The idea that making risotto requires hours of stirring over a hot stove is a total myth, as is the notion that there are no healthy risotto recipes. This creamy rice dish is as easy as boiling pasta, and can definitely be part of a balanced meal with vegetables or salad.
It’s made from simple, whole ingredients and is filling, so a little goes a long way, and you’ll definitely want leftovers to use in things like arancini and risotto cakes. Once you’ve mastered the basic method, try our six delicious variations—or develop your own!
Principato Di Lucedio Carnaroli Rice, 1.1 pound for $15 from Amazon
While arborio rice is the most widely available and recommended type for risotto in the U.S., many people swear that carnaroli is the absolute best grain for the job.
Can You Make Cauliflower Rice Risotto?
Yep, if you’re a staunch carb counter who won’t eat actual rice, keto cauliflower risotto is also delicious; you can adapt it using any of the flavors and add-ins shown below.
Including plenty that are perfect for summer.
Since this is a simple dish, stunning results depend on good ingredients and proper technique—don’t skimp on the quality of your olive oil, wine, or cheese; be sure to use arborio rice or carnaroli rice; and don’t forget to stir once in a while. Other than that, it’s a cinch. Get our Basic Risotto recipe.
Related Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Rice
A pinch of saffron lends golden color and heady flavor to this risotto, and tender chunks of winter squash bring extra texture, heft, and sweetness to the mix—but you can use summer squash when it’s in season (just remove it after sauteing and add it back at the end so it doesn’t dissolve entirely). Get our Squash and Saffron Risotto recipe.
Thinly sliced Brussels sprouts sauteed with a little lemon juice and zest (try Meyer lemons in season for a subtly different twist) plus sweet pieces of fig make for an uncommonly good risotto perfect on its own, or as a partner with pork. Get our Brussels Sprouts and Lemon Risotto recipe.
Whether you choose to highlight a single herb or use a whole garden’s worth mixed together, this fresh, green-speckled risotto is further brightened with a squirt of lemon, and perfect with pretty much anything you may want to serve with it, from chicken to fish to simply roasted or grilled veggies. Get our Herbed Risotto recipe.
Take a trip to the Italian coast with this hearty but healthy risotto with shrimp, scallops, and calamari—plus peas for an earthy sweetness that complements all the other flavors. Get our Seafood Risotto recipe.
Related Reading on CNET: The Best Places to Order Seafood Online
For when you want something truly decadent, lobster risotto is just the thing. Sweet, tender chunks of meat stud the rice, which is enriched with a quick, delicious lobster broth made from the shells. And two lobsters stretch to feed six people this way, so it’s perfect for a classy dinner that won’t break the bank. Get our Lobster Risotto recipe.
For more tips, tricks, and healthy recipes, check out our healthy living page.