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Brown Rice ‘Risotto’

Happy Friday/Saturday Zesties!! So excited to be back this week writing and catching up. I see a lot of new readers so welcome to Claire’s Lemon Zest Life 😊

Also, happy AUGUST!! I can’t believe it’s already month 8 of the year, seriously this year has just flown by and I know I say that almost every month, but it’s true every month so. This last week of July ended with a bang and some progress which we always love to see. I talked about this extensively in my Monthly Newsletter which you can get for free just for subscribing to my blog! I NEVER send any spam emails, I only send the necessary stuff 😉 and a free product is coming for all email subscribers in September, so make sure you are subscribed to get a sneak peek!

Anyway, let’s jump into this week’s recipe: Brown Rice ‘Risotto’

I am calling it a QUOTE’Risotto’QUOTE, because it is made with brown rice, not arborio rice and here is the difference: brown rice is not as high in starch as arborio rice (which is also why it is considered healthier), so it does not get creamy like a regular risotto made with arborio rice…in comes the secret key to recipe success: heavy/thickening cream.

You know the cream you make whipped cream out of? Yeah, add some of that to this and you will have yourself the perfect fake risotto. This is a great recipe to ‘impress’ your friends or in-laws with because it tastes scrumptious, nice and creamy, and yet it’s not the real thing. In fact, I did make it for Blake’s mum and sister and I’m not saying this recipe saves relationships, but I am also not not saying that.

Also, before we begin: I add chicken to this recipe but that is completely optional and is just as great without chicken.


Brown Rice ‘Risotto’

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Dinner, Impress-your-friends, Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 People


  • Large Cooking Pot
  • Rice Cooker
  • Chopping Board


  • 1/2 kg Chicken Breast Sliced into Strips
  • 1 + 1/3 c Heavy Cream (Thickening Cream)
  • 1/2 c Tomatoes Chopped
  • 1 Whole Onion Chopped
  • 2 c Brown Rice
  • 1 c Spinach Chopped
  • 2 tsp Garlic Mince
  • 1 tsp Mixed Herbs
  • 1-3 tbsp Corn Flour Depending on preferred thickness
  • 1/4 c Butter
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil For Cooking
  • 1/3 + 1/4 c Chicken Stock


  • Cook rice in rice cooker and set aside
  • Into the large pot on high heat, add the chicken strips and sprinkle with salt/pepper/olive oil. Let cook on both sides for 5-8 minutes
  • Remove chicken from pot and add garlic, butter, and onion. Cover. Let cook for 8-10 minutes until brown and aromatic
  • Reduce heat to low and add Heavy Cream and Chicken Stock. Cover and bring to a simmer
  • Add chicken, tomatoes, and spinach. Let cook until spinach is wilting and tomatoes are roasting (about 10 minutes)
  • Add brown rice, cover, and let simmer for 20-25 minutes (until all liquid is almost completely absorbed by the brown rice)
  • Remove from heat and let cool shortly before adding to bowls
  • Top with cheese (optional)
  • Enjoy!

Look at that SIMMER

I made mine with lots of veggies, but there’s so many ways to add some zest to this recipe!
Added Zest:

  • Mushrooms
  • Bacon
  • Green Onion
  • Add cheese into the mixture as you are letting simmer (Aim for parmesan or mozzarella)
  • Sundried Tomatoes (Blake doesn’t like them so we don’t buy them which feels like a missed opportunity, but ANYWAY)
  • Paprika or Red Pepper Flakes for a little spice

This is one of the difficult recipes I have on my website, but it’s so worth it! It tastes amazing and is really versatile. Despite the time it takes to make it, it’s a great date night recipe or first impression recipe, it’s just one of those you keep around just in case you’re feeling fancy…but not too fancy because remember it’s fake risotto.

I was also doing some research on what exactly is risotto and the definition from Google said it was the way Italians typically make their rice on the daily and that was reason enough for me to try moving to another country….😉 KIDDING.

Let me know if you make this week’s recipe! You can get find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest (linked below); and remember to subscribe to get your free product (and a sneak peek) by September!


Author: Claire Elizabeth

My name is Claire Elizabeth and welcome to my lemon zest life! It all started back in 2015 when I began creating healthy recipes to support my busy lifestyle between the gym, full-time work, and full-time university. Four years later I have updated my healthy recipes but am still living that busy lifestyle. This is catered for the full-time employees, students, parents, and everyone in between that lives a lemon zest life, like me. xo.🍋 ​

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