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Risotto con Zucchini

5 from 1 vote

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Zucchini and corn bring fresh and light flavors to a creamy dish.

Enjoy fresh summer flavors with this Risotto con Zucchini! A creamy Italian dinner idea, this rice recipe is full of fresh flavors with a lighter consistency than many risottos. Gluten free and vegetarian.

Classic Italian side dish with fresh zucchini and corn. Creamy arborio rice with Parmesan. Gluten free (gf) and vegetarian. Zucchini Corn Risotto with Parmesan Cheese | Three Olives Branch | www.threeolivesbranch.com #risotto #italianrecipe #zucchini #glutenfree #vegetarianrecipe

Why You Will Love This Recipe

This Risotto con Zucchini did the unthinkable and made it into the top three favorite risottos in this house! Right up there with my Creamy Mushroom Risotto recipe. The addition of the zucchini is a mild flavor that lightens the entire dish so it does not feel as heavy.

The star of the show, zucchini, takes center stage, lending its subtle sweetness and tender bite to a creamy bed of Arborio rice.

The zucchini, tender and vibrant, adds a refreshing element to the dish, while its natural earthiness harmonizes with the savory notes of Parmesan cheese.

Zucchini Risotto embodies the essence of Italian cuisine – a celebration of fresh, seasonal ingredients, expertly combined for a creamy, delicious Italian rice recipe. Use it either as a side dish or main course!

I am OBSESSED with risotto.  I am always trying to hunt down restaurants that serve risotto, especially in Italy, because it requires love and attention in order to serve it, so it will almost always be amazing.  Part of the excitement of when I do find risotto is that it is not very common since it does require some love to make it, so it makes it all that more exciting. 

Zucchini Risotto is one of my new favorite risottos to make and makes a frequent appearance in our menu rotation!

Classic Italian side dish with fresh zucchini and corn. Creamy arborio rice with Parmesan. Gluten free (gf) and vegetarian. Zucchini Corn Risotto with Parmesan Cheese | Three Olives Branch | www.threeolivesbranch.com #risotto #italianrecipe #zucchini #glutenfree #vegetarianrecipe

Ingredients

These are the ingredients you need to make courgette risotto:

  • Arborio Rice
  • Vegetable Stock – or broth. Can also use chicken stock/broth if you are not concerned about it being vegetarian.
  • Red Onion
  • Butter
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Zucchini
  • Corn – fresh or frozen is best! Corn can also be skipped completely if desired.
Classic Italian side dish with fresh zucchini and corn. Creamy arborio rice with Parmesan. Gluten free (gf) and vegetarian. Zucchini Corn Risotto with Parmesan Cheese | Three Olives Branch | www.threeolivesbranch.com #risotto #italianrecipe #zucchini #glutenfree #vegetarianrecipe

Tips for Making Risotto

Risotto was always somewhat intimidating to me because I would hear about how difficult it is to cook with all of the stirring and the gradual adding of liquid, and so I avoided it for a long time.  

But it is really not that difficult, it just takes a little time and attention with the stirring.

Does the rice type really matter?

Yes! Arborio rice is high in starch and as this starch is released in the cooking process, it gives risotto the creamy texture.  Arborio is also a short grain which means it stays a little firm and chewy. 

You want risotto to have just a little bite or texture to it and not be soggy or too soft.  You can find arborio rice at most grocery stores and online. 

Do I really need to stir it that much?

In my opinion, yes.  Some people say that they do not notice a difference and just let the rice sit there and cook in all of the liquid at once.  But I DO notice a difference. 

The stirring and gradually adding of the liquid definitely makes the risotto creamier.  Grab a glass of wine or a friend and hang out with your risotto for a bit, stirring as it cooks. 

Yes, you can go back and forth to the pot stirring every few minutes, but the best ever risotto I made was when I was constantly stirring.

Can I just use my canned Parmesan instead?

The quality of Parmesan in this dish is extremely important.  

The cheese is a primary flavor and so you want to use ingredients that taste good as it will just make the dish better.  If you use that pre-ground, cheese in a can stuff, it will not taste as good.  

My favorite way to prep Parmesan cheese is to buy it in a large chunk and shred it with a food processor for fresh cheese.

Zucchini Corn Risotto with Parmesan Cheese is a great way to use a bumper crop of zucchini or to incorporate more veggies into your meals.  Top it off with some chicken, shrimp, or sausage if you wish.

Find more of our risotto recipes here!

Kim’s Tips

To ensure a truly vegetarian dish, make sure your cheeses are vegetarian.

Stirring is key! See our risotto tips above for more details about stirring.

Do not season with salt until after you add all of the butter and cheese, as both of those ingredients can be salty themselves.

FAQs

What is the Italian dish called risotto?

Risotto is a creamy rice dish, often made with butter, cheese, and other ingredients.

What is the secret ingredient in risotto?

The key to risotto is the secret ingredient arborio rice. This is a specific type of rice that releases starches and makes risotto creamy.

What makes risotto different than rice?

Risotto is a rice dish made with a specific variety of rice.

Is risotto the same as orzo?

No. Risotto is a rice, and orzo is pasta that is shaped like rice.

Do Italians eat risotto with fork or spoon?

Italians use a fork to eat risotto.

Classic Italian side dish with fresh zucchini and corn. Creamy arborio rice with Parmesan. Gluten free (gf) and vegetarian. Zucchini Corn Risotto with Parmesan Cheese | Three Olives Branch | www.threeolivesbranch.com #risotto #italianrecipe #zucchini #glutenfree #vegetarianrecipe

More Risotto Recipes

Risotto con Zucchini and Corn

Zucchini and corn bring fresh and light flavors to a creamy dish.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 638kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place the stock in a pot and heat over medium low. You want the stock to be warm when adding it to the risotto so that the temperature change does not affect the rice.
    6 cups vegetable stock
  • In a large pot, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. When melted, add the red onion. Cook until the onion is translucent but not yet browning, approximately 3-5 minutes.
    6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 Tablespoons red onion
  • Add the rice and stir. Continue cooking to slightly toast the rice until it is just starting to show a little brown color, approximately 3-5 minutes.
    1 ½ cups arborio rice
  • Add the white wine to the pot. Cook until the rice is almost dry, where most of the wine has been absorbed.
    1 cup white wine
  • Add one cup of stock to the rice. Stir continuously until most of the stock has been absorbed. Repeat this process one cup of stock at a time until the rice is cooked thoroughly. You want the rice to have just a little bit of bite left so that it is not completely mushy. Depending on your rice, you may need more or less stock for the right consistency so start tasting the rice after 4 cups.
  • While cooking the risotto, grate the zucchini. Heat a large skillet with 1 Tablespoon of oil. When hot, add the zucchini and corn. Sauté until the zucchini is just cooked through (not soggy), approximately 3 minutes. Set aside.
    If using fresh, raw corn, also cook it in this step along with the zucchini.
    12 ounces zucchini
  • When your rice is cooked through, remove the pot from the heat. Add the rest of the butter, the Parmesan cheese, zucchini, and corn. It is important to do this before adding salt and pepper because the cheese is salty. Stir to combine.
    ¾ cup corn, 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Taste the risotto and season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve immediately.
    black pepper, salt

Notes

Use any white wine that you enjoy drinking. I advise staying away from sweet wines as it will make the risotto very sweet as well. Chardonnay or sauvignon blanc are the ones I tend to use.
It may appear like a lot of zucchini, but it is a light flavor.  Add more or less as desired.  I like to use a full pound of zucchini.  You can also chop the zucchini.
To ensure a truly vegetarian dish, make sure your cheeses are vegetarian.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 638kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 1953mg | Potassium: 428mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1738IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 306mg | Iron: 4mg
By on July 23rd, 2018

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

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