Creamy garlic parmesan risotto is a delicious dish made from rice cooked in a rich and cheesy sauce with a hint of garlic. It's a comforting and flavorful meal that's perfect for satisfying your taste buds.
This Creamy Garlic Parmesan Risotto is the perfect dish to elevate any night of the week. With its luxurious and creamy texture, this homemade risotto will be the star of the show. Made with just a handful of simple ingredients, including Arborio rice, fresh garlic, chicken or vegetable broth, parmesan cheese, and a touch of white wine, it's incredible how this easy risotto recipe can transform into the best risotto you've ever tasted. The result is a delicious creamy risotto with great flavor that will leave you craving for more.
Whether you're enjoying it as a comforting weeknight dinner or serving it to impress guests, this dish never fails to deliver. Its rich and velvety consistency makes it a perfect risotto, and the combination of parmesan cheese and fresh garlic infuses each bite with a delightful burst of flavor. Savor the goodness of this delicious creamy risotto that truly embodies the essence of Italian comfort food.
To learn more about the art of risotto making, check also this Ultimate Guide to the Perfect Risotto.
What is Risotto
Risotto is a creamy and comforting northern Italian rice dish that has gained international popularity for its rich and luxurious flavors and textures. It is made using a short-grain rice variety, such as Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano, which is slowly cooked with broth, white wine, and various ingredients like vegetables, meats, seafood, or herbs.
The key to a perfect risotto lies in the technique of the cooking process, by gradually adding hot stock to the rice and constant stirring, which releases the rice's natural starches, creating a luscious, velvety consistency. This meticulous process results in a dish with a slightly firm, yet tender bite, and a wonderfully creamy sauce that envelops the rice grains.
Risotto serves as a versatile canvas for culinary creativity, allowing for endless variations to suit individual tastes and preferences. Whether prepared with mushrooms, saffron, seafood, or cheese, risotto remains a beloved dish that epitomizes the art of Italian cuisine.
When it comes to making a delicious creamy garlic parmesan risotto, the key ingredients are what make all the difference. Here are the essential ingredients you will need to make this mouth-watering dish.
- Rice: The type of rice used in a risotto recipe is crucial. Arborio rice is a short grain rice and is the most commonly used rice for risotto due to its high starch content and ability to absorb liquids. Carnaroli rice is another popular option that is slightly longer and has a firmer texture. Both types of rice will work well for this recipe.
- Vegetable Stock: Chicken or vegetable broth is typically used as the base liquid. It is important to use low-sodium broth to avoid oversalting the risotto.
- White Wine: Dry white wine is also added to the rice to enhance the flavor of the dish. It's optional but recommended.
- Garlic: Use freshly minced garlic cloves for the best result. I do not recommend using garlic powder or jarred garlic for this recipe.
- Parmesan: Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese is what makes a difference.
- Cream: I usually use heavy cream or half and half to finish the risotto.
- Olive Oil: A drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil is used in the beginning to toast the rice and garlic.
- Butter: A knob of good quality unsalted butter is added at the end to finish the risotto.
See the recipe card for quantities.
- Rice: There are 3 types of Risotto rice you can use: Carnaroli, Arborio, and Vialone Nano (more difficult to find outside of Italy). Any other type of rice would not make a smooth and creamy risotto.
- Stock: You can use vegetable or chicken stock for this recipe, either using stock cubes or homemade. Use a mild and low-sodium stock to avoid covering the flavors of the risotto.
- White Wine: You can skip the wine if you don't want to, or substitute it with Prosecco or Champagne.
- Cream: You can use heavy cream, half and half, or even only milk. But in the case of milk, add it a bit sooner so it can simmer and reduce into a cream.
- Mushrooms: Sautéed mushrooms add a rich, earthy flavor to your risotto. Consider using shiitake, cremini, or portobello mushrooms.
- Peas: Frozen peas are a quick and easy addition to your risotto. They add a pop of color and a touch of sweetness.
- Butternut Squash: Roasted butternut squash adds a sweet and nutty flavor to your risotto. Cut the squash into small cubes and roast in the oven until tender.
- Shallots: Sautéed shallots add a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor to your risotto. They pair particularly well with mushrooms.
📋 Instructions with Photos
Step 1. Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet or pan and add the minced onion and rice. Toast on medium heat for a couple of minutes. Then add the minced garlic.
Step 2. Pour the white wine. Let it evaporate for a minute, then add a few ladles of warm stock. Turn the heat to low and stir frequently.
Step 3. Keep adding stock until the risotto is 'al dente'. Then add the cream and stir for a minute.
Step 4. Turn off the heat and add the butter and Parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve immediately.
To make risotto, you'll need a few key pieces of cookware. Here are the essentials:
- Heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven: A heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven is ideal for making delicious risotto. The heavy base helps distribute heat evenly, which is important when you're cooking rice.
- Wooden spoon: A wooden spoon is the best tool for stirring risotto. It won't scratch your pot, and it won't break up the rice grains.
- Stovetop: You'll need a stovetop to cook your risotto. Make sure you have a burner that's large enough to accommodate your pot or Dutch oven.
❄️ Storage & Reheating
If you have leftovers, you'll want to store your risotto properly to keep it fresh. Here are some storage options:
- Airtight container: Store your leftover risotto in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This will help prevent it from drying out or absorbing odors from other foods in your fridge.
- Freezer bags or containers: You can also freeze leftover risotto for later. Freeze it in a freezer bag or container, and make sure to label it with the date so you know when to use it.
- Freezing: Creamy garlic parmesan risotto can be frozen for up to 2 months. To freeze, transfer the risotto to an airtight container or freezer bag and store it in the freezer until ready to use. When you're ready to eat, simply thaw the risotto in the fridge overnight, then reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- Fridge: Leftover risotto can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply add a splash of chicken broth or water to the risotto and heat on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.
💭 Recipe FAQs
Yes, you can make risotto without wine. While wine is often used in risotto recipes to add flavor and acidity, it's not a necessary ingredient. You can substitute wine with a splash of lemon juice or vinegar to achieve a similar effect. If you prefer not to use alcohol or acid, you can simply omit the wine altogether and use more broth or stock instead.
Yes, risotto can be made without cream. The creaminess of risotto comes from the starch in the rice, which is released as the rice cooks and is stirred with liquid. Some recipes call for adding cream or butter at the end to enhance the creaminess, but it's not a requirement. You can achieve a creamy texture by using a high-starch rice like Arborio and stirring the rice frequently as you add the liquid. If you prefer a lighter version, you can omit the cream or butter and use a vegetable or chicken broth instead.
⭐ Top tip
Roast the garlic in the oven wrapped in aluminum foil, for 30-40 minutes at 400°F (200°C) to have a delicious nutty roasted garlic risotto.
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Creamy Garlic Parmesan Risotto
- 1 cup Risotto Rice, Carnaroli
- ½ Yellow Onion, minced
- 4 Garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups Vegetable Stock
- ½ cup Cream
- ½ cup Parmigiano cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon Butter, unsalted
- Black Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Finely mince the onion and the garlic. Drizzle a large pan with olive oil, then sauté the onion and rice for a 2-3 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and then pour the white wine. Let it evaporate for a couple of minutes.
- Add a few ladles of vegetable stock, until the rice is covered, and turn down the heat.
- Let the rice simmer, mixing it once in a while to make sure it doesn't stick. When the stock is almost completely absorbed, add some more. Continue until the rice is al dente.
- About 5 minutes before it's done, add the cream. In the end, the rice should be creamy and not soupy. If there's too much liquid, turn the heat to high and let it evaporate.
- When the rice is cooked, turn off the heat and add the butter and grated Parmigiano cheese. Mix well until the butter is fully melted. Serve immediately.
- Storage: Store your leftover risotto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This will help prevent it from drying out or absorbing odors from other foods in your fridge.
- Freezer: You can also freeze leftover risotto for up to 3 months. Freeze it in a freezer bag or container, and make sure to label it with the date so you know when to use it.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.