Image of Creamy Leek Risotto with Salted Pancetta

Creamy Leek Risotto with Crispy Pancetta

  • Author: Krista
  • prep_time Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • cook_time Cook Time: 1 hour
  • total_time Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • yield Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • category Category: Side Dish
  • method Method: Stove
  • cuisine Cuisine: Italian


Comfort food has a new name with this Creamy Leek Risotto topped with crispy salted pancetta. Treat your taste buds and your body with this hearty recipe!



  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 4 oz. of pancetta, small diced
  • 4 cups of leeks, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup of yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 cups of arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup of white wine
  • 5 3/4 cup of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of fresh pecorino romano cheese, grated
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter


  1. Prepare the leeks, cut off the end of and then right before the dark green part of the leek starts. Next cut in half lengthways so you have two long pieces. Flip them over so both flat parts are lying face down on the cutting board. Thinly slice through the leeks. Place all sliced leeks into a bath of cold water and swirl leeks around a little bit. (leeks tend to hid alot of dirt in them so let the leeks sit for a while, dirt will fall off and gather in the bottom of the cold water bowl.) Drain well and let sit.
  2. In a medium sized saucepan, bring chicken broth to a simmer and keep it warm the duration of cooking the risotto.
  3. In a large dutch oven over medium high heat, add olive oil and pancetta. Saute for 5 minutes until pancetta is slightly browned. Remove and place on a plate with paper towel.
  4. Add butter to the dutch oven, let melt and then add leeks, garlic, onion, and thyme. Saute for about 8-10 minutes, until leeks have wilted. Stirring occasionally.
  5. Next, add in arborio rice, stir to incorporate with vegetables and immediately add in white wine. Stir often until the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes.
  6. Next add in 1 cup of the broth to the leek rice pot, simmer over medium low heat. Stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed, about 3-4 minutes.
  7. Continue to cook until the rice is tender and creamy, adding broth in by cupfuls and stirring often. about 28-32 minutes. {I would add a cup of broth once I noticed that the rice was starting to lose the liquid}
  8. After you add in the last cup of chicken broth also squeeze in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and pecorino romano cheese.
  9. Stirring until the liquid is absorbed.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Finish off with crispy pancetta on top.
  12. Serve!

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