Parmesan Risotto

Rich, silky, and indulgent, this Parmesan Risotto will impress both your poshest dinner guests and pickiest little ones. Risotto reigns supreme as the classiest comfort food out there; freshly shredded Parmesan cheese and newly uncorked dry white wine elevates risotto over any soup or casserole. For a recipe equally suitable for a night huddled in sweatpants on the couch or a night mingling with visitors in the dining room, look no further!

Plate a mound of Parmesan Risotto beneath some Italian Marinated Grilled Chicken for added protein!

Top down view of parmesan risotto with a lemon slice.

Parmesan Risotto

We are firm believers that wine makes everything better. Well, wine and butter and garlic and cheese… you get the idea. Stirring these divine ingredients into arborio rice slowly simmering away over a low flame is what makes this Parmesan Risotto taste downright luxurious. For a presentation as sumptuous as the flavors, sprinkle finely minced parsley over a spoonful of risotto and adorn with a slice of lemon.

The key to preparing this classic Italian dish is adagio—slow down and take your time. And, of course, vino; pour yourself a glass.

How To Make Parmesan Risotto

  1. Heat a deep skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the olive oil, butter, and shallots and cook until the shallots become translucent.
  2. Stir in the garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper until the garlic becomes fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  3. After adding the rice to the pan, stir until the rice is coated.
  4. Pour in the white wine, and lower the cooking temperature to low-medium heat. Stir until the rice absorbs all the wine.
  5. Pour in 1 cup of the chicken broth, and stir continually until the rice absorbs all the broth (about 5 minutes). Repeat this step until all 6 cups of chicken broth have been incorporated and the rice is fully cooked.
  6. Stir in the parmesan cheese until fully melted.
  7. Enjoy your Parmesan Risotto garnished with freshly minced parsley and a squeeze of lemon, if desired.
Collage showing how to make parmesan risotto.

Tips and Variations

  • You may be tempted to toss the cheapest bottle of white wine into your grocery cart for this recipe, but think twice! The quality of wine will shine through, so, as a rule of thumb, choose a wine that you would sip on.
  • For a vegetarian-friendly risotto, substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth.
  • We recommend using a dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, or Chardonnay to cut through the richness. We are partial to Chardonnay for its buttery notes that mimic those in the risotto. 
  • Leave the green capped powdered stuff on the shelf! Grating a small block of Parmesan at home takes only a minute or so and melts beautifully into the rice. Not to mention, it’s much more flavorful.
Close up view of risotto with lemon slices in a pan.

Storage and Reheating

Storage: To savor your Parmesan Risotto later, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days.

Reheating: Risotto tends to lose moisture while stored. Before reheating, rehydrate your Parmesan Risotto with a splash of chicken broth. Then, simply microwave at 1-minute intervals until warm, and stir in a pat of butter to return it to the original consistency.

For More Bowlfuls of Comfort, Try The Recipes Below:

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White bowl filled with creamy parmesan risotto.

Parmesan Risotto

5 from 3 votes
Print Pin
Author: Kim
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 5 Servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups chicken broth, low sodium
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded


  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add the olive oil, butter, and shallots. Cook until the shallots are translucent.
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    2 shallots
  • Stir in the garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper, and cook just until the garlic becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds.
    3 garlic cloves
    1 ½ tablespoons lemon zest
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pour the rice into the pan, and stir to coat. Then, add the white wine, and cook over low-medium heat until the rice soaks up all of the wine.
    2 cups arborio rice
    1 cup dry white wine
  • Add 1 cup of chicken broth, and stir constantly for about 5 minutes or until the rice fully soaks up all 6 cups of broth.
  • Repeat the process by adding 1 cup of chicken broth at a time until all the broth has been used and the rice is fully cooked through.
  • Finally, stir in the parmesan cheese until fully melted then serve with freshly minced parsley for garnish and lemon slices if desired.
    1 cup parmesan cheese
  • See post for storage recommendations.

Suggested Equipment


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 cup of risotto. Actual calories will vary.
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.
*Photos courtesy of Karla Rae photography.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 336kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 14gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 674mgPotassium: 366mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 316IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 204mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

Kim and John Vargo of More Than Meat and Potatoes and its affiliates are not dieticians or nutritionists. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If preferred, use your favorite online nutrition calculator to double check the amounts. Calories and other nutritional values can vary based on brand and serving size.

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