This parmesan risotto is light and creamy and comes together in just 30 minutes! This risotto is delicious on it's own or as a side dish to roast chicken or sous vide filet mignon.
Risotto is a classic Italian dish of rice cooked with broth until it reaches a super creamy consistency. It falsely has a reputation of difficult or time consuming to make, but it's actually super simple! It can be a tad annoying because you do have to stir it pretty regularly, but that's it!
Risotto is one of my favorite things to make when I want to impress someone. It’s super easy to make, has amazing depth of flavor, and just seems fancier than other side options. It's also extremely versatile! You might also like this spring pea risotto or this spinach lemon orzo!
This parmesan risotto is made almost entirely of pantry staples that I always keep on hand!
- Arborio rice - This recipe is best if you use rice that’s specifically for risotto! Risotto is traditionally made with short grain rice that has a high starch content. This is what gives risotto that super creamy, luxurious texture! Arborio rice is most common but I’ve also made this recipe with loto rice and paella rice and they work great! But always double check the cooking instructions for your rice. This recipe uses a 1:4 rice to liquid ratio but if your rice uses a 1:3 ratio, you’ll want to reduce the liquid by 1 cup.
- White cooking wine - This is optional but adds some great flavor to your risotto! I always keep cheap, dry white wine on hand that I use for cooking. It’s amazing how much flavor a $3 bottle of sauvignon blanc can add to a dish!
- Vegetable stock - I always use my homemade vegetable stock when I make risotto for the best flavor!! You can also use store bought vegetable stock, chicken stock, or even water.
- Fresh herbs - I love the combination of parmesan and thyme, but you could also use sage, basil, parsley, or whatever other fresh herbs you have on hand!
How to Make Risotto
In a medium pot, heat your vegetable stock over medium heat until simmering (you can also use a microwave if you're lazy like me). Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a large skillet or stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes or until soft and fragrant.
Add in the fresh thyme and rice and toast, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes. Then add in the white wine to de-glaze the pan and make sure to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
Add in ½ cup of the warmed vegetable stock, and stir the risotto until completely absorbed, then add in another ½ cup and repeat. Continue to add in the stock ½ cup at a time until it's all absorbed and the rice is fully cooked.
Stir in the parmesan cheese until melted and fully combined.
Then taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
Store risotto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Technically yes, but I don't recommend it. Long grain rice will take a little longer to cook and won’t be quite as creamy. Follow the same instructions as below but use 3 cups of water instead. You can also add in ¼ cup of heavy cream towards the end to make it extra creamy if desired.
Yes, but it will be a lot less flavorful. If using water, I recommend also using some sort of bullion (I love this garlic base) to enhance the flavor.
Tips for Success!
For best results I always recommend using weight measurements (especially when baking) because it's the most accurate. Kitchen scales are super affordable and also reduce the number of dishes you have to do! However, all my recipes also include US customary measurements for convince. Use this chart to convert measurements for common ingredients!
Substitutions: In all my recipes, I've included substitutions that I know will work, but I cannot guarantee results if you substitute ingredients that I have not recommended. [For example, granulated sugar and honey are indeed both sweeteners but they have very different properties so they can not always be swapped 1:1. Using honey in a cookie recipe that calls for granulated sugar will yield a giant mess.] In the recipe card you'll find links to the specific ingredients/brands that I use.
A note on salt: I almost exclusively use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt because it's the best all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If you're not using kosher salt, consult this handy guide for a conversion chart! When in doubt, if you're using table salt just reduce the amount by half for baked goods. When cooking, I prefer to under-salt because you can always add more! If you've over-salted, adding a little bit of acid (like lemon juice) can help.
More Fun Risotto Recipes!
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Simple Parmesan Risotto
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- ½ cup white cooking wine, optional
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a medium pot, heat your vegetable stock over medium heat until simmering (you can also use a microwave if you're lazy like me). Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a large skillet or stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes or until soft and fragrant.
- Add in the fresh thyme and rice and toast, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes. Then add in the white wine to de-glaze the pan and make sure to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
- Add in ½ cup of the warmed vegetable stock, and stir the risotto until completely absorbed, then add in another ½ cup and repeat. Continue to add in the stock ½ cup at a time until it's all absorbed and the rice is fully cooked.
- Stir in the parmesan cheese until melted and fully combined. Then taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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