We are obsessed with risottos and make them most weeks, especially as the weather starts getting colder. There is something extremely satisfying about both cooking and eating good risottos: the continuous stirring, seeing the dry rice transform into something creamy and exciting… This Blue Cheese Risotto with Sweet Potatoes is certainly in our Top 3 best risottos ever made!
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A Delicious Take On Risotto
This creamy Blue Cheese Risotto combines some of our favourite flavours: sweet potato and blue cheese. Traditionally, risottos are made with parmesan, but we decided to change things up with some even more bold flavours! Sweet potato risotto is a perfect canvas to add salty and creamy stilton and crunchy walnuts to, without overshadowing the rest of the flavours!
Ingredients and Substitutes
Seven main ingredients (plus olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper) make a wonderful most delicious risotto!
- brown onion: can be substituted with white onion or a couple of small shallots.
- garlic: can be replaced with garlic paste.
- walnuts: use pecan nuts if you’ve run out of walnuts.
- blue cheese: we use Stilton in this sweet potato risotto recipe, but see more suggestions in the section below.
- sweet potato: about 125g per portion. Use orange-fleshed sweet potatoes for this stilton risotto.
- vegetable stock: or chicken stock.
- risotto rice: we recommend Arborio or Carnaroli rice.
What Blue Cheese Is Best To Use In Sweet Potato Risotto?
Which blue cheese, you ask? It’s completely up to you! But here are a few things to note.
I personally prefer firmer and milder blue cheese, like Stilton!. It was sweet undernotes that resonate with the flavours of sweet potato, and it doesn’t completely melt into the risotto. That means you get little pockets of flavour every few mouthfuls!
However, if you like things creamy and stronger tasting, go with Gorgonzola or Roquefort. These have a softer texture and will melt into the rice, creating the creamiest Blue cheese risotto you’ll ever taste! Note though, that Gorgonzola and Roquefort taste stronger, so only use them if you know you’re cooking for blue cheese lovers!
How To Make The Creamiest Risotto?
This Creamy Blue Cheese risotto is slightly different in the sense that you will be adding Stilton instead of parmesan. This, of course, helps the creaminess in itself. However, good risotto has a few critical rules that should be adhered to for best results:
- Use the right Rice for Risotto: Risotto rice needs to be short, starchy and able to withstand long cooking time. Some of the widely available varieties are Arborio and Carnaroli rice (and out of the two, we prefer Carnaroli). Both types of rice are perfect for slow long cooking, letting the rice infuse with all the flavours of stock without losing their shape.
- Toasting the Rice is crucial: toasting the rice in a pan before adding any stock is an important step in any risotto preparation. The process seals the surface of the rice, helping it preserve its shape and retain the typical al dente texture.
- Keep the Stock Hot: Put your stock in a pan and keep it on low heat. This ensures an even cooking temperature. If your stock cools down, it will prolong the cooking time and your rice may become soggy in the process.
- Add Stock Little By Little: Not adding all the stock at the same time allows the rice to release its starch at a slow rate, making the risotto creamy. Another advantage of adding the stock gradually is being able to control how much of the stock is actually needed before the rice is cooked.
Read more about how to make the best risotto.
Start by toasting your walnuts in a small frying pan, but keep an eye on them. It’s devastating when you forget about them for a few seconds and they burn, tasting bitter and unpalatable as a result.
Wash your sweet potatoes thoroughly (no need to peel) and cut them up into 1cm cubes. Spread them into a single layer on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sweet potatoes need quite a bit of salt to balance out the sweetness, so be generous, but also keep in mind the type of blue cheese you’re using. Stilton or Roquefort are examples of extremely salty cheeses, but if you’re using Danish Blue or Gorgonzola, season your sweet potato generously. Cook your potatoes at 200°C for about half an hour.
Meanwhile, make 800ml of stock. I use vegetable stock for almost all of my recipes, but other types should work well too. Keep it warm on the lowest heat possible.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil (or any other oil that’s not too strong tasting) to a large pan, add diced onion with a pinch of salt and fry for around 4 minutes. Chuck in the garlic and risotto rice and fry for another minute.
Add 2 ladles of stock to your rice and stir with a wooden spoon or a spatula until fully absorbed. Keep adding the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring continuously until all the stock has been absorbed and your rice is cooked al dente (with a slight texture). I keep tasting the risotto towards the end every couple of minutes to make sure I don’t overcook the rice.
When potatoes are cooked and slightly crispy on the outside, remove the risotto heat. Mix in ¾ of sweet potatoes into the risotto, stirring in gently to keep the potatoes intact. Crumble and stir in 70g (half) of the stilton into the risotto.
Spoon the creamy blue cheese risotto into 2 bowls or plates. Serve with the rest of the sweet potatoes, crumbled blue cheese and toasted walnuts on top. Decorate with herbs for a gorgeous colour lift!
You can substitute blue cheese with a good amount of mature Cheddar or Parmesan. Alternatively, Taleggio cheese makes a very creamy risotto!
It seems there is no agreement on how to properly eat risotto! But the general theme is that if you’re serving it on a plate or a shallow bowl, eat it with a fork. If it’s in a deep bowl, a soup spoon can be used!
Other Sweet Potato Recipes
If you have some sweet potatoes left after making this delicious Stilton Risotto, make other exciting meals for the week! Why not try:
- Sweet Potato & Kale Filo Pastry Tart
- Chinese-Spiced Beetroot & Sweet Potato Salad
- Goats’ Cheese & Sweet Potato Salad with Cranberries
- All-American Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan & Pretzel Crumble Top
Other Delicious Vegetarian Risotto Recipes
Did you enjoy our Stilton Risotto With Sweet Potatoes? If so, we’d appreciate it if you could leave a comment below and let us know! And if you’re ready for other vegetarian risotto recipes, here are some of our favourites:
- Risotto Verde (Pea and Asparagus Risotto)
- Leek Risotto with Poached Eggs
- Spinach and Mushroom Risotto with Pecan & Garlic Drizzle
- Sweet Chilli Risotto With Peppers
Blue Cheese Risotto with Sweet Potatoes
- 1 large brown onion chopped finely
- 2 garlic clove chopped finely
- 30 g walnuts
- 140 g blue cheese we use Stilton
- 1 large sweet potato (about 250g) cubed into 1cm pieces
- 800 ml vegetable stock
- 160 g risotto rice
- olive oil
- Break up walnuts into smaller pieces and toast in a small pan until slightly browned. Tip out onto a plate to prevent further browning and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C Fan whilst you cube your sweet potatoes. Tip the potatoes into a large baking tray, drizzle with 2 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put them in the oven for around 30 minutes until they are soft on the inside and starting to crisp up.
- Meanwhile, make 800ml of stock and keep it warm on the lowest heat possible.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large pan, add your diced onion with a pinch of salt and fry for around 4 minutes. Add the garlic and risotto rice and fry for another minute.
- Add 2 ladles of stock to your rice and stir with a wooden spoon until fully absorbed. Keep adding the stock, one ladle at a time, stirring continuously until all the stick has been absorbed and your rice is cooked al dente (with a slight texture).
- When your potatoes are cooked, remove your risotto from heat and incorporate ¾ of sweet potatoes into the risotto. Crumble and stir in 70g (half) of your blue cheese into the risotto.
- Serve with the rest of sweet potatoes, crumbled blue cheese and toasted walnuts on top.