Transform your weeknight dinners with this Shrimp Risotto, a flavorful and comforting meal your whole family will love. The easy-to-make risotto is packed with flavor and topped with perfectly cooked shrimp. It's easy enough for a weeknight, but impressive enough for a dinner party!
I am ready for ALL the comfort food right now! And I'm pretty sure risotto is my #1 comfort food for many reasons:
- Despite what you may have heard, it's SO easy to make and is always a great weeknight dinner.
- It's incredibly versatile in that you can incorporate all the flavors and/or vegetables and/or proteins that you want.
- It makes for the best leftovers.
I have a lot of risotto recipes on my website, but I'm an especially big fan of this shrimp risotto and I'm so excited to share it with you!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
If you're a shrimp lover looking for some delicious and easy comfort food, this is the recipe for you!
Not only does it make the perfect weeknight dinner for your family, but it's also a great dish to impress friends and family at a dinner party.
There are lots of variations you can make to it to suit your tastes and jazz it up even more.
You mainly need simple ingredients for this shrimp risotto and if you've ever made a risotto before, you won't be surprised by any of them.
The shrimp risotto base is pretty similar to my lemon risotto recipe, though it's not as lemon-forward as I also really wanted the shrimp to shine.
Here's everything you need (but be sure to view the recipe card at the bottom of this post to see ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions):
- Low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- Unsalted butter, divided
- Chopped onion
- Minced garlic
- Arborio rice
- Dry white wine: I like to use pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc
- Extra-large shrimp: peeled and deveined; you can either leave the tails on or remove them. I like to leave them on for presentation, but if you're mixing the shrimp into the risotto, I recommend taking them off
- Garlic powder
- Salt & pepper
- Lemon juice
- Lemon zest
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Lemon zest
- Lemon juice
- Chopped parsley
🍤 How to make shrimp risotto
There's a common misconception that making risotto is difficult to do, but it's really not hard at all. At this point, I'm pretty sure I could do it with my eyes closed!
It does need an occasion stir so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan, but you don't need to stand over it stirring constantly.
To start, you'll want to heat your chicken or vegetable broth.
I've found that I typically need 5 cups of broth for the perfect risotto (using 1 ½ cups of rice). I know that can be a bit of a pain since there are 4 cups of chicken stock in a large container.
You can always use part water (with a little salt added) if you prefer.
In any event, pour the chicken or vegetable broth into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Then lower the heat and keep the broth warm.
In a separate larger saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook about 5 minutes until starting to soften.
Add garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.
Add arborio rice to the saucepan and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring a bit, until it’s translucent around the edges.
Pour wine into saucepan and cook, stirring until it's absorbed, about 2 minutes.
Now, add 1 cup of the warm broth to the rice. Stir and let the rice absorb the stock.
Once the broth is absorbed, continue to add more, a cup at a time, stirring and letting it absorb before adding more.
Like I mentioned, you don't have to stir non-stop, but stir occasionally to make sure rice doesn't start sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Continue with the rest of the broth, or until the rice is al dente- you want it to be nice and tender, but still firm with some "bite" (I usually use all 5 cups).
Since the rice takes a while to cook, you can cook the shrimp in between adding the chicken broth and stirring.
To start, season the shrimp with ½ tsp paprika, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper.
I like to use extra-large, but jumbo shrimp would work well here, too! If you want to stir the shrimp into the risotto, you can use smaller ones if you prefer.
Heat 1 Tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until pink and opaque, about 2 minutes per side.
Once cooked, remove shrimp and set aside.
When the arborio rice is fully cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat and add remaining Tbsp butter, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, and ¼ tsp-½ tsp red pepper flakes (depending on how much spice you want to add).
And give it a big stir to combine everything.
Can't you tell just by looking that this risotto has the perfect creamy texture without being mushy?
Trust me, there can be a fine line between creamy and mushy, but I think this ratio gets it just right!
I like to serve the risotto in bowls and top it with the shrimp.
But, of course, if you prefer, you can stir the shrimp right into the risotto. If you're planning to do this, I do recommend taking the tails off the shrimp.
I like to leave them on for presentation.
🎉 Variations on recipe
There are a million ways to make risotto and this one is quite simple in terms of flavors. However, there is so much you can do to jazz up this shrimp risotto and add in some of your favorite elements. Here are some ideas:
- Add mushrooms
- Add leafy greens like spinach or kale
- Add asparagus, tomatoes, or red peppers
- Stir in pesto
- Season the shrimp with a cajun spice mix or lemon pepper spice mix
- Add more seafood, like scallops, lobster, or crab
- Add sun-dried tomatoes or olives for an extra flavor punch
- Add different cheese, like pecorino romano, feta or fontina
- Mix in some coconut milk
- Finish the dish with truffle oil
⏲️ How to store
You can easily store any shrimp risotto leftovers in an airtight container in your fridge.
When stored properly, it should keep fresh for 3-5 days.
You may want to add a little additional broth to the risotto when reheating.
🥗 What to serve with
While risotto can often make a delicious side dish, this shrimp risotto can really stand on its own as a main dish. However, you may want a side or two, especially to get some fresh vegetables in. Here are some ideas:
- Winter Kale Salad
- Easy Garden Salad
- Kale Salad (Chick-Fil-A Copycat)
- Magical Kale Salad
- Caramelized Mushrooms
- Blistered Green Beans
- Lemon Pepper Asparagus
- Bacon Parmesan Brussels Sprouts
🔪 Tips and tricks
If this is your first time making risotto or if you've had a tough time with it before, I have plenty of tips and tricks that should hopefully make your life easier! The include:
- Don't rinse rice: You never want to rinse the starch off arborio rice as it will prevent your risotto from bring creamy. The high starch content is a positive here!
- Keep stock warm: All of my risotto recipes call for the stock to be heated in a saucepan before using in the risotto. If you add cold stock as you're cooking, the rice will be shocked by it and won't cook evenly. Make sure you keep your stock over low heat throughout the cooking process.
- Stir, but not too much: Lots of people are under the assumption risotto has to be stirred non-stop. But stirring it too much will actually allow too much air into it, which could give it a glue-like texture. So, while you definitely want to stir it so it doesn't stick to the pan and so you agitate it, don't stir it too much!
- Add stock slowly: You might be tempted to just add all the stock at once and let it absorb. But it's very important that you add no more than a cup at a time and wait for it to absorb before adding more.
🍚 More risotto recipes
If you're as hooked on risotto as I am, you probably want to make it all the time! Luckily, I have plenty of risotto recipes for you. Here are some of my favorites:
I hope this shrimp risotto recipe becomes a staple in your house! It's the kind of comfort food that's perfect for a weeknight meal, but will also really impress guests.
Once you try it, chances are you'll want to make a new risotto recipe every week!
- 5 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 1 cup chopped onion (from about 1 small onion)
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic, from about 3 cloves
- 1 ½ cups arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine (like pinot grigio)
- 1 lb. extra-large shrimp (peeled and deveined, tails can be left on or off)
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 ½ tsp salt, divided
- 1 tsp black pepper, divided
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- 1 tsp fresh lemon zest, plus more for topping
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup chopped parsley, plus more for topping
- ¼-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- Pour chicken or vegetable broth into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and keep broth warm.
- In a separate larger saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook about 5 minutes until starting to soften. Add garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.
- Add arborio rice to the saucepan and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring a bit, until it’s translucent around the edges.
- Pour wine into saucepan and cook, stirring until it's absorbed, about 2 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of the warmed broth to the rice. Stir and let the rice absorb the stock. Once the broth is absorbed, continue to add more, a cup at a time, stirring and letting it absorb before adding more. You don't have to stir non-stop, but stir occasionally to make sure rice doesn't start sticking to the bottom of your saucepan. Continue with the rest of the broth, or until the rice is nice and tender, but still firm (I usually use all 5 cups).
- While rice is cooking, season shrimp with ½ tsp paprike, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper. Heat 1 Tbsp butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until pink and opaque, about 2 minutes per side. Remove shrimp and set aside.
- When rice is fully cooked, remove from heat and stir in remaining Tbsp butter, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, and ¼ tsp-½ tsp red pepper flakes (depending on how much spice you want to add).
- Serve risotto in bowls and top with shrimp. Alternatively, you can mix shrimp into the risotto if you prefer.