This is a step by step guide of How to Make Simple Risotto. This is a basic technique that produces perfect results every time. You will see, it is not as time consuming as its reputation suggests.

Grating Parmesan cheese onto a plate of creamy rice with fresh basil leaves

Once you learn the basics, it can be the basis for delicious dishes where the additions are endless. You can so many things to it, like my Brown Butter Mushroom Sage Risotto or Pumpkin Risotto Stuffed Acorn Squash (pictured below). It is also the dish that keeps on giving because with any leftovers, you can make Risotto Rice Balls (Arancini)

A white plate on top of a pewter plate holding a pumpkin risotto stuffed acorn squash
What is risotto?

An Italian, vegetarian rice dish made from ‘risotto rice’, Arborio (or carnaroli) rice. The rice is cooked in pan of shallow liquid (usually stock) that is added in small increments then reduced and absorbed between additions. Stirring the rice while it absorbs the liquid brings out the starch and makes for a lovely creamy dish.

The basic recipe always starts the same. Chopped shallots or onion is cooked in oil, then the rice is toasted in the oil. White wine is added and reduced then the warm stock is added. Once the stock is all gone, butter and Parmesan cheese is mixed in. Keeping the stock warm ensures there is no drop in temperature in the rice each time you add it and keeps it cooking.

A large white plate with a white pasta bowl filled with risotto garnished with small basil leaves

There is no cream in the making of risotto: You do not need to add any cream or milk to make risotto creamy. The creaminess comes from the method of cooking the rice. Stirring while the stock is being absorbed allows the starch from the rice to thicken and make the dish creamy.

The best pan for risotto: A wide pan with a lot of surface area because you want room for stirring. This is what develops the starch and thickens the risotto and achieve the creamy texture.

Simple risotto piled up in the center of a white bowl with a glass of white wine and a wedge of Parmesan cheese

Servings: When it comes to servings, a good rule of thumb with risotto is a ratio of 3:1. That would be 3 cups liquid for 1 cup of rice. If you use this rule the risotto will be perfect every time because once all the liquid is absorbed this is the indication that the rice is done.

How much salt? The amount of salt depends on how salty your stock is. I recommend adding the salt according to taste at the end of the dish.

The Liquid: The stock or broth is a personal choice. If you want to make this risotto vegetarian use vegetable stock. I prefer chicken stock because it adds more flavor.

If you’ve tried How to Make Simple Risotto or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out in the comments below. I love to hear from my readers!

You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see daily recipe updates.

Yield: 4

How to Make Simple Risotto

Grating Parmesan cheese onto a plate of risotto with fresh basil leaves

 This is the basic technique for perfect risotto every time that is not as time consuming as its reputation says it is.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 3 cups (308 ml) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (64 grams) shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (200 grams) Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) white wine
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (40 grams) Parmesan cheese, grated , plus more for garnish


  1. Add the stock to a saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
  2. To a skillet, add the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the rice and stir coating with the oil. Stir in the wine and simmer until absorbed by the rice. Add a ladle of stock and stir until almost completely absorbed by the rice. Continue this until all of the stock is gone and the rice is tender but not mushy. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter and ½ cup Parmesan cheese.
  3. Taste for salt. You may not need to add any if your stock is salty and there is salt in the cheese.
  4. Serve immediately topped with the rest of the Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 201Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 19mgSodium 524mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 2g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.