Seafood Risotto

seafood risotto with parmesan cheese
The Spruce / Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yields: 8 cups
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
356 Calories
12g Fat
24g Carbs
32g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 356
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Cholesterol 141mg 47%
Sodium 1187mg 52%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 9mg 43%
Calcium 115mg 9%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 547mg 12%
*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.)

This seafood risotto is easy to make and an excellent dish to make for a special dinner. The recipe is adaptable as well. You can use a simple combination of scallops, shrimp, and mussels, or use whatever combination of seafood you like. Clams, calamari, and chunks of flaky white fish are a few more possibilities. You could even splurge and add some cooked lobster meat just before serving, or use only one kind of seafood in the dish.

A good quality seafood stock is ideal, but you may use fish stock or vegetable broth if that's what you have on hand. Commercial stocks and broths can be salty, so make sure to taste the finished risotto before seasoning. For the best, creamiest risotto, use Italian short-grain arborio rice or medium-grain carnaroli rice.

Serve this risotto with crusty bread and a tossed green salad or steamed vegetable, such as peas, asparagus, or green beans. Choose a crisp white wine to pair with seafood risotto, such as chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, or a light-bodied vinho verde. A higher acid Chenin blanc is an excellent choice as well.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups seafood stock (or fish stock, clam juice, or vegetable stock)

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)

  • 1/2 cup minced shallots

  • 1 cup arborio rice (or carnaroli)

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 2/3 cup dry white wine

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, optional

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 1/2 pound bay scallops (or sea scallops, quartered)

  • 1/2 pound medium to large shrimp (peeled and deveined)

  • 1/2 pound mussels (about 12, cooked and shucked)

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)

  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives (or more chopped parsley), garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for seafood risotto
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  2. Put the seafood stock in a saucepan and bring to a low simmer. Keep warm.

    seafood stock in a pot on the stove
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until they are softened.

    shallots in the pan with butter
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  4. Add the rice and garlic to the shallots and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

    carnaroli or arborio rice is added to the shallots
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  5. Add the wine and continue to cook, stirring, until it is almost completely absorbed.

    wine added to the rice in a pan
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  6. Add about 1 cup of the seafood stock and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until it is nearly absorbed. Continue adding stock, about 1/2 cup or ladleful at a time, stirring constantly until each addition is nearly absorbed. When the rice is al dente and creamy, taste and then add the lemon zest (if using) and season with salt and pepper as needed.

    making seafood risotto with carnaroli rice
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  7. Add the scallops and shrimp to the rice mixture. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, or until the seafood is cooked. Add the cooked mussels, Parmesan cheese, the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, and parsley. Cook, stirring, until hot.

    saucepan with seafood risotto
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  8. Serve with a garnish of chopped chives or fresh chopped parsley and extra Parmesan cheese, if desired.

    bowl of seafood risotto with parmesan cheese
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

How to Store

  • Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a day.
  • Add more stock as needed to loosen the mixture when reheating on the stove.

Tips

  • Frozen seafood works well for this recipe. Let defrost overnight in the fridge and drain well before using.
  • You can cook all of the seafood ahead of time if you like. Sauté the shrimp and scallops in a small amount of butter until just cooked and refrigerate until the risotto is cooked. Add the cooked seafood to the risotto and heat through.
  • When peeling shrimp, save the shells and freeze them. The shells from about 1 pound of shrimp will make 1 cup of homemade shrimp stock.

Recipe Variations

  • Instant Pot Seafood Risotto: Cook the seafood ahead of time and refrigerate it. Follow this recipe for Instant Pot risotto, using seafood stock, clam juice, fish stock, or vegetable stock. When the risotto is done, add the cooked seafood, turn the pot to sauté, and continue to cook just until heated through.
  • Seafood and Mushroom Risotto: Add about 4 ounces of sliced mushrooms to the pan and sauté them along with the shallots.

What's the Best Rice for Risotto?

When it comes to risotto, three varieties of rice are most often recommended. Short-grain arborio is the most widely available and makes a fine risotto. Avoid overcooking arborio, as it can become sticky. Carnaroli is medium-grain rice that's a bit pricier, but it holds its shape better than arborio. Vialone Nano is the third option. Like carnaroli, it is a medium-grain variety, and it retains its shape nicely while absorbing liquid.

Can You Make a Good Risotto Without Wine?

Most risotto recipes call for wine, but if you don't have it or prefer to cook without alcohol, you can leave it out. Instead of wine, add extra stock or broth and replace the wine's acidity with a teaspoon or so of lemon juice or some white wine vinegar.