Microwave Risotto Using I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Deliciously Simple

Microwave risotto with mixed vegetables
Photos: Nathan Davison

When the temperature dips somewhere between freezing and Star Wars‘ Hoth, a bowl of creamy risotto is just what you crave to thaw out and become human again. If you’ve always shied away from the dish after hearing horror stories of all the stirring, stirring, stirring the dish requires (seriously, some recipes showed 40 minutes of stirring and simmering!), we’ve found the perfect, less-than-10-minutes shortcut for you.

With a microwave and a little plastic wrap, risotto glory can be yours.

The recipe features I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Deliciously Simple, a product I was offered to try—and truly loved. (I’ll always turn down sponsored posts if I don’t believe in the item.) It’s just as smooth and creamy as butter, and it has no artificial preservatives. I loved the buttery-yet-not-too-heavy flavor it gave the risotto throughout my recipe tests, and I even tried it in garlic mashed potatoes and chocolate chip cookies. It worked in all three (and it didn’t make the cookies too salty—take that, unsalted butter!). It’s an easy stand-in for times when you need oil or butter, making it a versatile fridge staple. Especially if you’re living out of a mini-fridge, where space has a higher premium than a SoHo apartment.

Risotto with scallions and parmesan
The mixed vegetables are optional — feel free to sub in any vegetable, cheese or meat you like. Spinach and bacon? Feta and lemon juice? Your call.

One note on this recipe: It calls for heating your microwave at 50 percent power, which may sound tricky at first, but all you have to do is punch in the time (say, 2 minutes), hit the “power” button, then press 5, then “start.” (Buttons 1-9 act as increments of 10, so 20 percent power would be a 2, and so on.)

It may be tempting to blast the whole risotto for 8 minutes straight  (or 4 minutes at 100 percent) and call it a day, but the trick to risotto is gradually adding in broth and giving the mixture a good stir between sessions. That lets the rice plump up and fully release its starch, creating creamy texture without a heavy sauce. (Meanwhile, the plastic wrap and reduced power keep the broth from evaporating too quickly.)

Microwave risotto with mixed vegetables

If you make this dish, be sure to tag it #collegiatecook so we can squeal and like and RT it endlessly.

Microwave Risotto Recipe:

Microwave Risotto Using I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Deliciously Simple
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Finally—risotto you can make right in your dorm room (and without all the endless stirring and fussing).
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 1
  • 1 tablespoon I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Deliciously Simple (plus 1 extra teaspoon to use later)
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced onions
  • ¼ cup frozen mixed vegetables (optional)
  • ½ cup arborio rice
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (or as much as you'd like)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallions
  1. Place 1 tablespoon I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Deliciously Simple into a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds, or until it has melted.
  2. Mix in the garlic, onion and frozen vegetables, coating them entirely. Microwave another 40 seconds.
  3. Add in rice and ½ cup chicken broth, stirring everything together. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 2 minutes at 50 percent power.
  4. Uncover, being careful to avoid the hot steam from the dish, and stir. Then microwave for 3 minutes at 50 percent power.
  5. Uncover, stir in remaining teaspoon I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Deliciously Simple and and microwave another 2½ minutes at 50 percent. Let it sit, covered, in the microwave for one minute.
  6. Remove cover (watch out for that steam!) and stir in half of the parmesan. The cheese will melt as you stir, creating a creamier risotto. Sprinkle the other half on top, along with the scallions. Serve.


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter® through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated to write a post about I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter® Deliciously Simple™, all opinions are my own.

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