Easy Parmesan Risotto

Risotto used to be a dish that scared and intimidated me, but since I started to learn to make it, I’ve never stopped experimenting. This risotto, however, has remained my absolute favorite. Though it may look simple, it is fragrant, rich and very flavorful.

The recipe is an adaption of the Low-Maintenance Risotto from Real Simple, one of my favorite sources for new recipes that are, actually, really simple! This Parmesan risotto is no exception.

All it takes is a bunch of basic ingredients: Arborio rice, butter, onion, white wine, chicken broth and fresh Parmesan… and a watchful eye. After you melt the butter, stir in the onion and a little salt and pepper. Wait ’til those onions are nice and soft. Then add the rice, some lovely white wine (remember: only cook with a wine you’d drink!), and half your chicken broth. Cook for 10 minutes, then add more broth, cook for 10 minutes more. Add your Parmesan, chopped basil, and you have yourself a nice, velvety rich risotto with an incredible aroma!

I know you will enjoy this dish just as much as you’ll enjoy making it and tending to the ingredients until they combine this delicious creation. Risotto doesn’t have to be hard – All it takes are yummy basics like good wine, fresh Parmesan and a little patience!with the basil and additional Parmesan, if desired.

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Easy Parmesan Risotto

Yield: Serves 5


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces), plus more for serving
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium-sized pot over medium heat.

Add the onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until absorbed.

Add half the broth (1 ¾ cups) and simmer, stirring once, until absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the remaining broth and simmer, stirring once, until the rice is tender and creamy, 8 to 10 minutes. (If the rice is not cooked through and the mixture is dry, add more broth and continue to cook until tender.)

Stir in the Parmesan and the remaining tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle with the basil and additional Parmesan, if desired.


Adapted from Real Simple magazine


32 Responses to “Easy Parmesan Risotto”

  1. #
    Heather — January 10, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

    What beautiful photos! I love risotto (really, what’s NOT to love about it??).

  2. #
    Annalise — January 10, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

    I LOVE risotto! It’s got to be one of my favorite dishes to make. I use a recipe very similar to this and play around with it also. I think I’m going to have to make some this week!

  3. #
    Liz Blogisthenewblack — January 10, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

    This looks so yummy!

  4. #
    Stephanie — January 10, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

    I love risotto, and you’re right — it doesn’t ahve to be hard. Plus, once you get the hang of it, the flavor combinations and posibilites are endless. Great post and lovely pictures!

  5. #
    foodies at home — January 10, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

    So beautiful! The colors are gorgeous in your photos! And your risotto looks fab too!

  6. #
    Amanda — January 10, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

    Oh this looks great! I just bought a box of arborio rice and I want to make risotto for the first time. I’ve been looking for a simple but yummy version to start off on and I think this would be perfect!

  7. #
    Jennifurla — January 10, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

    This looks great, I have yet to cook risotta – this looks like a great place to start.

  8. #
    Indie.tea — January 10, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

    The risotto sounds absolutely scrumptious. I love the golden color – evidence of its richness, flavorful-ness, and yumminess.

  9. #
    Cooking with Coley — January 10, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

    You do make it sound easy, but I must admit that I too am intimidated by risotto. I think you may have inspired me though… Thanks!

  10. #
    Georgia — January 10, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

    You can do it, Coley! It’s really not easy to mess up. I was totally intimidated at first, and still am by more complex risotto recipes, but this one is really simple! I hope you give it a try and conquer your fear :)

    – Georgia

  11. #
    UrMomCooks — January 10, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

    Great reminder that simple can be best! I only recently started making risotto and now I’m addicted! This looks delicious and the picture is gorgeous! (Do you give photo advice? You should!)

  12. #
    Betty @Scrambled hen fruit — January 10, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

    Risotto is such a wonderful dish- this looks like the perfect comfort food to me! Your photos are gorgeous!

  13. #
    Deborah — January 10, 2011 @ 9:26 pm

    I used to be intimidated by risotto, too, but then I learned that it’s one of the easiest things to make! This risotto looks absolutely perfect.

  14. #
    Angie's Recipes — January 10, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

    I appreciate the simply yet delicious and flavouful dishes…and your risotto definitely belongs to one of them. Thanks, Georgia, for sharing the recipe.

  15. #
    Rachel Conners — January 10, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

    YUM. This looks fab. Next time I’m craving risotto (which I’m sure will be soon) I’ll be coming back here and using this recipe!!

  16. #
    Monet — January 10, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

    Don’t you love Real Simple? I just picked up their Thanksgiving Issue, and I was overwhelmed by all of the wonderful (and simple) recipes. This risotto looks beautiful! You have such a talent with your camera. Your first shot with the wine was so stunning. I think that this might be a lovely addition to our Christmas day meal. Thanks for sharing sweet girl!

  17. #
    Jenn's Food Journey — January 10, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

    Your pictures always make me wish I had taste-a-vision!! mmmmmmmm…this looks beautiful! I so wish Chris would eat risotto, I do love it so!!

  18. #
    StephenC — January 10, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

    The popular wisdom is that risotto has to be stirred very frequently if not constantly to develop the starch in the rice. We make risotto frequently (most recently 2 days ago with lobster stock, asparagus and shrimp) and find that at altitude (Denver) it takes 5 cups of liquid per 1 cup of arborio rice. That being said, your excellent photos make it look wonderful.

  19. #
    Georgia — January 10, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

    That’s interesting about the altitude change. And it must taste incredible with lobster stock! Thanks for sharing, Stephen. I’ll have to get creative with my risotto and try something similar.

  20. #
    Baking Serendipity — January 10, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

    I have to be honest, risotto is a bit intimidating to me. Your post is inspirational…I am bookmarking it to make sometime soon! Thank you :)

  21. #
    cakeduchess — January 10, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

    Georgia-this looks great. I make risotto about once a week. The kids love it. I love it just like this. Very simple. Beautiful. :)

  22. #
    Katrina — January 10, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

    I’m a huge risotto fan. Mmm.

  23. #
    Cristina - TeenieCakes — January 10, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

    Risotto is my new found luv of late too! I don’t know why, but I’ve been intimidated to give it try from scratch. Your Parmesan risotto looks perfect and sounds delicious. Ok…I need to get over the mental block! :)

  24. #
    enrolled agent cpe — January 10, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

    I tried this for dinner last night and everyone loved it. I was hesitant at first since this is my first attempt to prepare a risotto. Good thing it turns out fine. The recipe is easy and fool proof.

  25. #
    Georgia — January 10, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

    I’m so glad you enjoyed this risotto. Thank you for letting me know! Hopefully you’ll look at risotto in a new light. It really is more easy than most people anticipate!

  26. #
    I Thought I Knew Mama — April 25, 2011 @ 10:44 pm

    I just used your recipe to make risotto for the very first time and it turned out amazing! Thanks so much!

  27. #
    Anonymous — August 3, 2011 @ 11:39 pm

    I couldn’ believe that it came out perfectly on my first try! Really great recipe, thanks!

  28. #
    Anonymous — February 12, 2012 @ 2:18 am

    I just made it and it turned out PERFECT!!! Amazing recipe, delicious!!!

  29. #
    Julie — August 15, 2013 @ 5:16 pm

    It’s my first Risotto. I haven’t even added the cheese yet and WOW! :).

  30. #
    Sherry — February 24, 2014 @ 9:24 pm

    Any tips on making in advance if you are to take a side dish to someone’s house?

    • Georgia — February 25th, 2014 @ 8:54 am

      I’d suggest stirring a bit more chicken broth (maybe 1/3 cup) into the finished dish, covering tightly, and reheating on the stovetop at a low temp, if necessary. The risotto will soak up the broth during transport.

  31. #
    Michelle — September 30, 2014 @ 10:07 am

    This is the first risotto I’ve ever tried to make, and it turned out wonderfully. Delicious and creamy – I’ve made it twice already, and it is definitely on my go-to side dish list. Even better, I get to enjoy a glass of white wine while cooking :).

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