LighterLife low calorie recipe: Risotto primavera

March 24, 2014 - Recipes

Risotto PrimaveraIf you’re already dreaming about holidays abroad but still slimming into your bikini, this low-calorie risotto recipe is just the ticket!

In Italy, risotto is ‘slow food’ and you shouldn’t try to hurry it along – this dish needs to be cooked very gently and slowly, and will taste all the better for it. A perfect risotto should neither be soft and mushy nor crunchy – the rice should be comfortingly tender, moist and plump but still retaining a little ‘bite’.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
Serves: 2
Per serving:
278 calories
12g protein
32g carbs
9g fat



  1. Heat three tablespoons stock in a heavy-based frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over a low heat for five minutes, until softened.
  2. Stir in the rice and cook for one minute, until the grains are glistening. Add the white wine (if using) and turn up the heat. Let the mixture bubble away until all the wine has evaporated.
  3. Add a little of the remaining hot stock, together with the saffron and black pepper, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Keep adding more stock in this way, a little at a time, until the rice is tender and creamy – this takes 15–20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the courgettes, asparagus and peas or mangetout in boiling water for two to three minutes. Drain well and stir gently into the risotto about five minutes before the end of cooking time. The vegetables will continue to cook in the heat of the rice.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chopped parsley and crème fraîche. Season to taste with more black pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately with a crisp salad or some grilled cherry tomatoes on the vine.