13 delicious recipes that prove everything works in risotto

Posted by Ella Buchan on 21 July 2016


Risotto is one of the most versatile dishes around and fab for using up leftovers. Once your basic recipe with Arborio rice, shallots, garlic, stock and perhaps a little white wine is on the go, you can throw in almost anything from your store cupboard, fridge or freezer.

Handfuls of veg, leftover meat from your Sunday roast, flaky fish, peas, spinach, pinto beans, sautéed mushrooms and eggs all work beautifully.

Here are some tasty recipes to inspire you...


Frozen or leftover cooked peas are delicious in risotto, cutting through the creamy richness with their fresh, naturally sweet flavour. Goats cheese is a twist on the usual parmesan.

Risotto with peas


Stir beaten eggs through a basic risotto recipe at the end of cooking, then add cheese and - for extra salty naughtiness - some crumbled, crispy bacon.

This carbonara recipe is baked, so there’s no need to stand guard over a pan.

Risotto with eggs
Seasons and Suppers


Got some meatballs leftover from last night’s spaghetti - or even homemade burgers from the BBQ? Chuck ’em in!

Meatball risotto


Cooked or preserved beetroot gives this dish its wonderful ruby colour. Seriously impressive (and sneakily simple).

Cooked beetroot

Tinned tuna

This store cupboard standby (or flaked, leftover tuna steaks) is delicious with creamy, cheesy rice.

For a twist, try this amazing risotto pie.

Tuna risotto pie
Chew Town


Roasted and even tinned tomatoes add tangy juiciness to risotto. A little basil torn over the top, maybe a squeeze of lemon, and you’re all set.

Tomato risotto
The Daring Gourmet


Chop up leftover cooked bangers or use chorizo for a Spanish twist. This recipe uses beer - perfect for ale that’s gone a little flat.

Sausage risotto
Cherry on my Sundae


Got some scrapes left in the jar? Stir it into your rice. Tasty with roasted tomatoes, too.

Risotto with pesto
Whole & Heavenly Oven

Roast chicken

Tear leftover roast meat into your basic risotto with some lemon juice/zest and fresh herbs. Throw in chopped leeks to make it even tastier.

Roast chicken risotto
Karista’s Kitchen

Lemon and garlic

Sometimes simple really is best. Garlic, shallots, a splash of white wine, a handful of parmesan, zest and a twist of lemon juice. Delicious.

Or add saffron to your stock for a delicate touch of luxe.

Lemon and garlic risotto
Shutterstock via: kuvona

Sweet potato

Throw in chunks of leftover roast sweet potato, butternut squash or pumpkin with a little sage and parmesan for a super supper.

Sweet potato risotto
Diary of an ExSloth

Trout and kale

Crumble up trout (or mackerel - any smoked fish really) and use up that bag of kale for this simple summer supper.

Trout and kale risotto


Baked or grilled salmon is delicious in risotto. With creamy leeks, it’s a match made in foodie heaven.

Salmon risotto

Main image via Shutterstock: VICUSCHKA

Liked this? Then try these: 

12 things you didn't know you could do with leftover pasta

What to do with leftover tinned foods

12 delicious fridge 'sweep' soups