How To Make Restaurant-Quality Risotto In 30 Minutes

how to make risotto

Flickr/Katrin Gilger

Risotto is one of those dishes that sounds fancy, but when you break it down, it’s actually not that complicated at all. More than anything, the keys to restaurant-quality risotto are time and patience. Devote a half hour of your undivided attention to the process, and you’ll have a plate of creamy restaurant-quality risotto that’s nothing short of impressive.

To make a basic risotto, you’ll need Arborio rice, onions, butter, white wine, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. You might come across a few styles of risotto rice, but the most common is Arborio. You’ll also need a spatula or wooden spoon and a medium-sized saucepan. Ready to get cooking? Here’s our go-to recipe.


7 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 yellow onion, diced
4 tablespoons of butter, sliced
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Black pepper
Coarse salt
1/2 cup dry white wine

how to make risotto

Flickr/Petteri Sulonen


Before you do anything, pour your chicken broth into a saucepan and get it simmering. You want it ready to go by the time you start cooking. Keep a lid on the pot as well so the broth doesn’t all evaporate in the process.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add your diced onion. Cook the onion until it’s translucent, sprinkle in a little bit of salt and pepper, and then add the Arborio rice. After you incorporate the rice into the onions, you should start to smell a little bit of a nuttiness coming from the rice, which means it’s beginning to toast in the pan.

Before the rice goes from toasty to burnt, deglaze the pan with the dry white wine. Once the wine cooks off and you don’t see any more liquid in the bottom of the pan, start adding in your chicken broth. Get yourself a ladle to make this step easier.

Add two ladles of broth at a time so that there’s enough liquid to consistently cover the rice as it cooks. Each time you add broth, stir the rice constantly so that it doesn’t stick to the pan. With each addition of broth, you’ll also want to add a sprinkle of salt and pepper so that your risotto soaks up the seasoning as it cooks. Once the liquid is fully absorbed into the rice, it’s time for more ladles of broth.

How to make risotto


Keep repeating this process for 25 minutes or until the risotto starts to become creamy. As long as you constantly stir the pot, the risotto will become creamy even before you add the cheese.

The trick is to slide your spoon or spatula along the bottom of the pan. If you see streaks from the rice, you know you’re on the right track. And remember to keep tasting as you go so that you don’t overly season it by accident.

Once you’re happy with the texture of the risotto, remove the pan from the heat and add your grated parmesan cheese. You can also drizzle in a little bit of truffle oil and toss in some sautéed mushrooms to make it a truffle risotto. Or if you want something fresh, you can add in some cooked peas or sautéed cherry tomatoes for a little bit of juiciness. Feel free to get creative.

Boom. Within a half hour, you’ll have restaurant-quality risotto on your hands. Just don’t walk away from that stove and keep stirring like your life depends on it.


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