Basic Risotto - anti-cancer recipes - cook for your life

Basic Risotto

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Clock Icon for Prep Time 10 min prep
Person Icon for Serving Size 4 servings
Carrot Icon for Number of Ingredients Size 6 ingredients

Our Basic Risotto recipe will allow you to make untold variations of this classic northern Italian dish. There’s a lot of elbow grease involved as it requires constant stirring but I find using a...


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • 4 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 Tablespoon sweet butter (optional)
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese + extra for serving

Nutrition Facts


359 cals


11 g

Saturated Fat

4 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

1 g

Monounsaturated Fat

5 g


51 g


5 g


2 g


12 g


441 mg


  1. Bring the stock to a boil over a high flame. Turn the flame down to low and set aside at the back of the stove.
  2. In a wok or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high flame. Add the onions and sauté until they are soft and transparent but without color about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook until the grains become transparent at the edges, about 1 minute.
  3. Add 1 ladleful of stock to the rice, and cook stirring until it has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock, 1 ladleful at a time, stirring all the while until the rice is al dente and creamy looking, about 15 to 20 minutes. Reserve the last ladleful. Add raw vegetables, for example asparagus,  when the stock is about half used up, or with the second to last ladleful if cooked or frozen.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and beat in the Parmesan cheese and butter, if using, and the last ladleful of stock. Take off the heat, cover and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Serve topped with extra grated Parmesan cheese.

Chef Tips

Rice will continue to absorb liquid while it sits, so it’s important to serve risotto as soon as it is at it’s creamy best.  If your risotto has sat too long and is a little sticky and stodgy looking, bring it back to creaminess by stirring in an extra ladleful of hot stock.

Registered Dietitian Approved

All our recipes are created by chefs and reviewed by our Registered Dietitian Kate Ueland, MS, RD, CSO, a board-certified specialist in oncology nutrition, to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the  Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed.,  published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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