Chewy bites of ham, velvety risotto and the subtle sweetness of corn make this Creamy Ham and Corn Risotto a dinnertime favorite! One skillet and 30 minutes are all it takes to get this busy weeknight dish to the table!
One of my favorite things about holiday meals are the leftovers. Yes, the leftovers! I cannot wait to get into the fridge when everyone has gone home to survey what delicious ingredients I have to create with. How about roasted green beans for a big wok of stir-fry, creamy mashed potatoes for shepherd’s pie and the gold standard: Smoked Ham! Honestly, and I feel I’m not alone here, we only make a big ham for big holiday feasts so eating ham is pretty spare ’round these parts. Considering the amount of sodium and fat in ham, and my waistline, that’s probably not a bad thing!
Risotto gets a bad rep for being hard to make, but it can be really easy. It takes less than 20 minutes to cook from start to finish. The real secret is to keep stirring (and stirring) to get that creamy, comforting finish. Then serve it while warm in a big bowl, with a big spoon, and topped with extra Parmesan!
Looking for other Ham based recipes? You might like to check these out:
- Country Ham and Potato Bake – creamy smoked sauce and melted cheese
- Ham Cakes with Garlic Dill Aioli – crisp and savory
Tips for making the best Creamy Ham and Corn Risotto:
- There is A LOT of stirring involved, so the best tip I can give you is to get everything out, cut, opened and measured before you start.
- I always say this, but for a good meat based dish, the best results start with quality meats. Use organic if possible.
- If possible use fresh, minced garlic. Garlic is an integral component of this recipe.
- Be careful when salting. Ham contains a high amount of sodium so you may need less than your usual amount.
- For consistent texture, trim any hard casings or rind fro the ham before cubing.
- For heat, add a a pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes.
- Use Arborio rice for this recipe. Substituting a long-grain rice variety will produce a less creamy result.
- Keep a little extra chicken broth on hand to thin out the risotto is it becomes too sticky.
Helpful Tools and Ingredients:
- Large Skillet or Dutch Oven – both have handles on two sides, making it easy to pick up a hot pan. I own and love this large skillet, and the dutch oven is on my wish list!
- Arborio Rice – though found in most grocery stores, this is by far my favorite quality brand.
Creamy Ham and Corn Risotto
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small red onion
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped (2 teaspoons)
- 3 cups Arborio rice, uncooked
- 1 cup white wine, or chicken broth
- 8 cups chicken stock, divided
- 12 ounces corn kernels, frozen, thawed
- 2 cups smoked ham, trimmed of any visible fat
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded, about 2 cups
- 1 tbsp dried chives, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- salt and pepper
- Heat oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until oil is shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally for 1-2 minutes or until onion is translucent.
- Add the rice and cook, continuing to stir until rice becomes opaque, another 2 to 4 minutes. Add the wine (or broth) and stir until the liquid is absorbed, 1 – 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium.
- Add 2 cups of stock and cook, stirring until absorbed, 5 – 6 minutes. Repeat 2 more times. Add the remaining cup stock and corn and cook, stirring, until rice is tender and corn is heated thru, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Stir in the ham and cook 1 – 2 minutes until warmed through. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Stir in chives. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately topped with additional chives.
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