Classic Risotto

Side Dishes

Classic Risotto

Master the techniques in this basic risotto recipe, and you’ll always be ready to serve a tasty 30-minute entrée or side dish. The first step to perfect risotto is using arborio [ar-BOH-ree-oh] rice. This starchy grain creates its own creamy sauce as it’s stirred and simmered in broth. The second step is to stir frequently. It’s tedious, but that’s what breaks down the starches and forms the sauce. Finally, test often for doneness toward the end of the cooking time. The rice grains should be firm—not chalky, yet not mushy, either.


6 servings

Total Time

Print Recipe

Share Recipe


All About Arborio

Risotto’s characteristic creaminess is due in large part to arborio rice, a variety of rice that’s very high in starch. During the long simmering and stirring, the starch in the rice dissolves, thickening the broth. Don’t use a different variety of rice for risotto — you won’t get the same results. Find arborio rice at many grocery or specialty food stores.


Simmer broth in a saucepan; keep it warm over low heat.

Sauté shallots in oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat until they’re soft but not brown, 34 minutes. Stir in rice; cook 12 minutes to coat grains with oil.

Add wine; simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Stir in ½ cup broth; simmer until it’s completely absorbed. Continue adding broth in ½-cup increments, stirring frequently and adding more broth only after the previous broth has been absorbed.

Taste rice after cooking it for 15 minutes. Continue cooking until rice is firm but not chalky in the center. Remove risotto from heat.

Stir in Parmesan, parsley, and butter; season with salt and pepper. For a pretty presentation, spoon risotto into buttered custard cups, unmold onto plates, and drizzle with olive oil.


Sauté the shallots, then add the arborio rice. Cook until the edges of the grains turn translucent.


Begin stirring the rice after adding the wine. Use a wooden spoon and stir constantly to prevent scorching.


Once the wine is absorbed, begin adding warm broth. Simmer, stirring frequently, until rice is done.


If the finished rice seems too thick, add a little more broth or hot water. It shouldn’t be soupy.

Nutritional Facts

Nutritional Facts

Per serving

Calories: 338

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 17g 26%

Saturated Fat 6g 30%

Cholesterol 27mg 9%

Sodium 413mg 17%

Carbs 29g 9%

Fiber 1g 4%

Protein 13g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Reviews ()

Add Review

Latest Cuisine Issue Cover

Subscribe Today and Get 4 Free Digital Books!