Spinach and Arugula Risotto

This spinach and arugula risotto, is creamy and rich yet still with some measure of healthfulness given its abundance of greens. Straight from Rome.

A white bowl filled with spinach and arugula risotto on a grey linen napkin.

On my first visit to Rome, I stumbled across a small trattoria near Campo De Fiori whose kitchen emitted wonderful aromas — a sure sign that the food would be delicious. I ordered a risotto verde, never having had one before and out came a mound of rice in a mélange of beautiful green shades. At home I immediately tried to recreate what I had eaten in Rome.

Even rice has a shelf life. Buy quality rice for risotto with an expiration date on the bag or box.–Lora Zarubin

Spinach and Arugula Risotto

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 45 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 4
5/5 - 1 reviews
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If using baby spinach and arugula, rinse in colander. If using bunched spinach and arugula, soak the spinach and arugula leaves separately in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes to let the grit and sand settle.

Heat a 10- to 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Toss in the spinach, with water from rinsing still on the leaves. Cook, stirring, until wilted, several minutes. Place the spinach in a colander and drain well. Then finely chop it.

Drain the arugula leaves and roughly chop it.

Place the stock in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface.

In a 6-quart non-reactive saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter until the butter melts. Add the shallots and garlic and stir over low heat for 2 minutes. Add the rice and continue to stir until the rice is translucent, about 1 minute.

Add the wine and cook over medium heat until all the liquid has been absorbed. Then stir in 1 teaspoon salt.

Using a ladle, add 1/2 to 1 cup warm stock and stir frequently after each addition until the stock has been almost completely absorbed. Repeat until almost all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is al dente, 27 to 32 minutes. You may only need 4 1/2 cups stock.

Stir in the chopped spinach, chopped arugula, chopped parsley, and peas. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat and stir in the heavy cream and 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano. Taste and season with the red pepper and add salt and black pepper.

Serve immediately, passing the remaining Parmigiano separately. Originally published June 2, 2003.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

My husband was suspicious of all the green and admitted that even though it was green it was very good. He especially enjoyed the creaminess from the cream.

Given the ingredients I used, I didn't have high hopes for this recipe. Instead of white wine I used white zinfandel and instead of homemade stock used "better than bouillon. Despite this, we enjoyed a very nice dinner.

We had the leftovers tonight and it was still good, although the texture wasn't quite as nice.

I used about 6 ounces spinach (1 bag of baby spinach and then the rest supplemented from the garden) and about 3 ounces arugula (1/2 a bag of baby arugula).

To save dishes, you could cook the spinach in the pan you cook the risotto in.

From start to finish it took about 50 minutes to make the risotto. Between stirring I had time to do other things, like grate the cheese.

What a lovely risotto for summer! I was skeptical at first - I thought with all the greens it would be too earthy tasting, but I was wrong. It was bright and fresh and creamy and absolutely delicious. I served it as a side dish with some grilled steak and it was a wonderful summer dinner.

I used Astoria prosecco. That's what we were drinking and it was lovely! The bubbles didn't affect the dish.

The prep took longer than I expected with all the washing of the spinach and arugula and then steaming the spinach first, draining it, and chopping it. I used baby spinach and arugula so I didn't soak it but I did give it a few rinses. There's no need to use a different skillet to wilt the spinach. You can easily wilt the spinach in the pan you're going to use for the risotto.

I didn't add any additional salt; I did add some black pepper. I served mine as a side dish with some steak and loved it.


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  1. This was both beautiful and delicious! It’s the perfect spring risotto. I used homemade chicken broth (6 cups), doubled the spring peas, added about a cup of parboiled chopped asparagus, and eliminated the cream. Yum!

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