Bacon, Cheddar and Beer Risotto

Bacon, Cheddar and Beer Risotto

This Bacon, Cheddar and Beer Risotto is not one of those pretentious, intimidating, fancy-schmancy risottos. Don’t get me wrong, I love those too (see Tomato Sausage Risotto or Mushroom Risotto). This risotto contains beer. And bacon. And a mound of cheddar cheese. This risotto would rather hang out at the corner bar, high fiving its friends and flirting with the server than slip the maitre d’ a few bills to be escorted to the premier table in a fine dining establishment. It would feel more comfortable perusing the aisles at Target than swiping its platinum card on 5th Avenue. This risotto is a rich, cheesy bowl of creamy rice with a tangy beer flavor and bites of smoky bacon. It’s delicious. Like all risotto, this takes some time to make since you have to stir the broth in a little at a time, but it’s worth it. This may not be the most elegant risotto out there, but it’s not trying to be. It knows what it is and it’s going to fill your belly, make your taste buds sigh with comfort and happiness and send any and all dinner guests home with smiles on their faces. So, serve this and be proud! It’s like a guilty pleasure, minus the guilt.

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Bacon, Cheddar & Beer Risotto

Yield: 8 (1 cup) servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon light butter
  • ½ a small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
  • 12 oz bottle of beer
  • 6 cups fat free reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ½ oz Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (I used the smallest hole side of a box grater)
  • ¾ cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2/3 cup 2% reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices cooked extra lean turkey bacon (I used Jennie-O)
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Place the butter in a large sauté pan and bring it over medium-low heat until butter is just melted. Add onions and cook 3-5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute until garlic is fragrant. Add the rice and stir to combine. Cook an additional 2 minutes, stirring throughout.
  2. Pour in the beer and turn the heat up to high until the beer begins to simmer. Reduce heat back to medium-low and add ½ cup of the chicken broth. Stir until the liquid dissolves and then add another ½ cup. Repeat until all the broth has been added and the rice is creamy and al dente.
  3. Remove the rice mixture from the heat and add the cheeses, bacon and cayenne pepper. Stir until thoroughly combined and serve.

Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints:
10 per serving (SP calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)

Weight Watchers Points Plus:
8 per serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)

Nutrition Information:
280 calories, 41 g carbs, 0 g sugars, 7 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 10 g protein, 0 g fiber (from myfitnesspal.com)