The Basics: How to Make Veggie Risotto

A creamy, satisfying dinner

From the store to the kitchen to the table: We outline the steps that get you from something raw to something cooked using simple ingredients, free of measurements and complicated techniques. A method that you can have in your back pocket and whip out whenever you like. We call it recipe-free cooking.

You’ll need:

  • two medium saucepans
  • a knife
  • a cutting board
  • a wooden spoon
  • a timer
  • a quart of vegetable broth
  • one onion
  • four to five cloves of garlic
  • two zucchini
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • two to three handfuls of Arborio rice (one handful per person)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. Pour the vegetable broth into one of the saucepans, bring it to a simmer, and keep it warm on low heat while you cook your vegetables and rice.

  2. Chop the onion, garlic, and zucchini.

  3. Coat the bottom of the other saucepan with olive oil, heat until the oil begins to shimmer, then add the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the onion has softened.

  4. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes.

  5. Pour enough broth over the rice to barely cover the grains. Cook, stirring continuously, until the broth has been absorbed by the rice and the bottom of the pot is nearly dry.

  6. Continue adding broth a little at a time until the rice is tender on the outside but still has some resistance when you bite into it. You may not use up the entire quart of broth.

  7. Add the zucchini, stir to combine, and taste to see if any additional salt or pepper is needed.

  8. Grate Parmesan over top (if using) and serve.

See more articles