45 of the Best Risotto Recipes with Cooking Tips

Risotto is an Italian dish featuring short-grained rice that’s been cooked in meat or vegetable broth. It’s also quick and easy to prepare, so these risotto recipes are great for a nice dinner in a hurry. And you can make risotto in big batches for bulk cooking.

How to Make Classic Risotto

Recipes vary greatly, but all of them are based on cooking the rice in a particular way. The rice (most typically the arborio variety) soaks up the broth and softens to a creamy consistency.

A small serving makes a great first course, light meal or snack; a larger serving can be a whole meal, especially if the recipe includes meat.

Like many dishes served up as gourmet items, it’s really a peasant dish and makes for wonderful comfort food.

Risotto recipe on plate

Here are some basic instructions for your recipes:

1. Soffritto. Sautee onions in a cast iron skillet with butter or oil. This will create your flavor base. At this point, a recipe may instruct you to toss in some other ingredients. Don’t brown your ingredients.

2. Tostatura. The word comes from the Italian for “to toast.” Add the rice grains to your soffritto and stir continuously. This will cook each grain evenly. This takes two to four minutes. Don’t brown the rice. Some recipes call for you to add white wine and cook it in until it evaporates completely.

3. Adding the broth. Add it one ladle at a time, stirring each one in until the rice has absorbed it before adding another. Stir frequently but slowly throughout this process. At about two-thirds of the way through, you can start adding vegetables and other ingredients to it.

4. Resting. While the rice grains are still a bit firm, take the rice off heat and let it sit for a couple of minutes to cook together while the temperature comes down.

5. Mantecatura. Some recipes skip this step, but if you finish your dish by beating some very cold butter cubes, olive oil and/or parmesan into the cooked risotto, the resulting texture and flavor will be amazing.

More Cooking Tips:

  • For each cup of rice, you’ll need three cups of broth.
  • Stirring is crucial for the final texture, but not as demanding as it sounds. The more often you prepare this dish, the better sense you’ll develop of when it’s okay to let it sit for a few minutes while you work on something else.
  • The broth is where most of your flavor will come from, so make sure you use one that’s tasty. You can actually get away with a tasty cube of bullion dissolved in water, so it’s not necessary to make it from scratch or spend a lot of money, but it does need to taste good, or your dish won’t.
  • Butter gives it more flavor than oil, and you may find you prefer clarified butter. You can combine the two to add some butter flavor while the oil prevents the butter from burning. (I’m partial to Kerrygold for its delicious grassfed flavor.)

Easy Risotto Recipes

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Last Updated:

April 24, 2024