bacon, egg and leek risotto

Seeing as I once argued that rice pudding should be breakfast food (what? grains, milk, a bit of sugar, sometimes berries — just like oatmeal!) it shouldn’t be any surprise that I’m now wondering if risotto could also be welcome in the earliest parts of the day. I mean, what if contained bacon and eggs? What if I warned you that if you start making risotto with leeks and bacon and finish it with a fried egg that you might not be able to go back to eating it another way? You can’t say I didn’t give you a heads-up.

leeks, still gritty
cooking, not crisping, the pancetta

I got the inspiration for breakfast risotto from an article I saw a few months back. Okay, it was many months. And every time I was about to make it, I found something better to do. Like, flossing. Or chasing my toddler around the apartment with a comb, trying to explain that he would one day thank me for not letting him leave the house looking like an unkempt Muppet. (Obviously, it didn’t work.) Eventually I had to admit that risotto, while lovely to eat when someone else makes it, is hardly my favorite way to dirty pots and pans. It’s the stirring, and also the starchiness; it’s the sleepiness of the usual inclusions (maybe mushrooms, asparagus and other delicately-minded green things), and that always requires that you make something else (a salad, or maybe some protein) that will make it seem more of a balanced meal. Risotto: It’s awfully demanding.

prep: pancetta, leeks, rice, cheese

toasting the onion and rice
almost there

Which is all the more reason that the risotto approximation of breakfast, replete with bacon, runny eggs, cheese and leeks is nothing short of brilliant. Of course, with my put-an-egg-on-it approach to turning anything (fried rice? check. bean stew? check.) into a meal, you probably already know that this needn’t just be breakfast, or even lunch. It was, in fact, dinner for us the other night, a most luxurious one before we all hopped on a plane for a week on the beach, one I’m looking at now from a balcony while the other two-thirds of my little family snore the afternoon away, all gritty toes and freckled noses. It’s not at all hard to get used to.

breakfast risotto-3

One year ago: Ribboned Asparagus Salad with Lemon and Creme Brulee French Toasts
Two years ago: Avocado Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing, Homemade Pop Tarts, Cabbage and Lime Salad with Roasted Peanuts and Leek Bread Pudding
Three years ago: Black Bread, Ranch Rugelach, and Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
Four years ago: Pizza Bianca, Brownie Roll-Out Cookies, and Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad
Five years ago: Margarita Cookies, Tequila Lime Chicken + Green Onion Salad and Chicken Empanadas with Chorizo and Olives

Bacon, Egg and Leek Risotto (Breakfast Risotto)

  • Servings: Six small or four large servings
  • Source: Smitten Kitchen
  • Print
This recipe was lightly refreshed in 2023. The changes: Up to 2 cups more broth, as I often needed it. There’s no need to separately warm your broth for the stovetop directions. The onions and leeks now cook together and stay in the pan the whole time. The butter is added in two parts, some for cooking, some to finish. Finally, I’ve added oven directions as I love how hands-off and easy it is.
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) bacon or pancetta, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more to fry eggs
  • 2 large or 3 smaller leeks, quartered lengthwise, cleaned of grit, and chopped small
  • 1/2 small onion or 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cups arborio, carnaroli, or another short-grained Italian rice
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine or vermouth
  • 6 to 8 cups low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese, plus extra to finish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 to 6 large eggs (you’ll want one per serving)
  • Minced fresh chives for garnish (optional)

If you plan to follow the oven directions, heat your oven now to 350°F.

Both methods begin on the stove: Place bacon or pancetta in a medium saucepan or deep sauté pan (3 to 4 quarts) and turn heat to medium high. Cook until the bacon/pancetta renders its fat and crisps, about 5 minutes, stirring as needed for even cooking. Remove with a slotted spoon to a towel-lined plate and set aside, leaving drippings in the pan. Reduce heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter to the bacon fat, and heat until melted. Add leeks and onion, and cook, stirring, until softened and mostly tender, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add rice and cook sauté until slightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Add wine or vermouth and cook until it almost disappears, about 2 minutes.

To finish on the stove: Ladle 1 cup broth into the rice mixture and simmer until it absorbs, stirring frequently. Add remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until rice is al dente, about 25 to 30 minutes. What you’re looking for in well-cooked risotto is a creamy but loose dish. When ladled onto a plate, it should spill into a thick puddle, not heap in a mound. You might need an extra splash of broth to loosen it. When you achieve your desired texture and tenderness, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 cup parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into serving bowls and sprinkle with crisped bacon or pancetta.

To finish in the oven: Add 6 cups of broth to rice mixture and turn heat to high to bring to a simmer. Once simmering, cover with lid (or foil, if you don’t have a lid) and transfer to the oven. Bake risotto in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed, but it looks a tiny bit watery. If the mixture looks dry once the rice is cooked, add more broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring to combine. What you’re looking for in well-cooked risotto is a creamy but loose dish. When ladled onto a plate, it should spill into a thick puddle, not heap in a mound. When you achieve your desired texture and tenderness, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 cup parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into serving bowls and sprinkle with crisped bacon or pancetta.

Both methods: Then, quickly, in a small skillet, heat a pat of butter over medium-high and swirl it to coat the pan. Crack one egg into the skillet, season with salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium. I like to cover the skillet with a small lid at this point, as it seems to help the egg cook faster and more evenly. In one minute, you should have a perfect sunny-side-up egg. Transfer to your first bowl of risotto and repeat with remaining eggs. Garnish each with an extra bit of grated parmesan, chives (if using), and eat immediately.

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273 comments on bacon, egg and leek risotto

  1. Victoria

    You are very welcome. Yours is the first book I’ve ever pre-ordered. EVER. You’ve done something pretty amazing here, Deb.

  2. I am firmly convinced of the magical properties of a runny yolk. A beautifully poached or sunnyside/over-easy egg turns almost anything into a meal, whether you call that meal breakfast, lunch or dinner! Lovely:) And huge congratulations on the book!

  3. There’s no way this wouldn’t be good! The egg on top is a great idea – almost everything tastes better with a fried egg over it! : ) I was wondering if you notice a difference/have a preference between arborio or carnaroli rice? I once read that carnaroli was better (cooks more evenly) and started buying it but now my source has dried out and to tell you the truth, I’m not sure I notice a difference…

  4. I can’t wait for you book to come out as every recipe I have tried from your site comes out perfectly. Honestly, I have never had anything fail.

    This to me is a perfect family dinner and one that I plan on making the next cool night. I could even see throwing in some fresh kale or spinach to get some veggies in.

  5. avis

    Check paragraphs 3 and 4. “Add rice and cook sauté ” is nitpicky but you say to add the broth in both paragraphs.

    Recipe souonds brilliant!

  6. I’m sold, I will fight for this to be breakfast! I find risotto to be therapeutic, but then again I love any project that will keep me in the kitchen for hours at a time . . . This might call for splurging on fresh eggs at the farmer’s market this week!

  7. CosetTheTable

    Deb, Honey, We consider you OURS. Our mother/sister/cousin/bff/whatever. We take joy in your successes (and make them our own). We empathize with your failures, because no everything we cook/do works out well ourselves. We ooh and aah over baby pics like you’re extended family.

    And if the comments and pre-orders generated by the last post make you speechless and grateful and a little teary-eyed, ***please brace yourself for the book tour***. What with traveling and tiredness and the bring-Jacob-or-not-bring-Jacob-both-are-AMAZINGHORRIBLE-decisions and us fans, and many of us are at least a little more attached to you in our brains than is quite exactly healthy, it will be MUCH more intense. Because we really do care about you quite intensely.

  8. JB

    I’ve been making breakfast risotto with a poached egg for years – so delicious! I like to dress mine up with pancetta, cremini mushrooms and a drizzle of truffle oil. It makes for a decadent breakfast for a crowd!

  9. Bacon and leek is one of my favourite risotto combinations and I love the idea of topping it with an egg. I’m all for a breakfast risotto although, truth be told, there’s not many foods that I wouldn’t consider as suitable breakfast foods!

  10. The Tutugirl

    I know you already have boy bait, but this should totally be called ‘man bait.’ I can’t wait to make this, my boyfriend is going to lose his mind!

  11. Mmm, I definitely love eating risotto for breakfast–but I have to say mine is generally leftover risotto, either eaten cold out of the fridge or patted into little cakes and fried. :) I love the idea of the fried egg on top–especially with the bacon!

  12. risotto SO needed a face lift, you are totally right about how boring all risotto recipes sound… I was just pondering what I was going to do with some extra turkey bacon and leeks, perfect! can’t wait to try it!

  13. Derek

    Sorry to know that you felt so much pressure about sharing the book with us. We really do love your blog! I have been suprised how often your recipes have come up in conversations I am having; from potlucks to local bakeries to even (my favorite) at church. Like I stated before – if you ever want a grass roots style marketing campaign, I am in (and I bet a lot of other people are, too). And if ever a book tour brings you to San Diego (you know, the exact opposite corner of the country) we would love to host you.

  14. Elyse

    I’ve made risotto with steal cut oats instead of rice before. It freaks people out, but I think it’s a great way to have a savory breakfast that is high in fiber. I’m going to try it with this recipe.

  15. Jordan Riley

    The funny thing is, it wasn’t until just a few years ago when I was visiting my uncle that I realized that other people think rice pudding *isn’t* breakfast–my dad would always make it for us on lazy Sunday mornings. I see no reason for risotto not to become breakfast as well.

    (Side note: if you chill leftover rice pudding in a properly-sized container, you can slice it and pan-fry it in butter the next morning, and it is a magical thing.)

  16. Marina

    Mmm…this seems like a leisurely weekend version of my favorite breakfast as of late- cheesy oats, with scallions, and a runny fried egg on top.

  17. This sounds like a lovely way to integrate risotto into the breakfast table! Chicken broth makes me a little hesitant though, it seems less-than-breakfasty. But I suppose it wouldn’t quite be risotto without it… so I’ll let it slide :) And I totally agree, a fried egg (with much drippy yolk, please!) makes every dish fantastic!

  18. Sara

    I have made something very similar to this and it’s AMAZING, but I put it in the oven for about 60 minutes to achieve the same effect with a lot less stirring. I usually do 1 cup rice, 4 cups stock or water and in a 300 degree oven for about an hour. Then add in all the extras on the stove top at the end. I hope this suggestion helps!

  19. I love this idea of leeks and bacon. I’ve mixed them in omelettes before, so this is even better because it combines it with rice. And incidentally, risotto is one of my favourite foods. And I have good news for you- last week I met a chef who gave me his recipe for 14 minute risotto with no stirring, which admittedly is the most tedious part!

  20. THREE years ago you went to PW’s ranch, told us you were pregnant and moved into the current smitten kitchen!!! holy cow…where has the time gone!?!

  21. Katherine

    Holy Shmoly! I can’t wait to try this! I have everything except the bacon….your ginger fried rice is one of our favorites, so I’m sure this will be, too!! Thank you!

  22. I feel so stupid now! Just last night, I had a bunch of bacon to cook, and although there was also risotto for dinner, I did not think to cook it together. I ended up wrapping the bacon around some eggplant fried in bacon fat and goat cheese, so all was not lost, but still, I would like to try your risotto sometime. Thanks for the recipe!

  23. I’m loving the idea of risotto for breakfast. One of my favorite breakfasts is a bowl of brown rice with a fried egg, scallions, & cilantro on top. Drizzled with soy sauce, sesame oil & sesame seeds. I usually make it with leftover brown rice.

  24. Looks delicious – I don’t have leeks, but have a garden full of green garlic. I’ll think it’s worth a whirl. And! you deserve every bit of the book buzz. Can’t wait for it to arrive.

  25. Leigh

    You shouldn’t feel bad about that little bit of self promotion. Many cooking blogs I see have a paid promotion post every second day. That is tiresome!
    You’ve worked so hard on Smitten Kitchen, you deserve to get a little something back. Not to mention that I couldn’t have more confidence in buying a cookbook than I do in buying the SK one.

  26. E’owyn

    You bet your sweet and savory self I pre-ordered! I’m so excited! You give me great recipes that never let me down and great places to start from and tweak all to my own happiness. As in did you know that your soy-ginger glaze is KILLER with teriyaki and rice vinegar if one hates soy and can’t find mirin or sake?! Thank you, more than you will ever know, for your inspiration.

  27. Jenny

    So many nights I cook something, look at it for a while wondering why it doesn’t look quite right for a meal, and then poach an egg to put on top. And it’s always infinitely better. (And I usually think, “it’s what Deb would do!”)

    Sorry, not to make a habit of it, but “Essentially, I’d rather talk about it only behind it’s back.” should be “its”.

  28. This looks like the best thing evvvver. I love risotto, i adore leeks, fried eggs are the perfect topping, and who in their right mind doesn’t love bacon?! Perfect dish, you’ve got my mouth watering!

  29. Jamie @ green beans & grapefruit

    Oh my, this sounds absolutely delicious- worthy of any time of the day. And huge congrats on the book!

  30. This looks too good not to make for dinner tonight! By the way, I made your vanilla pudding last night (for the umpteenth time–we do SO love it), and it was the perfect ender to a great day! Thanks for your tasty recipes, and fun dialogue!

  31. I love how all of these simple and basic ingredients just came so alive and classy in this recipe. I definitely have no problems eating this for breakfast. Back when I was in the Philippines, we had rice for breakfast all the time… and on weekends my mom would fry the rice with spring onions and cook up some bacon with fried eggs too! This recipe right here is everything in one bowl. Perfect!

  32. Christina

    I love the idea of bacon and egg risotto – Deb, you’re brilliant! I’m of the camp that a fried egg can make anything better. Confession: I’ve never made real risotto – seems very fussy, and I’m a little too easily distracted to be tied to a pot on the stove for that long. But I’ve made a baked version by Ina Garten (Easy Parmesan “Risotto”). I might give this a whirl using Ina’s technique. It looks too good to not make.

  33. Huge savory for breakfast fan here. I’m also a huge pressure cooker fan, and have gotten into the rhythm of the 8-minute risotto with my magic little pot. I don’t think I’ve seen any pressure cooker recipes on your blog, and I know the Smitten Kitchen doesn’t have room for much more. But, that being said, I will still urge you into looking for one. (Full disclosure: I won mine at a Macy’s bridal registry event, and I had been on the fence about registering one. Now I push all newlyweds-to-be to register for one.) Anyways, I shall scoop up this idea of a leek risotto (sans the bacon) whip it up in my pressure cooker, fry an egg and call it breakfast. In 8 minutes, I swear to god.

  34. Hi Deb,

    I think I know the article from which you got the recipe, because I made this (almost) exact risotto when it was first published. The results were dismal, at best, for me. The rice turned out way too dry and gummy; and even though I’m usually all over anything with bacon and eggs, it just didn’t appeal to me at all. Seeing this revised recipe has given me the inspiration to try again. I’m sure it will turn out delicious with your adjustments. Thanks!

    1. deb

      Hi An — Yes, that one. The proportion of rice to liquid was really off; you really want the 1:3 I have here or it doesn’t work well (it was less than 1:2, right?). My bad for not checking it first. I prefer to put the bacon/pancetta in first, so you can use the renderings to cook the leeks, rather than just adding a lot more oil, but that’s a preference, not something the recipe did wrong. It says leeks become soft in 2 minutes — they don’t. There was a ton of butter, more than was at all necessary (but not uncommon for restaurants). And, most importantly, it said the rice should cook in 12 minutes, which is really low. Maaaybe in 25. Usually 30, sometimes 35. Also, it called for 3 cups of rice, which is fine, but 2 1/2 cups is a full pound and most home cooks are really, really not making more than one pound of rice at a time. Or, buying specialty rices such as the ones you’d use here in bigger than 1 pound packages. So, I think that was my full list of quibbles. Oh, one more: Not a quibble but I think a lot of people — and I assume this because it took me years to get it right — appreciate some guidance on what the proper finished risotto texture (and not, “soft and creamy,” like many recipes suggest) should be like. So, I like to add that in.

      I am pretty sure this comment sums up how the book won the word “obsessive” on the cover. For anyone snoring along at home, my apologies!

  35. tree town gal

    deb – thank you for bringing us your delicious photography, recipes, jacob, and enthusiasm. many of us have been waiting for that post! congrats again…

  36. Danica

    I LOVE that you called it a runny egg. Next best would be “leaky egg”, as it was known around my house growing up! :)

  37. Della

    Deb, this is perfect! Risotto, bacon, leeks, egg…. what a great idea! I don’t know if it’s just me, but I was stumped by how to wash leeks the first time I used them. I agree it’s hard to engage in self promotion, but you’re not. You’re simply letting us know how to help ourselves–with your wonderful cookbook! Enjoy the vacation–you are an inspiration to me to take one myself one of these days. I have an edit for you, though. Sorry, it’s a pet peeve of mine, those tricky apostrophes! Here’s the sentence: “Essentially, I’d rather talk about it only behind it’s back.”

  38. was just thinking when i saw the first picture that your slogan should be smitten kitchen: put an egg on it. and you beat me to the punch! love, love, love risotto. i find all the stirring relaxing after a long day. will have to try this one soon!

  39. Natasha

    This risotto looks amazing!

    Please excuse another baking question – but if I wanted to replace some of the butter with oil in a cake recipe, when would I add the oil? A recipe usually asks for the butter to be creamed with the sugar, but would I add the oil too? Or add the oil after I creamed the butter and sugar? Or add it in a different step?

    Thanks! And…I can’t wait to get the book =)

  40. My mom used to make us semolina pudding with a blob of jam for breakfast, so I think rice pudding could totally qualify too. Except that I grew up in Norway, where rice pudding is actually a dinner food.

    And when I’m no longer in the first trimester, I am sure that bacon, egg and leek risotto will look delicious too! :)

  41. Marie-Claude

    Your book is also, just like Victoria, the first book I EVER pre-ordered on Amazon. I’m looking forward to dirtying it up! Will you come to Montreal for a reading? Please?

  42. kelli in portland, or

    I have been reading your blog for almost two years now, but have never commented. I love everything with a fried egg on top! My husband used to think I was crazy, but the more I make him things with a fried egg, the more he likes it too. I think I will make this for dinner tonight! Oh, and I will definitely be buying your book. I hope you come to Portland on your book tour!

  43. Cris

    Off topic – just used your peanut butter cookie recipes to make speculoos Cookie Butter (from Trader Joe’s). I had to do something with that jar other than eat a finger-ful every time I walked through the kitchen. They are so yummy! Did a one for one sub on the Peanut Butter / Cookie Butter and brought the white sugar down to 1/2 cup. Can’t wait for the cookbook!

  44. this looks ridiculous. i am only 24 but i am pretty sad i didn’t find leeks earlier in life. my mother never cooked with them and now i cannot get enough.

  45. Leeks are so beautiful right now, I love seeing them used! And damn it, anything with a runny yolk on top makes me way too excited. (Your son is so incredibly adorable–and his hair! Wow.)

  46. Kristi

    I grew up with “rice & raisins” as breakfast food and it wasn’t until after I was married that I encountered it as the dessert, “rice pudding.” If steak and eggs can be served for breakfast, why do people have issues with rice pudding? (Some people’s kids…)

  47. Ginger

    Quick question – how much did your one cup of finely grated parmesan weigh? I can use my box grater and get a denser cup, or the microplane, which makes things so light and fluffy, I’m never sure how much to pack it down…

    1. deb

      Hi Ginger — About 3 1/2 ounces. I use the fine holes but not the microplane. Not fond of it for parmesan — too fluffy, never holds much flavor.

  48. Anna

    I agree with Victoria in comment 2… Yours is the first book I’ve ever pre-ordered, and the first cookbook I’ve actually felt like was worth buying. I can’t wait!

  49. Laura

    Deb, I haven’t commented on any of your posts before but I just want to say how much I truly look forward to each and every one of them. After 8-10 hours a day in grad school, plus studying each night, plus a part time job, I can’t tell you how elated I am when later on at night I find out that you’ve posted something new – and that I can take a break from my day and be completely entertained by your fun and endearing posts, your pictures of the CUTEST KID EVER, and the recipes…oh the recipes! (I just made the coconut raspberry macaroons for my mom and sent them to her for mothers day). I love everything of yours I have made, I trust your palate and sensibilities completely, and I am beyond excited for your book. I preordered it as soon as I heard it was on Amazon – and just want you to know that you really shouldn’t be shy about your hype. It is incredibly well deserved. You’ve created a little sanctuary here within your blog for many of us and I can’t thank you enough!

  50. Davis

    I remember growing up in the mountains of North Carolina and one of the stables of every breakfast seemed to be country rice. Typically the rice had a touch of honey and that that was it, but of course the flavor from the country ham and scrambled eggs meandered its way toward the rice. So the translation of a savory risotto to a breakfast staple will superb and delightful.

  51. I love risotto with bacon. This looks divine especially with the egg on top. Dinner coming up soon. And seriously, how do you get any work done with that cute boy around. Zoom/blur – love it. I must have a 1000 photos of the back of my kid’s head for the same reason.

  52. Beverly

    Congratulations on the book! I have never, ever preordered anything, but it was like a compulsion. I did it. Counting down the days!

  53. Growing up in a Chinese family, I ate rice for breakfast all the time as a kid, as well as congee (savoury Chinese rice porridge) – which is pretty close to risotto! I do still enjoy savoury rice for breakfast now and then.

  54. Jenn

    Growing up, my mom would use leftover rice to make “rice cakes” for breakfast. She’d mix the rice with some egg, vanilla, and cinnamon and cook just like you do pancakes. They were so good served with butter and maple syrup.

  55. Clavis

    I’ve made rice pudding for breakfast before. And also bread pudding (it’s basically like French toast in a bowl). These days I also do pretty much any grain I have around, quinoa is especially good hot or cold with a little milk/yogurt and honey/maple syrup (and fruit), basically the same way you’d serve oatmeal. And the bonus is that quinoa has lots of protein and a cool texture. I’ve even made fruit crisp for breakfast (what, the crisp topping is totally like granola!)

  56. Leslie M

    I first discovered the wonderfulness that is risotto in a Food day article in the Portland, Or newspaper that described how risotto isn’t as hard as everyone thinks it is to make. I discovered this was true, and have since made it so often I no longer need a recipe. You actually get the right amount of creaminess from only stirring a few times when you ladle a couple of ladleduls of broth in, and right before the next ladlefuls. In between I’m grating my cheese, putting a salad together, setting the table, etc. And I’ve never liked al dente rice, so my risotto is always over-done, and it almost mounds on my plate, cuz I prefer it that way. Risotto is a good dish because it’s so versatile and fairly easy to do. I also think you tend to need a bit more wine than this, but that’s just my preference. I like the addition of leeks and pancetta..I’ve never thought of that before, and will try it soon!

  57. I absolutely love the way you presented this dish with the egg on top. It looks amazing. Plus it can make quite an appearance when you serve it to guests!

  58. Jessi

    That looks so delicious. I want to run home and make it immediatly. Could I just half the recipe or do you think I could keep it in the fridge overnight and eat the rest the next day?

  59. I laughed out loud at the flossing part. Great photos. I’ve got leeks. Lots of leeks here in Polska. Love your photos and I’m glad I stopped by during the blogathon.


  60. Sharilyn Unthank

    Have loved your blog since PW visit! Pre-ordered two because surely I know at least one other person who will love this cookbook too! Am hoping, no begging, you to come to Louisville KY. We have a great local bookstore in Carmichael’s and we are one of the top foodie cities…/News/…/2-2-12+zagat+foodie+ranking.htm so we certainly appreciate good food. Cooking at the Cottage would also be a great place for a book signing.
    And just fair warning if you bring Jacob, and I hope you do, you may face some fierce competition for attention…Honestly, I might want his autograph scribbles in my copy first and if I get yours too bonus! I, like, all the others, feel like one of thousands of great aunts to that cutest of kiddos.
    Oh and this recipe sounds divine. I love risotto, bacon, leeks, butter, wine and Parmesan and an egg on top to justify it for breakfast is just legendary!
    Hope to see you soon!

  61. I love including grains for breakfast but usually do it on a budget and just have rice, if I’m feeling fancy I’ll cook the rice in coconut milk and citrus. This reminds me a lot of what we used to have for breakfast when I worked in the kitchen at Saltie, which if you haven’t been yet YOU MUST GO. It’s kid-friendly(kind of) and has the best sandwiches and tiny deserts and it’s in Williamsburg. Anyway, we would have a fried rice + seasonal veg + eggs bowl every day, and though I only worked there for a few months, it was definitely my favorite part. Wouldn’t ramps be AMAZING with this? Too bad they’re overpriced every where I look.

  62. Chad McKenna

    My wife has three sisters. Our families spend a week together each year on the shore of Lake Michigan. My contribution outside of the one dinner my wife and I will prepare has always been omelets. As a morning person I now cook three breakfasts for the group. This will be good for that cold rainy morning that always seems to join us . Thanks Chad

  63. Thanks for the risotto inspiration! We’re coming into winter here in New Zealand and risotto is a firm favourite during the colder months in my house. I’m so glad you posted this recipe – bacon and eggs, what’s not to like!! :-)

  64. There’s a very similar recipe that I that uses with steel cut oatmeal that I found in Jacques Pepin’s autobiography. Sometimes it’s just too much in the morning so I love the idea of using risotto and having it at night instead!

  65. Stef

    What I want to know is, when you get the chance to have your own food show on tv, will it be a cable channel or PBS’s Create? And it will happen Dee. You are a natural. Besides you are racking up a lot of ‘been there, done that and wrote the cookbook’ work lately… what else could possibly be next?? All the best, and I too am going to pre-order your book – even though my computer is my ‘go to’ for recipes and the cook book shelf gathers dust… I am looking forward to reading yours!

  66. Stef

    And in the tradition of Smitten Kitchen Bloopers, Dee should be DEB. Proof reading is an art I lost a long time ago… :-(

  67. karla

    Hello, im new here and i love all your recipes, and i would like to make some of the tarts and pies that are in this site but in almost everyone you use the food processor, i dont have one either the money to buy a Big one, and if i buy a mini processor will it work? Those are cheaper and i only want it to make the dough or crust? Or maybe should i buy a pastry cutter?

    1. deb

      Hi Karla — Let me know which recipe you’re interested in making without a FP and I can let you know if it can be adapted without. Most can. A few will be trickier. That said, I think the mini is a great one to keep around. I used one for years before upgrading. Hope that helps.

  68. Karen

    Sounds like you had a few pre-orders for the cookbook?? Wonderful – I had to have the print copy, this one just won’t work in the e – version. Can’t wait. And I think this risotto would be a perfect breakfast for me on Mother’s Day.

  69. Rebecca

    Deb, your photos, recipes, and humor make every day a little more Smitten. Of course we’re all biting our nails waiting for that book. :)

  70. Charlie

    I LOVE risotto for breakfast — here’s a suggestion to make it even more breakfast-y. I often use rice grits, which are the broken bits of rice left over from the milling of Carolina Gold long-grain rice. The texture is even more creamy, more porridge-like than Arborio or Carnaroli, and the taste (and starchiness, which is the key to why risotto does what it does) is virtually, surprisingly indistinguishable. In low country cooking, rice grits are often made with stews and braises (sometimes called “bogs”) from this part of the grain that would otherwise be discarded after milling premium rice. In a pinch, you can grind rice (briefly!) in a spice mill or processor to make rice grits. Can’t wait for the book, Deb!

  71. Rebecca

    Hi Deb – Just gotta say, this looks fabulous! But, sad to say, it would take way too long for me to cope with in the morning. My favorite breakfast, conjuring up all sorts of good homey feelings from when I was a child, takes 5 minutes — leftover rice (I use Basmati) warmed up in a little butter in the pan, a fried egg on top with a little salt and pepper, and a fried banana. Of course the original (“Arroz a la Cubana”) uses plaintains, but trust me, a golden fried banana dripping in egg yolk and covered with nutty rice makes the dish.

  72. Sunny

    OMG Deb, I’ve been making Risotto using a fast method that does not involve any stirring or sitting by the pot ladelling. Its 1 – 1/3 cup of aborio rice and 4 cups of stock in a non-stick pot. once you’ve stirred in the rice to whatever you’ve cooked up (leek, bacon and onions with oil) add the rice and cook the rice in med temp for about 2 minutes. Then add in the 4 cups of stock (if you add wine, just make sure that total liquid is 4 cups). Heat up until it boils then turn the head down to med (without lid) for about 12-15 minutes. Then walk away – the trick is NOT to overstir and just give it a stir occasionally. Add cheese when the liquid has boiled off to the consistency you like. I make this all the time for my family and it never fails.

  73. Laceflower

    Like Sunny, I also don’t stir endlessly and do a quick method. I am a very long time follower; but being on the opposite coast there is usually 150 posts before I get here and I don’t comment figuring you are a very busy cookbook writer and mommy who would quit reading before I say mostly the same things as everyone else. But today only 119 ahead of me! I don’t like being a lurker so just wanted to be counted as a huge fan. I am looking forward to the said cookbook but am unable to preorder as I think a house move is in my future. I cook almost everything you post so I’m sure the book will be a winner. Thanks Deb

  74. I’ve never had risotto for breakfast but I am going to have try this soon! I’m always trying to find new breakfast foods that can keep me full until lunch (I am always clock watching for food…)

  75. WifeToAnAmazingCook

    Another post from one that’s read your blog for years, made amazing meals thanks to your recipes and for the first time ever – pre-ordered a book. I couldn’t be happier that your cookbook is #68 on Amazon (how awesome is that, right?!). And if your book tour happens to bring you north of NYC, Burlington VT is a foodie’s paradise and would welcome you with open arms! Thanks Deb, for all that you do and for inspiring me to cook (even on days when I don’t want to). And this risotto recipe – sounds heavenly and perfect for Mother’s Day brunch.

  76. meg

    I’ve preordered the book. How could I not? Your blog is already a big part of my kitchen experience, so the book is a no-brainer.
    And risotto for breakfast? Yes, please. I mean, the Vietnamese eat pho for breakfast. The Japanese eat fish for breakfast. Why should we be stuck in the Pop-Tart/cereal realm for the rest of our days?

  77. I’ve been making breakfast risotto since the first time I visited NYC and had it for brunch 4 years ago. It’s my favorite weekend breakfast treat!

    I actually have been known to reheat leftovers of your tomato and sausage risotto, throw a fried egg on top, and have that for breakfast. Mmmmmm!

  78. Leah

    This recipe reminds me of when I lived in Spain.. My host mother used to make me this meal with white rice, fried tomatoes (smothered in Spanish olive oil, of course), and a fried egg on top. Needless to say, they over salt most things.. eventually I grew very fond of it and years later, still have a bit of a salt fetish (I tend to over salt everything still)… Out of all the amazing dishes she made for me (paella, gazpacho, cocido madrileno… ) this is what I have always remembered and relentlessly try to recreate. I will be making this risotto in honor of her tonight!

  79. I want some of this right now. Fortunately I am going grocery shopping today and can buy the needed stuff. I sometimes have spaghetti with fried eggs(as per Mark Bittman) but this sounds even better.

  80. karla

    Tanks so much for answer deb the desserts i would love to make and calls for food processor are the Apple pie, the great unshrinkable sweet tart shell, easy jam Tart, and the whole lemon tart

    1. deb

      Hi Karla — So, these days I actually prefer to make pie dough by hand and only with butter, instructions here. The tart dough can be made without a FP in the same method, but you want to fully incorporate the butter (not bother leaving it in small bits) and break up the egg and incorporate it with the pastry blender too. You’ll have to knead the tart dough a bit by hand. Ditto with the tart dough for the jam tart. The lemon tart will be very, very tricky. It’s extremely hard to get the lemon fully ground up without a food processor. If you can, maybe you have a really good blender or insanely good mincing skills, the rest of the ingredients can be beaten together by hand or with a hand mixer. You’ll have to melt or fully soften the butter, however. Hope that helps.

  81. Lynn

    Your risotto sounds great and I will try it this week. Being a girl from the South, have you ever tried a fried egg and bacon bits over hominy? Sounds like a street version of yours…

  82. PG

    This kind of reminds me of kedgeree, that English breakfast classic somehow blamed on Indian food, that I tried for the first time at the Wagamama in Heathrow airport. But without fish, which seems likely to be an improvement.

  83. Jenny

    Just pre-ordered your book. I love your blog and thought this would be the best way to say thank you for all of the amazing recipes you’ve shared. I’ve made quite a few of them and many have become all time favorites…which says a lot! :)

  84. Interesting combination of flavors. I worry that the risotto would send me back to bed after consuming early in the morning. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I think I’ll save the first preparation for a Sunday, just in case. Thanks! Gary

  85. Like many others have mentioned…your book is the only one I’ve ever pre-ordered. And although I’m a blog stalker who doesn’t comment, I’d love to come to a book signing if you make it out to San Francisco. This recipe looks wonderful and I can’t wait to try it.

  86. chazi

    I’ve pre-ordered 3 for now, the first time I’ve ever done so. You’ve always steered us right and the book will be great I’m sure. Be proud and take a bow (curtsey?) you’ve earned it.

  87. RG

    Can you do a compare/contrast with the bittman deconstructed fried rice? Other than adding bacon and using a creamier rice, is this a similar idea? I LOVE the fried ginger/ garlic in that and I can see using bacon bits instead.

    off topic – I finally caved and bought a home seltzer maker, and made limonata tonight. I see a lot more sugar syrup in my life. Curious if you have any recipe ideas.

  88. Angela

    What a coincidence–I just bought a bag of frozen leeks from Trader Joe’s. Any idea what volume of leeks is needed?

    (PS: yours is the first book I’ve ever preordered… maybe even the first hardcover book I’ve bought brand new :)

  89. outdoorfoodie

    I am really jealous of anyone who would have time to do risotto for breakfast. I’m gonna have to stick to my multi-grain pancakes, or… ummm toast with almond butter and banana

  90. Katie

    A day late but I’m pre-ordering today – I’m so excited! And, I’m headed to Lincoln Center tomorrow to hear my sons’ orchestra play at Avery Fisher Hall – and there’s a ‘Wichcraft across the street! Guess where we’re getting dinner? And that smashed chickpea salad I make at home? I can try the original recipe. Woo hoo!

  91. Hi Deb & Alex
    Hello there!
    Such a wonderful surprise to stumble upon this.
    Am writing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
    Congratulations on a very “premium” blog.
    Very creative indeed. You are right. Food should be accessible. Easy. Within reach. Generally for everyone and anyone.
    Kudos you both!!!
    By the way, in Asia we serve rice for breakfast. In fact there are many, many ways to cook it. Yummy in moderation.
    As with everything else in life.
    Good luck with the cookbook. I’m sure it’s going to do very well.

  92. Meredith

    Just pre-ordered your book! Know what I am most looking forward to? Forgetting that I ordered it and a few months from now finding a mysterious Barnes and Noble package on my doorstep. I will open it and SQUEAL with delight. It will be Christmas morning all over again! And then my family will go hungry for the evening while I pour over what to cook first…

  93. Congrats, Deb! The book is #91 on ALL books on Amazon right now. Isn´t that mind blowing? Out of the million books they sell, yours is #91, and it´s not even out yet!

  94. anita

    this looks wonderful! have recently seen some risotto recipes with whole barley instead of arborio rice… i think this would be perfect one to try that with barley! thanks for the inspiration. you are definitely the go-to blog for recipes!

  95. Kate

    Deb. While I completely empathize with your reluctance to self-promote (I know: gah!), I must say that I am SO GLAD you posted about both your forthcoming cookbook and the french toast recipe preview from it. I plan to buy it in-person from a little local store when it’s actually out, and am fully confident that I’ll love it.

    One of the things I so enjoy about this blog (aside from the fact that literally every. single. recipe. I’ve tried is delicious) is that I always feel like I’m reading a post written by a girlfriend–I too have a 2-year-old, I lived in Manhattan for several years, and your descriptions consistently crack me up. Thank you.

  96. HOW on earth do you keep coming up with new recipes? How do you stay inspired and creative? I absolutely love your recipes :D Attempting them has given me such an appreciation for all the work that goes into pastries (considering what little time it takes to eat them). Won’t you come to SF and open a shop here? :) I promise I’ll be one of your loyal customers

  97. em

    I know I’m chiming in waaaay late, but I just wanted to say two things, well three things.
    1) You are a certified, bona-fide, gene-yuss. Anything is better with a fried egg.
    2) I appreciate your reluctance to self-promote, but I can’t wait for your cookbook. I’m actually giddy.
    3) I most often prepare risotto with broccoli, and then stir in chunks of garlicky chicken breast, either leftover from a roast or sauteed in some olive oil, at the end. It’s a little pedestrian, served up with a healthy heap of parmesan and a manly dose of black pepper, but it’s a satisfyingly complete meal. You know what would be better, though…same thing…with an egg!!!

    In summation: You rock.

  98. Deb,
    Can you please teach a cooking class? My friends and I are obsessed with all your yummy recipes. We all live in Brooklyn and manhattan. We need to meet you!


    P.S. Already pre ordered your beautiful gift to us

  99. Amanda

    Rice pudding is a breakfast food! I came to China last year with the Peace Corps and rice pudding is a very common breakfast dish. It is called xifan (pronounced she-fan), which literally translates as watery rice. I have seen hotels tack the English translation “gruel” and I always feel like I should tell the staff that word doesn’t have the connotation they are going for!

  100. There has been an ongoing debate in my family throughout the years between siblings of whether or not rice pudding was a dessert or breakfast. It has caused many ugly arguments. I am happy to know while reading these comments that I am right…it’s both!

    Anyone that adds a perfectly fried egg to anything is a superhero in my mind…and doubley so when you add it on top of risotto. Self-promote all you want…I ordered a book for myself and my soon-to-be-out-of-the-house-and-on-her-own College-aged daughter who is moving away from the dorms this summer. I consider it a nice parting gift for both of us! YOU are awesome!

  101. Deb, I have never commented, but I cannot tell you how excited I was that you chose a risotto for breakfast. So ingenious. Plus, it makes use of not one, but TWO items I grow/raise at home: leeks and eggs! Lastly, I cannot wait for your cookbook to come out. I will probably read it in one night. And then promptly go to the store at 3 a.m. to pick up the ingredients I will need for one of your recipes.

  102. Your line about “chasing my toddler around the apartment with a comb, trying to explain that he would one day thank me for not letting him leave the house looking like an unkempt Muppet” struck a cord. Every morning I have to fight with my son and his wild hair. Truth be told though, it’s really more about my fear that the teachers at daycare will whisper behind my back about how could I let my child leave the house like that.

  103. CP

    Anyone who has ever had to tout their own accomplishments knows how uncomfortable that self-promotion can feel. For that manner, anyone who has done a job interview should know that feeling. The humility that permeates this whole website is what inspires us all to cook like you. It is what will spark us to buy the book, recommend the book, and make those tomato shortcakes!

    Oh, and that risotto looks super yummy :P

  104. YJ

    Hi Deb,
    I’m a 18yro girl from the far away land of New Zealand, I’ve pretty much never made a proper meal in my life, but tonight I made this risotto and half of your French Onion Soup for dinner, as an early Mothers Day present for my mum.
    It turned out perfectly and was delicious, thanks for the recipe that meant that I was able to make this! I’ll probably start cooking regularly now too :)

  105. Jillian L

    I made this last night for dinner, it was incredible! I made the recipe pretty much exactly, but then topped the risotto with scallops. The egg and scallop was delicious, this is a new favourite of mine for sure! Thanks for posting and I can’t wait for the book!

  106. DivineGigi

    I just made this!

    * Vermouth
    * Smoked Bacon
    * Smoked Cheddar instead of parm
    * Topped with grilled ramps and that egg.

    This is the best risotto I have ever had in my entire life!

    It has been a while since I have been looking forward to leftovers with this amount of desire.

    Thank you Deb!

  107. Benjamin

    This was delicious. Added one last step–we grated some apple over the top to finish it, and it was absolutely perfect.

  108. Richard UK

    Thank you internet…. And procrastination. I have just arrived here rather randomly and for once without a hint of food in my thoughts. Food (very much this risotto) is now firmly on my mind to the point of keeping me awake. Yep, I’ll be coming back here again!

    I bookmarked a well reviewed risotto recently because it was written/designed for a slow cooker and despite the author warning everyone that it would never taste as good as the half hour stirred version, the comments were full of praise. I’ve been itching for an opportunity to try it but this has changed everything.

    Slightly alter prep, slow cooker on overnight. Wake up, parmesan in, do eggs and have this (minus the stirring) for a lazy Saturday morning breakfast. Mmmmmm. Cheers Deb

  109. AmyK.

    Just made this for the fam! Fabulous! Even the kids loved it. The egg is the perfect finish. Plus a glass of wine and Miles Davis in the background = a perfect early summer evening meal in Texas! Can’t wait for your cookbook!

  110. ste

    I’m from Milan, risotto is our traditional dish but I never thought about having risotto at breakfast, it’s a very logical idea when you consider the ingredients. Maybe the only problem is that it takes too long and cannot be made in advance. Yours is a very yummy recipe for a sunday lunch, anyway.
    Just my two cents on the types of rice: Carnaroli in my opinion leaves less starch, so risotto is less “bound” than with Arborio. Some however do not like Arborio because the effect is really creamy (too creamy maybe?). They are both excellent types of rice, it’s a matter of taste in my opinion. A question: how can you get it to be creamy as it should be with brown rice? When I tried, it was too (lack of a better word->) separated.
    By the way, you described perfectly how risotto should be: in Milan we call it “all’onda”, it means something like “wave-style”, but I cannot really translate it; it means that it’s soft and creamy.
    Excellent recipes and excellent photos, my best compliments (and my deepest excuses for my english :-) ).

  111. I’m lovin’ the idea of a fried egg on top of risotto. We have rice and eggs together all the time in our house, but I’ve never thought of topping risotto with an egg. I don’t make risotto a whole lot, but have been thinking about it recently and I think this is the ticket. Another perfect recipe for my husband and I when the kids are away.

  112. melissa

    I have been eating brown rice porridge for breakfast for the last few weeks and every day I contemplate the ‘am I just having pudding for breakfast’ question but then decide that my brown-rice porridge made with trim milk and topped with quinoa/sunflower seed muesli is a far cry from my grandmother’s full-fat milk rice pudding that baked in her coal range for hours. I will have to try cooking this at the weekend. It looks simply amazing.

  113. Malea

    I was so excited to make this, but when I got to it, I couldn’t find my arborio rice. Call me crazy, but I made it with some stone ground grits, and it was amazing. When in Kentucky…

  114. Chris

    I made this this weekend. There are moments in cooking when you feel like you served something amazing. This was one of those times.

  115. Cassy

    Made this today for brunch. Accidentally forgot to season with s/p until it was already in a bowl, and also forgot to add the wine until towards the end, but still this is super super tasty! Thanks!!!

  116. Claudia Horner

    Delicious, gluten-free breakfast! Truly delish. I had leeks and garlic in my CSA delivery, as well as some swiss chard (which I added). Oh yum! Thanks for a great post.

  117. Morgan

    my first time working with leeks (which, WHERE HAVE I BEEN MY WHOLE LIFE?!) and making risotto, both were so ridiculously successful. thanks so much for this recipe!

  118. Kasey

    Has anyone tried making this with fake vegetarian bacon? I’m getting ready to try it but I’m a teensy bit worried about missing the fat from real bacon.

  119. Tara

    I’ve never commented, but I’m obsessed with your website and can’t wait for your cookbook! Everything of yours that I’ve made has been fantastic, but this was behind. The yolk of the egg just made the already creamy risotto reach a completely new level of decadence. Delicious!!! Thank you for your passion and love of cooking. : )

  120. Megan

    It was good, and made a good amount so we had leftovers which is always very nice. It took me hours to make (I have a 10 month old who I need to feed frequently). I may have had the heat on too low when cooking the rice, because it was still a little raw/hard when it should have been done, but with some extra time and heat on the stove it cooked. I used Better than Boullion for the chicken broth. I also used a tablespoon of white wine vinegar because I somehow missed that I needed to write wine on my shopping list (and now I have a bottle of Gallo Extra Dry Vermouth for future use–thanks for the tip).

  121. Lauren

    I just made this. I had a bunch of arugula, so I chopped that up and served the risotto on top of the greens. Added some lemon zest and skipped the egg (was being lazy). I’ll put anything on top of arugula, because it makes bacon and butter and cheese into a salad. Flavors work well. Thanks for the recipe!

  122. Robert

    This is the second time I made this. Turned out great! Here’s a tip…open some wine ans slow down the process! You can’t rush risotto!

  123. Lynn

    Just made this for dinner ! Delicious! I spent a lot of time eating while I made it, so decided to have a glass of wine with it and no egg. Only thing was I had a very hard time cutting the panceta, so I would use bacon next time. (I’m a college student with not very good knives).

  124. Maureen & Dan

    We made this for dinner tonight, and I’m afraid we were spoiled by how delicious your asparagus, artichoke and mushroom risotto was. This one was so-so – we used pancetta and were wishing we had used bacon for a smoky flavor.

  125. Leni

    We just made this for dinner, and my boyfriend was so impressed that he not only did the dishes but also cleaned the entire house! Thank you for an incredible recipe and a clean house. This was the best risotto I have ever made, we made no changes except adding a little green onion.

  126. Erin

    I have never commented before, but I just want to tell you that I have made this at least ten times since you published it – it’s that good. It makes so many leftovers that I always get to eat this with the egg on top for breakfast for the next four days after. A breakfast without risotto is now like a day without sunshine!

  127. Jordan

    Hi Deb! I made this last night and it was delicious! Amazing! However, I had to use two extra cups of broth to get my rice to cook — a total of 8 cups! I’m new to cooking risotto, so I definitely could have done something wrong. Maybe my stove was on too high? Or perhaps I just have freaky rice! Any suggestions?

  128. I made this a while ago and it is absolutely brilliant. I don’t eat it for breakfast (I’m not much of a morning person), but for diner it is perfect. I don’t like most risotto recipes because they overdo it with their ingredients, or need a side dish, but this one doesn’t. And I love bacon, egg and leek (especially when combined). I will definitely make this again!

  129. rareflower

    I’ve made this not once, but twice this week! An amazing recipe – I especially like your details about how a finished risotto looks (puddle vs mound). This one’s a keeper.

  130. Luis

    I made this last night! Delicious! You post such wonderful recipes. And you are quite the photographer. Your photos are truly wonderful, Deb =)


  131. Just stopped by to tell you I made this for my boyfriend and although he was already enamoured with my sparkling wit and brilliant looks I’m fairly certain he’ll never leave if only because of this dish ;)

    But seriously, f*cking delicious and I’ve had some wine so apologies for the brash language!

  132. Sarah B.

    I made this for supper this evening. Two bites into his bowl of risotto, my eight year old decreed, “Mom + Smitten Kitchen = Awesome!” We all enjoy the food you inspire us to make here in Downeast Maine and every so often we just have to crow about it. . . And create equations about it.

  133. I’ve been coming here for years and I just saw this recipe on Pintrest and I knew right away who it belonged to! I am such a sucker for recipes like these, this will be in my belly tomorrow for dinner (I went out and got a bunch of leeks to make extra!)
    A few years ago I fell in love with your recipe for…I think it was farro and caramelized onions with mushrooms? It might have been quinoa, but I feel like it was a heartier grain. Anyway, these kind of recipes keep me coming back, NUMS!!


  134. Becca

    Made this last night – totally lovely! Actually ended up on this site because I got your book as a gift. After making this I am looking forward to tackling some of the recipes in the book! Thanks!

  135. Becca

    I had to come back again to say that I made the left overs into arancini tonight and they were declared “the best meal everrrrr”. Thanks again!

  136. Gertrude

    Just made this for mother’s day and my mum was delighted. Everyone said that it was so delicious though I still can’t get the puddle thing right, it mounds whatever I do! Initially was very frightened by the mountain of leek bits but the ratio of leek:bacon:risotto was just right in the end. Thank you for always providing reliable recipes that turn out so cutely :)

  137. Jean

    I found this recipe from a linkin a list on buzzfeed. I tried it tonight and it was so good! I am definitely going to check out the rest of your recipes because that was delicious!

  138. Hallie

    Hi Deb! I’m hoping to make this with some beautiful spring onions I just picked up from the farmer’s market. Do you think I should add them in later or do the same thing just cook them for less time since they don’t need as long as leeks to cook? Thanks!!

    1. deb

      Haillie — If they have big bulbs, you’ll still want a bit of time to cook them until soft, so you might be fine adding them at the same. However, you could chop the green tops and add them a bit later, if you wish.

  139. Dominique

    This is the fourth risotto recipe I’ve made in the last 4 weeks- I’m addicted! But I blame the third trimester cravings! I made this with left over ham from thanksgiving instead of bacon and it was excellent. Also, I’ve been following your blog for about 9 years now and this is the first time I comment. So, hi!

  140. Stacy

    Silly question, but how do you chop the bacon so small? I always wrestle with raw bacon, as it’s so fatty and difficult to manipulate. Even cutting into chunks is hard. Is there a trick?

  141. Patti

    Just made this dish and it is delicious! Wasn’t sure about the egg, but tried it and it was amazing. I never made risotto before and I must say, it wasn’t as hard as I imagined. Thanks for all the great recipe!

  142. Gina liening

    I have to say this was purely divine. if I could kiss you across the world wide Web right now I would. the flavors are phenomenal and they come alive in your mouth. the risotto is creamy and sultry, everything it should be. I am italian and food is love and this dish embraced us all. thank you.

  143. Meredith G

    We have breakfast for dinner every 2 weeks or so. Did a key word search in the archive for “leek” and this recipe popped up. First time making risotto, the instructions were great! Local leeks, ranch bacon from a local butcher, homemade chicken stock (from the sk recipe) all combined to make a delicious meal that will go into our regular rotation. You have demystified risotto and I’m going to try other recipes in the future!

    1. Meredith G

      I made this again tonight. Used store-bought chicken broth instead of chicken stock this time, and though the risotto turned out very good, it was flat compared to two weeks ago. Lesson learned: stock imparts more flavor and creaminess than broth.

  144. In Taiwan we eat congee for breakfast (it’s also a popular Hong Kong dish) and it’s basically savoury rice gruel with all sort of good stuff in it – kind of similar to risotto for brekkie! Having grown up in Taiwan I could never get used to breakfast on the continent because it’s always cold. English breakfast with bacon and eggs is tolerable but in the morning I really hanker after something that glues to the inside of my ribs and warms me up from the inside out.

  145. Oh Yum! I made this last night for a late rainy Saturday morning breakfast today.
    Sooo delish!

    The only change I made was to sprinkle a lemon, garlic and parsley gremolata on top. It added just right amount of freshness to the dish. Other than that I wouldn’t change a thing.


  146. C

    A Cook’s Illustrated article (2013?) about fried eggs suggests cooking four eggs at once by having 2 bowls each with 2 eggs, and then pouring them into the pan. That might speed things along.

  147. I made this for dinner, and it was delicious! My husband turned down the egg on top, which I think was a huge mistake (to each his own!). Came out perfect, the flavors were fabulous! It took me about 45 minutes to an hour to make, so a little too time consuming for a weeknight meal, but it really isn’t that much work.

  148. Mo

    I made it, and I LOVED it! But man, oh man was this a production to make (I hear that’s generally the case with risotto).
    I halved the recipe because it was just for my wife and me. I think I could have stopped at 2.5 cups of stock (I suspect mine was softer than it was supposed to be- but it was still amazing).
    How would you modify this for a pressure cooker? I’ve got an Instant Pot but haven’t made risotto in it yet.

  149. Benji

    Great for a leisurely morning while decorating the Christmas tree. Subbed parm with brewers yeast to appease non-dairy crowd with uncured thyme bacon (fairly heavy on the salt), incredible. Used leftover turkey stock from Thanksgiving, which kind of faded to the background given the forwardness bacon and parm/yeast. Smoked salmon instead of bacon might be a nice alternative with a smidge less work and for the unfortunate souls that don’t eat bacon.

  150. Absolutely good for breakfast. It has history in that I believe kedgeree started life (in the UK at least) as a breakfast dish in Victorian times. It has rice, eggs (usually hard boiled) in it along with smoked fish (traditionally haddock). It is true that bacon and smoked fish work well together; I have a cunning plan…

  151. amenue

    This was wonderful! I’d never made or even eaten a risotto before this, but I’m a sucker for anything with an egg on top and wanted to challenge myself on a nice Saturday night. It took all my self-control not to eat the leeks and the bacon until the risotto proper was done, but oh boy was the wait worth it. Thank you for all the excellent recipes!

  152. This was sooo good. I’m not gonna lie– I cringed every time I added more fat to the pan, knowing I was going to be eating something incredibly decadent and unhealthy. I got over it once I ate it.

    1. This was great in the Instant Pot! Cooked bacon, then leeks in IP and set aside (same as standard recipe). Sautéed onions for a minute, rice for a minute, added wine and cooked just until absorbed before adding 4 cups of stock. Cooked at high pressure for four minutes, then did a quick release. Added the leeks and bacon at the end, quickly made the eggs, and it was great.

  153. Jackie S.

    Let’s start with the negatives:
    1. For us makes 6 large servings, not 4 large
    2. Needs more bacon (everything is better with more bacon!)

    Postives (only needs one):
    1. WOW!! This was DELICIOUS! We had this for breakfast 2 days in a row. My husband said he could have this at least once a week for the rest of the year and not get tired of it. That is practically a miracle.

  154. Sophia Weston

    The egg makes it! I tried it at first without the egg, it was good but once I added the egg oh my goodness, all the flavours came together deliciously!! Great recipe!

  155. Zoe

    This was so good!! I have been wanting to make it for ages and finally did last night to major success. For those of you asking about using a heartier grain— I took a risk by swapping rice for short grained/quick cooking Italian Farro and it was perfect! Creamy and delicious and a bit nuttier and toothy than a traditional risotto, but that worked well with the salt of the bacon and cheese. It was my first time making risotto and I was super pleased— no hiccups at all!!! Thanks deb :)

  156. Made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious! I had some brussels sprouts in the fridge I needed to use, so I roasted those and added them to the risotto at the end. Thank, Deb. You have never once steered me wrong and you make me look like a MUCH better cook than I really am. 💜

  157. Reeniecj

    Made this today for a large family breakfast. However, I doubled the recipe and used the technique described in the more recently published Parmesan Oven Risotto. Turned out great. Everyone liked the addition of pancetta and leeks. Family likened it to a savory rice pudding (if there is such a thing). Delicious and easy.

  158. Katrina F Sensenig

    I love your Parmesan Oven Risotto. Any suggestions on converting this to a more hands off version like that?

    1. deb

      I definitely think you could. You’d want to start more on the stove for the vegetables, but the same oven method should work. (And I love the idea for a lazier weekend breakfast.)

  159. CM

    I’ve made this a few times, it’s so good! I made a vegetarian version with veggie broth and diced butternut squash instead of bacon, and it’s perfect.

  160. Pod

    Can you offer a weight amount for leeks? The size crazily varies here and weight is a much better guide. Really, I’d love to see weights with all ingredients for the same reason.

  161. Brooke

    I have gone to the Instant Pot for risotto. With the “sauté” feature, all steps are possible in the Instant Pot. I’d love to see Instant Pot directions for this recipe. Yumm!