This Easy Parmesan Risotto is full of yummy cheese flavor! Inspired by a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen, it involves less stirring and less work in general to bring you a creamy, dreamy simple risotto recipe!
Easy Parmesan Risotto
Ok, I have a confession — I have never had risotto…ever…until now. I know, I know!
This easy Parmesan risotto is absolutely delicious, and I have no idea why it has taken me this long to try it.
Well, actually, I do know why it has taken me this long. Because I’ve always heard that making risotto is TIME CONSUMING!
Usually, when you make risotto, you have to stay in front of the pot to stir. You have to slowly add the broth, continue to stir, add more broth, keep on stirring…you get the gist. It goes on for what feels like an eternity!
This is just not manageable for me because, well, I have little kids — and whenever I am at the stove with something that needs my constant attention, all of a sudden everyone else needs my constant attention too.
So, I have left risotto for one of those meals I will make someday when I no longer have children underfoot.
Until I found out about America’s Test Kitchen’s simple cheese risotto recipe! These guys are awesome, and I feel like they are constantly reinventing the wheel.
They found a way to make risotto without standing there and stirring it through the whole process. And, it still turns out thick, creamy, and so flavorful.
I fell in love instantly and have made it for several dinners over the past month. I have also tinkered with it making different variations, so I may have to post those in the near future too!
Why You’ll Love This Parmesan Risotto Recipe
- You can actually leave your station at the stove while it cooks
- Oh-so-easy and oh-so-delicious
- Perfect for weeknight dinner
- Cheesy and flavorful
- Ready in under 1 hour
Key Ingredients to Make Easy Risotto
- CHICKEN BROTH – You could also use vegetable broth to make this simple risotto recipe vegetarian-friendly.
- WATER – Risotto calls for a lot of liquid — the rice absorbs it while it cooks to give you creamy results.
- BUTTER – To add more creaminess and flavor!
- ONION AND GARLIC – Sauté both in butter before adding the other ingredients.
- ARBORIO RICE – You can’t use any old white rice for this recipe. Make sure to use Arborio!
- WHITE WINE – For added rich flavor. You can also make this Parmesan risotto recipe without wine if desired! I’ll explain how later.
- PARMESAN – I find that freshly grated Parmesan cheese works best, but you can also use pre-grated in a crunch.
- SALT AND PEPPER – To taste!
- PARSLEY – Add chopped fresh parsley on top as a garnish.
Instructions to Make Parmesan Cheese Risotto
BOIL THE LIQUIDS: Add the broth and water to a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer.
SAUTÉ THE ONION AND GARLIC: Melt the butter in a Dutch oven and add the onion. Sauté until it softens, then add the garlic and rice. Stir frequently until the edges of the rice become translucent, or about 3-5 minutes.
INCORPORATE THE LIQUIDS: Pour in the wine, stir, and cook until the rice mixture completely absorbs it. Add 5 cups of the hot broth and water mixture and reduce the heat to medium-low.
LET IT SIMMER: Cover the Dutch oven and allow the easy risotto to simmer for 16-18 minutes. Make sure to check in on it and stir at least twice!
ADD THE CHEESE: Pour in 1 more cup of broth and stir until the risotto gets creamy. Add the Parmesan and remove the pan from heat. If you need to, play around with the texture and consistency by adding a bit of broth, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and enjoy!
What to Serve with This Simple Risotto Recipe
Here are a few options to choose from!
- Homemade Oven Roasted Rotisserie Chicken
- Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin
- Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
- Choose a few other sides to go alongside, such as: Lemon Parmesan Roasted Broccoli, Honey Garlic Roasted Carrots, Simple Roasted Green Beans, Spinach, Apple, and Pomegranate Salad, or Wilted Spinach Bacon Salad.
Risotto is basically a rice dish. It’s from Northern Italy and is made by cooking Arborio rice in broth (any type of broth) to reach a creamy consistency.
Typically other ingredients such as butter, wine, onion, garlic, or Parmesan cheese are added.
Risotto is usually served as a first course in Italy, but I always serve it as a side dish.
Arborio rice must be used because of its high starch content — that is what makes this rice dish creamy.
Yes, you can! You will find that almost every risotto recipe out there has wine on the ingredient list. And while it does lend loads of flavor, it can be substituted with more broth.
That said, if you would like to add that touch of acidity without wine, you can add just a splash of white wine vinegar when you add the broth.
Yes, you can substitute other cheeses for Parmesan in risotto if you want to!
Some popular alternatives include Pecorino Romano, Grana Padano, Asiago, or a combination of different cheeses. Keep in mind that the cheese you choose should melt well and complement the flavors of the risotto.
There are tons of possibilities! Try incorporating herbs like thyme, rosemary, basil, or oregano. You could also add veggies like mushrooms (my favorite!) or butternut squash. Get creative!
More Parmesan Recipes To Try
- Parmesan Orzo
- Sheet Pan Parmesan Chicken and Veggies
- Lemon Parmesan Broccoli
- Rosemary Parmesan Bread
Thanks so much for reading! Let me know what you think about this cheese risotto!
Easy Parmesan Risotto
- 5 cups chicken broth or stock
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1-2 large cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese I found freshly grated it best
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Bring the broth and water to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover.
- In a dutch oven melt butter over medium heat. Add in onion and cook until soft. Add in garlic and rice and cook, stirring frequently until grains are translucent around the edges. Around 3-5 minutes.
- Add in the wine and cook stirring constantly until wine is fully absorbed (about 3 minutes) Stir in 5 cups of hot broth and reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed (about 16-18 mins) stirring twice during this process.
- Add in 1 cup of hot broth and stir gently until risotto becomes creamy. Add in the Parmesan cheese and remove from heat. If risotto needs “loosened” add in a little hot broth until desired consistency is achieved. Stir in chopped parsley if desired.