Goat Cheese & Bacon Quinoa Risotto is a shortcut version of the classic risotto! Creamy goat cheese, bacon and quinoa come together in under 30 minutes and requires minimal hands on time; making this the perfect healthy, holiday side dish!
If there is one dish I turn to when I need to pull out the big guns in terms of dinner, risotto is king. It is adored by all (or please tell me you all love it, too?) and is one dish that says you really care! It is rather labor intensive after all…
But for that same reason (oh the stirring!), most people turn their shoulder to it. The constant attention and time it takes to create the velvety dish is not appealing to all. While I personally love it, my time and patience is rather limited these days. Hey, lack of sleep will do that to a gal. In my efforts to create a date night menu for the hubs and I, I started looking for an easier route to our favorite side dish. I knew there had to be another way. That is when quinoa popped into my head. It still creates a smooth finish with a fluffy finish, plus there is goat cheese!
This healthy quinoa risotto starts the same way as the classic risotto; sautéing a shallot and garlic in a bit of fat. I chose the fat from bacon. Always a good idea. Right? Right. Then I add a bit of white wine in. I chose Pinot Grigio. They always say cook with the one you enjoy drinking. While it was hard to give up a glass of my beloved wine, I knew it was going to a good cause. My dinner. Plus, there’s still plenty to enjoy with dinner.
This risotto style quinoa is not only a perfect stand in for risotto, but it finishes off that date night menu perfectly. No need to spend hours in the kitchen while you should be spending quality time with your loved ones! Lately, we have chosen to make dinner in for date nights rather than venturing out. After the babe is asleep, we pour a glass of wine and get cooking! It is much more intimate to spend quality time whipping up our favorite dishes. Simply crisp up the bacon, sauté the shallot and garlic, then add the quinoa and wine. Let it simmer a bit and add the chicken stock. Once that boils, set it and forget it! Or you can stir it every now and then if you really want that risotto feel. I can’t help but stir! Once most of the liquid is absorbed, add the creamy goat cheese and viola! Risotto’s easy button to the date night dinner rescue!
Not only is this quinoa risotto perfect for date night, but is an excellent choice for holiday menu’s! Everyone is going to think you are masterchef level once you bring this goat cheese and bacon filled dish to the holiday table! See below for meal prep tips!
meal prep ideas:
this quinoa tastes great reheated, making it ideal for holiday menu side dish! Simply add a touch more chicken broth while reheated and stir in to fully incorporate.
since this quinoa risotto reheats well, it makes it ideal for make-ahead lunches! Store in individual glass containers and you are set for the week.