This delicious French green lentil risotto recipe is a protein-packed twist on a classic rice-based dish. It’s finished with nutrient dense collard greens for a pop of color and freshly grated parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
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It’s the first day of fall, and I’m cozying up with a warm bowl of this lentil risotto! Even though it’s about 80 degrees right now (not complaining), it will be time for cold weather dishes soon.
I know all too well that the weather can change quickly here, so I’ve already prepared lots of fall content for you! Hearty collard greens are coming into season, and I’m always looking for new ways to use them. This recipe showcases how collards can be transformed into a vegetarian main dish with just a few pantry ingredients.
One of my favorite dishes to make for chilly evenings is risotto, but sometimes it doesn’t leave me satisfied, especially if it’s just a veggie risotto. That’s why I decided to combine petite green lentils with arborio rice for a higher protein option.
The final result is warm, cozy, and ultra satisfying! The collards taste amazing stirred into this lentil risotto, and they provide so much extra nutrition, especially folate and vitamins A and K. So go ahead and put on some music, pour a glass of wine (you’ll need some for the recipe anyway), and get started!
How to Make Lentil Risotto
If you’re familiar with making risotto, then you know that it requires your full attention. You will need to constantly stir the dish to make sure the lentils and rice cook without burning.
First, get the vegetable broth simmering in a saucepan over a burner close to where you’re cooking the risotto. Next, chop up a shallot and cook it in some olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot. Add some minced garlic, along with the dried arborio rice and green lentils. Cook for a few minutes until the rice starts to become translucent. Add the white wine at this time, and stir until it is fully absorbed.
Optional step: pour yourself a glass of wine at this time too :-).
Using a soup ladle or 1/2 cup measuring cup, spoon the warm broth into the Dutch oven. Stir until it’s absorbed, and repeat until all of the broth is used and the lentils and rice are tender. Stir in the collard greens and parmesan cheese, and enjoy!
- Keep a constant eye on the lentil risotto. It’s best to be constantly stirring the dish, with only a few pauses in between. This ensures that the rice and lentils don’t burn and that everything cooks evenly.
- The lentils take longer to cook than the rice. This is OK, though, because the rice will just get a little more tender, release some more starch, and contribute a great texture to the dish. This recipe uses more broth and has a longer cook time than a traditional risotto to ensure that the lentils are cooked.
- If you don’t have collard greens, you can substitute Swiss chard, spinach, or kale. Really, any leafy green will do, but I really enjoyed it with collards!
- I used petite French green lentils (aka Puy lentils), but you can substitute regular green lentils. French lentils hold their shape really well and keep a firmer texture compared to some other varieties, if you’re wondering.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. Reheat in a bowl in the microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes or until warmed through.
More Risotto Recipes
If you like lentil risotto with collards, you may also enjoy some of my other non-traditional risottos, including the Baked Brown Rice Risotto with Asparagus, Vegan Mushroom Risotto, Acorn Squash Risotto with Rainbow Chard, and Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Brown Rice Risotto.
For more recipes using collard greens, check out the Coconut Braised Vegan Collard Greens.
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Lentil Risotto with Collard Greens
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot - diced
- 2 cloves garlic - minced or pressed
- 1/2 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 cup French green lentils - can sub regular green lentils
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cups collard greens - stems removed and thinly sliced into ribbons
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Bring the vegetable broth to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Keep it simmering while you prepare the rest of the recipe, and make sure it doesn't come to a boil.
- In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced shallot and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until tender. Stir in the garlic, arborio rice, and lentils. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes until the edges of the rice start to become translucent. Pour in the dry white wine and stir constantly until it's absorbed.
- Using a large soup ladle or a 1/2 cup measuring cup, pour some of the hot broth into the pot. Stir constantly until it's absorbed. Repeat this step until all of the broth has been used, the rice is tender, and the lentils are cooked but not mushy (about 40 to 45 minutes). You will notice that the rice will be tender before the lentils are. This is how it should be, and it's OK to keep adding broth so that the lentils cook. You may need slightly more or less broth than listed. Sometimes I heat up two quarts of broth (8 cups) just to have extra if I need it to keep cooking the lentils.
- Once the risotto is ready, stir in the chopped collard greens and parmesan cheese. Cook for a few minutes until the greens are wilted and fully incorporated into the risotto. Remove from heat, serve, and enjoy!
- Remember to constantly stir the risotto during the cooking process. Do not leave it unattended for more than 60-90 seconds.
- If you don’t have collards, you can sub any other leafy green.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. Reheat in a bowl in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes on high until warmed through.
Enjoy this yummy meal! – Lizzie