Chicken Risotto

Chicken risotto
Philippe Desnerck / Getty Images
  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Servings: 5 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
250 Calories
14g Fat
9g Carbs
17g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 250
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 19%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 61mg 20%
Sodium 198mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 17g
Calcium 44mg 3%
*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 a 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.


  • 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.

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

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

  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.

  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.

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

  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.)

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

  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. 

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

  11. Fold in the chicken.

  12. Serve in individual bowls and garnish with additional shaved Parmesan. Enjoy.


  • 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.