HomeDinnerBacon, Cheddar, and Chicken Risotto for Two

Bacon, Cheddar, and Chicken Risotto for Two

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Bacon, Cheddar, and Chicken Risotto for Two


If you’re looking to impress your partner with a cozy, home-cooked meal, Bacon, Cheddar, and Chicken Risotto is the perfect choice. This dish combines the creaminess of traditional risotto with the savory flavors of bacon, cheddar, and chicken, making it a deliciously comforting option for a dinner for two. Let’s dive into how you can create this delectable meal at home.

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History of Risotto

Risotto, a classic Italian dish, originated in the northern regions of Italy, particularly in Lombardy and Piedmont. Known for its creamy texture, risotto has become a staple in modern cuisine, cherished for its versatility and rich flavor. Over time, chefs have experimented with various ingredients, creating unique versions like our Bacon, Cheddar, and Chicken Risotto.

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Ingredients Needed

To make this risotto, you’ll need the following ingredients:

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  • Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs.
  • Bacon: Thick-cut for extra flavor.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Sharp cheddar works best.
  • Arborio Rice: Essential for risotto.
  • Vegetables: Onion, garlic.
  • Broth: Chicken broth.
  • Butter and Olive Oil: For sautéing.
  • Seasonings: Salt, pepper, thyme.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Optional, for added creaminess.

Choosing the Right Rice

The key to a perfect risotto is using Arborio rice. This short-grain rice is high in starch, which is crucial for achieving the creamy texture risotto is known for. While alternatives like Carnaroli or Vialone Nano can be used, Arborio remains the most accessible and reliable choice.

Preparation Steps

Before you start cooking, it’s important to prepare all your ingredients.

  1. Prepping the Chicken: Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook until done, then chop into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Cooking the Bacon: Fry the bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towels and chop into small pieces.
  3. Chopping Vegetables and Grating Cheese: Finely chop the onion and garlic. Grate the cheddar cheese and set aside.

Making the Risotto Base

  1. Sautéing Onions and Garlic: In a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic, cooking until translucent.
  2. Toasting the Rice: Add the Arborio rice to the skillet, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes until the edges of the rice are translucent.
  3. Gradually Adding Broth: Begin adding the chicken broth, one ladle at a time, stirring continuously. Allow the rice to absorb the broth before adding more. This process takes about 18-20 minutes.

Incorporating the Main Ingredients

  1. Adding Cooked Chicken and Bacon: Once the rice is almost fully cooked, stir in the chopped chicken and bacon. Mix well to combine.
  2. Mixing in Cheddar Cheese: Gradually add the grated cheddar cheese, stirring until melted and fully incorporated.

Finishing Touches

  1. Adjusting Seasonings: Taste the risotto and adjust the seasonings as needed. Add more salt, pepper, or thyme if desired.
  2. Adding Fresh Herbs: For a fresh finish, stir in some chopped parsley or chives.
  3. Ensuring the Perfect Creamy Consistency: If the risotto is too thick, add a bit more broth. It should have a creamy, slightly loose texture.

Side Dishes to Serve with Risotto

To complement your risotto, consider these side dishes:

  • Green Salad: A light, refreshing salad with a vinaigrette.
  • Garlic Bread: Perfect for soaking up any leftover sauce.
  • Steamed Vegetables: Adds a healthy balance to your meal.

Tips for the Perfect Risotto

Achieving the perfect risotto is an art. Here are some tips:

  • Stir Constantly: Continuous stirring helps release the rice’s starches, creating a creamy texture.
  • Add Broth Gradually: Allow the rice to absorb each addition of broth before adding more.
  • Use Warm Broth: Warm broth incorporates more easily and keeps the risotto cooking evenly.

Variations of the Recipe

Want to switch things up? Here are some variations:

  • Healthier Alternatives: Use turkey bacon and low-fat cheddar. Add more vegetables like spinach or peas.
  • Vegetarian and Vegan Options: Replace chicken with mushrooms or a plant-based protein, and use vegetable broth. Substitute cheddar with a vegan cheese.

Storing and Reheating

If you have leftovers, store the risotto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, add a splash of broth or water and warm gently on the stove, stirring frequently.

Serving Suggestions

Presentation can enhance your dining experience. Serve your risotto in shallow bowls, garnished with a sprinkle of fresh herbs and a few extra bacon pieces on top. Pair with a crisp white napkin and a glass of your favorite white wine.

Wine Pairing Recommendations

For a perfect pairing, consider these wines:

  • Chardonnay: Its buttery notes complement the creamy risotto.
  • Sauvignon Blanc: Offers a refreshing contrast to the rich dish.
  • Pinot Grigio: Light and crisp, balancing the savory flavors.


Bacon, Cheddar, and Chicken Risotto is a delightful dish that brings together rich, savory flavors in a creamy, comforting bowl. Perfect for a cozy dinner for two, this risotto is sure to impress. With this recipe, you can create a restaurant-quality meal at home. So, roll up your sleeves and get cooking—your taste buds will thank you!


1. Can I use a different type of cheese?
Yes, you can substitute cheddar with other cheeses like Parmesan, Gruyère, or Gouda.

2. Is it necessary to use Arborio rice?
Arborio rice is recommended for its starch content, but Carnaroli or Vialone Nano can also be used.

3. Can I make this risotto ahead of time?
Risotto is best served fresh, but you can prepare the ingredients in advance and cook the risotto just before serving.

4. How do I make this dish vegetarian?
Omit the chicken and bacon, and use vegetable broth. Add more vegetables like mushrooms, spinach, or peas.

5. What can I use instead of chicken broth?
You can use vegetable broth or a light, flavorful stock of your choice.

Yield: 2

Bacon, Cheddar, and Chicken Risotto for Two

Bacon, Cheddar, and Chicken Risotto for Two

If you're looking to impress your partner with a cozy, home-cooked meal, Bacon, Cheddar, and Chicken Risotto is the perfect choice. This dish combines the creaminess of traditional risotto with the savory flavors of bacon, cheddar, and chicken, making it a deliciously comforting option for a dinner for two. Let’s dive into how you can create this delectable meal at home.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes


  • 2 strips Thick Cut Bacon
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Yellow Onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup Arborio Rice
  • 1/4 cup Dry White Wine
  • 3 cups Low-Sodium Chicken Stock best quality
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese grated from a block
  • 6 ounces Grilled Chicken* shredded or finely chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped Chives for garnish


  • Chop the bacon into small pieces, about 1/2" in size. In a large sauté pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until browned and crunchy, then use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels.

  • As the bacon is cooking, warm a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the chicken stock, let it come to a gentle simmer, then turn the heat to low to keep it warm.

  • In the same sauté pan used to cook the bacon, add the olive oil.  Add onion, and mix it into the olive oil and remaining bacon fat, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan into the onion as it cooks.  Add a pinch of salt to the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened.

  • Stir in minced garlic, and cook for about one minute until it is very fragrant. Pour in the arborio rice, and stir to coat the rice in the onions, garlic, and fats. Allow the rice to cook for about two minutes, or until only a small white dot remains in the center of each rice grain.

  • Stir in white wine, and cook for a minute or two as the alcohol burns off.  Once the wine has been mostly absorbed into the rice, add the warm chicken stock one ladle at a time to the rice.

  • As the rice absorbs the chicken stock, keep adding a ladle at a time.  Stir quite frequently, almost a constant, smooth, stirring motion, to help the starches of the rice release, which creates the chewy texture of risotto.  

  • Continue this method until the rice develops a creamy, thick texture. Taste the rice as you go to make sure it isn't too crunchy, and allow it plenty of time to become really creamy. This total process will take around 30-35 minutes for the rice to cook. Once the rice reaches al dente (still has just the slightest bite to it), add the cheese and bacon. Stir to melt in the cheese, and fully incorporate the bacon into the risotto.

  • Stir in the chicken. Taste the risotto, and feel free to add more salt and pepper if you please. You can also add more cheese if desired.

  • Serve on warmed plates, and garnish with finely chopped chives.  Enjoy with a glass of Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, or surprise yourself and pour some oaky Chardonnay! 


*I recommend seasoning a chicken breast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder before grilling it. Ideally, grill it while you're making the risotto, let it rest for at least 10 minutes, then chop (or shred) and add to the risotto.

*Alternatively, use shredded rotisserie chicken!

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 532
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