Brown Rice Risotto

5 Reviews / 5 Average
I've created a simple recipe for Risotto that includes brown rice instead of brown Arborio rice for a real food approved side dish. Add this to your dinner rotation for endless possibilities by adding in meat or seafood, much like a stir-fry. I've adapted this recipe from Willams-Sonoma.
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Brown Rice Risotto from 100 Days of Real Food

My great-grandparents were born in Italy so for as long as I can remember risotto has been a staple dish in our family. When my dad is the one cooking, which is the norm in my family, we have risotto at almost every gathering including holiday dinners.

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What a nice recipe! I tried it and everyone liked it! My family said that I have to make this everyday.
– Ann

I even remember my dad making the Italian flag with his risotto one year by mixing tomato paste with a third of the batch and parsley with another third. I don’t remember who was at this particular dinner, how old I was, or what holiday we were even celebrating, but oh how I remember the Italian flag risotto. :) Clearly I was destined to somehow have food be a big part of my life.

But enough nostalgia for now… What I am really here to say is that I was slightly devastated when I first thought whole-grain risotto was impossible.

You see, when we made the switch to “real food” I looked everywhere for brown Arborio rice to no avail. I even went almost a year without eating risotto (yikes!) until one day I saw a post from Deliciously Organic explaining that you can actually make risotto with just regular brown rice…it doesn’t have to be Arborio or anything special!

You know how something can suddenly seem so simple when the information is presented to you like that. Plus this is such a great recipe to have in your dinner rotation because (similar to stir-fry) you can mix in almost anything you have on hand from veggies to seafood to meat in order to make it into a complete meal.

And if you have some homemade chicken stock available for this recipe, too…then yum!!

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69 thoughts on “Brown Rice Risotto”

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  1. 5 stars
    we made this last night and it was wonderful!! the nutty bite from the brown rice was a nice change of pace and paired really well with our salmon.

    we added blanched asparagus at the end.

    and yes – it took twice as long.

  2. I only had regular long grain brown rice, and I read the helpful comments so I expected this might take a little longer… but it really did take fully twice as long to cook, and twice as much liquid, and we still ended up eating it al dente because we couldn’t wait any longer! Great flavor though, and even more delicious the next day. Just plan ahead!

  3. Just so everyone knows, although you’ll never get the same taste/texture as arborio rice, the best way to use the same process/cooking time as arborio rice is to use long grain brown rice and you don’t even have to change your recipe. Speaking from experience as I have tried the various brown rices out there. I even learned (after my trial and error of coarse :-( ) from cooks corner that long grain is the way to go. I love Risotto so much as many of you on this post and was very thankful to find the solution. Thanks for all the clean eating tips, things like these are always so awesome.

  4. This makes me so happy. I have also been living without my favorite mushroom risotto for several years no, and I miss it terribly! I love quinoa, but quinoa risotto is just not the same! Can’t wait to try this tonight!

  5. Hi. Made this tonight. Firstly, brown rice takes ages to cook. Seriously a long time. 2 hours to cook 2 x cups of rice and stacks of stock, plus a little more water. But, what a great risotto. I made the above with Apple, ginger, garlic and vegetable stock with a ham hock. Sensational. Thanks.

  6. This is delicious and I know you recommended quick cooking rice, but for those of us who have regular rice you might want to rest in the recipe it takes more like an hour and half – 2 hours way more than double the time. I love the idea of cooking for 20 min then following your recipe. wish i had read the reviews first, but great recipe. thanks!

  7. I was looking for a brown rice risotto recipe for arancini (which I bake.) I have found a medium grain brown rice in the part of the grocery store that sells Bob’s Red Mill & gluten free stuff. I can also get it in bulk from the local organic grocery. It’s pretty close to Arborio and I much prefer the medium grain brown rice over the long grain. I haven’t timed it, but I believe it also cooks a little quicker.
    I also saw a recipe for just what I wanted to make from Rocco Dispirito – baked brown rice arancini! His recipe included pulsing the rice in a food processor or coffee grinder to break it up a bit so it will cook quicker. This is probably especially good for risotto as ut would release more creamy starchiness.
    I may also wind up trying it in a slow coomer as I like to make a lot of arancini to freeze and have on hand. Great for snacks or impromptu appetizers – just pop in the oven for 30 min!

  8. 5 stars
    What a nice recipe! I tried it and everyone liked it! My family said me that I have to do that meal everyday, thanks my Redmond 4500 multicooker – it can do it without my attention – just put ingredients in the multicooker and you are free.

  9. The recipe calls for quick cooking ( parboiled) brown rice,such as Uncle Ben’s..not regular brown rice. If you want to use rehular brown rice, cook it for twenty minutes, drain, and then use the above recipe.

  10. I also had trouble with the time it took to get the brown rice al dente until a friend recommended pre cooking the brown rice the night before.Makes the evening meal a bit quicker the next day and still tastes great.My brown rice rissotto is a hit. Thanks ML

  11. Was looking forward to a healthier option trying to eliminate processed foods for our family, so making a risotto with brown rice was one l was keen to try. This recipe was an absolute disaster, it took 2 litres of stock, along with 1.5 hrs to cook! The brown rice simply wouldnt absorb the stock, hence the cooking time was sooo long, am at a loss as to why the recipe turned out poorly, and l call myself a reasonable cook. Very disappointing!

    1. Could it be that it wasn’t boiling or simmering, only on low heat?
      I soak and/or sprout my brown rice. Soaking the rice for at least 8 hours beforehand make the rice take less time to cook and even more so when I sprout it. I also use a pressure cooker, so I can cook rice in less than 10 minutes!
      I really suggest trying either/both of those options. Soaking and sprouting increases the bio-availability of nutrients in the brown rice and my pressure cooker is one of my most-used kitchen utensils.

  12. 5 stars
    Fabulous recipe. I didn’t want to open a bottle of wine just for the little bit needed so I just used a bit more broth. I used organic vegetable boullion cubes to make the broth as I didn’t have any frozen broth left. We added shrimp, mushrooms, and spinach (cooked) to ours and it was amazing! And I used not quick cooking rice- took about 45 minutes of cooking.