Chicken Risotto

Chicken risotto sprinkled with Parmesan cheese

The Spruce Eats / Danielle Moore

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 5 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
299 Calories
16g Fat
17g Carbs
19g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 299
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 20%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 71mg 24%
Sodium 349mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 19g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 44mg 3%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 301mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Making risotto isn't especially difficult, but it does require your attention, and your uninterrupted presence at the stovetop. It involves nearly half an hour of continuous stirring while ladling hot stock into uncooked arborio rice. Stirring and slowly adding the stock are the keys to a good risotto.

This slow cooking releases the rice's natural starches, producing the creamy, velvety consistency characteristic of perfect risotto. And it's important to use arborio rice. You can use other types of rice, but arborio rice is unique in its starch content, and other types of rice won't yield the same creaminess.

Add a Caesar or tossed salad for a complete meal.


  • 1 pound cooked chicken, around 2 large boneless chicken breasts or the equivalent

  • 1 quart chicken stock

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 1 medium shallot, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice

  • 1/2 cup white wine

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for shaving

  • Kosher salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for chicken risotto recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Danielle Moore

  2. Pull apart or cut the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

    Cooked chicken cut into small pieces in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Danielle Moore

  3. In a saucepan, heat the stock, and lower the heat so that it stays hot but doesn't boil.

    Chicken stock in a saucepan on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Danielle Moore

  4. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped shallot. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until the shallot is translucent.

    Shallots being fried in butter in a large pot

    The Spruce Eats / Danielle Moore

  5. Add the rice and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon so that the rice doesn't have a chance to brown. Cook until it gives off a nutty aroma and the grains are coated with the fat.

    Rice stirred with shallot in the pot

    The Spruce Eats / Danielle Moore

  6. Add the wine and cook for 1 more minute, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed.

    Wine added to rice and onions in the pot

    The Spruce Eats / Danielle Moore

  7. Pour in a ladleful of hot stock and stir until it is absorbed. (It's important to stir constantly, especially while the hot stock gets absorbed so that the rice doesn't scorch.)

    Ladleful of stock being added to the rice mixture in the pot

    The Spruce Eats / Danielle Moore

  8. Add the next ladle of stock as soon as the rice is almost dry.

    Another ladleful of stock being added to the rice mixture in the pot

    The Spruce Eats / Danielle Moore

  9. Keep adding the stock, a ladle at a time, waiting for the liquid to absorb before adding more stock. This should take between 20 and 30 minutes, or until the grains are tender but still firm to the bite without being crunchy. 

    Risotto with chicken stock in the pot

    The Spruce Eats / Danielle Moore

  10. Stir in the remaining butter and the Parmesan cheese and season to taste with kosher salt.

    Butter cubes and Parmesan cheese added to the risotto in the pot

    The Spruce Eats / Danielle Moore

  11. Fold in the chicken. Serve in individual bowls and garnish with additional shaved Parmesan. Enjoy.

    Chicken pieces added to the porridge-like risotto in the pot

    The Spruce Eats / Danielle Moore


  • You'll need about a pound of cooked chicken for this chicken risotto recipe. Cooking the chicken ahead of time (or use leftover chicken) is an excellent time-saver, particularly since you're going to have your hands full just making the risotto.
  • If you run out of stock and the risotto still isn't done, you can finish the cooking using hot water. Just add the water as you did with the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring until it's absorbed.

Recipe Variations

  • Use about 1/2 of a small onion instead of shallots.
  • Substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock.
  • To add some color and flavor, finish the risotto with a handful of chopped fresh herbs. You can also make this a complete meal by incorporating a cooked vegetable such as peas or asparagus.
  • You can use grilled chicken, poached chicken breasts, or even leftover roasted chicken in this recipe.
  • Another variation would be cooked sausage, either finely sliced or chopped.
  • Change up the Parmesan with another cheese such as Mascarpone, Pecorino Romano, or Taleggio.