20 Fantastically Easy Risotto Recipes

Amazing Risotto Is Easier to Make Than You Think

Pancetta Risotto Recipe

Philippe Desnerck / Getty Images

 

Every home cook should learn how to cook risotto. The name itself scares many people — but risotto is not as challenging to make as all your favorite cooking shows would make it seem. All it takes is a heavy skillet, a burner, a spoon, and some rice and broth. Start to finish, a perfect risotto takes only about 30 minutes to make.

The secret to great risotto is actually very simple: keep stirring! The stirring action helps the rice release starch as it cooks, which makes the risotto creamy. Rice...MORE has a tendency to sink to the bottom of the mixture and stick to the bottom of the pan — so keep it moving.

Arborio rice is traditional, but you can use long-grain white rice; the end result just won't be quite as creamy. Here are some fabulous risotto recipes, including one for baked risotto and another that is stirred only twice if you don't want to stand over the stove.

Once you know how to make a risotto, use your own favorite ingredients and create your own masterpiece.

  • 01 of 20
    Risotto
    Paula Thomas/Moment/Getty Images

    Using freshly grated Parmesan cheese in this authentic risotto recipe is a must. (Don't even think about the cheese in the green can). A good quality white wine will also elevate this easy risotto recipe that you can get on the table in about 30 minutes, making it a great weeknight meal when you're craving comfort food.

  • 02 of 20
    Mushroom Risotto Recipe
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    The real magic in this mushroom risotto recipe comes from using mushroom stock, but any vegetable stock can be substituted. Meaty mushrooms give a savory, rich flavor to this tasty vegetarian risotto dish that makes a great lunch or dinner option.

  • 03 of 20
    Risi e bisi, rice and peas with some ham and grated cheese
    William Shaw / Getty Images

    When you think about it, the low, slow heat of a slow cooker is the perfect way to make risotto. This yummy ham and pea risotto recipe turns out very smooth and creamy. And it's so easy!

  • 04 of 20
    Chicken risotto
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    Would you believe that regular long-grain rice works in this chicken risotto? The purists may stick to arborio rice, which is certainly nice, but this version is super easy and tastes so fantastic, we encourage you to try it. This is comfort food to the max.  

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 05 of 20
    Butternut Squash Risotto
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    Butternut squash risotto is a fantastic variation on the basic risotto recipe. Butternut squash is rich in both vitamin C and potassium, making this a delicious, nutritious dish you can feel great about enjoying. The sweet flavor and creamy texture of the squash complement the risotto rice beautifully.

     

  • 06 of 20
    Risotto with herbs
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    Baking the risotto in a hot oven, after the mixture is brought to a simmer on the stove top, is a super-easy way of making this tasty rice side dish. You can add anything from peas to chopped cooked chicken or ham to this simple and savory recipe. 

  • 07 of 20
    Savory Chicken Risotto Recipe
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    Here's a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken (or use a supermarket rotisserie chicken), which adds satisfaction to a classic risotto recipe. Serve this easy, 30-minute dinner on weeknights when you're craving something warm and filling, with a tossed green salad on the side.

     

  • 08 of 20
    Italian Sweet Pea Risotto Recipe
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    This elegant and colorful risotto recipe is made with sweet green peas and prosciutto for a classic variation on Italian risotto. You'll love the way the sweet flavor of the peas and the salty flavor of the prosciutto work together to elevate the traditional risotto recipe.

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  • 09 of 20
    Lobster Risotto
    Jean Cazals/StockFood Creative/Getty Images 

    When you're cooking to impress, look no further than this divinely decadent lobster risotto recipe that's surprisingly simple to put together. Wow your dinner guests with this rich dinner recipe, that's made with Arborio rice, lobster meat, white wine, garlic, shallots and homemade or prepared stock.

  • 10 of 20
    Spicy Risotto with Red Pepper Recipe
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    Here's a low-fat vegetarian and vegan spicy risotto rice recipe with chopped fresh vegetables, that gets plenty of kick from cayenne and red pepper flakes.

  • 11 of 20
    Asparagus Risotto Recipe
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    The fresh, grassy taste of asparagus brings a spring-like flavor to this elegant vegetable risotto dish. Serve it as the perfect accompaniment to grilled chicken or fish.

     

  • 12 of 20
    Pancetta Risotto Recipe
    Philippe Desnerck / Getty Images 

    This salty, savory risotto recipe makes the most of pancetta's salty flavor. Cubed pancetta (or bacon) is heated in some oil until it's brown and crispy. The arborio rice is then added to the rendered pancetta fat, infusing it with meaty flavor. Sweet green peas add freshness that balances the tastes of the pancetta, making this another classic variation on the traditional Italian risotto.

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  • 13 of 20
    Gourmet Vegetarian Risotto with Truffle Oil
    Luis Alvarenga / Getty Images 

    Gourmet vegetarian risotto is rich, decadent and packed with flavor, thanks to a generous amount of fresh mushrooms, whole milk, butter, white wine, cheese, and sensuous truffle oil. Okay, it's not exactly diet food, but this vegetarian entrée is fancy enough for dinner parties, satisfying enough to fill you up on its own, and full of depth. You might even convert some non-vegetarians with this recipe!

     

  • 14 of 20
    Vegan Risotto with Sun Dried Tomatoes Recipe
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    Risotto with sun-dried tomatoes is a decadent, delicious vegetarian and dairy-free vegan main dish. Flavored with fresh basil and parsley, this Italian sun-dried tomato risotto recipe makes a colorful rice entrée.

  • 15 of 20
    Brown Rice and Mushroom Risotto
    Diana Rattray

    This modern take on risotto uses short-grain brown rice (brown arborio rice), mushrooms, peas, sage, and Parmesan cheese for a fabulous result. The rice takes a little longer to cook than white rice but the flavor makes the time involvement absolutely = worth it.

  • 16 of 20
    Risotto with Amarone Wine (Risotto all'Amarone)
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    Rich, red-colored Risotto all'Amarone is cooked with Amarone della Valpolicella wine, for a decadent preparation that looks impressive, but can be ready in less than 30 minutes. It's perfect for a late night supper for two, or as an impressive first course at a dinner party with invited guests.

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  • 17 of 20
    Directly Above Shot Of Risotto Served In Plate
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    This easy recipe for risotto made in a pressure cooker is simply foolproof and delivers a great-tasting rice dish. You can use the traditional arborio rice for classic results, but in a pinch, medium-grain rice also can work well.

  • 18 of 20
    Reduced-Fat Vegetarian Artichoke Risotto Recipe
    Jason Loucas / Getty Images 

    Are you watching your calories, but crave something creamy and satisfying for dinner? This reduced-fat artichoke risotto is a gourmet vegetarian dish that's lower in fat than traditional risotto recipes. Tofu adds protein to this delicious vegetarian risotto flavored with artichokes instead of cheese or cream.

  • 19 of 20
    Cheesy Vegetarian Risotto
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    Cheesy vegetarian risotto is creamy, rich-tasting and makes a great dinner entree. Add some steamed broccoli florets to add nutrition, and you've got a yummy vegetarian dish that will be a hit with kids and adults alike.

  • 20 of 20
    Quinoa Mushroom Risotto
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    Quinotto is the clever hybrid name (quinoa plus risotto) for this rich and creamy dish that uses quinoa in place of Arborio rice. Quinoa is a high-protein super-grain that has surged in popularity recently, thanks to its nutritional properties and nutty taste. Since quinoa doesn't become creamy when cooked slowly, as Arborio rice does, this recipe adds heavy cream, bringing in delicious flavor that complements the pleasant texture of the quinoa grain.