Simple Risotto Recipe

3.31 from 13 votes

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Even if you said you didn’t like risotto, I’d Arborio no resentment towards you. Get it? Because risotto is made with Arborio…and harbor sounds like Arborio..and…anyway 😅. I promise you this risotto recipe is definitely better than my puns and will have you feeling like a master chef 🧑‍🍳 with minimal skills and effort. This creamy Italian dish is known for its texture and indulgent flavor, and this simple risotto recipe will rice to the occasion (last pun, I promise!!)

Why You’ll Love This Simple Risotto Recipe

Creamy, buttery, and hearty – this risotto has it all. With the rice cooked to tender yet slightly firm perfection, each bite will offer a luxurious creaminess due to the starch release within the cooking process. The rice absorbs the flavor of the broth, and you’re left with a flawlessly savory taste that’s even further enhanced by the richness of the melted Parmigiano cheese. Perfetto 🤌!

How to Prepare This Simple Risotto Recipe

💦 Heat the broth in a pot.

🧈 In a skillet, heat butter and oil. Sauté onions and garlic until translucent.

🍷 Add wine and cook until evaporated.

🍚 Add Arborio rice and cook briefly.

🔥 Gradually add broth, stirring often until rice is al-dente.

⏲️ Total cooking time is around 30 minutes with about 6 cups of broth.

🧀 Remove from heat, stir in butter and Parmigiano cheese.

🍄 Optional: Add sautéed mushrooms.

🌿 Garnish with chives or parsley before serving on warm plates. Enjoy!

Origin of Risotto

Risotto is a Northern Italian 🇮🇹 dish made by cooking rice with broth until it reaches a creamy consistency. Rice was first introduced in Italy by the Moors and Saracens who settled in Europe, and it was first grown in Sicily in the 13th century. From there, it spread to Naples and later to the Po valley in Northern Italy. Over time, rice became a staple ingredient in Italian cooking, which gave rise to the creation of risotto!

Since the 1800s, cookbooks have mentioned risotto alla Milanese as one of the most famous risotto dishes. To make risotto, medium or short-grained rice 🍚 is traditionally used, with Arborio rice being the most commonly called for.

Simple Risotto Recipe Tips

  1. Always use warm stock or broth.
  2. Use a wide pan so that the rice cooks evenly.
  3. Use Arborio rice, not long-grain rice like jasmine or basmati.
  4. Toast the rice for a few minutes before adding to the pan.
  5. Be sure to stir the risotto, but not too much!
  6. Deglaze the pan with a crisp, dry white wine.

Nonna’s Tip 🍚

Add one ladle at a time only until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid. Please use medium heat only as you stir. The whole process should take about 30 minutes.

Simple Risotto Recipe

Variations and Substitutions for This Simple Risotto Recipe

Remember to adjust quantities and cooking times accordingly when making substitutions or additions to your Simple Risotto Recipe to ensure a balanced and delicious dish!

  1. Experiment with different 🌿 herbs and seasonings like thyme, sage, rosemary, or even a pinch of saffron for added flavor.
  2. For a creamier texture, you can add a splash of heavy cream or coconut milk towards the end of cooking.
  3. While Parmigiano 🧀 cheese is classic for risotto, you can experiment with other cheeses like Pecorino Romano, Gruyère, or Fontina.
  4. Include a protein option like cooked chicken, 🦐 shrimp, scallops, or sausage to make the risotto heartier.
  5. Aside from mushrooms, you can add other vegetables like peas, asparagus, roasted bell peppers, or 🥬 spinach to the risotto.
  6. Instead of using 🐔 chicken broth, you can use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version of the risotto.

Other Italian Recipes

Best Served With

  • A crusty bread like my No Knead Peasant Bread
  • Roasted or grilled vegetables such as asparagus, zucchini, or 🫑 bell peppers
  • A crisp white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
  • A light-bodied red wine 🍷 like Pinot Noir

Common Questions

Traditionally, what type of rice is used for risotto?

Due to its high starch content, Arborio rice traditionally produces a creamy texture when cooked, making it the preferred choice for risotto.

How long does it typically take to cook the simple risotto?

Risotto typically takes about 30 minutes to cook, with the gradual addition of broth and stirring until the rice reaches an al-dente texture.

Can I use a different type of cheese instead of Parmigiano for the simple risotto?

Yes, you can experiment with different cheeses such as Pecorino Romano, Gruyère, or Fontina for varied flavor profiles.

How can I make this Risotto vegetarian?

You can make this recipe vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and omitting any meat-based additions

Can I make this simple risotto ahead of time?

While it’s best to serve risotto immediately, you can prepare it ahead of time and gently reheat it with a bit of extra broth to revive its creamy texture.

Simple Risotto Recipe


Creamy, buttery, and hearty – this risotto has it all. With the rice cooked to tender yet slightly firm perfection, each bite will offer a luxurious creaminess due to the starch release within the cooking process.
3.31 from 13 votes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes


On Heat

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion or shallot, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup white wine, dry
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • pinch salt, to taste
  • 6 cups unsalted broth, veg or chicken

Off Heat

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano


  • Add the broth to a pot and heat it up. It's essential to have the broth hot for this recipe.
  • In a large skillet on medium heat, add the butter and oil. When the butter and oil shimmer, sauté the onions + garlic for 1-2 minutes.
  • Now, add the wine and let it cook off completely. There should be no liquid left in the pan and the onions should be jammy.
  • Add the Arborio rice (unwashed) and let it cook for a few minutes as you stir.
  • Now, add one ladle of broth to the rice as you stir every 20 seconds or so.
  • When the rice has absorbed the broth, add another ladle and repeat this step until the risotto is al-dente.
  • The risotto will take about 6 cups of broth in total and 30 minutes to cook.
  • When the risotto has cooked, take it off the heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter + freshly and finely grated Parmigiano cheese.
  • Optionally, you can mix in sautéed mushrooms to make this a mushroom risotto.
  • Garnish with chives or parsley, and serve on a warm plate. Enjoy!


Additional Info

Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Looks great. I have always been slightly intimidated by risotto but your recipe makes it look like it might be ok. I will have to give it a try.