Diabetes-Friendly Recipes

Sunflower Seed Risotto

This unusual risotto works by soaking the sunflower seeds overnight to soften them and cooking at a slightly higher simmer than traditional risotto. This is a grain-free and high protein risotto. It pairs well with a fresh green salad made with a lemon vinaigrette.
Servings: 4
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total: 45 minutes


  • 4 cups shelled, raw sunflower seeds
  • 4 ½ cups chicken stock or low sodium
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 3 Tbs apple cider vinegar, plus water to equal 1/2 cup
  • ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmigian cheese
  • 4 Tbs fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons


  1. Soak sunflower seeds overnight, or for 8 hours in enough water to cover by a four inches. Drain before proceeding with recipe.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken stock to boil. Lower heat and keep just at a simmer.
  3. In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter in 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, stirring to prevent burning, about 3 minutes. Add the sunflower seeds and cook, stirring to warm through, 3 minutes. Add the diluted apple cider vinegar along with 2 cups of chicken stock and black pepper and raise the temperature slightly over medium to create a fast simmer.
  4. Cook, stirring every few minutes, for 10 minutes. Add 1 cup stock and again, cook for 10 minutes more. At this stage, most of the stock will be absorbed and the sunflower seeds will be soft, but "al dente". Remove from heat.
  5. Transfer 1/2 cup of the seeds to a blender along with the 1/2 cup of the remaining chicken stock and puree until creamy.
  6. Return the skillet to the heat; add the pureed seeds along with the peas and Parmesan cheese and heat to warm through.
  7. Spoon the risotto into bowls, topping each with 1 tablespoon shredded basil and additional olive oil, if desired. Serve hot.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving(1 ¼ cups): Calories 928kcal; Protein 34g; Total Fat 75g; Cholesterol 29mg; Carbs 40g; Fiber 12g; Sodium 547mg.



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