Risotto is already one of the coziest dishes I can think of, so add bacon and smoked gouda and you have the ultimate comfort meal! This recipe is creamy, smokey and cut with a little sweetness from the peas.

The dish starts by cooking your onions and garlic together. Once softened, the fresh thyme and arborio rice gets added. Coating the arborio rice in the cooking oil and toasting it for a few minutes will help starches release so this step is very important! When the rice is toasted it will start to look shiny and translucent around the edges.

Next, the pot gets deglazed with a little dry white wine. At this point your kitchen will be incredibly fragrant – I just the love the smell!

After the wine gets added, you’ll start to add your chicken broth to the rice in small amounts (about a half cup) at a time. You’ll need to start to stir the rice constantly and wait until the broth is absorbed before adding more. I like to keep my broth in a pot on a separate element on medium-low to help with faster absorption. I find I only have to wait one or two minutes between ladles of broth using this method.

The rice will be cooked when it’s mostly tender but still a little firm on the inside. It’s helpful to taste test the risotto throughout the cooking process to determine if you need more or less broth than what this recipe calls for. After the risotto is cooked and has the consistency of soupy porridge, you will remove it from the heat and add your bacon, smoked gouda and sweet peas. At this point the cheese will start to melt and the risotto will take on an incredibly rich texture! I like to finish it with a little butter stirred in (as I do with many things!) which makes this risotto the most creamy!

Equipment and Tools I Use for this Recipe

Bacon and sweet pea risotto with smoked gouda

Bacon and Sweet Pea Risotto with Smoked Gouda

A creamy and cozy risotto with crispy bacon, sweet peas and smokey gouda cheese.
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword bacon, cheese, garlic, gouda, onion, pasta, peas, risotto
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 People


  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine I used Chardonnay
  • ½ pound bacon cooked and chopped into small pieces
  • ½ cup frozen sweet peas
  • 1 cup smoked gouda grated
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • cracked black pepper to taste


  • Add chicken broth and kosher salt to a pot and bring to a simmer on medium-low heat.
  • In a large skillet or pot, heat olive oil on medium. Add onion and cook until they soften, about 4 minutes.
  • Add garlic, thyme and arborio rice and stir to coat the rice in the oil. Toast the rice and continue to stir until the edges have started to become translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add wine and continue to stir until it has evaporated.
  • Start adding the chicken broth to the rice in ½ cup increments. Allow the broth to absorb into the rice before adding more. Continue to stir the rice as you add the broth to help release its starches – making the risotto nice and creamy!
  • Start to taste test the risotto after 15 minutes of continually adding the broth. It should be creamy on the outside with slightly firm texture on the inside when it's done. You may need more or less broth depending on how quickly the risotto cooks.
  • Remove the pot from heat and add the bacon, sweet peas and smoked gouda. Stir until the peas have thawed and the gouda has melted. Stir in butter and serve with fresh cracked pepper.

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