Entree/ Side dish

Sweet Corn Risotto with Goat Cheese

Michigan corn!

On a recent, very long, road trip (3,500 miles) to see our son and family in Chicago I bought corn.

So the trip started from Texas and stopping in Missouri for a few days and Chicago for a few days we made our way north around the lake. Did you know that it is 1,000 miles around Lake Michigan?

We had to deal with 4 hours of rain leaving Texas, then another 4 hours the day we left Missouri and guess what, another 4 hours of rain driving up the Wisconsin side of the lake before getting to our final destination (almost) on Mackinac Island where we stayed a couple of days, enjoyed biking around the island and tea at the Grand Hotel. Leaving there we headed towards Traverse City visiting a lot of little lake towns along the way; and no rain!

Finally, this gets me to the corn. Not only did we see row after row of grape vines, we also saw fields of cherries, peaches and yes, beautiful rows of corn. Once in TC we shopped, ate and visited wineries. Sleep Bear Dunes was beautiful and on our way from there to Fish Town (Leland) we came upon this farm stand (finally you say). It was a “honors system” (ever see that before) produce stand. The booth was loaded with these gigantic ears of corn and of course cherries. I had to buy some of each for cooking and eating when we got back the Chicago for another stay, then Missouri again and finally home to Texas.

While in TC I spotted this corn risotto on the menu of a restaurant. I’ve done corn risotto before but want to try another recipe using my Michigan corn; and I wanted to amp mine up a little with the additional of goat cheese and at the end stirred in some fresh spinach (or arugula). I also made a little salad of heirloom tomatoes to add to the top of each helping. It was delicious. Son and family (not really the kids) loved it; adults had seconds.

I’m giving you the traditional method of making this but if you have an Instapot (that is what we used) you can make in there in probably less than 20 minutes. I’m trying it again now that I’m home and haven’t decided whether to use my new Instapot or do the traditional method. Only thing different this time is I’m using some home corn stock I made back in the summer when corn was so cheap. To make that I just put the bare ears in a pot of water along with some bay leaves, peppercorns, a carrot and stalk of celery and simmered it for a couple of hours. Then I froze it for just the right occasion.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Elote is another corn recipe that I absolutely have to make when the corn is freshly picked.

Beautiful Michigan corn

The goat cheese is great in the risotto.

Put the butter and olive oil in the pan (Instant Pot) and when the butter has melted (I didn’t wait) add in the red bell pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes.

Add in the green onions and saute a few minutes more.

Add in the rice and cook until translucent, 5-6 minutes. Then add in the corn.

If you are using an Instant Pot then you already know to add all your broth/wine at this time. If you are making the traditional method then you will add your hot both about 1 cup at a time and stir until all is absorbed before add in more broth. This method takes between 30-40 minutes. The Instant Pot takes about 6 minutes once the pot has locked into pressure cook mode.

When either method is done, add in the goat cheese and spinach (or arugula) and stir until cheese is melted. Only takes a couple of minutes.

We topped each serving with some chopped heirloom tomatoes that had been tossed with a little olive oil and salt and pepper.

Sweet Corn Risotto with Goat Cheese

Cream risotto with some Michigan sweet corn and a creamy goat cheese to finish it off.


  • 1 1/2 c. aribio rice risotto rice
  • 2 c. fresh sweet corn kernels cut from cob
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 c. red or white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c. chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • 6 c. chicken or vegetable stock I used some corn stock I had made
  • 2 c. spinach stemmed and cut into thin strips

For Garnish

  • 2 c. chopped cherry heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 c. arugula or spinach chopped large pieces


  1. Melt the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan. When the oil is hot, add in the onion, bell pepper and garlic and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add in the rice and stir until translucent. Stir in the corn now and start adding the hot broth one ladle at a time until each addition is absorbed into the rice. Keep going until you have added 5-6 cups of broth and the rice is nice and creamy.  You want to be able to draw a spoon through it and have the mixture slowly go back together. You don't want big clumps on each side of the spoon. Now add in the goat cheese and spinach and stir until melted. 

    First time I made this in Chicago, we made it in my daughter-in-law's Instapot. At home I did the traditional method which takes much longer. Here's the Instapot version:

    Put the butter and olive oil in the instapot and heat; when hot add the red onion, bell pepper and garlic and saute for 4-5 minutes then add in the rice and saute that until it starts to get a little translucent. Now add in only 4 cups of broth and the wine. (You don't use the 6 cups called for in the traditional recipe.) Set your insta pot for 6 minutes. When the rice is done, open the lid and add in the goat cheese that you have broken in pieces and add the spinach or arugula and stir until the cheese has melted. Serve immediately with the cherry tomato garnish.

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