Now you see me…. now you don´t – Oven Baked Risotto

Oh dear, where have the last 10 days or so gone to? It´s busy, busy, busy here and while we are still (of course) working, cooking and eating, there has been very little activity on the blog. I do miss you all, and I am sorry that I haven´t had time to get over and comment.  House Number One is finished. Yes, you read that right!  Well, apart from 6 door handles that need to be put on. We even have a lovely tenant waiting to move in as soon as we move out.

So you can imagine that things have moved on apace in House Number 2 (I am sitting in a bare room while the kitchen floor is being grouted and windows are being replaced upstairs and the plumbers are doing things with copper pipes).

Photos to come, but in the meantime, back to the food. Best pal Ria sent me the recipe for her oven baked risotto which is given below. Believe me, if you ever thought you fancied risotto but didn´t have time to stand over the pot and stir, this is a fantastic way to do it.  I made extra (of course) and turned the remains into something else the next day and I would strongly suggest you do the same.  I have given Maria´s version and then afterwards my adaptation according to what I had available in my fridge. Perfect comfort food.

Maria’s world famous baked haddock & cabbage risotto

Serves 4 (easily halved or doubled – it’s very forgiving)

Prep 5 mins, Cooks in 35 mins

Dead easy and delicious!


  • 1  tbsp olive oil
  • 1  onion chopped
  • 300g/10oz  risotto rice
  • 1  litre vegetable stock (you can use vegetable bouillon powder)
  • 280g wedge savoy cabbage, thickly sliced (Tanya – I used about a dozen thinly sliced mushrooms and half a dozen rashers of finely chopped smoked streaky bacon instead of the cabbage and haddock)
  • 400g/14oz skinless smoked haddock (preferably go for the undyed sort and ask the nice fishmonger to skin it for you – but if you can only get with skin on it’s very easy to slip off after it’s been cooked, before you flake it)
  • 3 tbsp crème fraiche
  • 50g freshly grated parmesan

Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

  1. Heat oil in a 2 litre casserole dish, then soften the onion over a medium heat for about 5 mins.
  2. Tip in the rice and cook for 2 mins, stirring well.
  3. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then add the cabbage.
  4. Cover and bake in oven for 20 mins
  5. Remove the dish from the oven and give the rice a stir.  Place the fish on top of the rice, replace the lid, then bake for 5 mins.
  6. Flake the fish into large chunks and stir into the rice with the crème fraiche and half the parmesan.  Season with freshly ground pepper, then sprinkle with the remaining parmesan to serve.
  7. Eat and enjoy.
  8. Don’t forget to pretend it was really difficult to make!

So, there it is, the secret is out…you can make a great risotto in the oven and have time to nip upstairs for a shower, pour yourself a glass of wine and take a deep breath before dinner.


64 thoughts on “Now you see me…. now you don´t – Oven Baked Risotto

  1. What a great idea! I’ve never made risotto with fish – would this work for arancini the next day? We always make extra for that. I had arroz al horno when I was in Xativa recently – it was wonderful and probably similar method to this. I’ve been meaning to try it.

    1. It works perfectly for arancini the next day – that´s my next post! I´ve made this too with fish (also chuck a few prawns in at the end which makes it extra fabulous), can highly recommend it!

  2. This sounds fabulous and so much easier than stirring and stirring and adding broth and more broth on the stovetop!! Thanks for the idea!

  3. I never knew…! That is definitely a time saver. Must try that out some time, did it still come out as creamy? And congrats on the house! Wooo hooo!

    1. Honestly, it comes out just as good as the stove top version. Sometimes though I do enjoy the therapy of standing and stirring, but for when you don´t have time, this is great!

  4. I have always made the stove top version. I look forward to trying this. And I have never had left over risotto so I will have to separate some if I want to try your arancini!

  5. Now this is my idea of making risotto – brilliant idea, thanks be to best pal Ria! 😀
    Wow, I cannot believe house 1 is already finished – cannot wait to see all the finished photos.
    Have a fabulous weekend Tanya.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  6. It sounds great Tanya! I like your version with mushrooms and bacon.
    Don’t worry about being unable to visit and comment, you’ve been very busy. I’m not building anything and can’t find the time to do it either 😉 have fun and take care.
    Hasta pronto!

  7. Oh man, I’m starving right now thinking what I want to make for my lunch. My rice and beans don’t look as good as this.

    1. Ooh good! I know you don´t enjoy too much meat either (not that I´d ever make a “meaty” risotto) so I think you´ll enjoy this one. A nice glass of wine too is always good!

  8. Hello, Tanya!!!! Missed you!
    I’ve seen risotto cooked this way and neither Zia nor I believed it would be good. Now. however, I have a trusted source who says it IS good. Well, you needn’t tell me twice, Tanya. I’ll definitely give this a try — and then report my findings to Zia.
    In the meantime, continued good luck with the remodels. Can’t wait to see pics of your progress. Take care!

    1. Ah, thanks John! Yes, it really does work, but do give it a go before you introduce Zia to it, just to be sure it will meet her high standards! It´s not really the “purist” way to do it…but sometimes it´s good to be a little “impure” 😉

  9. Baked risotto is one of life’s simple pleasures. All the flavour whilst you get on with something else. Good news on house no. 1

  10. Fabulous news about House number 1, and what is it about plumbers…… 🙂
    And thank you Maria for the world famous recipe! It reminds me a bit of kedgerie 9sp??)

    Anyway, seeing as we just had a chat I’ll leave it there 🙂

  11. Oh this is so exciting! I have some arborio rice on hand and was wondering what to make this evening for dinner, so I may even give this a try! It sounds way better than what I’d planned, and it’s been a rough week, so I’m not into stirring today, thank you Tanya! So I hate to say this, but I’m confused about house 1 and house 2…are we still talking about the house in Spain (house 1?) and the one in England (house 2?) or did I miss a house along the way? 🙂

    1. Hi Betsy, yes you missed a house along the way as we only went and bought another one (same era, same ruined state – how mad are we?) in the next road in England. So…we renovated number 1 and it´s now done, we´re living (well, sort of camping/glamping) in it, while we get on with House No 2 – then finally we´ll go back Home (aah, that sounds so good) to Spain while we rent the houses out to long term tenants. And maybe do it all over again next year…we must be crazy!

      Glad you like the risotto recipe, can highly recommend it 🙂

      1. Ran the idea past the Mr. and I’m on my way to get some of the really fine bacon made at our local Pine Street Market and some mushrooms because I have all the other ingredients…definitely dinner tonight! 🙂

      2. Oh my gosh, this is so good! I don’t think I quite got the liquid to rice conversion right because mine wasn’t as creamy as traditional risotto, but we didn’t care, it was delicious, and all we could do to not keep eating it until it was gone! I think that’s fantastic that you guys are so good at renovating…and obviously you enjoy it…so all good! 🙂

      3. Oh good, so pleased it sort of worked out! Sometimes rice can behave differently, but once you´ve made it you´ll know for the next time…do hope there is a next time!

  12. We often go to pot-luck dinners here. This looks to be the perfect bake-and-take dish. Especially to use up bits and pieces of appropriate stuff in the fridge. Thanks Ria via Tanya 🙂
    Great to hear you’ve a tenant ready to move in, Tanya. That’s what all this work is for, right? Best wishes for the speedy completion of house #2

    1. Hi Diane – yes this would be a good “bake and take” although it gets stodgier the longer it sits around (not that I´m complaining)! All going great guns here..maybe we´ll save enough to get to NZ one day again!

  13. Love, love, love risotto and am also one who has never put it in the oven. But definitely shall, altho’, given time, I find the ‘stirring bit’ quite therapeutic at times – but who’s got time 🙂 ! Have also not used fish: want to taste as soon as possible!

    1. I agree with you re the stirring, sometimes it´s a great opportunity to think things through, plan the next day…whatever..while you stir. With a glass of wine in hand, of course!

  14. Congrats on finishing (and renting out already!) Number 1. That must be a real weight off your mind. I’ve never made a baked risotto before but I’ve heard it’s better for brown rice. Every time I make a brown rice risotto I am stirring for days! Will defintely try it in the oven next time and see. And I always make enough for leftovers and bake my arancini too!!

  15. This has revolutionised my outlook on risotto! I love it and it used to be my go-to dish, but I quickly became fed up of the constant attention it needed. This solves my problem 🙂

  16. the PERfect comfort food is right Tanya! I’ll need to try this baking method…sounds pretty brilliant and clearly pictures don’t lie. (well, only occasionally 🙂 ) I’ve recently taken to making risotto in a pressure cooker when I’m short on time…always having arborio rice and dried porcinis in the pantry. Surprising how like the long-stirred version it is! Waiting on your photos!

    1. How interesting that you can also make it in the pressure cooker – my pictures really are the real thing (that´s why they´re not very glam!) but the proof was in the eating…and that was perfect!

  17. I’m probably the only one who loves to stir risotto! It’s therapeutic for me. But then again, I hardly ever serve it to guests as I certainly do not want to be in the kitchen all that time! I’ll have to try this out; sounds like the perfect tip for serving risotto to guests!!

    1. Hi Linda and good to hear from you. I also like the stirring, but yes this would be a good one when you´d rather be chatting than stirring 🙂 Hope all is going well with your new job/home!

  18. Aah, I think I can see a piece of mushroom nestling underneath the cheese in the picture above. What a great idea. I think I’ve only made a risotto once in my life to be honest… I’m all in favour of making things easier, especially so these days 🙂

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