Risotto is a beautiful Italian rice dish where rice is cooked gradually and slowly with white wine and broth until it reaches creamy consistency. This risotto recipe is simple, made with Parmesan cheese, and goes perfectly with a protein or all on it’s own. It takes about 45 minutes to make and will be worth the little effort it requires.
So many people order risotto in restaurants and love it but are too scared to make it at home. I’m here to reassure you that there is nothing to worry about and give you my best tips of how to make risotto at home and love it as much as any restaurant.
It’s true that risotto is not like other rice dishes where you add rice and leave it alone. Risotto does require some tender loving care. It needs liquids added slowly and it needs an occasional stirring. Even though it needs your attention, it does not require undivided attention.
Basic risotto has three main ingredients – rice, broth, and wine. The beauty of it comes from the cooking technique, which brings out the creaminess in rice. That smooth, creamy texture comes from frequent stirring of rice and adding the liquid gradually. You may be tempted to take shortcuts but don’t!
When adding liquid a little bit at a time and stirring the rice often, it releases the starches in rice. That is what gives risotto it’s beautiful consistency. Without these key steps, the texture will not come out right.
TIPS FOR MAKING RISOTTO
Choose right ingredients – Use arborio rice only for making risotto and choose a good wine. Don’t just pick the cheapest wine just because it will be used for cooking. Wine is an important ingredient in risotto and will affect the taste. So choose a wine that you like to drink.
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.
Add cheese at the end – add cheese when rice is just a couple of minutes away from being done. Cheese just needs enough time to melt into the mixture.
Cook rice al dente – cook risotto until rice is al dente, not mushy. You want to taste often to know when rice is ready and you want to cook it until it has a little resistance in the middle when you bite it. If you cook it until competently soft, it will be mushy by the time you eat it.
Add vegetables at the end – if adding vegetables, cook them separately, and mix with rice at the end.
HOW TO MAKE RISOTTO
Combine broth, salt, and pepper in a sauce pot and heat it until simmering. Turn the heat down to low so it stays warm.
Heat up a large cooking pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Saute onions until it starts to brown and add garlic. Saute just until garlic is fragrant, add rice and stir well.
Pour in the cup of 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 cup of hot broth. Stir and let rice simmer and absorb the liquid.
Continue to add about a cup of hot broth and letting the rice absorb the liquid.
When rice is almost done, add shaved Parmesan cheese, stir and let it melt into the risotto.
Cook risotto until rice is al dente. You want to taste rice often and let it cook until it has a little resistance in the middle when you bite it.
Stir in parsley and serve.
HOW TO REHEAT RISOTTO
Risotto is very easy to reheat in a pan or in a microwave. You may need to add a little broth when reheating.
Make sure to use a microwave lid to cover the plate if using a microwave for reheating. If using a pan, reheat it over medium-low heat, covered with a lid, and just until the rice is hot.
SOME MORE RECIPES TO TRY
Bacon and Onion Pumpkin Risotto
Chicken and Mushroom Rice Casserole
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- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 shallots sliced thinly
- 3 garlic cloves smashed and minced
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 32 oz chicken or vegetable broth
- fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp fresh minced parsley
- Combine broth, salt, and pepper in a sauce pot and heat it until simmering. Turn the heat down to low so it stays warm.
- Heat up a large cooking pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Saute onions until it starts to brown and add garlic. Saute just until garlic is fragrant, add rice and stir well.
- Pour in the cup of 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 cup of hot broth. Stir and let rice simmer and absorb the liquid.
- Continue to add about a cup of hot broth at a time and letting the rice absorb the liquid before each addition. Remember to stir often but not constantly.
- When rice is almost done, add shaved Parmesan cheese, stir, and let it melt into the risotto.
- Cook risotto until rice is al dente. You want to taste rice often and let it cook until it has a little resistance in the middle when you bite it.
- Stir in parsley and serve.
Could you use riced cauliflower in this recipe?
You can use cauliflower rice but it won’t be as creamy as risotto and you will have to cook it differently. I would first saute the cauliflower until a little bit browned then take it out and set it aside. Then add garlic and onions to the pan with about 2-3 wine tablespoons of wine and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of broth let the wine and broth simmer a few minutes then add in cheese and let melt a little, stir back in the cauliflower rice for a minute or 2 and then serve.
I don’t know much about wine what is a good brand to use
Jeanine Coffman says
Made the Parmesan Risotto…. it was amazing. As good as my little Italian Grandma use to make
That is such a sweet compliment, thank you!
Kerima De La Ossa says
Hi, I couldn’t find chicken broth, can I use chicken stock instead. If so, anything you recommend adding? Thank you!!
Hi, yes you can use stock instead but make sure to taste it before you salt it, sometimes stock is a little more salty.
It is important to use the right ingredients, do not rush the cooking process. This recipe requires time so if you don’t have the time save it for when you do. Don’t over stir it. Follow her directions and suggestions! Mine came out restaurant quality! Thanks for sharing.
Great suggestions! I am so glad you liked the recipe, thank you for taking the time to let me know!
Can I double this recipe easily? I’m making for 6 people.
I am so sorry I am just now responding, I happened to see your comment when responding to someone else but we have been having some email problems with comments and didn’t receive yours. You can definitely double this recipe just make sure you have a big enough pan (not a pot) for all the ingredients.
So good. Made this during the COVID 19 stay at home order. Had to change a bit to work with ingredients I had on hand. But, it was amazing! Easy to follow the instructions. The heat the liquid step made the recipe so much faster. I would have eaten the whole pan, but I had to share with my family. I went for seconds and they were gone! You have to try this.
Thank you for the sweet compliment, I am glad you were able to change it up and still make it work! Hope you will try some more of my recipes while your home. Stay safe!
I just made this minus the wine & it was excellent! Hands down the best risotto I’ve ever had. Thank you for an amazing recipe.
Heather, thanks for letting me know you liked the recipe! 🙂
What would you recommend for a white wine substitute?
Hi, Priscilla! You can use more vegetable stock to substitute the wine.
This was amazing cooked just as written
Thank you, Sally!