Just in time for the warmer weather, Lemon Risotto will made a beautiful spring dinner for the family. This creamy risotto features lemon zest and juice, white wine, flavorful broth, a touch of cream and Parmesan cheese and topped with Lemon Pepper Shrimp!
If you’re in the mood for some real comfort food but want a little something extra special, this is the recipe for you! Lemon risotto with lemon pepper shrimp is an exquisite and flavorful dinner that’s equal parts comforting and fresh. Ideal for spring and summertime, this freshly flavored meal is made delicious with ingredients like fresh lemon juice and zest, crisp white wine, tender arborio rice, and so much more.
Homemade risotto is great to serve as an entrée for so many occasions. While it’s a great weeknight dinner meal for when you feel like treating the family, it’s also superb for an elegant date night at home, or for entertaining guests at a dinner party. If you plan on hosting a get together with friends this spring or summer, you should do so with this impeccable entrée!
What makes this recipe a well-rounded dinner is the addition of juicy lemon pepper shrimp! Whipped up with simple, bright, and fresh ingredients, this lemon risotto is so worth the mere hour it takes to prepare. Don’t forget, you get sip on wine while making risotto, I know I do!
How to Make Lemon Risotto with Lemon Pepper Shrimp
Ingredients You Need:
For the risotto:
- Olive Oil
- Butter – Unsalted is best to control the sodium.
- Shallots – The delicate consistency and touch of natural sweetness that shallots have make them ideal for risotto.
- Garlic – Use fresh, not pre-minced or paste garlic.
- Arborio Rice – This short grain rice is the only kind you should ever use in risotto. It’s starchier than long grain rice, and that starch releases as it’s cooked, which makes this creamy dish that much more decadent.
- White Wine – To avoid sweetness in this risotto, use a dry white wine like Chardonnay as opposed to something sweeter.
- Chicken Stock – For the most flavorful results, consider making Homemade Chicken Stock.
- Lemon – You’ll need the zest and juice from one fresh lemon.
- Parmesan Cheese – It’s best to use freshly grated parmesan. You can most likely find freshly grated parmesan in the deli or cheese section of your local grocery store to make things even easier for you!
- Heavy Whipping Cream – heavy cream will give the creamiest consistency.
- Parsley – use fresh, not dried, for the best aromatic experience.
- Salt and pepper
For the shrimp:
- Shrimp – They’ll need to be peeled and deveined prior to cooking.
- Lemon zest
- Olive Oil
- Garlic Powder
- Salt – Coarse salt, like flaky sea salt, is best.
- Black Pepper – for the most aromatic, fresh flavor, use freshly cracked black pepper.
- Butter – unsalted butter to cook the shrimp
Prepare your ingredients.
Before you start cooking, safe yourself some stress by prepping all of your ingredients! Peel and devein the shrimp, slice the shallots, mince the garlic, and zest the lemons. Then, measure all other ingredients accordingly.
Combine the shrimp and lemon zest and juice with olive oil, pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl.
Make the broth.
In a sauce pot over high heat, combine chicken stock, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper. Heat until simmering, then lower the heat to low to keep warm.
Start the risotto in a separate pan.
In a large pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and butter, then sauté the shallots until the begin to brown. Toss in the garlic and cook until fragrant. Once your kitchen smells of garlic, stir in the rice.
Stir in the white wine a little at a time. Each time the rice absorbs the wine, add more.
Add the broth.
Once the rice has absorbed all of the wine, lower the heat to medium low and stir in a cup of the warm broth. Let the rice absorb the liquid.
Continue to add the broth about half a cup at a time, allowing the rice to fully absorb each addition before adding more.
Stir the risotto frequently, but not constantly.
Add the final touches.
Add grated parmesan cheese to the rice as it’s nearly done cooking. Stir in the heavy cream as well. Let it sit for a few moments before removing from the heat and stirring in the minced parsley.
Cook the shrimp.
Add the shrimp in a single layer to a pan that’s been preheated with a bit of oil over medium high heat.
Let the shrimp sear for a few minutes until they turn pink and opaque on the side touching the pan.
Flip the shrimp, then add a tablespoon of butter to the pan. Sear the shrimp for another minute or so, until both sides are pink and opaque.
Serve the cooked shrimp with the risotto, and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use frozen shrimp?
Yes, but they’ll need to be fully thawed prior to using in this recipe. While I prefer using fresh shrimp from the seafood counter or local fishmonger, frozen shrimp is also a viable option! Just be sure they are thawed and drained of any excess water before cooking them.
If you have any leftover risotto and shrimp, you can store them and reheat the next day. The leftovers should be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.
I don’t recommend reheating your leftovers in the microwave, as seafood doesn’t stand up well to reheating in a microwave. For the best reheated results, reheat your shrimp and risotto in a small sauce pot over medium-low heat with a splash of chicken stock to help give the rice a little extra moisture.
Lemon Risotto with Lemon Pepper Shrimp
Lemon Risotto with Lemon Pepper Shrimp
For The Risotto:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 shallots or 1 large shallot
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 lemon – zest
- 2 tbsp juice from the lemon
- 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
For The Shrimp:
- 1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 lemon – zest
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2-1 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1-2 tbsp unsalted butter
- Prepare all of your ingredients before starting to cook. Peel and devein shrimp. Slice shallots and mince garlic. Zest lemons (separately) and measure remaining ingredients.
- In a small bowl, combine shrimp with zest from 1 lemon, and lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mix well and set aside.
Making the Risotto:
- In a sauce pot, combine chicken stock, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper and heat it until simmering. Turn the heat down all the way to low so it stays warm.
- Heat up a large cooking pan over medium heat and add olive oil and butter. Sauté onions until it starts to brown and add garlic. Sauté just until garlic is fragrant, add rice, and stir well.
- Pour in the white wine and stir it to spread everything evenly. Let rice simmer and absorb the wine. Stir a little as rice simmers.
- Lower the heat to medium-low, Once wine is absorbed, lower the heat to medium-low, stir, and pour in about a cup of hot broth. Stir and let rice simmer and absorb the liquid.
- Continue to add about a 1/2-1 cup of hot broth at a time and letting the rice absorb the liquid before each addition. (Make sure to stir the broth in the sauce pot before adding it to the risotto to mix the seasoning that has settled to the bottom.) Remember to stir risotto often but not constantly.
- When rice is almost done, add grated Parmesan cheese and heavy whipping cream to the risotto, stir, and let it cook just a few more minutes. Once risotto is done, take off heat and stir in minced parsley.
Cooking the Shrimp:
- When you have about 5 minutes left in cooking of the risotto, that's a good time to cook the shrimp.
- Preheat a large cooking pan over medium-high heat. Once preheated, add a little oil to grease the pan if needed.
- Add shrimp to the pan, placing them side by side, not overlapping or overcrowding.
- Let the shrimp sear for a couple of minutes, until turns pink and opaque of that side.
- Flip each shrimp and add tablespoon of butter the the pan. Sear shrimp on that side for about a minute or two (depending on the size) until turns pink and opaque on that side as well. Take shrimp out of the pan as soon as it's cooked.
- Serve the shrimp with risotto.