Bacon Risotto is a deliciously indulgent rice and cheese dish packed with bacon, mushrooms and leek. Quick and easy to make, this creamy risotto recipe uses simple ingredients, taking minimal effort to create so much flavor!! With my tips and tricks you will become the bacon and mushroom risotto master chef. Don't be suprised if you get asked to make it over and over again! It is what I like to call 'Winner Winner Bacon Me Dinner' 😉🤣.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Combination of flavors: the white wine, parmesan cheese and savory bacon are the main trio of ingredients that shine in this recipe. It is a winning combination.
- Grocery store ingredients: everything you need to make this bacon risotto recipe will be readily available at your local grocery store. They are year round ingredients and easy to get your hands on.
- Budget friendly: there is nothing in the recipe that is overly expensive. Choose a cheap wine and then the bacon and cheese will be the next most costly ingredients. For each of those there will be brands with different price ranges so you can stick to your budget.
- Meal prep: you can make a batch of this easy risotto on the weekends and then freeze portions of it for night's when you know you will have had a busy day with little time to cook. (You will thank your organised self for this on those nights 😉🤣 .
- Family friendly: I know very few people who don't like bacon. They are mainly vegetarian friends. Everyone loves cheese and there is not so much wine involved that you have to worry about the kids getting on it. Did I already mention that they will ask you to make it again and again! 😉👍.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Olive oil: we use a little of this to cook the mushrooms, leek and garlic.
- Salt and pepper: we use a little salt and black pepper for seasoning in the recipe.
- Parmesan cheese: finely grated with a microplane zester if you can. Freshly grated is a better option to store bought pre grated parmesan cheese.
- Garlic: chunky chopped garlic, minced garlic or you can use fresh garlic cloves.
- Butter: this gets added in with the oil and helps to cook the mushrooms and leeks.
- White wine: use a dry white wine, such as a pinot gris or pinot grigio.
- Leek: a fantastic ingredient to use from the onion family. We simply cut the roots off and then chop the leek into thin slices like you see in the bowl in the photo above.
- Bacon: short cut, rindless bacon chopped into pieces is what you want. It has enough thickness to bring a chewy texture to the risotto.
- Mushrooms: cute little button mushrooms are what you are looking for. To add a variety of textures to the dish we keep some whole, we slice some in half and we slice some multiple times.
- Arborio rice: the best rice to use for risotto as it absorbs all of that liquid but keeps a little chewy bite to it for amazing texture in the dish.
- Chicken stock: we use a fair amount of this (1 litre or 4 cups). It gets absorbed throughout the cooking process. For although the risotto has a wet texture, there is no loose liquid in it.
Tasty Tip: I like to provide you with a number of substitutions and variations giving you an array of options when making my recipes. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section (further below) before jumping into the instructions on how to make the recipe which are coming next 😉👌.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by cooking the bacon.
- Cook the bacon (Photo 1)
- Boil the stock (Photo 2)
- Add oil, butter, garlic, mushrooms and leek to pan (Photo 3)
- Add arborio rice (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Bacon Risotto
Start by placing a saute pan or large skillet on the stove. No oil is required to start with as the bacon fat helps to create crispy bacon
Next cook bacon for 3-4 minutes till it has golden brown crispy edges. Use a wooden spoon to stir and move it around in the pan during this time. Once the bacon is cooked use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate.
At the same time as cooking the bacon, you can begin to prepare the stock. To do this place a medium sauce pan on the stove, turn the heat to high add the stock. Allow this to come to the boil.
Then without rinsing or cleaning the pan you used to cook the bacon add the olive oil, butter, garlic, mushrooms, leek, salt and pepper. Allow this combination to cook for 2 - 3 minutes. The leeks will soften and white bits turn a translucent colour and the mushrooms will lose their bright whiteness.
Next add the rice to the oil and leek mixture and allow it to become covered in the wet mixture. As the risotto cooks, you will find that it develops to have a creamy consistency with chewy al dente rice. (Otherwise known as risotto perfection 👌).
- Add the rice to the pan (Photo 5)
- Ladle in hot stock and allow it to absorb (Photo 6)
- Add the cooked bacon (Photo 7)
- Then add the parmesan cheese (Photo 8)
Next pour in the white wine and give it a stir. Then take a large spoon and scoop out some of the warm broth.
You want to add this to the risotto 1 spoonful at a time. Due to the high starch content of the rice and liquids combining, the consistency will become creamy and paste like. After adding each spoonful, give it a stir and let it absorb. Then continue to add more heated stock until it is all in the pan.
Once the liquids have fully been absorbed by the rice you can add the cooked bacon back to the pan. Stir to gently fold this through the risotto and then sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top.
Keep gently stirring as this melts until it too is mixed in with the risotto.
- Garnish the dish (Photo 9)
Once the cheese has mixed in and it comes time to garnish the dish, you want to use a trio of black pepper, parmesan cheese and finely chopped parsley.
These add a little more texture and colour to the dish and are a great way to finish it off.
Then grab some bowls, forks and spoons and get ready to serve the risotto. It is commonly done by placing it in to the centre of the table, so grab a heat proof mat, pop it on there, breathe a sigh of doneness and get ready for the compliments to run on in 🤣👏.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
For a white wine pairing try a chilled glass of the pinot gris that you used in the risotto. It is not too sweet and goes down a treat with the dish.
Depending on your mood you might only want a to serve this parmesan risotto as a main dish with a big bowl, a fork and spoon on your lap. Or you might want the risotto to be the side dish.
So options my friend are what I give you 👌.
Otherwise, get your garnish on, grab your bowl of steaming hot risotto, put your feet up and enjoy that glass of wine! 😘
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftover risotto in a sealed airtight container in the fridge.
Leftovers can be kept for 3 days and need to be reheated before being consumed.
How to Reheat
Reheat the risotto in the microwave by placing it in a bowl with a layer of cling film over the top.
Heat on high for 2 - 3 minutes, then test to see that it is heated all the way through to the centre or heat for a little longer.
How to Freeze
Allow leftovers of the dish to fully cool.
Then portion into air tight containers.
Frozen portions of the risotto can be kept in the freezer for 3 months.
They are best then fully thawed before being reheated.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- You can use 1 yellow onion peeled and diced in place of the leek if you wish to.
- If you want to use streaky bacon you can, to the equivalent amount.
- For cheese substitutes, you can use pecorino romano cheese in place of the parmesan cheese to the equivalent amount. We also use a little for garnishing the dish for serving.
- You can use vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock if you wish too.
- If you want to omit the white wine, you can simply add that amount of liquid (ie 1 cup) in additional stock.
- For additional protein you can add some cooked leftover chicken.
- For extra veggies you can add some green peas.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- You don't need to use oil to cook the bacon. The fat from it will render out and be enough to allow it to cook and brown on the edges.
- Don't worry about using an expensive wine. The wine I usually use to make this recipe only sets me back a whopping $8! 😉
- Sprinkle some lemon zest over the top of the risotto for a citrus zing if that is your thing!
- It might be tricky to see in the photos as both of my pans are white. However, the point I want to make here is that the stock gets added to a seperate pot and boiled on another element on the stove to the risotto.
- We do want to get the liquid to rice quantity right. So if you are omitting the wine as I suggest as an option above, you need to add that liquid volume in as something else ie more stock. Not simply omit it.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
Do you cook risotto with lid on or off?
Risotto is best cooked with the lid off. It requires the frequent adding of boiling stock as well as stirring and this is best done with an open pan.
What makes risotto creamy?
The starch coming off the arborio rice is what makes the risotto so creamy. In the same way that some recipes call for reserving pasta water to help bind the pasta and sauce, the liquids in the pan with the risotto help create a creamy starchy consistency.
Can I use cheddar cheese instead of Parmesan in risotto?
The best cheese to use when making risotto is parmesan cheese. Second to that a great alternative is pecorino romano cheese. Cheddar cheese is not commonly used to make risotto, however, it does work if you want to use that in place either the parmesan or romano.
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
We all need more than 1 good dinner recipe up our sleeve to have our nights sorted. Here, I like to offer you an array of choices that will tick different taste, texture and protein boxes:
- Slow Cooker Pulled Lamb
- Polenta Al Forno (Spinach Polenta Bake)
- Greek Lamb Shanks
- Panko Fried Pork Chops
- Honey And Mustard Sausages
- Fettuccine Alla Bolognese
- Dutch Oven BBQ Pulled Pork
- Crumbed Lamb Cutlets
- Pork Osso Bucco
- Greek Lamb Chops
It is time to get our bacon on my friend. You can also find all of my dinner recipes in the one spot!
Easy Bacon Risotto
- 200 grams/7 oz short cut bacon rindless, roughly chopped into pieces
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 40 grams/3 tbs butter unsalted
- 1 tablespoon garlic chunky, minced
- 200 grams/7 oz button mushrooms some left whole, some chopped in halves and some fully sliced
- 1 leek roots and top trimmed, cut into thin slices
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1 cup/250ml white wine Note 2
- 1 litre/4 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup parmesan cheese finely grated using a microplane zester
- black pepper
- parmesan cheese finely grated using a microplane zester
- parsley finely chopped
- Cook bacon: place a large cast iron pan on the stove, turn the heat to high, add the chopped bacon and cook till bacon is a little browned with crispy edges. Once cooked use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a paper towel lined bowl.
- Chicken stock: place a medium sauce pan on a separate element on the stove, pour in the stock and let it come to the boil.
- Oil and butter: add the olive oil, butter, garlic, mushrooms, leek, salt and pepper to the pan. Cook this combination, stirring as you go for 2 - 3 minutes.
- Rice and wine: pour in the arborio rice and use the wooden spoon to mix and coat it in the oil leek mixture. Then pour the white wine over the top.
- Boiling chicken stock: take a ladle and scoop out some of the boiling chicken stock and add this to the rice mixture. Stir until it is absorbed and then continue to add the stock spoonful at a time until it is fully absorbed by the rice.
- Bacon: once the liquids have been fully absorbed into the rice add the cooked bacon back to the pan and gently stir to combine.
- Parmesan cheese: next add the parmesan cheese to the top of the risotto and stir to gently fold this in.
- Garnish: once the cheese has been mixed in, grab the trio of black pepper, parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Use these to liberally garnish the dish for serving. Grab some forks, spoons and bowls and pop the risotto in the centre of the table as your master piece.
- Note 1 - Bacon: short cut rindless bacon is what you are after. I find streaky bacon too thin for a recipe like this unless you want to crisp some up and crumble it over the risotto to finish the dish. We want to cut this bacon into rough pieces.
- Note 2 - White wine: I use a 'cheap' $8 bottle of pinto gris. It is great as it is not too sweet and works really well in the recipe. When I say bottle, we only use 1 cup of this, but the whole bottle costs $8.