6 simple steps to making a flavorful, healthy risotto


Related Articles

Eats_RisottoWithSpringPeasIf you’re anything like us, you love Italian food but crave an escape from the pasta rut. Well, move over, noodles — we’ve got risotto on the brain.

A turn-off for many cooks, risottos require both time and patience in the kitchen. This classic Italian rice dish is also notoriously heavy, but that’s not going to stop us.

Here, we offer our base recipe for risotto. Just combine the base recipe with one of our veggie variations below for a hearty meal!

Step 1

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, set over medium heat.

Step 2

Add 3 minced garlic cloves and ¾ cup diced yellow onion to the pot, cooking for about three minutes or until onion is translucent.

Step 3

Stir 1 ½ cups Arborio rice into the pot, coating with the oil/butter mixture. Cook about one minute, stirring frequently to prevent the rice from sticking.

Step 4

Add ½ cup dry white wine to the pot, stirring constantly until the wine is absorbed.

Step 5

Now for the time-consuming part. You’ll want to have at least 4 cups of low-sodium chicken (or vegetable) broth at the ready — although you may need as many as 6 cups. One ladle at a time, add broth to the risotto, stirring slowly and regularly. As the rice absorbs the broth, continue adding ladlefuls of liquid to the pot, stirring constantly throughout the cooking process.

Step 6

The risotto will take at least half an hour to cook — in our kitchen, it’s usually closer to 40 minutes. Be sure to test the risotto before taking it off the heat, as you may prefer it more or less al dente.



Sundried tomato: Add 1 cup of drained, chopped sundried tomatoes to the pot when you add the wine in step 4.

Leeks: Substitute two thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only) for the yellow onion in step 2.

Spring peas: Add 1 cup of fresh peas to the risotto near the end of step 5 — be careful not to put the peas in too early, or they will turn mushy.


The skinny on risotto

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Arborio rice is a must when making risotto — you can find it in the rice section of many grocery stores.
  • Consider finishing the risotto with pepper or parsley — we’ve never needed to use salt.
  • Risotto doesn’t tend to make great leftovers, so you may want to cook only what you know will be consumed that day.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment! Risotto screams versatility, from asparagus to Italian sausage to shrimp.