Spring Vegetable Risotto – 9+ months

A true risotto is made using arborio rice and cooked lovingly with lots of attention and stirring. Unfortunately, this is something that new parents just can’t spend the time doing. Well, not me anyway.

So I created a risotto base. It’s easy and doesn’t require me to stand and stir for 30 minutes. I can make lots, freeze portions and then simply create a variety of risottos as we go.

It works really well and allows for lots of experimentation with flavour combos without too much heartache over lost hours at the stove, should it end up on the floor.

Spring Vegetable Risotto (cheat’s recipe for new parents) – 9+ months

Risotto Base

This is the recipe for the base that you can freeze into portions, and then add the ingredients of your choice (the Spring Vegetable recipe is below).

Age: fifth month of eating, plus

Suitable for freezing

Makes: 12 single-serve portions

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes


1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

1 onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup medium-grain rice

3 cups salt-reduced chicken or vegetable stock, hot


  1. You’ll need a heavy-based saucepan with a lid. Heat the oil in the pan over medium heat, add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
  3. Turn up to high, add the rice and stir constantly for about 3 minutes until the rice is coated with oil and some grains are starting to turn white.
  4. Turn the heat to the lowest possible setting and add the hot stock all in one go (stand back, it might splatter). Cover.
  5. After 15 minutes, check and stir well. Depending on how low you can get the heat, it will take somewhere between 15 and 25 minutes. The rice should be soft and a tad sticky.
  6. When cool, the base is ready for portioning and freezing. About ¼ cup cooked risotto base will make a generous serve when your risotto is finished. You’ll need to defrost each serve before you transform it into a risotto, preferably at room temperature but in the microwave is OK too.


Tip: I use the snack-size snap-lock bags for freezing portions as they don’t take up much room and can fit into nooks and crannies.

Spring Veg Risotto


1 portion of risotto base (as above)

Choose a selection of at least three vegetables to make up about ¼ cup (try a mix of asparagus, peas, spinach, zucchini or baby broad beans)

2 teaspoons butter (or dairy-free alternative)

Grated parmesan cheese (or dairy-free alternative)

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. Remove the risotto base from the freezer and thaw at room temperature or in the microwave.
  2. Finely chop and microwave or steam your chosen vegetables.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the risotto base and stir to warm.
  4. Combine with the cooked vegetables, cheese, parsley and serve.


This recipe is from ‘Food Babies Love: A Guide to Introducing Solids’, which contains practical baby food ideas that the whole family can enjoy. All the recipes are recommended by nutritionists, paediatricians, and child health professionals.

To order ‘Food Babies Love: A Guide to Introducing Solids’ head to the link here.


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