Lemon-and-Parsley Risotto

lemon parsley risotto
Photo: Sidney Bensimon
Prep Time:
55 mins
Total Time:
55 mins

Ready for a risotto master class? Our test kitchen's foolproof recipe turns out perfectly al dente rice with a rich, creamy sauce every time. Lemon zest and juice, plus plenty of fresh parsley, give it a bright boost, while Parmesan adds a welcome hit of umami.


  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion (from 1 small)

  • 1 ½ cups short-grain Italian rice, such as arborio

  • ¼ cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

  • ½ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 ½ ounces), plus more for serving

  • cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. In a saucepan, combine broth, 2 cups water, lemon zest, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, heat a large straight-sided skillet over medium. Swirl in 2 tablespoons oil. Add onion, season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, until translucent and grains begin to make a popping sound, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in wine; cook until mostly evaporated, about 30 seconds.

  2. Ladle 1 cup broth mixture into skillet. Stir with a wooden spoon at a moderate speed until most of broth is absorbed and bottom of skillet stays visible for a second or two as you mix, 2 to 3 minutes. Continue ladling broth into skillet, about 1/2 cup at a time (or enough to just cover rice). Stir slowly but constantly, allowing rice to absorb most of broth before adding more. Risotto is ready when rice is al dente and broth has thickened to a rich sauce, 20 to 25 minutes. (You may not need to use all of broth.)

  3. Remove from heat. Stir in butter, lemon juice, and cheese; season with salt and pepper. Top with parsley and more cheese; drizzle with oil and sprinkle with more pepper to serve. If the risotto becomes stiff before serving, stir in more hot broth, a little at a time, until it's loose and creamy.

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