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Chicken Pesto Risotto

This Chicken Pesto Risotto is super creamy and loaded with flavor and nutritious ingredients. This no fuss risotto recipe made on the stove top is a great addition to your weekly meal plan. This simple recipe is a great introduction to making risotto if you have never made it before.

white bowl filled with chicken pesto risotto on a marble countertop next to a spoon and gray and white cloth

Chicken Pesto Risotto

This simple and delicious recipe is the perfect risotto for beginners. Check out our quick notes about ingredients and then jump right in to make this yummy meal.

Ingredients for Chicken Pesto Risotto

While risotto has a wrap for being fussy we want to encourage you to give this recipe a try! As long as you have a little patience and can hang by the stove you’ll have a delicious and easy to make risotto for dinner in about 30 minutes. For this recipe you will need:

  • olive oil
  • sweet onion, chopped
  • garlic, chopped
  • chicken broth (or vegetable broth) or chicken stock
  • white wine
  • arborio rice- arborio rice is necessary for making risotto
  • pesto (try our Homemade Vegan Cashew Pesto)- to make this recipe dairy free use a dairy free pesto!
  • cooked chicken- Any kind of precooked chicken can be used for this recipe. We got a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and used the chicken breasts. You can also use shredded chicken.

This is a perfect recipe for when you have some leftover chicken in the fridge or make this recipe really easy and grab a cooked rotisserie style chicken from the grocery store to use like we did!

Close up view of creamy chicken pesto risotto. The creamy rice, pesto sauce and chunks of chicken are easy to see.

How to Make Chicken Pesto Risotto

Before starting to cook risotto it is important to have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go. For this recipe that includes chopping the onion, garlic and chicken. Also, if you are making a homemade pesto be sure to have it ready to go.

To start, in a small saucepan, bring chicken broth to a simmer and keep over hot burner. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Next, add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant.

Stir in the arborio rice to coat in garlic and onion. Add white wine and cook until absorbed stirring very frequently.

Then, add the broth in small additions. A ladle is perfect to use for this part. Be sure to stir frequently and make sure all broth is absorbed before adding more. The more you stir the creamier the risotto will become.

Once all broth is cooked in remove from the heat. Then, stir in pesto and chicken until well combined. Serve immediately. If desired, top with additional basil and parmesan cheese.

How to Store Leftover Risotto

Allow risotto to cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Check out How to Reheat Risotto Perfectly for better tasting leftovers!

Is Risotto Gluten Free?

Arborio rice is gluten free so just be sure that you’re remaining ingredients are gluten free. The only ingredients you should need to check are the chicken broth and store-bought pesto if you don’t make your own.

A white bowl with black speckles on a marble countertop next to a spoon. The bowl is filled with creamy chicken pesto risotto.

How Do You Make Creamy Risotto?

Creamy risotto just takes a little bit of patience. The slower you add in in the liquid and the more you stir the creamier the risotto will get. Pour yourself a glass of wine and spend some time at the stove enjoying the cooking process.

Can I use a different kind of rice to make risotto?

No, only arborio rice can be used to make risotto. Other varieties of rice will not create the same creamy texture as arborio rice. Arborio rice can be found in any grocery store in the rice section.

bowl of chicken pesto risotto next to a blue and white striped cloth and a spoon

Chicken Pesto Risotto

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This Chicken Pesto Risotto is super creamy and loaded with flavor and nutritious ingredients. This no fuss risotto recipe made on the stove top is a great addition to your weekly meal plan.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup white wine
  • 4 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, diced

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, bring chicken broth to a simmer and keep over hot burner.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
  3. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  5. Stir in rice to coat in garlic and onion.
  6. Add white wine and cook until absorbed stirring very frequently.
  7. Add broth in small additions. Be sure to stir frequently and make sure all broth is absorbed before adding more. The more you stir the creamier the risotto will become.
  8. Once all broth is cooked in remove from the heat.
  9. Stir in pesto and chicken.
  10. Serve immediately.

Notes

Try our Homemade Vegan Cashew Pesto for this recipe.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 497Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 1136mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 23g

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