Nettle Rice: A Sublime Recipe in 30 Minutes


The Nettle Rice presents itself as a sublime recipe, perfect for those looking for a dish rich in flavor and at the same time mindful of their figure, with only 400 calories per serving.

Thanks to its balance between taste and well-being, this dish combines Italian culinary tradition with innovative flavors. The time needed to bring it to the table is about 70 minutes, divided between 30 minutes of preparation and 40 minutes of cooking.

The combination of rice with nettles not only creates a tasty union but also an extremely healthy one. This recipe, easy and quick to make, wins over all those who wish to experiment in the kitchen without sacrificing lightness and nourishment.

This makes Nettle Rice an ideal choice for both a daily lunch and a special occasion.

Recipe Notes

  • DIFFICULTY: Easy and quick
  • ADVANTAGES: Tasty and healthy
  • DISADVANTAGES: Requires attention with nettles
  • PREPARATION TIME: 30 minutes
  • COOKING TIME: 40 minutes

Notes on the Recipe Ingredients

Discover how to make your Nettle Risotto unforgettable.

  • Vialone Nano Rice: Perfect for risottos, it absorbs flavors well.
  • Onion: Adds sweetness and depth of flavor.
  • Lard: Provides creaminess and a unique taste to the dish.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese: For a rich and savory finish.
  • Light Chicken Broth: A light liquid base that enhances the other ingredients.
  • Nettle Leaves: Bring a fresh and herbaceous note, along with nutritional benefits.
  • Garlic: A touch of pungent aromaticity that should never be missing.

Nutritional Values of the Dish with Cereals and Wild Vegetables

This dish skillfully combines traditional ingredients and natural elements to offer a culinary experience rich in flavor and nutritional benefits. Here are some aspects to consider:

  • Whole Grains: Vialone Nano rice is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, providing long-lasting energy.
  • Wild Vegetables: Nettles are rich in vitamins (A, C, and K) and minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium), contributing to the overall nutritional value of the recipe.
  • Proteins: Grated Parmesan cheese adds protein value to the dish, essential for tissue repair in the body.
  • Fats: The use of lard can increase the saturated fat content; however, when consumed in moderation, it can be part of a balanced diet.

With 400 calories per serving, this recipe represents a balanced option for a main meal, combining essential nutrients without exceeding the caloric intake.

Nettle Rice: A Sublime Recipe in 30 Minutes

Servings 3
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes



  • Wearing gloves, peel off only the nettle tops. Take the green, fleshy tops, even better if you can peck off a couple of handfuls of nettle buds only.
  • Wash nettles well one by one with gloves to remove any pests.
  • Finely chop onion with garlic and parsley and transfer to a saucepan.
  • Reduce the lard to a paste using a chef's knife heated over a flame.
  • Add the lard to the casserole and sauté without burning.
  • Heat the broth.
  • Add the roughly chopped nettles to the sauté and let them wilt for a few minutes.
  • Sprinkle with broth, bring back to a boil, cover and turn heat to low. Allow to simmer for 40 minutes.
  • Clean the rice grains and add them to the mixture, cook until al dente, stirring occasionally. If necessary, add boiling water.
  • Add Parmesan cheese and a handful of pepper, stir and serve.


For an even lighter, vegetarian variation, replace the lard with extra virgin olive oil. This will not only reduce the calorie content of the dish, but also make it suitable for those on a vegetarian diet.
Author: Tips4Food
Calories: 400kcal
Course: Main Dish
Keyword: Horticulture, Rice with nettles, Sublime recipe, Vegetarian dishes

Variations on the Theme: A Green and Nutritious Dish

Exploring variations of a classic dish can completely transform it while keeping its nutritious core. One of the most intriguing ideas is to replace Vialone Nano Rice with a whole grain version for a higher fiber content. The onion, an essential aromatic base, could be replaced by shallots for a more delicate taste.

Using lard adds depth to the dish, but for those seeking lighter options, strips of prosciutto or smoked bacon can be interesting alternatives without sacrificing flavor. Grated Parmesan cheese provides savoriness and creaminess; however, experiments with Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano can pleasantly surprise the taste buds.

Substituting light chicken broth with a vegetable one makes the recipe suitable for vegetarians without losing richness in taste. Finally, if nettles are not available or desired, young spinach or Swiss chard can offer a valid green alternative.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some frequently asked questions from our readers.

How can I prepare Nettle Risotto correctly?

To prepare Nettle Risotto, make sure to wear gloves to pick only the nettle tips and wash them well to remove any parasites. Follow carefully all the steps of the process, from preparing the sauté with onion and lard to cooking the rice in broth with wilted nettles. Finally, add Parmesan cheese and pepper to taste before serving.

What type of cheese can I use instead of Parmesan Cheese?

You can replace Grated Parmesan Cheese with other cheeses of your choice that are suitable for gratin like Pecorino Romano or a local cheese with a strong flavor.

How long does it take to cook Nettle Risotto?

Nettle Risotto requires about 40 minutes of cooking after sprinkling with broth and setting the flame to low. During this time, stir occasionally until reaching the desired al dente consistency.

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