Sartù Di Riso – The Your Level Best Way


Ok, so I must be up for a challenge this week.  I picked a really carby recipe and figured I’d give it a shot to make.  It sounded really good.  The Italian recipe called Sartù Di Riso gets most of its calories from the arborio rice and mozzarella cheese.   It’s not a healthy dish by any stretch.  However, here at Your Level Best, we strive to make any recipe healthy.  I pulled off a miracle with Polish Bigos.  Let’s see if I can do it with this one.  I’m going to dare myself to not get rid of the risotto rice and to do the recipe in a more accessible way.   I own one bundt pan.  That’s it.  The recipe is typically done in a bundt pan.  I don’t want to limit myself.   I’m going to try to make this in a traditional casserole dish.  Let’s see what happens.  It could be really good or a very tasty experiment (it worked great, by the way).  I also baked this on the grill because I picked an oven dish and it was 90 degrees out.  If you do it this way, be sure to place a couple of bricks on the grate so that the dish doesn’t touch it.  You also need a thermometer to control the temperature.  Here are the original stats.  I used the Tasty version of this recipe for the calculation.

  • 417 Calories
  • 11g Fat
  • 63mg Cholesterol
  • 383mg Sodium
  • 610mg Potassium
  • 66g Carbohydrate
  • 17g Protien
  • 103% Vitamin A
  • 27% Vitamin C
  • 27% Calcium
  • 12% Iron

Right off the bat the calories are too high.  The vitamin C is low.  One of the ingredients for this recipe is breadcrumbs.  That will have to go.  The protein can be boosted easily.  It’s not impossible.  The original recipe also uses tomato sauce.  I think we can use pumpkin marinara instead.

Here’s what I changed:

  • I swapped out the homemade tomato sauce with pumpkin marinara sauce.
  • Instead of the Italian bread crumbs, I took some rolled oats and ground them in a food processor.  Then I mixed in paprika, oregano, and dried basil.
  • I added boneless skinless chicken breast to boost the protein.
  • Increased the servings from 12 to 20 to lower the calories.
  • I am roasting some broccoli and carrot for a side dish to round out the vitamin A and C.

Here are the final stats:

  • 265 Calories
  • 7g Fat
  • 61mg Cholesterol
  • 287mg Sodium
  • 130mg Potassium
  • 34g Carbohydrate
  • 19g Protien
  • 17% Vitamin A
  • 1% Vitamin C
  • 16% Calcium
  • 4% Iron

Here is the final recipe:


Sartù Di Riso – The Your Level Best Way

Serves 20

  • 2.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 4 bay leaves, divided
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 4 cups (800 g) arborio rice
  • 5 cups (1.2 L) low-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (110 g) grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup (115 g) old fashioned oats, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese

For the pumpkin marinara sauce from Frugal Nutrition:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  1. For the pumpkin marinara, warm oil in large pan and sauté garlic over low heat for about a minute, until fragrant, but not brown.
  2. Mix together remaining ingredients and cook for about 5 minutes. Taste to adjust seasoning as desired.  Cool.
  3. Heat a pan over medium heat.  Spray with cooking spray.  Cook the chicken breast pieces until cooked through.  Set the cooked chicken aside.
  4. Prepare the rice. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the rice and stock and stir to combine.
  5. Add the 2 bay leaves and a pinch of salt.
  6. Bring to a boil, then immediately cover and reduce down to a simmer.
  7. Simmer for 15 minutes without removing the lid.
  8. After 15 minutes remove from the rice from the heat, stir, and transfer to a large bowl to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C)
  10. Once the rice has cooled, add the eggs and grated Parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly with your hands.
  11. Generously coat the inside of a casserole with cooking spray.
  12. Mix the ground oats and oregano, paprika, and basil in a separate bowl.
  13. Add the ground oats and tilt the pan around to coat. Once well-coated, tap out excess crumbs into a bowl and reserve.
  14. Using your hands, line the casserole pan with an even layer of the rice, bringing it up to about ½ an inch (1 cm) from the top of the pan.
  15. Tear apart the mozzarella and layer it over the rice.
  16. Add the cooked chicken over the mozzarella layer.
  17. Cover with the pumpkin marinara sauce.
  18. Top with a layer of rice mixture and smooth with the back of a spoon to seal in the sauce completely.
  19. Top with reserved ground oats and spray with cooking spray to ensure a nice crust forms.
  20. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and edges have crisped up..
  21. Remove from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes before flipping out of the pan.
  22. Slice and serve.



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