Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Carla Gonzalez-Hart 
Hands-on Time
23 Mins
Total Time
23 Mins
Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups risotto and 1 tablespoon pancetta)

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.

How to Make It

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

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Ratings & Reviews

guinness4029's Review

April 25, 2014

esanneman's Review

April 17, 2014

sukeedog's Review

May 04, 2014
I made my own (brown) rice but otherwise followed the recipe, and we thought this was great! It was super creamy and the pancetta gave it a lovely richness. I'll definitely try this method with other risotto recipes in the future.

tracieg's Review

April 13, 2014
Easy & delicious. I used frozen basmati rice & frozen presliced leeks from Trader Joes and halved the recipe without any problems. It's even better the next day. Will definitely be added to the rotation.

LDombeck's Review

June 17, 2014
I make a lot of risottos. This wasn't nearly as creamy as a risotto. I wouldn't necessarily say is succeeds as a risotto fake out, but that said, it was tasty. Just call it a rice dish though. I used turkey bacon instead of pancetta. Decent, but I won't make again.

osequin's Review

June 19, 2014
This risotto had wonderful flavor- not bland at all! I'd say it was pretty close to real risotto and WAY less hassle. It gets less creamy if you let it sit so make sure you serve it pretty soon after it is done

PKcookin's Review

April 28, 2014
This is good but there were things I didn't like. I chose to use basmati rice. If I made this again I would use a shorter grained rice such as a medium grain Mexican rice. The longer grain just don't say risotto. It also lacked a little richness. I made half a recipe and should have used a smaller pan, that might have helped. It just needed a little more interest.

StacyYC's Review

May 22, 2014