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Tonight’s Dinner: Caramelized carrot risotto

Risotto is one of those great dishes that you can add anything to and it will be delicious; it doesn’t matter if it’s meat or vegetables, you’ll have a delightful dinner every time. Caramelizing carrots makes this risotto extra special.

Italian food is a favorite of mine and my family’s, but sometimes I just don’t want a heavy pasta and a chicken or meat dish doesn’t interest me either. These are the times when risotto is the perfect answer. I can put anything in it from chopped chicken to mushrooms and it always turns out to be just what our mouths wanted.

This time around I tried something new—no meat. As a person who can’t get enough steak or chicken, I was nervous it wouldn’t be satisfying, but it turned out that there was no cause for alarm. Thanks to Sunset Magazine, this caramelized carrot risotto made my taste buds stand up and dance. I’ll definitely be making this delicious entrée again and, if you’re up for an adventure, you should too.

Carmelized Carrot Risotto


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups diced carrots
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, like chardonnay
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in large, heavy pan over medium heat; add carrots and stir until well coated; add 1/2 cup water, salt, and sugar, cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes; uncover and cook until water has evaporated, about 3 minutes; reserve half the carrots for later, purée the other half with 1/4 cup of hot water.
  2. In same pan used to cook the carrots, heat remaining oil and butter over medium heat; add onion and cook, stirring until translucent, about 3 minutes; add rice, stirring to coat with butter and oil; add wine and cook, stirring, until wine is absorbed; add carrot purée and cook, stirring until mixture no longer looks soupy.
  3. Add stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition, until stock is almost absorbed; continue adding stock, until rice is tender to bite, about 20 minutes.
  4. Fold in reserved carrots, cream, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and thyme; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Divide risotto among four bowls, sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and serve.

>>More Tonight’s Dinner Recipes

Other Risotto Recipes from She Knows

Chicken and Garlic Risotto

Shrimp and Spinach Risotto

Vegetarian Broccoli Risotto

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