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black cast iron pan on a grey and white marbled background filled with risotto made with orzo, leek and fennel with some slices of green leeks prominent on the surface and a wooden flat spoon dipped into the pan in the bottom right corner of the frame

Leek and Fennel Risotto (AIP, paleo, dairy-free)


This Leek and Fennel Risotto is made with cassava orzo for a grain-free variation of this classic dish. It’s AIP, paleo, easy and delicious.


  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 leeks, well washed and thinly sliced 
  • 3 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 medium head of fennel, diced (fronds and stalks removed)
  • 1 cup grain-free orzo
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt 
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk, additive free 
  • 2 cups bone broth or chicken stock, divided 


  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Once hot, add leeks and garlic. Reduce heat slightly and sauté for 5-7 minutes until leeks soften. 
  3. Add fennel pieces and cook another 5 minutes, stirring intermittently.
  4. Add in orzo, fresh thyme, sea salt and apple cider vinegar and stir together, allowing the vinegar to reduce slightly.
  5. Add in coconut milk and 1 cup bone broth or chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low-medium and allow to cook 10 minutes, stirring intermittently.
  6. Reduce heat to low, add remaining cup of bone broth and allow to cook an additional 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  7. Taste and adjust for salt as necessary.
  8. Garnish with fennel fronds, if desired. 


  1. If using cauliflower rice, you might need a lot less liquid and the cook time will be reduced.  
  2. Leftovers will keep well covered in the fridge for 2-3 days. I recommend reheating before serving.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Sides

Keywords: aip, paleo, pasta, dairy-free, risotto, grain-free, orzo, leeks, fennel, leek and fennel risotto