Lobster Risotto is an exquisite dinner that you can serve on special occasions or any time of the year! This creamy homemade risotto is made with tender lobster meat, flavorful broth, cream, and plenty of parmesan cheese. Risotto is a great special occasion recipe because it seems fancy but it’s actually quite easy to make.
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Risotto is one of my favorite comfort foods, especially when I feel a little fancy. It’s a great dish to make as a sophisticated meal for a dinner party or for a more intimate date night. I won’t lie – this is a dinner that’s best made when you really want to impress.
With that being said, it’s not difficult to make at all! Yes, risotto does like to be babysat in terms of stirring it often, but that’s about as difficult as it gets.
The lobster flavor is present throughout each bite of this decadent dish, both from the succulent lobster tail meat and the broth that is infused with simple lobster ingredients. While there seems to be quite a few steps, notice that a lot of them involve adding the broth a little at a time and stirring. This lobster risotto is well worth the effort!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Lobster Tails – Lobster can be an expensive ingredient, but I’ve adjusted this risotto recipe to use lobster tails and still get a lot of great flavor. Lobster tails tend to be cheaper than using a whole lobster, but they’re still a great option.
Butter – use unsalted to control the amount of sodium.
Lemon Juice – it’s always best to use freshly squeezed lemon juice, it will always taste better than the store-bought.
Garlic – for the best results, use fresh garlic.
Cognac – This helps deepen the bold flavors of the dish. You can also use brandy in cognac is not available.
Arborio Rice – It’s a short grain white rice, and it’s the only rice to ever use in risotto! Short grain rice has more starch than long grain rice, and that starch releases, which thickens and adds a creamy element to the dish. Arborio rice cannot be substituted! (You can always use leftover rice to make Parmesan Risotto and may others.)
White Wine – Use a dry white wine like chardonnay or pinot grigio to avoid unnecessary sweetness in the dish.
Stock – For the best flavor, try to find a seafood or lobster stock. (You can also add lobster tail shells into the vegetable stock when heating it up to infuse some more flavor into it as well.)
Herbs – A medley of dried parsley, a bay leaf, and dried thyme creates a perfect herbaceous compliment the other ingredients.
Parmesan Cheese – Freshly grated parmesan cheese is a MUST for this recipe. Do not use the pre-shredded cheese that comes in a plastic bag, it will not melt well into the smooth consistency! (Note: you can often find freshly grated parmesan cheese available in the deli cheese section.)
Heavy Whipping Cream – this will give you the richest and creamiest texture, try not to substitute it.
See recipe card for complete information on ingredients and quantities.
How To Make Lobster Risotto
Take the meat out of the lobster tails: Simply use kitchen shears to cut down the center of the shell until you hit the bottom of the tail. Pull the shell apart to open and pull the meat from the shell using your fingers.
Pull on the meat carefully until the meat is fully out of the shell. Dice lobster meat into small pieces. (You can see step by step photos and video in the Lobster Tails recipe post.)
Create the flavorful broth: Combine the stock, dried herbs, lemon zest, lobster shells, salt, and pepper in a sauce pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then lower the heat to low (1).
Cook the lobster: Add butter to a large cooking pan over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the diced lobster tail meat. Season with a little salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Cook until opaque, then remove from the pan (2).
Cook the veggies and rice: Lower the heat, add more butter to the pan, and sauté the onions and garlic (3). Stir in arborio rice. Sauté the rice for a minute or so before pouring in the cognac (4). The rice should soak it up in a few moments.
Cook risotto: Next, pour in half of the white wine and give it a good stir. Let the rice absorb half of the wine and keep stirring as it simmers (5).
Stir in 1/2 cup of the hot broth, stirring and simmering until it’s absorbed (6). Then, pour in the remaining wine, continuing to stir. Continue to stir in portions of the broth and allowing it time to absorb in between additions until the rice is almost al dente.
Add the lobster meat and parmesan: Stir in the cream, grated parmesan cheese (7), and lobster meat (8). Allow the cheese to melt into the risotto.
Finish: Continue to cook a couple more minutes the risotto until it’s al dente.
Traditionally, yes, risotto is made with dry white wine. It adds quite a bit to the overall flavor of risotto and adds a bit of acidity. Choose a dry white wine that you enjoy drinking. Most of the alcohol in the wine will cook out, leaving a hint of the flavor.
However, if you would rather not use it, just substitute with an equal amount of stock or broth. You can also add a squeeze of lemon juice to the broth to add some acidity. You can also get a tablespoon or two of less sweet grape juice to bring some more flavor.
Yes, the arborio rice should not be substituted. This is a short grain white rice, and it’s truly one and only rice to use in risotto. Short grain rice has more starch than long grain rice, and that starch releases, thickening and adding creaminess to the dish.
Yes, this is a vital part to a creamy risotto. Risotto is not a simple side of cooked rice, its texture comes from the frequent stirring and slowly adding the broth a little at a time. Adding broth gradually and letting rice absorb some liquid at a time will help it release the starches and give you the best creamy texture.
Risotto is a dish best served fresh! It continues to thicken even when it’s removed from the heat, so for the best results, serve the lobster risotto as soon as it’s finished cooking.
Wine: Serve it with a crisp white wine that you love, like:
Stay away from sweet wines!
Store leftover risotto in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. I don’t recommend reheating lobster risotto in a microwave because seafood does not stand up well to microwave. If you need to reheat risotto, do it in a small sauce pot, over medium-low heat, with a splash of stock to reinvigorate the rice.
Some More Risotto Recipes To Try
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Lobster Risotto Recipe
For Lobster Meat:
- 3-4 lobster tails, about 8 oz. each depending how much lobster you want
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- black pepper
- 1-2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 shallots diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp cognac
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
- 4- 4 1/2 cups seafood or lobster stock vegetable stock can also be used
- lobster shells from the lobster tails
- 1 lemon-zest only
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- black pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
How To Take Lobster Meat Out:
- Pick up the lobster tail and cut the hard, outer shell down the middle all the way down to where the shell meets the tail.
- To pull the shell apart, you will need to use some muscle and crack the ribs on the softer underside with your hands. But be careful, lobsters often have spikes on the underbelly. (You can use gloves to help protect your hands.)
- Pull the shell open as much as you can to access the meat.
- Use your fingers to gently and carefully pull the meat away from the shell walls and gently lift the meat out. Gently pull by the meat to completely pull it out of the shell.
- Dice the lobster meat into small pieces and place the shells into the sauce pot.
- Measure and prepare remaining ingredients.
To Prepare Risotto:
- Combine stock, dried herbs, lemon zest, lobster shells, salt, and pepper in a sauce pot and heat it until just starts to simmer. Turn the heat down to low so it stays warm while you prepare risotto.
- Heat up a large cooking pan over medium-high heat and add butter. Let butter melt and add diced lobster meat. Season with a little salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
- Stir and cook just until lobster meat turns opaque and take it out of the pan.
- Lower the heat to medium, add a little more butter to the pan, and add diced onions to the pan. Sauté onions until it starts to brown and add garlic. Sauté just until garlic is fragrant, and add rice.
- Stir and let rice sauté for a minute or so.
- Pour in cognac, mix well, and let rice soak it up.
- Depending on your stove, you may need to lower the heat to medium-low.
- Pour in half of the white wine and stir it to spread everything evenly. Let rice simmer and absorb the wine. Stir a little as rice simmers.
- Once wine is absorbed, stir and pour in about a 1/2 cup of hot broth. Stir and let rice simmer and absorb the liquid.
- Pour in remaining wine, stir and let it absorb as it cooks.
- Continue to add about 1/2-2/3 cup of hot broth at a time and letting the rice absorb the liquid before each addition. Remember to stir often, before and after adding the liquid to rice.
- When rice is almost done, add back lobster meat and grated Parmesan cheese, stir, and let the cheese melt into the risotto.
- Cook risotto until rice is al dente. You want to taste rice often and let it cook until it has just a little resistance in the middle when you bite it.
- Stir in heavy whipping cream and let it heat through for a minute or so.
- Serve right away and you can top it off with some fresh minced parsley, chives, and/or Parmesan cheese.
- Hot broth – make sure to heat up broth first and season it with salt and pepper. Adding cold broth to the cooking rice will lower the temperature of the dish and mess with the cooking process. You want to add hot broth to the hot rice as it cooks.
- Add liquid gradually – do take your time with risotto and add a little broth at a time. Adding broth gradually and letting rice absorb some liquid at a time will help it release the starches and give you the best texture.
- Stir often – stir the rice often but not constant. Constantly stirring will lower the temperature of the dish so you don’t want to stir the entire time. Stir right before and after adding wine and stock, and a couple of times in between.
- Use medium or slightly below heat – rice should be simmering while it’s cooking not boiling or cooking too slow. Each stove is slightly different as far as heat settings so use the best setting for a gentle simmer. which could be medium or slightly below medium.
- Can’t use wine? Substitute with an equal amount of stock or broth. You can also add a squeeze of lemon juice to the broth to add some acidity. You can also get a tablespoon or two of less sweet grape juice to bring some more flavor.