15-Minute Italian Greens and Beans Risotto
This simple, rustic dish is a heftier play on the classic. By using the elements from Italian Greens and Beans, but adding in extra broth and rice, this Italian Greens and Beans Risotto becomes a creamy, comforting main course without getting too heavy. Plus it’s all done within 15 minutes!
Italian Greens and Beans Risotto is a simple play on the classic Italian dish. Traditionally, greens and beans is served as an appetizer or a side dish – though I’m often known to eat a big bowl for dinner, especially when I’m by myself. But sometimes you need something with just a little more bite. Something that sticks to your ribs just a touch more.
Enter: Greens and Beans Risotto !
And the crossover is simple.
Add in some additional broth – I prefer chicken, but go for vegetable to make it meatless and vegan.
Toss in some cooked rice.
And voila! We stretch the flavors of greens and beans a bit further and make the final dish more filling (and creamier) than the original.
Let’s discuss the elephant in the room. This isn’t actually risotto at all. Traditionalists wouldn’t let us call this risotto because we aren’t using the classic Italian technique. And I wouldn’t blame them for getting mad at me.
However, this creamy, comforting dish feels similar in the end, so I’m taking the liberty here to call this 15-Minute Italian Greens and Beans Risotto.
The key to speeding up the risotto-making process in this recipe is by using a classic weeknight “cheat”. Marcella Hazan wouldn’t necessarily still let us call this risotto, but the method isn’t so far off.
I love using pre-cooked brown rice on weeknights to get dinner on the table faster. Here, the frozen brown rice packets from Trader Joe’s or my favorite Seeds of Change Quinoa and Brown Rice packets work great! Also, if you batch cook brown rice on the weekends for weeknight eats, all the power to ya!
How to Make Italian Greens and Beans Risotto in 15-Minutes:
Start with pre-cooked rice!
Then saute some garlic and crushed red pepper. Add in the chopped kale (or whatever dark leafy greens you have on hand!) and let it cook down for a couple minutes.
Toss in the beans, pre-cooked rice and broth and let it all cook together until thick! Serve with a sprinkle of Parm, if desired.
How long will 15-Minute Italian Greens and Beans last?
This dish makes for awesome leftover lunches. Double or triple the batch to make enough for the whole family or for lunches throughout the week. It will last in the fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to a month.
A simple, filling weeknight dish that arguably shouldn't be called risotto because it's not made in the classic Italian way. But serve it up and I promise you'll have zero complaints around the table. Hint: the key to making it in 15 minutes flat is to use pre-cooked rice!
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ bunch (about 4 cups) kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups cooked rice (like Seeds for Change Brown Rice and Quinoa Blend)
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, optional
In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add crushed garlic and red pepper flakes and stir for 1 minute until fragrant. Add in chopped kale and spinach and toss to coat in the oil. Let it cook down for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Toss in the cannellini beans, broth and cooked rice. Stir well and let cook for 3-4 minutes to thicken. Add in the cheese, if using.