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Risotto Recipe

Classic Risotto Recipe

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x


Here’s how to make a classic risotto recipe: creamy and savory, flavored with Parmesan and a splash of white wine.


  • 1/2 cup minced sweet onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 quart vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups dry white arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay*
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Zest from ½ lemon
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme (optional but recommended)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Prep the vegetables: Prepare the onion and garlic and noted above.
  2. Heat the broth: Combine the broth with 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a saucepan and bring it to a low simmer. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Sauté the vegetables: In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the minced onion and cook for about 2 minutes until tender. Add the garlic and dry rice and cook, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes until the rice starts to turn light brown.
  4. Add the wine: Stir in the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is fully absorbed, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the broth: Add two ladles of the hot broth to the risotto. Cook, stirring occasionally until the liquid is fully absorbed, then add two more ladles of both. Cook in this same manner for about 12 minutes, adding two ladles and stirring frequently. Continue to adjust the heat to make sure the risotto is at a steady simmer. After 12 minutes, taste a grain of rice. If it’s creamy but still al dente in the center, you’re ready for the final step! If not, continue to cook and add broth for a few minutes more. (You’ll have some broth left over: save it for reheating leftovers.) 
  6. Finish the risotto: When the rice is al dente, reduce the heat to low. Add two more ladles of broth, the Parmesan cheese and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes until you’ve got a thick and creamy risotto. Add the lemon zest, fresh thyme, and black pepper. Taste and add more salt as desired (we add another heaping 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt). Serve with additional Parmesan cheese to top. 
  7. Storage info: Flavor is best day of. You can store leftovers refrigerated for up to 3 days, but the texture will become less creamy when chilled. Reheat on the stovetop and add a little extra broth and Parmesan cheese, and a few pinches salt to taste.


*If you prefer avoiding wine, you can skip Step 4 and move straight to adding the broth.

  • Category: Side or main
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Risotto, risotto recipe