Get 5 Secrets to Make Homemade Taste Food Better + New Recipes Weekly!
Published February 18, 2024. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This delicious Creamy Risotto Recipe is slow-cooked arborio rice in rich chicken stock to make an amazing creamy dish for friends and family. Risotto is still one of my all-time favorite things to make and eat. You will love this.
Risotto is a classic Italian dish made by constantly stirring hot stock with rice and often other ingredients like caramelized onions. The stock is added a little bit at a time and should be fully absorbed into the rice before more stock is added. This process can take up to 45 minutes and will result in a delicious creamy mixture of al dente rice.
While this is a wildly popular dish worldwide, its roots can be traced back to Northern Italy during the Middle Ages. In Italy, risotto is most often consumed as the main entrée, not a side dish. There are also many variations of this dish where other ingredients can be added to make it a more filling meal.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Onions – You can use a white, sweet, or yellow onion for this recipe. I used a yellow onion because it is better for caramelizing, and it will give off more flavor.
- Garlic – This isn’t necessarily traditional in a risotto recipe, but it will help further enhance the flavor of it.
- Oil – Italians most often use olive oil as their way to sauté or use it as fat in recipes. Unsalted butter will also work.
- Rice – Arborio is the typical short-grain rice used in a classic risotto recipe. You can also substitute with Baldo, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano rice.
- White Wine – It’s common practice to deglaze and use a dry white wine, like chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or Sauvignon Blanc. Now because wine has such a distinct flavor, I advise replacing it with a little chicken stock if you do not consume alcohol.
- Stock – A good homemade chicken stock is what will be used as the liquid to cook the arborio rice. Other options are water, brodo, or vegetable stock.
- Cheese – All risotto is finished with either Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
- Salt and Pepper – Always season everything, including a creamy risotto recipe with coarse salt and pepper.
- Cream – Finishing risotto with heavy whipping cream at the end takes it to another level. You can substitute with 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter. I always use unsalted because I want to control the sodium content.
How to Make Creamy Risotto
- Add olive oil to a large pot or rondeau.
- Pour in the onions and cook over low heat for 8-10 minutes while constantly stirring until they are very lightly browned and translucent.
- Add in the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Pour in the arborio rice and toast in the pot for 3 to 4 minutes while constantly stirring.
- Deglaze with the white wine while constantly stirring until it has been completely absorbed into the arborio rice.
- Add 4-8 ounces of warm chicken stock at a time while constantly stirring until it has been incorporated into the arborio rice.
- Repeat the process until the rice is al dente or slightly crunchy, which takes about 20-25 minutes on low heat.
- Finish by stirring in heavy cream, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Serve with more parmesan cheese, pepper, and optional parsley garnish.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: This is meant to be eaten as soon as it’s finished cooking. However, you can keep this warm in a pot covered with a lid over very low heat for up to 20 minutes before serving.
How to Store: Cover and place the risotto in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. This will freeze covered for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.
How to Reheat: Add the desired amount of risotto to a medium-sized saucepot along with ¼ to 1/3 cup of water and stir over low heat until hot and creamy.
Chef Notes + Tips
- Traditionally, risotto is finished with whole butter. However, I learned the heavy cream trick from the famous Chef Thomas Keller of the French Laundry, and it is worth doing.
- Add other cooked ingredients to your risotto, like mushrooms, shrimp, chicken, seafood, asparagus, Lobster, sausage, etc.
- If you want to alter the flavor of the risotto, do a full caramelization of the onions, about 20-25 minutes.
- The rice will go from bright white to translucent and may have a little brown on it from toasting.
- It takes about 5 cups of chicken stock for every 2 cups of arborio rice.
- Al Dente means “to the tooth” and refers to the doneness of grains and vegetables. When cooked in this manner, the food should have some firmness, but not crunchy.o
More Italian Recipe
Creamy Risotto Recipe
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 peeled small diced yellow onion
- 3 finely minced garlic cloves
- 4 cups arborio rice
- 1 cup chardonnay
- 10 cups warm chicken stock
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- coarse salt and pepper to taste
- Add the olive oil to a large pot or rondeau over medium-low heat.
- Pour in the onions and cook for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and translucent. Feel free to cook longer to caramelize.
- Add the garlic and cook it just until fragrant, which takes 30 to 45 seconds.
- Next, pour in the rice and toast for 3 to 4 minutes while constantly stirring.
- Deglaze with the wine and stir constantly until all of it has been absorbed into the rice.
- Add 4-8 ounces of warm chicken stock at a time to the rice while constantly stirring until it has been absorbed, and then repeat the process until the arborio rice is cooked to al dente. This process can take anywhere from 25 to 40 minutes.
- Stir in the cream, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, salt, and pepper, and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes.
- Garnish with more Parmigiano Reggiano and optional minced fresh parsley garnish.