A quinoa risotto topped with charred leeks

Healthy risotto

  • serves 4
  • Easy

Give your risotto a healthy protein boost by swapping rice for quinoa. Flavoured with chestnut mushrooms, baby leeks and pecorino, it's a great meat-free dinner idea


Try this healthy veggie risotto, then check out our vegetable risotto, courgette risotto, mushroom risotto and more risotto recipes.

For more healthy options, try our healthy fish piehealthy chilli, healthy pad Thai and more healthy dinner ideas.



  • olive oil 2½ tsp
  • baby leeks 6 (about 260g), 2 finely chopped, 4 left whole
  • chestnut mushrooms 300g, sliced
  • thyme 2 tsp of leaves, plus extra to serve
  • garlic 2 cloves, finely grated
  • quinoa 240g, rinsed
  • white wine vinegar 50ml
  • hot vegetable stock 750ml (using 1 stock cube)
  • pecorino 40g, half finely grated, half shaved
  • lemon 1, zested, plus wedges to serve


  • Step 1

    Heat 1½ tsp of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the finely chopped leeks for 4-5 minutes or until softened. Add a splash of water if the leeks start to catch.

  • Step 2

    Add the mushrooms, thyme and a pinch of salt, and fry for 6-7 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and fry for a minute. Stir in the quinoa and cook for a further minute.

  • Step 3

    Turn up the heat, add the vinegar and simmer for 1-2 minutes or until evaporated. Add the stock in four stages, adding more once absorbed. Simmer over a low heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the quinoa is soft but retains some bite.

  • Step 4

    Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil. Trim the tops and ends from the remaining leeks and add to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes, then immediately drain, dry off using a clean tea towel and set aside to cool slightly.

  • Step 5

    Put a griddle pan over a medium-high heat. Halve the whole leeks lengthways and toss in the remaining 1 tsp of oil, and season. Tip into the griddle and sear for 1-2 minutes until char marks appear. Using tongs, turn them over and griddle for a further minute. Transfer them to a plate.

  • Step 6

    Stir the grated pecorino and lemon zest into the quinoa, seasoning to taste. Divide between four shallow bowls and top with the leeks. Scatter over the reserved thyme leaves and shaved pecorino, and serve with the lemon wedges to squeeze over.

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A risotto in its cooking pan with herbs on top

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 285
  • Fat 8.4g
  • Saturates 2.4g
  • Carbs 34.3g
  • Sugars 5.2g
  • Fibre 7g
  • Protein 14.4g
  • Salt 1.1g