Easy No-Stir Risotto Recipe for a Perfect Italian Dinner at Home

Easy No-Stir Risotto Recipe for a Perfect Italian Dinner at Home

Discover the secret to making perfectly creamy risotto without constant stirring. This innovative technique delivers a luscious, restaurant-quality dish with minimal effort.

Risotto, the beloved Italian rice dish, is often associated with tedious preparation. But what if you could achieve that coveted creamy texture without being chained to the stove? This recipe revolutionizes the traditional method, allowing you to create a stunning risotto with less hands-on time.

The key to this almost no-stir risotto lies in understanding the science behind the dish. By isolating the surface starch from the rice grains before cooking, we can achieve both a nutty flavor from toasting and the signature creaminess that makes risotto irresistible.

The Science of Starch in Risotto

Contrary to popular belief, the creaminess in risotto doesn’t come from constant stirring. Instead, it’s the result of surface starch on the rice grains. By rinsing the rice and reserving the starchy liquid, we can toast the grains for flavor without sacrificing the creamy texture.

Choosing the Right Rice

For the best results, opt for a high-quality risotto rice. Here are the top choices:

  • Carnaroli: Known as the “king of risotto rice,” it offers a perfect balance of creaminess and texture.
  • Arborio: The most widely available option, it creates a very creamy risotto but can become soft if overcooked.
  • Vialone Nano: Similar to Carnaroli, this variety maintains its shape well during cooking.

The Game-Changing Technique

  • Rinse the rice to remove surface starch, reserving the starchy liquid.
  • Toast the rinsed rice for a nutty flavor.
  • Cook the rice with the reserved starchy liquid for ultimate creaminess.

This method allows you to achieve the perfect balance of toasted flavor and creamy texture, elevating your risotto to new heights.


  • 1 1/2 cups (about 13 1/2 ounces) risotto-style rice (see notes)
  • 1 quart (950ml) low-sodium homemade or store-bought chicken stock
  • 1 cup (240ml) white wine (optional; can be replaced with additional broth)
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) butter, plus more for finishing, if desired
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, grated on a Microplane (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 small shallots, finely minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks
  • 3 ounces (85g) finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped herbs or other garnishes, as desired


  1. Combine rice, chicken stock, and wine in a large bowl. Agitate rice with fingers or a whisk to release starch. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer set in a 2-quart liquid cup measure or another large bowl. Allow to drain 5 minutes, stirring rice occasionally.
  2. Heat butter and oil in a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until foaming subsides. Add rice and cook, stirring and tossing frequently, until all liquid has evaporated, fat is bubbling, and rice has begun to take on a golden blond color and nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and shallots and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Give reserved broth a good stir and pour all but 1 cup over rice. Increase heat to high and heat until simmering. Stir rice once, cover, and reduce heat to lowest possible setting.
  3. Cook rice for 10 minutes, undisturbed. Stir once, shake pan gently to redistribute rice, cover, and continue cooking until liquid is mostly absorbed and rice is tender with just a faint bite, about 10 minutes longer.
  4. Remove lid and add final cup of stock. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring and shaking rice constantly, until risotto is thick and creamy. Off heat, fold in heavy cream and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in herbs as desired. Serve immediately on hot plates.


Carnaroli rice is preferred for its slightly longer grains and firmer texture. Feel free to use any risotto-style rice, like arborio or vialone nano.

Pro Tips for Perfect Risotto

  • Use warm plates to serve your risotto to maintain its creamy consistency.
  • Experiment with different flavor additions like saffron, mushrooms, or seafood.
  • For a lighter version, try substituting some of the cream with extra stock.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
338 Calories
23g Fat
23g Carbs
9g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 338
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 12g 61%
Cholesterol 57mg 19%
Sodium 827mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 2mg 9%
Calcium 165mg 13%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 264mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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