This parmesan risotto recipe pairs with just about anything. Simmering the rice and adding freshly grated aged parmesan is the key.
True confession: I made this on a total whim, and I'm so glad I did! I was making butternut squash risotto because it's such a perfect fall side dish, but there is no way it was going to go with the chicken dish I was making that had spinach and olives.
At the very last minute I decided to pack up the butternut squash I had already cooked. I added freshly grated parmesan cheese instead, and holy moly, ya'll.
This was so good I thought my daughter was going to store the leftovers in her room so no one else would eat them! It may be her new favorite over this easy chicken stew.
I can't wait for you to try this easy risotto recipe! It also pairs well with this grilled bruschetta chicken recipe!
Why this Recipe Works
Traditional risotto is so easy to make, and once it's made, you can add so many different flavors to it! The creamy consistency makes it wonderful comfort food.
You probably have many of the pantry ingredients already, and they keep well, so this is perfect when you need a side dish for dinner.
Have Italian dinner ideas? No problem! Just add freshly grated parmesan cheese like we did here.
Need a fall recipe? Butternut squash risotto is delicious! Need a more earthy recipe? Mushroom risotto is heavenly!
Scroll down to the variations for more yummy ideas for this perfect side dish!
What Goes into this Recipe
This parmesan risotto recipe is so easy, made with simple ingredients.
Risotto - Only risotto makes a creamy dish like this. Risotto is a short grain rice. We use Arborio rice, which is easy to find at your local grocery store.
Vegetable broth - Arborio rice needs to simmer for a long time. Though many recipes may tell you to prepare Arborio rice in water, don't do it! Use vegetable or chicken broth to make the best risotto.
Parmesan cheese - If you typically buy a bag of processed parmesan cheese for recipes like this, I beg you to buy a piece of good aged parmesan cheese. This can really improve your cooking results for dishes like this.
Scroll to the recipe card for the rest of the simple ingredients for this easy risotto recipe.
How to Make this Recipe
In a medium pan, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low heat and cover pot.
Chop the onions and the mince the garlic.
In a medium pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Sauté onion and garlic until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add salt and stir.
Add the Arborio rice to the onion mixture on a low simmer, stirring for about 5 minutes until the edges of the rice are translucent.
Next, add one cup broth to the rice and stir with a wooden spoon. You can let this simmer, but you must stir often and keep an eye on it the whole time.
The beauty of this recipe is that it is so easy, but you must not walk away from risotto. You can be prepping other ingredients, washing dishes, etc, for a couple of minutes, but don't leave the kitchen!
Once the liquid has been absorbed, add more hot broth. Repeat until risotto is al dente to the bite. Al dente is chewy, not completely soft.
Just before all liquid is absorbed, add the rind of the parmesan cheese for extra flavor. Lightly stir. Remove rind once liquid is absorbed.
Once the risotto is done, add a freshly grated parmesan cheese. Stir well. Add a little additional parmesan on top for extra cheesy taste.
Sprinkle the creamy risotto recipe with chopped fresh rosemary and serve warm.
There are so many ways you can change up this recipe! Consider this to be your basic risotto recipe (before adding cheese.) From there, the possibilities are endless.
Try some of the additions below the next time you make this recipe.
- Sweet potato and kale
- Butternut squash with basil
- Fresh peas
- Rotisserie chicken
Top any of these variations of homemade risotto with a soft boiled egg for a wonderful flavor combination! Add one egg per person.
This recipe was made for a side dish for six, but you could easily make it a meal for two or three.
Serve this parmesan risotto recipe with a glass of good wine if you'd like. My preference would be an Amarone. For a wonderful appetizer, you'll love these delicious tomato tarts.
Add the rind (about 1 inch) of the parmesan cheese to the risotto with the last cup of broth for extra umami flavor. Always take out parmesan rinds before serving.
You can absolutely use chicken broth. You can use beef broth, too, especially for an earthy recipe like mushroom risotto.
No. You want to use hot stock as it releases the starch from the rice and makes sure the cooking temperature is always hot. Adding cold or room temperature stock will slow down the cooking process.
No! Only short grain rice will work for risotto. We chose Arborio as it's easy to find. Some other kinds of risotto rice are carnaroni, Calriso, or vialone nano. You may have to pick them up at an Italian grocery store.
Parmesan Risotto Recipe
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 T olive oil
- ½ tsp garlic minced
- 1 onion small, chopped
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese aged, freshly grated
- 1 tsp rosemary fresh, minced
- In a medium pan, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cover pot.
- Chop the onions and the mince the garlic.
- In a medium pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Sauté the onions and garlic until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add salt and stir.
- Add the Arborio rice and stir for about 5 minutes until the edges of the rice are translucent.
- Add a cup of the broth to the rice and stir. You can let this simmer, but you must stir often. Do not walk away!
- Once the liquid has been absorbed, add more broth. Repeat until risotto is al dente to the bite. Al dente is chewy, not completely soft.
- Just before all liquid is absorbed, add the rind of the parmesan cheese for extra flavor. Lightly stir. Remove rind once liquid is absorbed.
- Once the risotto is done, add a freshly grated parmesan cheese. Stir well. Add a little extra on top.
- Sprinkle with chopped fresh rosemary and serve warm.