Oven-Baked Risotto with Ham, Leeks, and Peas


Do you usually wait until the weekend to make risotto? That beloved Italian comfort food has a reputation for being fussy and time consuming, but we are here to tell you that you can make a delicious pan of risotto for a weeknight family meal. Better still, you don't have to spend an inordinate amount of time constantly stirring. Using a Dutch oven, heat oil on the stovetop and cook diced ham, adding leeks, garlic, and thyme. Add rice, then wine, water, chicken stock, and bring to a boil. (If you don't want to use wine you can just add more chicken stock.) Place the covered pot in the oven and, while the risotto bakes, you can focus on other aspects of your meal, such as a fresh green salad or quick and easy dessert. Once the rice is cooked through, remove from the oven and stir in Parmesan cheese, sweet peas.

Oven-Baked Risotto with Ham, Leeks, and Peas
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
4 serves


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 6 ounces diced ham

  • 1 large leek, white part only, chopped (2 cups)

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked Arborio rice

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 3 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock, divided

  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup), divided


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high. Add ham, and cook, stirring often, until crispy, about 3 minutes. Remove half of ham and set aside. Add leeks, garlic, and 1 tablespoon of the thyme to Dutch oven, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add rice, and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine, and cook until almost evaporated, about 30 seconds. Stir in 3 cups water, salt, and 2 cups of the chicken stock, and bring mixture to a boil.

  2. Cover Dutch oven, and place in preheated oven. Bake until rice is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.

  3. Remove from oven. Stir in peas, butter, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, and remaining 1 1/2 cups stock. Spoon risotto into shallow bowls. Top with reserved ham and remaining 1 tablespoon fresh thyme and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Serve immediately.

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