Recipes > Basic Risotto

Basic Risotto


Just a few quality ingredients come together to make this authentic and ever-so-creamy Italian rice dish.
  • Serves: 2 to 4
  • Active Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Views: 61,136
  • Success Rating: 97% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Preparing Your Mise en Place

Preparing Your Mise en Place
  • 1 cup risotto rice (see note)
  • 5 cups water or stock
  • 1/2 cup onions
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine or vermouth
  • 2 cloves garlic


Note: For the liquid, use a light stock. If your stock is very strong in flavor, you can use a combination of 1/2 water and 1/2 stock so you don’t over power the flavor of the rice. Always keep in mind that more or less liquid may be needed to cook this dish. It’s always better to have too much than not enough.

To prepare your mise en place, place the liquid into a pot, season with the salt (if needed) and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and keep hot.

In the meantime, finely dice the onions and garlic.

Note: For this dish, it is important to use rice that is suitable for risotto.

Measure out the rice, olive oil and white wine. Set aside.

Step 2: Starting the Risotto

Starting the Risotto


Place the oil into a large, heavy-bottomed pan and heat over medium to medium-low heat.

Add the onions and a pinch of salt and sweat until soft and translucent, about 10 to 15 minutes. Next, add 1/4 cup of the hot cooking liquid to soften the onions further. Let the cooking liquid completely evaporate before moving onto the next step.

Step 3: Toasting the Rice & Deglazing

Toasting the Rice & Deglazing


Once the liquid has completely evaporated, turn the heat up to medium-high and add the rice all at once. Stir to coat the rice in the hot fat. Monitor the heat so the aromatics do not burn. Toast the rice for a few minutes until the perimeter of the grains are translucent.

Once toasted, add the garlic and cook, stirring just until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Deglaze with the wine. Stir the rice until the wine evaporates.

Step 4: Cooking the Risotto

Cooking the Risotto


Once the wine has evaporated, slowly add the hot liquid cup by cup. Stir often to coax the starches out of the rice. Adjust the heat so the liquid is always gently boiling. Once the liquid has been absorbed, then and only then, add the next cup. Stir frequently.

Continue to add liquid and cook the risotto until it reaches the al dente stage (or until it is done to your liking). Start tasting the rice for doneness around the 15 minute mark.

Step 5: Finishing the Risotto

Finishing the Risotto
  • 1 to 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan (optional)*


Once the risotto has been cooked to your liking, taste it for seasoning. Stir in the olive oil. Cover and let rest for 1 to 2 minutes.

*Note: For the parmesan, here is a recipe for a delicious Plant-Based Parmesan.

Just before serving, add a bit of hot liquid to loosen the consistency, if necessary. Plate on warmed dishes and drizzle with a bit more olive oil, if desired. This Walnut Parmesan also makes a beautiful final garnish. Serve immediately.

Chef's Notes

This basic risotto can also be topped with a variety of ingredients such as:

Basil Oil
Roasted Tomato Oil
Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
Sauteed Mushrooms


  • Gail S
    Gail S
    So I have made risotto (more than) a few times, mostly mushroom and mostly while staring (and obsessing about) a recipe. I made this last night (put pre-sauteed mushrooms in at the end) and again tonight. Tonight I made a half-recipe, threw in a couple saffron strands and tossed in argula at the end. I shook the plate to make sure the consistency was correct. Am so happy! This is what I want from Rouxbe...confidence to step away from recipes! Thank you.
  • Gail S
    Gail S
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    That is music to our ears Gail! Great job for putting in the effort. Cheers!
  • Marilyn
    I couldn't find risotto rice anywhere, so I used orzo pasta. I didn't expect it to be any good, I told myself this is just practice. Well it turned out great I used my own stock that I learned to make on Rouxbe.
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Good for you Marilyn, for knowing that practicing is so important and for being willing to try something, even if you might not have had the exact ingredient — that's often how we come up with new and exciting dishes. Keep up the good work. Cheers!
  • Danielle B
    Danielle B
    I'm serving mushroom risotto as a main dish, but I'm struggling with the rest of the menu, particularly appetizer and/or sides. My guests won't eat meat (Good Friday!) and one is allergic to soya, fish/seafood, and eggs. I would appreciate meatless, eggless, menu ideas to go with my main dish. Thanks in advance.
  • Danielle B
    Danielle B
    I think I found the answer in another Rouxbe video : antipasto platter.
  • Mimi D
    Mimi D
    I went way outside the box on this recipe (but did use my own stock) with adding in Serrano peppers, fresh baby 'bella mushrooms, finely diced carrots, and at the end adding in my chicken from my stock I made that week, and some fresh frozen peas. It was a huge hit! My boyfriend said "You should be selling this stuff baby!" made me feel good that he finished it allll off. No leftovers, which I probably wouldn't have saved anyway since it's Risotto! Thanks for the base for me knowing how to make this dish properly!
  • Rodrigo F
    Rodrigo F
    Hi! Is it possible to make a risotto like this with brown rice?
  • Sandy S
    Sandy S
    Hi Rodrigo, You certainly could use the risotto method with short grain brown rice (long grain won't stand up to the process well and will fall apart). The final risotto won't be creamy though, there are surface starches on "risotto" rice grains that break off during the process, creating the classic creaminess. You will also want to have more liquid on hand for the brown rice, and the process will take more time. Try it out! Cheers, Sandy
  • Jane C
    Jane C
    I use this base recipe and most of the time make a cauliflower risotto. I add the cauliflower to the stock and just add both to the recipe. For this recipe half a large cauliflower. I also increase the garlic to about 4 cloves. Delicious. Vialone risotto rice.
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Jane: With cauliflower being so popular right now, I see where many kitchens are using riced cauliflower to make risotto. There is no such thing as too much garlic, is there? Thanks for sending your culinary ideas to us! Cheers, Char
  • Dennis C
    Dennis C
    I made this risotto tonight. great recipe. I used homemade stock cut with water. Added cooked mushrooms at the end. Very nice. Thank you. Just enough left over to make something fun tomorrow.
  • Meera M
    Meera M
    Is there anything I can use instead of the wine for this recipe? Do I just substitute with more water?
  • Demetra S Rouxbe Staff
    Demetra S
    Hi Meera- Yes, you can just use water. The wine is used to deglaze, which is the process of adding liquid to hot pan which breaks down the flavorful sucs/browning that accumulate on the pan and then absorbed back into the food, thus adding flavor. You can use stock and a myraid of liquids, as well. You can also use vinegars, such as sherry, red wine, champagne, you can even use juices, lemon, pomegranate, etc. I would recommend substituting with stock first to develop your palate in understanding what basic risotto tastes like and then experiment with varieties of liquids moving forward. Enjoy!

Leave A Comment

Please login or join the Rouxbe community to leave a comment.