Basic Risotto

Photo: Johnny Miller
Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
40 mins

The method of slowly adding broth and constant stirring allows the rice to release its natural starches and create that signature risotto creaminess.


  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter

  • 1 large shallot, diced small

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice

  • ½ cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio

  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan (¼ ounce)


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a simmer; reduce heat and keep warm. In a 10-inch heavy-bottomed skillet or pot, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high. Add shallot, season with salt and pepper, and cook until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, until rice is translucent at edges, 1 minute.

  2. Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 2 minutes. With a ladle, add about 1 cup broth to skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed, 4 minutes. Repeat, gradually adding broth by the cupful and stirring constantly, until rice is tender but still al dente and sauce is creamy (you may not need all of broth), 20 to 25 minutes.

  3. Remove skillet from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons butter and Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

Carnaroli is a less common medium-grain northern Italian rice found in some grocery stores.


Once you master this basic version, try our Mushroom Risotto with Spring Herbs and Carrot-Lemon Risotto.

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