What is Risotto and How to Make Risotto rice? (With Recipe)

There are thousands of rice-based meals out there, but nothing compares to Risotto in terms of texture and flavor. The best of all – it is not difficult to make.

But, what is risotto rice exactly? How do you cook Risotto? And how well does it taste?

Well, that’s what we want to teach you here.

If you’ve heard about and have some curiosity about how to make it – then this is the perfect article for you.

We’re going to teach you several things about Risotto as well as the perfect way to make it.

What Is Risotto Exactly?

The first thing you may be asking yourself is what ingredients does Risotto have and how does it taste.

Well, the best way to describe it is like a soup that instead of broth as its base, it has rice.

It is an original Italian dish, but because it’s ultra-versatile and can be made in many ways – it became hugely popular around the world.

The original recipe had Arborio rice (what is arborio rice? It is a short-grained species with lots of starch), chicken broth, parmesan cheese, garlic, onion, butter, and olive oil.

But it can be made with anything, going from meat to chicken, vegetables, different types of broth, and more. Some people even make Risotto with seafood – which is outstanding.

As you see, it is not a complicated recipe like many others that are based on rice. But still, it requires some effort, time, and practice to make. To save you some frustration – below you have a comprehensive guide to follow.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make Risotto (with Recipe)

Risotto is one of the creamiest rice recipes you will ever taste. And it is delightful in every way – whether in its original form or not.

But learning how to cook Risotto is not a friction-free experience. You will have to try your best to get the ideal texture and creaminess, as well as the perfect flavor.

Don’t worry, though – we have you covered. Follow this recipe, and you’ll learn how to make a traditional risotto without getting frustrated:

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • Arborio Rice (1 cup per 2 servings)
  • Chicken Broth (Any broth works – 2 cups per rice cup)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 1/2 a cup of Parmesan/Pecorino Cheese
  • Chopped onion (1 per serving)
  • Cloves of Garlic (2 per serving)
  • Pepper & Salt to Taste
  • White Wine (Optional – 1/2 a cup per serving)

As for the broth, it depends on the flavour you want to achieve. The original recipe is made with chicken broth, but you can make it from meat broth, seafood broth, or vegetable broth.

The white wine is optional, as long as you want to give it a sweeter touch.

You may also add other vegetables as well, going from Brussel sprouts to broccoli, parsley, red bell pepper, and so on.

And if you feel like it, you can add pieces of chicken, meat, fish, seafood, or whatever.

Once you have all the ingredients, then you can start following the next steps.

Steps to Follow:

1.   Start by pouring the chicken broth on your risotto pan and let it simmer. Once the stalk starts bubbling (boiling), take it off the pan and pour it somewhere else (bowl or pot).

2.   With the same risotto pan, now you need to pour the tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil starts heating up, you can pour the chopped onions and gloves in.

3.   Let the oil cook the vegetables for a few minutes until they start turning yellow, then add the rice into the mix.

4.   Stir the rice for a few minutes until it absorbs all the oil and the flavor of the veggies. Then pour half of the broth on top of the rice in the risotto pan.

5.   Then add the salt, pepper, and/or white wine. Stir and don’t let the rice get too sticky.

6.   After 15 minutes or so, you can add the rest of the broth. And then leave the rice to cook for a few minutes, stirring every 2 or so to make sure it doesn’t get too compacted.

7.   Once the broth has boiled down and the rice looks sticky but not dry, then you add the cheese and any extra seasoning or vegetables. Stir for about 2 minutes and then turn the stove off.

8.   By now, you should leave the risotto rest for a few minutes, and then you’re ready to serve it.

Secret Tips about How to Cook Risotto

The previous guide on how do you make Risotto will help you enormously, but it won’t tell you important secrets of the recipe.

Here are a few to consider:

Use Warm Broth (Not Cold or Hot)

If you use cold stalk on the rice, then it will mess up the cooking process and make the rice absorb more water than usual – making it too wet and sticky.

If you use hot broth instead, the rice will cook too fast, and it won’t absorb the broth well enough – which may end up in a bowl of flavorless rice.

The best way to avoid both of these is to use warm broth instead. Cook it, simmer it, and let it rest before adding to the rice – but don’t let it rest for too much.

Add the Ideal Amount of Broth

The broth is what helps the rice cook but also what gives it flavor. If you add too much, then the rice won’t cook correctly or end up all sticky. But if you add too little, then the rice won’t get the right taste and end up drying up.

That’s why you should do your best to add at least 3 cups of broth per cup of rice. You may go for up to 4 cups of broth per cup of arborio rice if you want if you like it very creamy.

Stir the Right Amount

Stirring is probably the most crucial part of making Risotto. But doing it the right way is not so easy.

If you stir too much, it will make the whole creaminess feel like wetness and slow down the cooking process. But if you stir too little, then the rice will burn or get too compacted.

The best way to avoid both scenarios is to stir just the right amount. You should only stir every 2 minutes, and that’s it. Make sure the rice doesn’t get compacted, but also prevent it from getting gluey.

Cook Al Dente

Do you know what cooking al dente means? It means cooking to the bite. So the rice shouldn’t be too mushy, but it shouldn’t be too dry either.

When learning how to cook risotto rice, we recommend making it creamy but not like pudding. It should be wet but not soaking wet. And it should be grainy, but not loose.

In short, you should be able to serve it with a spoon, but it shouldn’t keep the spoon shape after served.

Use the Perfect Heat

It is probably obvious, but the amount of heat you use is also essential. Cooking at overly-high temps will dry it up or even burn it. But if you cook it with too little heat, then it will end up all pudding-like and wet.

Instead, simmer the rice at medium heat. Something that’s not too hot or too cold. That should be the perfect temperature.

Cook Vegetables Separately

One of the main tips you should follow when learning how to cook arborio rice is to never cook the vegetables alongside the rice.

And we’re not talking about the onion or garlic – those you cook them on the pan before adding the rice. We refer to the asparagus, Brussel sprouts, legumes, spinach, chives, broccoli, or just whatever you want to add to the Risotto.

Instead of cooking them with the rice, cook them separately and then add them once the Risotto is done. That will make sure you cook the rice correctly and prevent any extra oil or liquid from the vegetable to damage the recipe.

Use the Best Risotto Pan

May think it is too much – but yes – making Risotto also demands its own type cookware. That way, you can make it without burning or overcooking it.

We recommend risotto pans that are deep but not too wide, with small sides yet large enough to keep the flavor inside. Overall, it should be a risotto pan for the best results. Get away from soup pots and fry pans if you want a tasty and well-textured risotto.


Now that you’re familiar with what is risotto rice and how to make it – then it is time for you to prepare your own.

It is not an easy recipe, but it is not the hardest either. Put some effort and love into it, and you will make a tasty risotto with no problems.

What are you waiting for then? Make it now and delight yourself!


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