Risotto easy enough for a weeknight? YES! This Israeli Couscous Risotto with Mushrooms and Spinach is fresh, flavorful, and healthy. Best of all, you can make it ahead!
Do you watch Top Chef? We are hopelessly addicted. Alex has an uncanny ability to predict who will be eliminated. (I swear he always knows!) One clue is if the chef makes risotto, a dish that looks simple but it actually difficult to get exactly right. The rice should be cooked al dente, and the risotto should be loose–you want it to spread across the plate like a stew, rather than sit in a pile.
I love risotto, but I rarely make it at home. It is best eaten as soon as it’s cooked, which just doesn’t fit with our current crazy, kid-centric lifestyle. I’m all about dishes that can be made ahead.
That’s why I LOVE this Israeli Coucous Risotto. Would you believe I made and photographed this dish in the morning, and we ate it hours later for dinner? And it was absolutely delicious.
I love this Israeli couscous risotto for two reasons:
First, as I already mentioned, it can be made AHEAD = risotto game changer. I like to make it in my big enamel cast iron pot, then cover it and set it aside until dinnertime. When it’s time to eat, I just add a big splash of stock and reheat it over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Second, this risotto is super healthy and loaded with veggies, but it still tastes rich, creamy, a little bit indulgent. This is exactly the kind of meal I want to be eating in January.
Bob’s Red Mill makes a whole wheat Israeli couscous, which is what I used for this recipe, but regular Israeli couscous will work too.
If you’re not a fan of mushrooms, you can swap in another vegetable. Sometimes I make this with carrots, and it’s equally delicious. The only thing I wouldn’t recommend is “softer” veggies like zucchini–I tried it once and it ended up way overcooked.
A note: I usually use chicken stock because I prefer the flavor in this recipe, but I have made it with veggie stock too, so feel free if you want to make this vegetarian.
Enjoy and stay warm out there!
Israeli Couscous Risotto with Mushrooms and Spinach
Risotto easy enough for a weeknight? YES! This Israeli Couscous Risotto is made with whole wheat couscous and loaded with fresh veggies. Best of all, you can make it ahead!
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium leeks, rinsed and thinly sliced
- 1 8-ounce package sliced cremini mushrooms
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat Israeli couscous or regular Israeli couscous
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups unsalted chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the couscous and cook until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cover the pot and simmer until the couscous is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the spinach. Cover the pot and let stand until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
Loosely adapted from Cook's Country.