You know it’s a bad thing when you love to cook and bake, yet your daughter looks at you when she wakes up and the first thing she asks is, “Mommy, are we having something new for dinner tonight?”
Yes, we’ve eaten all the leftovers in the fridge, and I may have been a bit lazy the last few days. Even though it was the middle of the week and I knew I had a lot to do both while the wee ones were at school and once school got out, I knew I had to make something extra yummy for dinner.
I do enjoy making dinner from scratch every night, but I’ve yet to master cooking for 4 (let alone cooking for 2 back before I had kids). I always have at least a little bit of leftovers, which is what we eat for lunch the next day.
I had been making new things for dinner every night even though my husband hadn’t been home for dinner, and once I realized how full my fridge was, we ate a lot of leftovers.
Now I’m back to creating something I know the wee ones will enjoy eating, but my challenge is that my husband is not home at all this week, which mean I’m the chauffeur to gymnastics, tae kwon do, basketball, and Boy Scouts while supervising homework and making dinner.
This is not the time for a fussy meal. As much as I want food to taste great, I still need to ensure I can get it on the table quickly without a ton of effort.
I found two winners this week, both riffs of meals that the wee ones loves that take a whole lot more time to make when doing them the traditional way. Me? I had both meals on the table in under a half hour.
When I first went shopping that day Little Miss called me on the carpet for not providing her with interesting enough dinners, I had already decided to make some sort of tamale.
Ramekin tamales are a total winner around here. They’re like a tamale pot pie and so good. Sometimes I want something for ME though, and that means cheese.
I figured out how to make a complete cheater creamy Parmesan risotto that I could whip up the next night using instant rice. It tastes amazing but requires so little effort. I alternate between this and my Instant Pot risotto recipe all the time..
How to Make Creamy Parmesan Risotto
I adore risotto in its many forms, but it can take a long time to make on the stove, constantly stirring and mixing and adding ingredients.
I’ve made quick risotto before using rice that was left over from takeout dinners (in restaurants, I never have enough rice when eating Asian foods but when I get takeout, we end up with so many extra containers every time!) and from instant rice, as well as rice that I’ve made earlier in the day in my rice cooker using less chicken stock than usual so it’s only mostly cooked.
Any method works for this, and once you start, it goes very quickly.
Because it does cook quickly, and when you’re stirring in the chicken stock, you want to be available to continue stirring and not doing other tasks, make sure you get all your ingredients together before you start.
Have a liquid measuring cup and your chicken stock nearby. Shred your Parmesan cheese ahead of time, and of course, chop your parsley. If you don’t want to babysit your risotto, definitely make that Instant Pot version!
Not sure how to easily and quickly chop parsley? It’s simpler – and faster – than it looks. Check out this tutorial I made for a super quick and simple way to chop all your herbs.
When you’re ready to start, add your uncooked rice to a large skillet over medium heat and add two-thirds of your usual cooking liquid. Let the rice cook down, covered with a towel between the lid and the pot to allow steam to escape.
If you’re using half cooked rice (again using two-third of the usual liquid in your rice cooker) or leftover rice, skip this step.
Once the rice is partially cooked and the first portion of the liquid has been absorbed, turn down the heat to medium low. Remove the lid and add the Campbell’s Soups for Easy Cooking Creamy Herb & Garlic with Chicken Stock and stir it with a wooden spoon to ensure it is incorporated throughout the rice.
That’s the easiest, most flavorful liquid to add. Alternatively, use chicken stock mixed with cream (4:1 ratio) and add 2 cloves finely minced garlic. That takes just a little more time to prep but works just as well!
Once it has been mixed up, add one cup of your remaining chicken stock. Use your wooden spoon to stir it constantly while the stock is absorbed.
Once the first cup has been absorbed into the rice, add another half cup and continue stirring constantly.
You’ll notice that though the rice initially looks as though there is way too much stock, it quickly works its way into the rice and is ready for more stock to be added. Add another quarter cup of stock and continue stirring, adding the last quarter cup once the rice is ready.
Once all the stock is absorbed, begin adding the Parmesan cheese. You’ll want to reserve about a half cup or so for garnish, but the rest will slowly be added into your risotto.
Make sure you add just a small handful at a time and stir until it’s melted and incorporated or you’ll end up with an unwieldy clump of cheese that no one wants to eat. As the cheese is incorporated, add more, bit by bit until it’s all added except the portion you’re reserving.
You’ll notice that the risotto is much thicker now and as you stir it, you’ll get little strings of cheese that quickly pull apart. This is when it’s ready to serve, a half hour (or more like 20 minutes if you use leftover or half cooked rice) from when you started.
Spoon it into bowls and top with some chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.
Have you ever made a Parmesan risotto?
- 3 c uncooked rice
- 4 c chicken stock, divided
- 1 14.5 oz Campbell's Soups for Easy Cooking in Creamy Herb & Garlic with Chicken Stock
- 2 c fresh grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/3 c fresh parsley, chopped
- Prep all ingredients: chop parsley and grate Parmesan. Have a liquid measuring cup and chicken stock handy.
- Add rice to pot on medium heat with 2 c chicken stock. Cover, placing a towel between lid and pot. Cook 15 minutes or following rice directions.
- Once cooked, remove lid and turn the heat to medium low. Add Campbell's Soup, and stir to combine, then add one cup of stock and stir until the stock is absorbed.
- Repeat in half cup increments until stock is gone.
- Next, add Parmesan cheese in small batches, stirring until melted before adding any more. Add all but a half cup (save for garnish).
- Serve immediately, garnishing with your reserved Parmesan cheese and some chopped parsley.
- This will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for two to three days.
You can also make this recipe using leftover rice or by cooking rice in a rice cooker with 2/3 of the usual liquid ahead of time and then proceeding from the step where the rice has cooked.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 588Total Fat: 14gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 1045mgCarbohydrates: 92gFiber: 3.4gSugar: 2.8gProtein: 20.8g