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Risotto Recipe for Beginners

User Rating 4.5 Star Rating (8 Reviews)


Risotto recipe for beginners

Risotto with butter and parmesan cheese

Lauri Patterson / Getty Images

This basic risotto recipe is made with butter, parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, and it's an all-time Italian classic. It's a perfect recipe to start with if you've never made risotto before.

Making risotto involves stirring hot chicken stock into uncooked arborio rice (which is a starchy variety of short-grain rice) a ladleful at a time, and cooking slowly so that the stock is absorbed into the rice. This technique releases the rice's starches, making a creamy, velvety dish.

For an illustrated demo of the risotto method, here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to make risotto.

Also see: Butternut Squash Risotto

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1½ cups arborio rice
  • 1 qt chicken stock
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 medium shallot or ½ small onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
  • Kosher salt, to taste


  1. Heat the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan, then lower the heat so that the stock just stays hot.

  2. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil and 1 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the chopped shallot or onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until it is slightly translucent.

  3. Add the rice to the pot and stir it briskly with a wooden spoon so that the grains are coated with the oil and melted butter. Sauté for another minute or so, until there is a slightly nutty aroma. But don't let the rice turn brown.

  4. Add the wine and cook while stirring, until the liquid is fully absorbed.

  5. Add a ladle of hot chicken stock to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat the process.

    Note: It's important to stir constantly, especially while the hot stock gets absorbed, to prevent scorching, and add the next ladle as soon as the rice is almost dry.

  6. Continue adding ladles of hot stock and stirring the rice while the liquid is absorbed. As it cooks, you'll see that the rice will take on a creamy consistency as it begins to release its natural starches.

  7. Continue adding stock, a ladle at a time, for 20-30 minutes or until the grains are tender but still firm to the bite, without being crunchy. If you run out of stock and the risotto still isn't done, you can finish the cooking using hot water. Just add the water as you did with the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring while it's absorbed.

  8. Stir in the remaining 2 Tbsp butter, the parmesan cheese and the parsley, and season to taste with Kosher salt.

  9. Risotto turns glutinous if held for too long, you should serve it right away. A properly cooked risotto should form a soft, creamy mound on a dinner plate. It shouldn't run across the plate, nor should it be stiff or gluey.
Makes 6-8 servings Using Leftover Risotto: Got leftovers? This recipe for risotto cakes is a great way to use leftover risotto.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Perfect!, Member JACKIE2830

I too have made Risotto many times, but always with either asparagus or mushrooms and never just the basic Italian way with Parmesan. This was delicious and fit the bill...5 stars all the way! We enjoyed it with Ina Garten's Roasted Sausage with Grapes.....my hubby & I felt it was a perfect combo - thanks About.com!

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