Classic Risotto (Plus Tips for Perfect Risotto)

Total Time
Prep 40 mins
Cook 0 mins

Creamy and yummy! Best when served immediately as it continues to thicken. You want it "saucy". Stir in additions such as asparagus, peas, cooked shellfish, ham or mushrooms at the end for a hearty, delicious risotto. From

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat water and broth in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, melt 2 tbsp butter in large saucepan over medium heat; add onion and cook until soft. Add rice and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine; stir until absorbed.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high; stir in 1 cup water-broth mixture. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed. Continue stirring and adding remaining water-broth mixture, 1 cup at a time, allowing each cup to be absorbed before adding another.
  4. Cook for approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until rice is tender and mixture has a creamy consistency.
  5. Stir in cream, cheese, tomatoes, salt, pepper and remaining butter. Stir until mixture is creamy, about 2 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.
  8. •Choose the right rice. Risotto is best with U.S. Arborio or medium grain rice. The starch in these grains absorbs flavors easily and takes on a creamy texture.
  9. •Use a heavy pan with a thick bottom and sides to help distribute heat evenly. Make sure it's large enough to hold the cooked rice. The rice will expand to about three times its original volume.
  10. •Don't rinse the rice. This removes the starch which gives risotto its wonderful creamy consistency.
  11. •Sauté the rice in butter or oil. This coats each grain, allowing the rice to slowly absorb moisture and resulting in a creamier risotto.
  12. •Use a simple, dry white wine. Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay always works well in risotto recipes. Risotto dishes also pair well with these wines.
  13. •Keep the broth at a simmer when adding to the rice. Hot broth keeps the temperature at a more constant level, ensuring even and continuous cooking.
  14. •Add broth one cup at a time, allowing the broth to fully absorb before adding more. The gradual addition of broth and slow cooking helps produce creamy risotto.
  15. •Stir often. This keeps the grains in contact with the liquid for even cooking, prevents the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan, and helps to develop a creamy consistency.
  16. •Get creative! Stir in additions such as asparagus, peas, cooked shellfish, ham or mushrooms at the end for a hearty, delicious risotto.
  17. •Risotto is done when the rice is al dente -- creamy, yet firm in the center. Never let rice dry out when making risotto. For a creamy texture, the rice should always -- from start to finish -- be kept under a "veil" of broth.
Most Helpful

I have made this recipe many times and love it. Some changes I've made. -I add chopped mushrooms in with the onions at the start. -I use Half & Half instead of Heavy Cream. -I use Jasmine Rice instead of Arborio (my husband loves Jasmine Rice and buys a 25lb bag yearly. We have all this rice, so we use it instead. It turns out excellent).

rlhyzy October 26, 2009

The directions are a little misleading when they say to add the water/broth mixture 1 cup at a time and then cook 25 to 30 minutes. The way it's worded makes it sound like you cook it an additional 25 to 30 minutes AFTER the last bit of liquid is absorbed. I knew better because I knew if it cooked 25 minutes more after the last bit of liquid was absorbed the rice was going to burn. The directions should say that the total cooking time it takes to cook the rice is 25 to 30 minutes. Also, next time I think I'll leave out the onion. I don't like onions all that much so even a little bit of onion is noticeable to me. Be sure to use enough salt and pepper. If the risotto doesn't seem to have much flavor you're probably not adding enough salt and pepper. With the exception of the onion, this was pretty good. I'll definitely make it again.

_ March 01, 2010

Speaking of Risotto Tips. The proper time to add more liquid. Simmer the risotto down until (I use a wooden spoon to stir) The spoon should leave a trough in the risotto when you pull it through, then it is time to add. It should be liquid enough for the risotto to ooze back together but dry enough to leave a definate trough behind the spoon. As taught to me by an old italian chef that made risotto so good you it would make you bite your fingers. This recipe is really really close to the way he taught me.

Doyle O. September 06, 2009