This creamy risotto recipe is the perfect dinner or lunch recipe for any occasion! It is pretty quick and easy. This is one of the best healthier comfort foods. Load it with healthy veggies or your choice of meat. This dreamy dish will be well-loved by the whole family. You will also enjoy this beet and goat’s cheese risotto and this brown rice risotto!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This risotto recipe yields a luxurious texture. This velvety recipe is special occasion worthy.
- It is an elegant dish and tastes gourmet.
- The combination of sautéed onions, garlic, dry white wine, and Parmesan cheese is so good in this easy risotto recipe.
- Risotto is a versatile dish that can be changed up to suit different preferences. There are tons of vegetables, meats, seafood, or herbs to add.
- This recipe is comforting and soul-soothing.
- The creamy texture, combined with the rich flavors, creates a soul-warming dish.
- It is the perfect meal for a cozy evening or when you need a comfort boost.
- Great for both holidays and regular days.
- Despite its complicated dish reputation, risotto is quite simple to make.
- Have restaurant-quality results with a few ingredients and a splash of patience.
- This recipe is naturally gluten-free, vegetarian, and sugar-free.
- Check out this Instant Pot Brown Rice or these Scalloped Potatoes for another easy side dish recipe!
What is Risotto?
Risotto is a classic dish from Italy. It is known for its creamy and rich texture.
It is made by slowly cooking Arborio rice in broth. Arborio rice is a short-grain Italian rice variety. The rice is cooked until it becomes tender or al dente.
The dish is typically prepared by sautéing onions and garlic in butter and olive oil.
After that, rice is added with more hot broth while stirring.
This process releases the rice’s starches, creating a velvety texture.
Risotto is customized with various ingredients such as vegetables, proteins, and herbs. It is typically finished with grated Parmesan cheese.
This risotto recipe is warm, creamy, and thick. It tastes like comfort food!
Ingredients & Substitutes
Scroll down to the recipe card for the full risotto recipe.
Arborio Rice is a short-grain Italian rice variety. Its high starch content gives this recipe its creamy texture. Make sure to use Arborio rice specifically for this recipe.
Chicken broth and vegetable broth work well. Vegetable broth is a good option for vegetarian or vegan variations.
A small-sized onion adds flavor and depth to the risotto.
Garlic enhances the overall taste of this risotto recipe. Use fresh garlic cloves.
Dry white wine such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc is commonly used in risotto. It adds a subtle acidity and depth of flavor.
Unsalted butter adds richness and a silky texture to the risotto.
Use olive oil for sautéing the onions and garlic. It helps prevent the rice from sticking to the pan.
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese adds a nutty and salty taste to the risotto while making it extra creamy.
Fresh herbs like parsley or basil can be used as a garnish to add a pop of color and freshness to the dish.
Taste & Texture
Risotto has a rich and savory taste from a combination of ingredients.
The Arborio rice absorbs the flavors of the sautéed onions, garlic, and other ingredients used in the recipe.
Adding dry white wine provides a subtle acidity and depth of flavor. The dish is often finished with grated Parmesan cheese. This cheese also seasons the rice.
The texture of risotto is what sets it apart from other rice dishes. With its high starch content, Arborio rice releases starches during the slow cooking process. This is why it turns out super creamy.
How to Make
In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken broth over low heat. Keep the broth warm throughout the cooking process.
In a large skillet, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add in the chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes, until softened.
Then, add the Arborio rice to the skillet. Cook and stir for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
Pour in the white wine. Stir.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the warm chicken broth to the skillet, one ladleful at a time. Stir continuously. Allow each ladleful of broth to be absorbed by the rice before adding the next one. Continue for 20 to 25 minutes, until rice becomes tender but still somewhat al dente.
Season with sea salt and pepper as desired.
Add in the Parmesan cheese until melted and creamy.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Allow the risotto to thicken for 2 minutes.
Finally, serve the risotto recipe hot. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs if desired.
Expert Tips for Success
Use Arborio rice. Its high starch content is essential for achieving the creamy texture characteristic of a good risotto.
Sauté the rice. This helps to toast the grains slightly to create a protective coating that helps retain the texture.
Use hot broth. The broth should be hot before adding it to this recipe for risotto. Adding cold or room-temperature broth can disrupt the cooking process.
Add broth a little at a time. Stir constantly and allow the rice to absorb the liquid before adding more. This slow and gradual process helps create the creamy texture of the risotto.
Stir constantly. Stirring the risotto continually is really important. It helps release the starches from the rice so that the risotto recipe cooks evenly. Use a wooden spoon or spatula.
Season carefully. Keep in mind how much salt the broth and Parmesan cheese contain. Taste and adjust the seasoning towards the end of cooking.
Rest before serving. Allow the risotto recipe to rest for a few minutes after it finishes cooking. This allows the rice to settle.
Flavor Variations & Add-Ins
Sauté a variety of mushrooms. Choose cremini, shiitake, or porcini. Add them to the onions and garlic. The earthy and rich flavors of mushrooms complement the creamy risotto recipe beautifully.
Blanch asparagus spears and chop them into bite-sized pieces. Add them to the risotto, along with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of lemon zest.
Stir in diced tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes while the rice is cooking. Finish this risotto recipe with freshly chopped basil leaves.
Add cooked shrimp, scallops, or pieces of flaky fish to the risotto. The seafood adds sweetness and is elegant.
Roast vegetables, like butternut squash, pumpkin, zucchini, or bell peppers. Fold them into the risotto for a hearty and colorful dish.
Stir in fresh spinach leaves towards the end of cooking until wilted. Crumble in some feta cheese. This is a dreamy vegetarian combo.
Cook diced pancetta or bacon until crispy. Then, use it as a garnish for the risotto. Add cooked peas during the last few minutes of cooking.
How to Serve & Store
Serve this risotto recipe on its own with a bowl of grated parmesan cheese. It will also go beautifully with a light salad, dressed with a vinaigrette.
Risotto can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Cool the risotto down before transferring it to an airtight container.
When reheating refrigerated risotto, add liquid to restore its creamy texture. Water and broth will both work well for this step.
Freezing risotto is possible, but it may affect the texture and creaminess of the dish. It is best to freeze risotto immediately after cooking and cooling it. Portion the risotto into freezer-safe containers or sealable bags, ensuring they are airtight. The frozen risotto will keep for about 2 months.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The trick to making good risotto is gradually adding hot broth to the rice. Stir it constantly until it is creamy.
To make the perfect Gordon Ramsay risotto, include flavors like saffron, mushrooms, or seafood.
Chicken, beef, or seafood are the best meats to pair with risotto. This is a personal choice. This Hearty Chicken Spaghetti is equally as creamy and cozy!
Arborio rice is a short-grain Italian rice variety commonly used for making risotto. It has a high starch content that gives risotto its creamy texture.
No, do not rinse Arborio rice before cooking. The starch helps create the desired creaminess in risotto and must not be washed off.
Risotto can be made vegan using vegetable broth and leaving out dairy products like butter and cheese. Flavorful vegan ingredients can be added to enhance the taste.
Risotto can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free broth. Check that additional ingredients or seasonings used are also gluten-free.
Wooden Spatula: These wooden spatulas are great for stirring.
Large Nonstick Skillet: This large skillet is great for making risotto!
You May Also Enjoy
- Chicken and Veggie Fried Rice
- Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- Quick Fried Rice
- Wild Fried Rice
- Thai Chicken and Rice
If you enjoyed this easy risotto recipe, please leave a rating and comment! For more inspiration, check out my Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. For 5 free weekly meal plans and more free resources, sign up to receive my free newsletter! For more ideas, check out these Side Dish Recipes.
Enjoy this creamy homemade risotto recipe!