Spinach and Pancetta Fake-Out Risotto

Spinach and Pancetta Fake-Out Risotto Recipe
Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Carla Gonzalez-Hart


Precooked rice simmers in slightly thickened chicken stock to mimic the creamy texture of risotto. If you'd like to use your own leftover cooked rice, use 4 cups.


Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups risotto and 1 tablespoon pancetta)
Total time: 23 Minutes

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Recipe Time

Hands-on: 23 Minutes
Total: 23 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Calories 337
Fat 11.1 g
Satfat 5.4 g
Monofat 2.6 g
Polyfat 1.2 g
Protein 13 g
Carbohydrate 47 g
Fiber 3 g
Cholesterol 18 mg
Iron 4 mg
Sodium 607 mg
Calcium 195 mg


2 ounces prechopped pancetta
2 cups chopped leek (about 2 large)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 ounce 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 (8.8-ounce) pouches precooked white rice (such as Uncle Ben's Original Ready Rice)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (5-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)


1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon, reserving drippings in pan.

2. Add leek and garlic to drippings in pan; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine stock and flour, stirring with a whisk. Add stock mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Add cream cheese and thyme; stir until cheese melts.

3. Knead rice pouches to separate grains. Stir rice, salt, and pepper into pan; simmer 8 minutes or until sauce is thickened and creamy. Gradually add spinach, stirring until spinach wilts. Remove from heat; stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano. Sprinkle with pancetta.