Creamy fennel risotto

Creamy fennel risotto is a simple and vegetarian delight, boasting a delicate and unique flavor. It’s an excellent choice for those moments when you crave a meal that’s a departure from the usual, yet without unnecessary complexity. Fennel is a typically winter vegetable, which is another reason to explore its versatility at this time. Whether in a luscious creamy soup or as a delightful side dish, such as roasted fennel with oranges, there are numerous ways to enjoy it. Among the many fennel recipes, today I introduce this exceptionally creamy risotto, sure to surprise your taste buds.
To prepare fennel risotto, begin by briefly sautéing fennel with a touch of onion. Add the rice and cook it with vegetable broth. Finish by incorporating a bit of butter – if you opt for the right rice, like Carnaroli or Arborio, only a small amount is needed for that perfect creaminess – and Parmesan. Fennel risotto presents a fresh and delicate flavor, making it an ideal addition to menus featuring meat, fish, or vegetarian options.
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Video recipe of the day

  • DifficultyVery easy
  • CostVery cheap
  • Preparation time5 Minutes
  • Cooking time25 Minutes
  • Serving4 servings
  • Cooking methodStove
  • CuisineItalian
  • SeasonalityAutumn, Winter and Spring

Ingredients for fennel risotto

2 fennel (small; about 14 oz – 400 g weighed already cleaned)
2 cups carnaroli rice (or arborio; 12 oz – 350 gr)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 onion
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese (grated)
q.s. pepper
1 pinch salt
2 cups vegetable broth (approx.)

475,14 Kcal
calories per serving
Info Close
  • Power 475,14 (Kcal)
  • Carbohydrates 72,41 (g) of which sugars 2,13 (g)
  • Proteins 9,26 (g)
  • Fat 15,35 (g) of which saturated 6,21 (g)of which unsaturated 3,05 (g)
  • Fibers 3,45 (g)
  • Sodium 224,85 (mg)

Indicative values for a portion of 300 g processed in an automated way starting from the nutritional information available on the CREA* and FoodData Central** databases. It is not food and / or nutritional advice.

* CREATES Food and Nutrition Research Center: ** U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central, 2019.


1 Chopping Board
1 Knife
1 Pot thick-bottomed non-stick, with lid

How to prepare creamy fennel risotto

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To prepare fennel risotto, you’ll need approximately 400 g of cleaned fennel, equivalent to about 2 small fennel bulbs. Remove the stems and the outermost leaf if damaged. Then, rinse them thoroughly and cut them in half, followed by thin slices.

cut the fennel into thin slices for the risotto

Finely chop the onion. In a non-stick, thick-bottomed pan, pour in the oil and add 1 tbsp of butter and the chopped onion. Sauté briefly, then add the fennel and a pinch of salt.

add the fennel to the chopped onion

Cover with a lid and cook over low heat for 5-7 minutes until the fennel becomes tender. At this point, add the rice.

Let it toast for two minutes over high heat, stirring often. Deglaze it with a ladle of hot vegetable broth.

pour the hot vegetable broth to deglaze the risotto

Lightly salt and cook the fennel risotto for about 15 minutes, stirring often, and adding more hot broth gradually as the previously added liquid is absorbed, until the rice is cooked (9).

cook the fennel risotto, stirring it constantly

At this point, remove the pan from the heat and add 1 tbsp of butter. Mix carefully to incorporate it into the rice, then add the Parmesan. Blend this carefully as well, to achieve a well-creamed risotto.

add butter and parmesan to the risotto at the end of cooking

Serve the fennel risotto immediately, garnished with a pinch of freshly ground black pepper.

Tips and variations

Fennel risotto can be enriched towards the end of cooking with various types of cheese instead of Parmesan: blue cheese, cream cheese, stracchino… Another possible pairing is with saffron: in this case, use a couple of saffron threads dissolved in a small amount of hot broth and add them 2 minutes before the risotto is ready.

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