to spread it out evenly. Carefully remove the saucepan from the stove and pour the broth mixture over the rice. Cover the casserole dish with its lid, or use aluminum foil to cover it tightly if you do not have a lid. Bake in the oven for 60 minutes.
- Fifteen minutes before the dish is finished baking, heat the last tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Trim and slice the asparagus into 1″ pieces and add them to the skillet. Cook for a few minutes or until the asparagus gets slightly tender (it will cook more once you add it to the hot risotto). Grate the cheese and prepare the thyme.
- Remove the casserole dish from the oven when it’s ready and uncover it. The liquid should be almost entirely absorbed and the rice should be tender. Add the asparagus, grated cheese, and thyme. Stir vigorously for a few minutes or until the cheese is completely incorporated and the dish is creamy. If the dish looks dry, you can feel free to add a splash of broth, water, or white wine.
- Serve warm with a squeeze of lemon juice or some fresh lemon zest. Enjoy!
Enjoy this comforting spring dish! – Lizzie