This easy, creamy and delicious Parmesan Risotto is easier to make than you think! Serve as a side dish or top with seared scallops or shrimp for a delicious gourmet meal in your own home!
Creamy dishes like this Parmesan Risotto are a favourite of mine. They instantly make you feel cozy.
This dish is a favourite of ours for date nights and special occasions. It is elegant enough for these occasions, but despite that, it is actually not hard to make at all.
It does require some babysitting so if you are looking for a hands-off recipe, this is not it. But that said, it is so worth it. I love to play music, sip wine and stir up this risotto with my hubby in the kitchen. The whole process is fun.
You can keep this dish vegetarian, but it also goes well served up with your favourite protein.
Making Parmesan Risotto is easier than you think!
Don’t be scared away from trying to make risotto at home! It is not as difficult as you may think!
My First Risottos
Risotto was one of those gourmet dishes I indulged in whenever I saw it on a restaurant menu. For years, it never even occurred to me to try to make it at home. I had heard that it was a time-consuming process. The thought of stand and stirring constantly for what I assumed was an hour did not sound appealing.
One summer in university, I decided to give it a go. I had made up my mind that I was going to try to learn to make some gourmet dishes and risotto was one of those items on my list. It surprised me to learn it took half the time I thought it would take. I was also surprised to find how easy it was to make with ingredients that didn’t cost an arm and a leg!
My first risotto was made with mushrooms, as that was the only type of risotto I had encountered in a restaurant. It was delicious and creamy but is no longer my risotto of choice.
Since the days of my first risottos, I have developed a whole list of food sensitivities making it difficult to order it out or make at home as I once had. Both mushrooms and garlic are a thing of my past (though I hope they become part of my future someday). Life without ever having risotto again sounded dull to me and so I thought I would give risotto a try again. With some switch ups, of course. I switched things up by subbing mushrooms for a lots of Parmesan, because YUM! Although not common, there are quite a few broths out there without garlic so that wasn’t much of a hurdle.
Tips for making Parmesan Risotto
Use good Parmesan!
Risotto flavoured with a good, salty Parmesan is utterly irresistible! The saltiness of the cheese and creaminess of this dishes texture is absolutely mouthwatering! I highly recommend using a good quality Parmesan for this dish. There are some pretty good pre-grated Parmesan cheeses you can get at the supermarket, but I also recommend buying a wedge of good Parmesan and shaving off a little to top your risotto before serving.
Share the work
My husband and I often make risotto for a special date night. We both work together in a kitchen to whip up our meal and it is actually much more fun this way. We play music, sip wine, and chat away as our dinner slowly starts to come together. Its a nice way to spend the evening and makes life easier as you can take turns stirring!
There a few ways we have tweaked this recipe to change things up a bit. Adding peas is a great way to add in some veggies. Simply add about a cup of peas towards the end of the cooking process to ensure they cook and that’s it!
Lemon is another way you can enhance the flavour if this dish. Simply squeeze a bit of lemon juice at the end of the cooking process (when you add the Parmesan and butter). Taste and adjust to suit your own preferences.
Adding mushrooms is another great way to switch things up! Although I can no longer enjoy them, that doesn’t mean you can’t!
Ideas for serving Parmesan Risotto
Risotto can be served as a side dish or as your main course. Our favourite way to enjoy it on special date nights is to top it with seared scallops. It also works well with shrimp, steak, and asparagus, although the possibilities are endless!
You may also like:
- 6 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion finely diced
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon parsley optional for serving
- Parmesan shaved or grated, optional for serving
- In a saucepan, bring broth to a simmer on low heat.
- In a large pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 3 minutes or until the onion begins to soften. Add the rice and continue to saute for 1 minute.
- Add 1 cup of broth and cook while stirring for a couple of minutes until the water is absorbed. Add a 1/2 cup of broth and stir until it is absorbed. Continue this process of adding 1/2 cup of broth at a time until the rice is cooked and creamy. This will take about 20 minutes. If your broth is running low, add more or add water to the simmering saucepan to ensure there is enough warm liquid to use.
- Once the rice is cooked, turn off the heat. Add the butter and Parmesan and stir to incorporate. Taste the risotto and add salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan before serving, if desired.