Sweet Potato and Green Pea Risotto

Over the weekend, I got all kinds of caught up on my cooking. We came home from Tahoe to a pretty empty freezer, which is where I usually have my supply of quick-and-easy, no-thinking-required dinners.

I like to cook once but eat multiple times – though not concurrently – so I usually make up a bunch of different recipes/grains/beans on the weekends and freeze them small Ziploc containers. I try to write the contents and the date it was made on it, so I won’t forget what’s in each container (this doesn’t always happen). Then, I randomly pull stuff out of the freezer over the course of the week 2-3 days before I want to serve it again, so it will be magically defrosted and ready to go in time. This is a huge weekday time saver.

In general, I’ve found that cooked beans, soups/stews, rice/grains, and pasta dishes freeze/defrost pretty well, so that’s usually what’s on tap for weekend cooking sessions.

This weekend, I put together a Test Kitchen original, inspired by my butternut squash orzo. I thought I’d pull a fast one on 2Chili, and cook some sweet potato into risotto and distract him by adding green peas. As he came up to see what was cooking after a morning of yard work (weeding my garden to prepare for Spring planting, how thoughtful), he went straight to the stove and tasted the risotto. I didn’t tell him what was in it, but, our conversation went like this:

Me: Do you like it?

2Chili: Yes, but you know I don’t like sweet potatoes.

Me: But I added green peas!

2Chili: Of course, green peas are the magical ‘cover up’ to counteract sweet potato.

Okay, so 2Chili has a sarcastic streak. And, I didn’t fool him. But he did like it, and proceeded to have plenty for dinner. That’s a start. I am determined to do for the sweet potato what I recently did for the black bean, and add it to 2Chili’s “approved foods” list.

Here is an easy and healthy risotto that doesn’t require nonstop stirring.


Sweet Potato and Green Pea Risotto

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Time Required: 30-35 minutes

Skill Level (out of 5):

Makes: About (6) 1-cup servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • 4-5 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup cooked green peas
  • Salt to taste


  • Peel and chop a large sweet potato into large chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until you have small, bite-sized chunks (don’t pulverize); Add the chopped sweet potato to a microwave safe bowl with about 1 cup of water and microwave for 2-3 minutes, until the sweet potato is beginning to get soft. You could also use chopped roasted or baked sweet potato here.
  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Chop onion – or do like I did and “food process” it – and add to the oil with the garlic powder, cooking until onions are slightly translucent (2-3 minutes).
  • Add the rice to the onions, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until rice starts to want to stick to the pan.
  • Add 3 cups of the veggie broth and the vinegar, stirring to combine, and bring to a boil.
  • Cover, and reduce heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the sweet potato and brown sugar (and salt, if desired – I only used 2 pinches), and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the rice is tender, adding more broth as you go if needed. You only need to stir every 5 minutes or so.
  • Stir in the last cup of broth and the cooked green peas. The rice should be moist and creamy – if not, add a little more broth.
  • Serve and enjoy!


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