Leek, Bacon, and Pea Risotto

Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
40 mins

This recipe yields extra risotto for making Risotto Cakes with Roasted Tomatoes and Arugula. If you don't plan on making the cakes, halve the recipe and reduce the cooking time slightly.


  • 2 leeks, white and light-green parts only

  • 12 cups (96 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth

  • 4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into strips

  • 2 ½ cups Arborio rice

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • ¾ cup frozen peas (optional)

  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper


  1. Halve leeks lengthwise; rinse thoroughly. Pat dry; thinly slice. In a saucepan, bring broth to a simmer over medium. Meanwhile, in a large, straight-sided skillet or Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium, stirring, until lightly browned but not crisp, 5 minutes. Add leeks; cook, stirring, until softened, 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Add rice and cook, stirring, until translucent around edges, 1 minute.

  2. Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup broth. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, until broth is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Repeat process, gradually adding broth, until rice is al dente and risotto is creamy (you may not need all the broth), about 35 minutes. Stir in peas (if using) after the final addition of broth.

  3. Remove skillet from heat and stir in Parmesan. Cover and let stand 2 minutes. Season risotto with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Reserve half the risotto (about 4 cups) in refrigerator for risotto cakes. Serve remaining risotto with Parmesan.

Cook's Notes

Briefly sauteing the rice before adding the broth helps it cook evenly, so it will be al dente throughout.

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