Creamy lemon parmesan risotto is full of flavor from lemon zest, lemon juice, shallot, garlic, parmesan cheese, and rich chicken stock, with sweet peas sprinkled throughout. The perfect dish for any special occasion, holiday, or date night.
Rice is a staple in our household. I mean, it’s a staple in many people’s households, in almost every culture right?
From poke bowls in Hawaii, to black beans and rice in Hispanic cultures, red beans and rice for black culture, Asian culture has all types of different rice dishes, and of course, risotto in Italy, rice is basically the world’s staple food.
Lemon Parmesan Risotto is my side dish love. It’s like the roasted potatoes of fancy side dishes. Fish? Beef? Chicken? Pork? This goes with them all.
And it’s really easy to make. Really! I mean, risotto is a labor of love, but it is NOT hard to do.
You’re basically stirring rice in a pan and pouring in some good chicken stock or broth over and over til…you’re all out of chicken stock and it’s been about 25 minutes and the rice is fully cooked.
Really, that’s it. Told you it’s so easy. Simple, really. Don’t be scared y’all, risotto is a piece of cake.
I really like to serve this with salmon en papillote (which is just salmon baked in parchment paper, super easy) or a nice pan seared steak, just because whenever anyone thinks ‘risotto’ they think ‘big fancy dinner’.
Which is why I love this recipe for Valentine’s Day, and for any spring holidays (Easter, anyone?) with the delicate little sweet peas stirred in; but I also make this on weeknights while I have a pork tenderloin roasting in my oven. It’s a great dish to mindlessly make: stir, stir, stir, oh, pork’s done? Risotto’s done, too! So easy.
Lemon Parmesan Risotto creamy and comforting and oh, so delicious. Even if this is the first time you’re trying your hand at risotto, trust me, it’s not as hard as Gordon Ramsay makes it seem on Hell’s Kitchen, promise.
Tips on making great Lemon Parmesan Risotto:
Use good chicken stock/broth.
Make sure to use one that you love and has good flavor; I have a recipe for homemade chicken stock you can use and keep in your freezer for any time you need chicken stock in a recipe!
Use arborio rice.
Or another rice that specifically says it’s ‘risotto rice’. That is the right rice to make risotto with, you cannot use jasmine, long grain, none of that. It will not come out with that classic ‘risotto’ style because arborio rice is a short grain, high-starch rice.
Make sure to never let the rice dry out while cooking.
The end result should be creamy, not dry and fluffy like usual rice. So as you’re cooking and stirring, letting most of the broth evaporate, pour in another 1/2 cup of broth before the rice starts getting dry. You want the rice to absorb the liquid, and release it’s starchiness into the next cup of broth so you end up with risotto and not just rice.
Taste the rice every so often.
You don’t want to serve undercooked, crunchy rice or overcooked mushy risotto. Taste a grain every couple of minutes once the 20 minute mark hits. Under-cooked rice will still have a pretty distinctly opaque white center and will be crunchy. The rice will be golden, creamy, and flavorful when it’s done.
P.S., if you want those cute little lemon zest curls, buy a citrus zester (totally different than a microplane!)
Serve this Lemon Parmesan Risotto with Peas recipe with:
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- 5 1/2 cups (1.3 L) low sodium chicken stock or broth
- 2 tbsp (28 g) unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
- 1 shallot or small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 2 cups (400 g) arborio rice
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup (56 g) fresh parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tbsp (28 g) unsalted butter
- Juice of one lemon
- 1/2 cup (67 g) frozen sweet peas
- Kosher Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- Lemon zest, parsley, extra parmesan, for garnish
- In a medium-sized sauce pan, heat the chicken stock over medium-low heat until the stock begins steaming. Keep on low heat.
- In a large high sided skillet over medium heat, add the 2 tbsp butter, olive oil, and onion. Saute for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until soft and golden. Add in the garlic, stirring to ensure the garlic doesn't burn, cooking until fragrant for about 1 minute.
- Add the rice and lemon zest to the onion mixture, stirring for 2 minutes or until the rice is becoming translucent with an opaque white center.
- Add the hot stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the stock is almost completely absorbed and the rice is creamy and translucent (the center is no longer white) and no longer crunchy when tasted (around 25-30 minutes).
- Stir in the parmesan, butter, lemon juice, and peas. Let the peas cook until warmed through, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with extra lemon zest, chopped parsley, and parmesan.
- Serve immediately.
I don't use wine in cooking often, but if you want to use white wine as is traditional in risotto, replace 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth with white wine.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 555mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 10g
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.