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Classic Creamy Risotto Recipe

Risotto is an elegant and delicious dish that is perfect for a cozy family dinner. It is very easy and quick to prepare. 

What is Risotto? 

Risotto is a comforting meal. It’s rich, creamy, and delicious.  To make this delightful yet simple rice meal, you will need some Arborio rice, chicken, or vegetable broth (depending on your preference), parmesan cheese, unsalted butter, and other seasonings.

The beauty of risotto lies in the texture. It is creamy yet delicious, with each grain of rice being extremely flavor-packed. The best part of this meal is its versatility. You can customize it with various ingredients and flavors, from seafood to veggies to meats. Whether you’re craving a hearty meal or a comforting bowl of goodness, this dish is the ideal dish for you. 

A Rich Comfort Dish

Achieving that velvety-smooth consistency of risotto requires some patience and technique, but it is achievable with the right approach. One important tip to note when making this meal is to use starchy rice, such as Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano rice.  These types of rice release starch as they cook, creating a naturally creamy texture. 

Another helpful tip is to add the liquid slowly, a little at a time, and stir frequently to help release the starch from the rice and create a creamy texture.

Adding a splash of cream or grated cheese towards the end of the cooking process can also elevate the dish’s creaminess. It is essential to taste the dish along the way – if it still feels too firm when tasting, what you need to do is add more liquid, and continue stirring. When done right, the result is a creamy, delicious, and satisfying risotto! 

A pot of fresh homemade rissoto garnished with parmesan cheese and parsley

Ingredients for making Risotto 

  • Arborio rice: I chose Arborio rice for this recipe as risotto does well with short-grain rice. Arborio rice is creamy yet gives a soft but not soggy result. 
  • Broth: Adding in chicken broth gives the dish a flavorful taste. If you are a vegan or just a plant-based foodie, vegetable broth works great here.
  • Dry white wine: Dry white wine is optional but highly recommended as it enhances the meal’s flavors.
  • Grated Parmesan cheese: This has a nutty and salty flavor that complements the creamy richness of the risotto, hereby giving the meal a lot of depth. 
  • Unsalted butter: I prefer to use unsalted butter to regulate the amount of salt that goes into this meal. This is used to sauté the onions and cook the garlic.
  • Onion and Garlic: These add a ton of flavor to the meal, giving it a refreshing aroma and flavor.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

How to make risotto 

  •  Heat the chicken or vegetable broth in a saucepan and keep it warm. 
  • Melt butter in a large saucepan and cook onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook for one minute. 
  • Stir in Arborio rice and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Pour wine and let it absorb into the rice. 
  • Gradually add warm broth, 3/4 cup at a time, constantly stirring until each addition is absorbed. 
  • It takes about 20-25 minutes to become tender. Remove from heat and add butter, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. 
  • Let it rest for a couple of minutes before serving in bowls, and garnish with parsley if desired.

What type of rice can I use for risotto?

When making Risotto, selecting the right type of rice is crucial.  The preferred choice of rice should be starchy, plump, and short-grain. The most commonly used variety is Arborio, a type of Italian rice, and this is what I recommend for this recipe.  You can also use Carnaroli and Vialone Nano rice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is risotto made of?

Risotto is a delectable Italian dish made using starchy, short-grain rice, particularly Arborio, which is cooked slowly in hot and flavorful stock until it develops a creamy texture. 

What does Risotto taste like? 

Risotto is a combination of rich, creamy, and tangy flavors. The flavors come from the rich stock, aromatics like onions and dry white wine, and the nuttiness of Parmesan cheese. 

What to serve with Risotto 

  • Arugula salad: Pair Arugula salad with this creamy risotto for a wholesome family dinner. The combination is delightful. 
  • Green salad: Green salad with will always be a good choice. The contrast in texture is what makes these two meals a wonderful pairing. 
  • Roasted veggies: Roasted vegetables can be paired with almost anything, making them a great addition to risotto.
  • Salmon salad: The combination creates a delicious and satisfying meal that will surely please anyone.
  • Caesar salad: When paired together,  the creaminess of the risotto can balance the fresh tanginess of the Caesar salad dressing, resulting in a satisfying and balanced meal.
  • Lemon pepper chicken: Pairing the bold flavors of lemon pepper chicken with the creamy richness of risotto to create a mouth-watering combination is satisfying and comforting.

Is risotto healthier than normal rice? 

Risotto and normal rice are both nutrient-packed. However, as risotto is typically prepared with wine, cheese, and butter, it tends to have more calories and saturated fats. You can make a healthier version by using low fat cheese, and adding more veggies.

How long does risotto take to cook?

The cooking process for this recipe is around 35-40 minutes but that may vary depending on the type of rice used. 

A bowl of creamy risotto garnished with herbs and a sprinkle of parmesan

Leftovers?

What to do with leftover risotto

Leftover Risotto can be easily transformed into other dishes. You can shape them into balls or patties to be shallow fried until crispy and golden brown. Another option is to turn your leftover into a comforting soup by adding some chicken or veggie broth. Additionally, use leftover risotto as a stuffing for chicken breasts or fold it into an omelet for a delicious breakfast. 

How to store leftover risotto 

You can also keep any leftover risotto in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. To freeze, allow it to fully cool then transfer it into an airtight container. Make sure to label the container with the date. You can freeze for up to 3 months. It is worth noting that while cooked rice can be frozen, risotto might not hold up well due to potential changes in texture.

How to reheat risotto

If you want to reheat your risotto and retain its creamy and delicate texture, there are some effective methods to achieve this. 

Stove:  I recommend that you reheat on a stovetop. Place the risotto in a non-stick skillet, add a couple of tablespoons of broth, and heat it over medium heat. Stir occasionally until it’s hot and the liquid has been absorbed. If the risotto is too thick, you can add a little more broth or water.

Microwave: Reheating risotto in the microwave can lead to a change in texture, making it mushy. If you choose this method, place the risotto in a microwave-safe dish, cover it with a damp paper towel, and heat it on medium power in small time increments, stirring every 30 seconds until heated through. Remember to add a little broth or water to the dish before reheating to maintain the creaminess of the risotto.

Other decadent comfort meals to try out 

A spoonful of creamy risotto

Creamy Risotto

Risotto is an elegant and delicious dish that is perfect for a cozy family dinner. It is very easy and quick to prepare.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 475.1kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine optional
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley chopped, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat the chicken or vegetable broth over low heat in a medium saucepan. Keep it warm throughout the cooking process.
  • In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or skillet, melt half of the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until it becomes translucent about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  • Stir in the Arborio rice, ensuring each grain is coated with butter. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the rice becomes slightly translucent around the edges.
  • If using wine, pour it into the saucepan and stir until it is absorbed by the rice.
  • Add the warm broth to the rice, three-quarters of a cup at a time, stirring constantly. Allow each addition of broth to be absorbed before adding the next. It takes about 2 minutes for each addition of water to be absorbed.
  • This process should take about 20-25 minutes, and the rice should be tender but still slightly firm to the bite.
  • Once the rice has reached the desired consistency, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the remaining butter and Parmesan cheese—season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • Allow the risotto to rest for a couple of minutes before serving. This will help it to thicken slightly and become creamier.
  • Serve the risotto in bowls, garnished with chopped parsley if desired

Nutrition

Calories: 475.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 65.9g | Protein: 10.6g | Fat: 15.9g | Saturated Fat: 9.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 46.1mg | Sodium: 1106mg | Potassium: 198.7mg | Fiber: 2.6g | Sugar: 2.5g | Vitamin A: 552.3IU | Vitamin C: 3.8mg | Calcium: 138.7mg | Iron: 3.6mg

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