Bacon Risotto

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This creamy bacon risotto recipe with sweet peas, garlic, and onions is a fancy but easy dinner option. Top it with melty Monterey Jack cheese and spicy black pepper for the perfect finishing touch.

Stirring through risotto topped with bacon and peas.


Why I Love This Bacon Risotto Recipe

The thought of homemade risotto won’t intimidate you once you make this bacon and pea version.

  • Fancy but easy. It takes less than an hour and only requires browning some onions and stirring away.
  • Creamy. There’s heavy cream and melty cheese in every bite for creamy richness.
  • Hearty. Think of risotto as a hearty rice dinner. It’s perfect for filling you up and always hits the spot!
  • Great for gatherings. Make this recipe if you want to impress all your dinner guests.
Ingredients for bacon risotto recipe.

What You’ll Need

Garlic and tender onions add fragrance to this velvety bacon and pea risotto. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.

  • Bacon – Regular bacon is better for this than thick-cut.
  • Yellow onion – White onion is a good swap.
  • Garlic – You need fresh garlic or garlic paste.
  • Rice – It needs to be arborio or white, long-grain rice.
  • Chicken broth – I prefer homemade or low-sodium kinds.
  • Heavy cream – Go for half-and-half if that’s what you’ve got on hand.
  • Sweet peas – Use canned (drained) or frozen (and thawed) green peas.
  • Salt and pepper – Kosher salt and freshly-cracked pepper are best.
  • Monterey Jack cheese – Cheddar, mozzarella, or any melty cheese works.

How To Make Bacon and Pea Risotto

It’s just like making your favorite rice but with lots of heavy cream and stirring instead of steaming. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for more detailed instructions.

  • Cook the bacon. Place the bacon in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook it for 5 minutes or until crispy. Remove it from the heat. Set it on paper towels to drain excess fat. Crumble it and set it aside.
  • Sautée the onion. Add the onion to the same pan and cook it until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and rice. Stir until the rice is translucent.
  • Add liquid. Pour in half of the broth and stir gently until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add the remaining broth and continue to cook it until all of it has been absorbed. Repeat the same process with 1 more cup of chicken broth.
  • Make it creamy. Pour in half of the heavy cream and continue stirring until all of the liquid is absorbed. Add the rest and mix until 2/3 of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Mix in the add-ins. Stir in the peas and cook everything for another 2-3 minutes. Remove it from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the bacon on top.
  • Serve. Top it with shredded cheese. Serve and enjoy!

Tips & Variations

  • Choose non-stick. Avoid stainless steel pots and pans because it’s easier for cream-based sauces to stick to them and burn. Go for non-stick pans for best results.
  • Stir. For the perfect risotto, keep stirring! This constant motion is the key to unlocking the rice’s creamy texture while ensuring each grain cooks evenly. It’s a simple step that makes all the difference in achieving that dreamy, smooth consistency.
  • Add crunch. Deep-fry 1 cup thinly sliced shallots until golden and crispy. Use them to top the risotto for extra crunch and fragrance.
  • Use more veggies. Sautée 1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms, chopped asparagus, baby spinach, or 1/4″ thick sliced artichoke hearts and stir them into the risotto for more flavor.
  • Add a drizzle. Basil or sun-dried tomato pesto are great drizzles for this risotto recipe once ready.
  • Make it spicy. Add 1/2-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or chili oil to the creamy rice for some heat.
  • Add more protein. Top the risotto with leftover Grilled Shrimp Skewers or Air Fryer Turkey Breast for a heartier meal.
Rice served in a bowl and garnished with bacon, peas, and slice of lemon.

What To Serve With Risotto

This cheesy bacon risotto recipe is the perfect main dish when served in large portions. However, you can serve it in smaller portions as a side. If that’s the case, I love it with my Oven Roasted Turkey or Air Fryer Meatloaf. For chicken, go for my Baked Chicken Breasts or Yogurt-Marinated Baked Chicken. Complete the meal with a simple veggie side or salad like my Grilled Asparagus or Green Goddess Salad.

Proper Storage

  • Fridge: Place it in an airtight container and keep it refrigerated for up to 4 days. Throw it away if it tastes sour at any point.
  • To reheat it: Microwave it in 20-second increments until warm. You can also heat it in a small pot over low heat for 10-15 minutes, adding 1 teaspoon milk to prevent it from drying out.

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Bacon Risotto with Peas

This rich and creamy bacon risotto recipe with sweet peas and savory Monterey Jack cheese is a fancy but easy dinner for any occasion.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 small yellow onion,, finely diced
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic,, minced
  • cups Arborio rice or white long grain rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth,, divided
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 15 ounces can sweet peas,, rinsed and drained
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper,, to taste
  • ½ cup shredded monterey jack cheese
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  • Place the bacon in a large frying pan and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until as crispy as desired, turning once.
  • Remove bacon, drain on paper towels, and crumble it; set aside. Do not discard bacon drippings.
  • Add the chopped onions to the same frying pan and cook them in the bacon grease until softened, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and rice; continue to cook until the rice is translucent, stirring frequently.
  • Pour in one cup of the chicken broth; stir and cook until almost all the liquid is absorbed.
  • Pour in one more cup of the broth and continue to stir and cook until all liquid is absorbed.
  • Repeat the same process with the remaining chicken broth while continuously stirring.
  • Once the liquid has been absorbed, pour in half of the heavy cream and continue to cook, stirring frequently until all the liquid is absorbed.
  • Pour in the rest of the cream, stir until two-thirds of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Stir in the peas and continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through.
  • Remove from heat and season generously with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust if needed.
  • Stir in the shredded cheese and crumbled bacon, and serve.


  • Continuous stirring is crucial for risotto—it helps release the rice’s starch, giving it that signature creamy texture and ensuring even cooking. A little effort goes a long way toward that perfect, velvety risotto.


Calories: 495kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 781mg | Potassium: 244mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1750IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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  1. Valerie says:

    Scrumptious dish! Risotto and bacon are two of my favourite deities.

    I think garlic is magic. It supposedly cures just about everything, at least according to my godmother- apparently she knows everything. 😛

  2. Crystal S says:

    I love this dish!!!!!!!! Bacon, peas and risotto, what else good be better.

  3. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says:

    Ginger and lots of it! That’s my go-to for colds and pretty much everything else.

  4. Ramona says:

    Ding, ding, ding. I say you have a winner dinner here!! This risotto looks amazing and who doesn’t love bacon.

  5. Laura (Tutti Dolci) says:

    I love risotto, this looks amazing!

  6. Holly says:

    Looks great and I applaud the addition of bacon plus the drippings! Hope your family is healthy again soon.

  7. Taking On Magazines says:

    I adore, love, crave risotto of any kind. Crispy bacon in it? Sign me up. It looks amazing.

    Kate, I am so sorry that your kids are sick. I feel your pain. I just hope that you don’t get what they’ve had. Mom’s aren’t allowed to get sick.

    I’m applauding right alongside you!

  8. kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts says:

    I’ve never had risotto, nor do I have the desire to add yet another type of rice to my pantry, but I am so with you on the boldface “do not discard bacon drippings”.

    Wouldn’t that be an awesome blog name?

    I hope your kiddos feel better soon. Everyday Maven has a flu busting soup that may work.

    1. Kate@Diethood says:

      Kirsten, I would be on that blog every day!! 🙂

      I am about to go and check out that soup – thank you SO much!! xo

  9. Laura Dembowski (@piesandplots) says:

    I have never had risotto but it looks wonderful and creamy and comforting. Garlic definitely helps you stay healthy. It really works for me, knock on wood. I just roast a head every night and my parents and I eat the whole thing.

  10. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen says:

    This are simple but crazy good flavors! I´m such a risotto lover. You made me laugh with the garlic stuffing idea.

    1. Kate@Diethood says:

      🙂 I’m ready to do just about anything to make these viruses go away! 🙂