Spelt Risotto with Caramelized Onion & Bacon

  • October 7, 2015



Active Time

60 minutes

Total Time

60 minutes (plus overnight soak)

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  • Spelt Risotto with Caramelized Onion & Bacon
  • Spelt Risotto with Caramelized Onion & Bacon
Spelt Risotto with Caramelized Onion & Bacon

Spelt was one of the first grains ever eaten and grown by early humans. This Spelt Risotto recipe reveals that caveman foodies might have been eating better than you’d think. Spelt has a great texture and a complex nutty flavor that gets developed and enriched when cooked like a risotto. Caramelized onion and chunks of bacon are the perfect additions to this ancient grain.


  • 1 cup spelt
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 8 strips thick cut bacon
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 green onions


1. To make Spelt Risotto, you must first soak the spelt in two cups of water for at least 7 hours, but up to 12 to 24 hours. Doing this will help your body to more easily digest the grain but it will also reduce the cooking time when making the risotto. If you don’t have time for an overnight soak, you can boil the spelt in two cups of water for 30 minutes. Whether you soak the spelt or boil it for 30 minutes, drain it and then continue on with the steps below.

2. Combine the chicken stock and the thyme into a medium sauce pot and gently warm over medium heat while you make the base of the risotto. Note: if or when the stock comes to a simmer, reduce the heat to low. Cut the onion into small squares and set aside near the stove. Mince the cloves of garlic and also keep nearby. Slice the bacon into thick squares and then crisp it in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Once the fat has been rendered from the bacon, use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate.

3. Pour off all but two or three tablespoons of the bacon fat from the skillet and then increase the heat to medium. Add in the onions and cook for approximately five minutes, or until the onions begin to turn brown. Add in the garlic and stir for about a minute to keep the garlic from burning.

4. Once the garlic has been cooked for a minute, stir in the spelt and the bacon along with a cup of the warmed chicken stock. Scrape the bottom of the pan to knock loose any brown bits as you stir and thoroughly mix the risotto. Allow the stock to come to a simmer and stir occasionally. After 5 to 10 minutes, the stock will be nearly evaporated. When the pan is beginning to look dry, add in another cup of the stock and repeat the process.

5. Once you have mixed in all of the chicken stock, the risotto should be more or less done. Give the spelt a taste and make sure that it is soft, but firm. If you think the spelt needs more time, add another cup of chicken stock and continue to cook it. Once the spelt is cooked, season with salt and pepper. You can add a little bit more thyme if you’d like as well. Transfer the risotto to a serving plater and top with thinly sliced green onions. Serve immediately.

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