Bacon + Spinach + Risotto = The Ultimate Dinner Recipe You've Been Missing!
by Mona Sotomayor on Nov 12, 2023
Ever have one of those days when you think, “Ugh, not spaghetti AGAIN,” but your brain's too tired from the kiddo chaos to come up with a new dinner idea? Yup, we've all been there. Dinnertime déjà vu, anyone?
We know the drill: It's been a wild day of Zoom meetings, soccer practices, and - heaven forbid - that surprise “art project” your kiddo decided to do... on the living room wall. So when it comes to preparing food, it's tempting to stick to the old fam faves like sausage rolls, meat pies, and lemon chicken. But come on, we all know that we're secretly wishing for a food fairy to sprinkle some magic and variety onto our dinner plates.
And who can blame us?
At the end of the day, dinner isn't just about refuelling after a long day. It's that golden moment when the world stops for a bit, and you gather around with the most important people in your life. It's all about the laughs over shared stories, the "How was your day?" chats, and the playful food fights (we see you, cheeky toddlers!). So, why let this special time be dominated by the same old when it could be memorable with new recipes and shared experiences?
If you’re looking for the answer to the question, “What’s new, yet easy and nutritious, that I can cook today?” then we might just have the perfect dish for you: Risotto!
Risottos may sound super fancy initially, but this creamy, dreamy, and oh-so-delicious dish is flavorful enough to please even the pickiest of mini-taste-testers. The best part about it is that it’s easy to prepare and can be jazzed up with whatever your heart (or, let's be real, your pantry) desires. Bacon bits? Sure thing! Spinach? Throw it in! Cheese? Well, the more, the meltier!
So, if you're stuck in a dinner rut and are desperately typing "easy family dinner ideas" into Google for the gazillionth time, consider this your sign to follow our special Oven-Baked Bacon and Spinach Risotto recipe.
Ready to get cookin’? If yes, grab your apron, prepare your oven, and let’s start!
Oven-Baked Bacon And Spinach Risotto Recipe
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 250 g bacon, diced
- 300 g (2 cups) arborio rice
- 1 tsp basil
- 400 g (1 can) diced tomatoes
- 1L chicken stock
- 25 g ( ½ cup) parmesan, grated
- Preheat oven to 180° C.
- Heat oil in a large pan. Sauté the onion, garlic, and bacon until the onion is soft and translucent and the bacon has started to brown.
- Add in rice and stir until the rice is well coated. Allow to cook for a few minutes, stirring regularly, until the rice begins to look shiny.
- Transfer bacon mixture to a large ovenproof dish with lid before adding basil, tomatoes, and stock. Stir well then put on the lid and place in oven to cook for 20-30 minutes or until the rice has cooked and most of the stock has been absorbed.
- Remove from oven and add spinach and parmesan. Stir then place the lid back on for a few minutes to allow the spinach to wilt.
- Once that creamy risotto is out of the oven, serve it on WMBT’s Stickie Plates for a fun, mess-free dining delight. These versatile plates aren’t just about looks; they're super functional too!
How about setting aside some yummy risotto for tomorrow's lunch? Simply pop on the Stickie Plate lid, and you've got yourself an air-tight silicone snack box. What's more, with its three sections, your Stickie Plate becomes the ideal platter for adding some side greens or perhaps a little garnish to complement your Oven-Baked Bacon and Spinach Risotto.
Did you cook a bit too much? Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us! The good news is that you can keep that risotto fresh and creamy for up to five days in the fridge. You do not need to freeze it since this can make the cooked rice become hard, and the texture could get a bit grainy.
Feeling like you’re up for round two? Here are some helpful tips! To ensure your risotto will be as delightful as the moment it first graced your plate, start by setting your oven to 300°F (150°C). Evenly distribute the risotto in a dish safe for the oven, and mix in a tablespoon of water or broth for each cup of risotto. Tightly seal the dish with aluminium foil and warm it for about 10-20 minutes. Remember to stir it well midway to maintain its creamy consistency and uniform warmth.
How To Level Up Your Risotto
Here at WMBT, we totally understand that every tot has a different palate, so we've rounded up below some clever ways that you can switch up this recipe for your picky eater.
- Mediterranean Charm: Stir in a tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano, basil, and thyme right before serving for a herby freshness. You can also mix in some finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese for a tangy burst of flavour.
- Umami Twist: Add a teaspoon of truffle oil or a handful of sautéed shiitake mushrooms. This will give your risotto an irresistibly rich and earthy taste that'll make your taste buds sing.
- Seafood Delight: Swap bacon for cooked shrimp or seared scallops. A seafood risotto will transport you to the coast of Italy in just one bite!
- Cheese Heaven: Mix in some creamy blue cheese or Gorgonzola right at the end. The tangy and intense flavour will marry beautifully with the richness of the risotto.
Remember, cooking is a creative process, and these are just a few of the countless ways you can jazz up your oven-baked bacon and spinach risotto.
What To Serve With Your Risotto
When you're serving up a dish as rich and delightful as our Oven-Baked Bacon and Spinach Risotto, you'll want the accompanying sides to complement and elevate the meal. Here are some stellar options:
- Garlic Bread: It's hard to resist the allure of garlic bread, especially when there's risotto on the plate. Those crispy, buttery slices are perfect for mopping up every last drop of creamy goodness!
- Roasted Vegetables: Think sweet bell peppers, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes roasted to perfection with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and olive oil. These veggies will add a nice texture and pop of colour to your plate.
- Grilled Chicken or Seafood: If you're looking to amp up the protein content of your meal, consider a lightly grilled chicken breast or some shrimp. Their mild flavours pair wonderfully without overpowering the risotto.
- Lemon Butter Green Beans: The zesty, buttery goodness of this side dish offers a tantalising contrast to your risotto. Plus, it’s a quick addition that takes minimal prep time!
And there we have our sumptuous Oven-Baked Bacon and Spinach Risotto recipe! As we learned, chaotic weeknights don’t equate to skimping on taste or falling back on the same-old routine dishes.
As a reminder, don’t forget to amp up the fun quotient with We Might Be Tiny Stickie Plates. More than just a functional silicone plate, these cute kitchen wonders are crafted to infuse an infectious zest into mealtime, making every bite an event in itself.
Were your taste buds captivated by this recipe? Well, it's just a teaser from our extensive "Easy Dinner Ideas for Kids" collection. Don't hold back – secure your copy of this treasure trove of recipes and immerse yourself in a world of culinary wonders tailor-made for young gourmets and the young at heart. Dive in!
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