Healthy Lemon Chicken Risotto

2013-08-13
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  • Servings : 4
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 20m
  • Ready In : 30m

Risotto is not only a tasty, super easy, and relatively cheap meal to make but it’s healthy, nutritious and balanced too. A risotto dish provides the perfect combination of protein (the building blocks of life), starchy carbs (for energy) and vegetables (for fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants).

I love risotto as it tastes super creamy but is actually low in fat – it’s the rice that makes this dish so rich in texture and it goes perfect with a side salad or even on its own. I adapted this recipe from one that I saw on Love Food Hate Waste, which is a fantastic website for tips on how to make your food (and money!) go further.. it even has weekly meal planners and shopping lists too.

I used heart-healthy olive oil in this recipe which is perfect when cooking using a medium heat – if you’re cooking over a high heat it’s best to use vegetable, rapeseed or canola oil which have a higher ‘smoke point’. All of these oils are high in mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) which help to lower the risk of heart disease by lowering total and bad (LDL) cholesterol in the blood. MUFAs feature in the heart-healthy Mediterranean Diet, with other sources of MUFAs including avocados, nuts and olives. Don’t go over-board though, all oils (heart-healthy or not!) are high in calories meaning you should use no more than 1/2 tbsp or 1 tsp of oil per person per meal (40-60 calories) – this recipe uses 1/4 tbsp per person!

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts (4-500g)*
  • 220g risotto/paella rice**
  • 600ml chicken/vegetable stock
  • 1 lemon - to juice & zest
  • 1 crushed garlic clove/tsp garlic granules
  • 250g frozen veg e.g. peas & broad beans
  • 1 packet (135g) babycorn, sliced***
  • 2-3 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • fresh herbs e.g. thyme or parsley - optional

*the original recipe used 480g of leftover cooked chicken.

**you could always use long-grain rice instead of risotto rice but the dish will have a much less creamy consistency

***feel free to vary the vegetables – courgette, mushrooms, green beans or broccoli would also work well

Calorie stats are based on 1/4 of the recipe – based on using 500g of lean chicken.

Chicken Lemon Ristotto

Method

Step 1

Cut the chicken breasts into small chunks and pan fry until golden, adding the zest of the lemon, and juices once the chicken has turned white - cook the chicken on a low heat to ensure it is cooked all the way through (the original recipe advised you covered cooked chicken with lemon juice & zest before heating in a 200C oven for 15-20 minutes)

Step 2

Meanwhile, heat the garlic and olive oil in a large pan* before adding the rice. Stir well to ensure that all of the grains are coated with the oil.

Step 3

Gradually (not all at once) add the chicken/vegetable stock to the rice, stirring the rice well and allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding any more.

Step 4

Add the frozen vegetables, babycorn slices and spring onion once you've added around half of the stock and when all of the stock has been added stir through the chicken.

Step 5

Allow the risotto pan to simmer until all of the liquid has been absorbed before adding a sprinkling of fresh herbs, salt/pepper and serving (with a side salad!)

*I use a JML Ceramic Frying Pan for frying as food doesn’t stick when using very little or no oil – the pan was provided to me free or charge. Please read my disclaimer page for more information.

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Do let me know if you make this dish and what you think of it :)

 

UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who sends me pictures of my recipes on Twitter & Facebook - here are a selection!!

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Lemon Chicken Risotto

Lemon Chicken Ristotto

Lemon chicken risotto

risotto

Risotto

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Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.

  • Calories

    410
  • Carbs

    49
  • Protein

    36
  • Fat

    7

Recipe Comments

Comments (12)

  1. posted by Amy Dodge on August 18, 2013

    I made this the other day but did it with fish peas corn, spinach and riscotto rice.you can get brown riscotto rice but hard to find.the dish Was so nice will definitely do it again and try it with chicken. The lemon is such a healthier option and gave it so much flavour.dont need wine ,butter or parmasan which most recipes use.x

      Reply
    • posted by Nics Nutrition on August 18, 2013

      Hi Amy! Aw I’m so glad that you liked this recipe! Love your swaps too. I haven’t seen brown risotto rice in the shops either but will let you know if I do! Thanks for your comment! Nic x

        Reply
  2. posted by Rachel Newton on August 18, 2013

    Absolutely adore this, and is such a family friendly dish! The recipe is a cinch to follow, and is really understandable so it makes this easy to cook! Lovely flavors and perfect for a light, but filling dinner choice! Thank you so so much for putting this up nic, I will be cooking this again!! xx

      Reply
    • posted by Nics Nutrition on August 19, 2013

      Hi Rach! Aw thank you for taking the time to comment and send me that lovely pic – I love it! So glad you like it – I just love risotto – maybe this dish would be good with prawns too! x

        Reply
  3. posted by Aisha on August 19, 2013

    I’m soo glad I was introduced to your site. I made this dish and let me tell ya..healthy never tasted so good. Love it xxx

      Reply
    • posted by Nics Nutrition on August 20, 2013

      Aw thank you so much for your lovely comment!! It’s made my day :) I post new recipes each week so happy cooking/baking! xx

        Reply
  4. posted by zoe baker on September 5, 2013

    Thank you Nic. Another great, healthy recipe for me to share with my family and add to my weekly menu. I added a tiny bit of celery too.
    This is a great recipe. Very, very tasty and doesn’t take long to make. Being a busyfitmum this is very important in my house. I alway like looking at your site for ideas and inspiration.
    Thanks again :) x

      Reply
    • posted by Nics Nutrition on September 5, 2013

      Aw thank you for such a lovely comment Zoe! I’m so happy that this recipe is a hit with the whole family! And thank you for the lovely picture too :) Nic x

        Reply
  5. posted by sarah stradling on September 9, 2013

    I loved this. Tasty and easy. Going to try this out on the kids. Thanks nic.

      Reply
    • posted by Nics Nutrition on September 9, 2013

      No problem! So glad you liked it and hope the kids do too!! x

        Reply
  6. posted by Amanda on January 19, 2014

    I have just made this for my lunches this week. It’s so tasty and easy to make! I added some roasted vegetables it worked really well!

      Reply
    • posted by Nics Nutrition on January 19, 2014

      So glad you liked it :) Thank you for your comment! x

        Reply

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