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    The Best Creamy Risotto Recipe

    Published October 16, 2019. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    Learn how to make this delicious classic Italian dish for the best creamy risotto recipe that makes for the perfect side dish or main entrée for any weeknight or entertaining meal.  Pair up this recipe with my Easy Broiled Salmon and my Oven Roasted Whole Chicken!

    bowl of creamy risotto with parsley leaves for garnish

    Risotto is the epitome of Italian comfort food and it’s incredibly easy to make, and still so elegant.  In Italy, risotto is most often consumed as the main entrée, not a side dish.  No need to go to a restaurant when you can make this amazing risotto recipe right from your own kitchen in under 45 minutes.

    Risotto Ingredients

    There are basic ingredients that are typically used in a classic recipe.

    • Yellow Onions – Small diced Spanish yellow onions are a classic staple in risotto.
    • Garlic – This isn’t necessarily traditional in a risotto recipe, but it will help further enhance the flavor of it.
    • Olive Oil – Italians most often use olive oil as their way to sauté or use as fat in ingredients.
    • Arborio Rice – The typical short-grain rice used in a classic risotto recipe.
    • White Wine – It’s common practice to deglaze and use a dry white wine, like chardonnay.
    • Chicken Stock – A good homemade chicken stock is what will be used as the liquid to cook the arborio rice with.
    • Parmesan Cheese – All risotto is finished with either Pecorino Romano or parmesan cheese.
    • Salt and Pepper – Always season everything, including a creamy risotto recipe with salt and pepper.
    creamy parmesan risotto with parsley leaves and cheese pepper on top

    A few other things you can add are heavy whipping cream and butter when your risotto is almost finished.

    Recipe Variations.

    There are many additions to add to a basic risotto recipe to help enhance or change the flavors and textures of the dish.   Here are a few popular variations that are precooked and are folded into the risotto once it is done cooking.

    • Mushroom
    • Shrimp
    • Chicken
    • Seafood
    • Asparagus
    • Lobster
    • Butternut Squash

    Risotto is not limited to these variations, as you can really add anything you’d like.

    How to Make Risotto

    step by step procedures for risotto prep
    1. Add olive oil to a large pot or rondeau.
    2. Pour in the onions and cook over low heat for 8-10 minutes while constantly stirring until they are very lightly browned and translucent.
    3. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
    4. Pour in the arborio rice and toast for 3 to 4 minutes in the pot while stirring every 30 seconds.
    step by step procedures for making risotto
    1. Deglaze with the white wine while constantly stirring until it has been completely absorbed into the arborio rice.
    2. Add 4-8 ounces of warm chicken stock at a time while constantly stirring until it has been incorporated into the arborio rice.
    3. Repeat the process until the rice is al dente, or slightly crunchy, which takes about 20-25 minutes on low heat.
    4. Finish by stirring in heavy cream, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
    5. Serve with more parmesan cheese, pepper, and optional parsley garnish.
    risotto in a bowl with silverware and a glass of white wine
    Chef Billy Parisi

    chef notes + tips

    • If you want to alter the flavor of the risotto do a full caramelization to the onions, about 20-25 minutes.
    • The rice will go from bright white to translucent and may have a little brown on them from toasting.
    • I’ve found that it takes about 5 cups of chicken stock to every 2 cups of arborio rice.

    Can You Make It Without Wine

    Yes, risotto can absolutely be made without wine, which will alter the flavor slightly and not be of a classical nature.

    To make risotto without wine, simply start adding chicken stock once the rice is toasted in the pot, see step 4 and jump to step 6 above.

    Can You Make It With Jasmine Rice

    While risotto is a classical Italian recipe, I believe that it is also a technique.  To me, you can risotto just about anything, from Israeli couscous, to orzo, or to even wild rice, which makes it absolutely possible to do with Jasmine rice.

    The only difference when using jasmine is that most likely you won’t use as much chicken stock since it will cook quicker.

    What Does Risotto Go Well With

    Risotto goes fantastic as a side dish with several main dish entrees, and here are a few:

    This is seriously so amazing and really so good when homemade.  It’s also a great way to get your kids to eat veggies because you can jam-pack it with vegetables!  If you have any leftover, I highly suggest you put it to good work in my Arancini balls recipe.

    risotto with parmesan cheese and white wine

    More Italian Recipes

    Be sure to follow me on FacebookYoutube, Instagram, and Pinterest and if you’ve had a chance to make this then definitely drop me a comment and a rating below!

    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    The Best Creamy Risotto Recipe

    5 from 8 votes
    Learn how to make this delicious classic Italian creamy risotto recipe that makes for the perfect side dish or main entrée.
    Servings: 16
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 35 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • 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 chicken stock, heated
    • ½ cup heavy cream
    • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
    • sea salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

    • 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.
    • Add in the garlic and cook for 1 to 2minutes.
    • Next pour in the rice and toast for 3 to 4 minutes while stirring every 30 seconds.
    • 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 and al dente, or slightly crunch.
    • Stir in the cream, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes.
    • Serve with more parmesan cheese, pepper, and optional parsley garnish.

    Notes

    Chef Notes:
    • How to Reheat: Add the desired amount to a sauce pan and heat over low heat while adding in a ladle of chicken stock at a time until the risotto is heated up and creamy.  You can also heat it in the microwave, but it will lose its creaminess.
    • How to Store and Freeze: Risotto stores well covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.  You can freeze risotto once cooled, covered for up to 2 months.  It will lose quite a bit of moisture so be careful not too overcook when reheating.
    • You can also add cooked vegetables or proteins to risotto once it is done cooking.
    • If you want to alter the flavor of the risotto do a full caramelization to the onions, about 20-25 minutes.
    • The rice will go from bright white to translucent and may have a little brown on them from toasting.
    • I’ve found that it takes about 5 cups of chicken stock to every 2 cups of arborio rice.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 309kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 10gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 315mgPotassium: 232mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 168IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 84mgIron: 3mg
    Course: Main, Side Dish
    Cuisine: Italian