The Best Parmesan Risotto You've Ever Tasted

When done right, risotto is one of the most luxurious dishes out there. Creamy and rich with just a hint of bite from the perfectly-cooked rice, it's the ideal supper ... for someone else to make. Standing in front of the stove stirring for 45 straight minutes? Uh, maybe in another universe without kids, a dog, and a job.

Well think again, friends, because this risotto from recipe developer Maren Epstein of Eating Works calls for a few short minutes of hands-on time before the oven does the rest of the work for you. "If you're intimidated by risotto, then this recipe is for you," says Epstein.

But while it's certainly a simple recipe, traditionalists may balk, wondering if an oven-baked risotto can ever develop the creamy starch that nearly an hour of stirring brings. According to Epstein, those fears are happily unfounded. "I can tell you firsthand that this risotto is just as creamy if not creamier than traditional," she says.

Gather the ingredients for the Parmesan risotto

To make this delightful Parmesan risotto, you will, of course, need rice. Arborio is the standard for this dish, thanks to its short grains and starchy texture. You'll also need butter, garlic, salt, pepper, and stock — either vegetable or chicken will work just fine.

For the base, you'll begin by sautéing a Visalia onion. "I like how sweet and mellow [Visalia onions] are," says Epstein of this choice. "[This type of onion] complements the delicate flavor of the rice. I don't want strong onions to overpower the rice flavor."

You'll also need white wine — a dry sauvignon blanc you'd be happy drinking is perfect — and quite a bit of grated Parmesan cheese: 2 whole cups. And make it the good stuff (i.e., not the shelf-stable stuff in the green can). If you've been saving your Parmesan rinds, you can even toss them into the stock for even more cheesy flavor. A touch of lemon zest to finish, and you're ready to start cooking.

Sauté the onions and garlic for the Parmesan risotto

If you've made a more traditional risotto before, the first step of this recipe will be familiar (after preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, that is). In a large pot or Dutch oven with an oven-safe lid, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat and add the onions. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté until sweet and translucent.

Next, add the garlic, cooking until just fragrant — no more. This should take only about a minute. Garlic can burn easily, and once it's too far gone, there's no going back.

Deglaze the pan with white wine for the Parmesan risotto

Have your wine at the ready. To stop the garlic from overcooking, simply add it to the pan. This will also allow you to bring up any fond or dark sugars from the onions that have caramelized and stuck to the bottom of the pan. Use a wooden spoon to gently dissolve the fond into the liquid, and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the wine has reduced by ⅓ of its former volume, concentrating in flavor.

Add the rice to the Parmesan risotto

With the wine cooked down, it's time to add the star ingredients: the rice and cheese. Add all of the rice and just 2 tablespoons of the cheese, stirring until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid. When you pull the spoon through the rice and it doesn't race to fill in the gap left in its wake, it's telling you it's ready for you to move on to the next step.

Bake the Parmesan risotto

Add 4 cups of the stock to the pot, as well as any Parmesan rinds, if using, and cover. Place the pot in the oven ... and walk away. Your work is done!

Over the next 45 minutes, the oven will cook the risotto down into the loveliest, richest, creamiest concoction you ever set your eyes on — no bicep muscles required. The only thing you need to do? Resist peeking when all of those lovely aromas begin to waft out of your kitchen!

Stir the butter and cheese into the Parmesan risotto

When the 45 minutes of cooking are up, remove the pot from the oven and discard the Parmesan rinds. Use a wooden spoon to fluff and loosen the rice, then stir in the remaining butter and vegetable stock, as well as 1 cup of the remaining Parmesan. Stir vigorously until the rice is creamy and smooth. Finish things off with the lemon zest and remaining Parmesan, and it's time to serve.

The Best Parmesan Risotto You've Ever Tasted
4.9 from 8 ratings
This creamy Parmesan risotto calls for a few short minutes of hands-on time before the oven does the rest of the work for you.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
1
hour
Servings
6
servings
parmesan risotto
Ready in 1.08 hours
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 Vidalia onion
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan, divided
  • 4½ cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • ⅔ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
Optional Ingredients
  • leftover Parmesan rinds
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and make sure there is room for the pot you're using to make the risotto on the middle rack.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a soup pot or deep skillet with an oven-safe lid. Once melted, add the onions, ⅔ teaspoon of sea salt, and ⅛ teaspoon of pepper. Sauté until translucent. Next, add ½ teaspoon of minced garlic and sauté, stirring quickly until fragrant. Don't let the garlic burn!
  3. Deglaze the pan with ½ cup of white wine. Cook the wine until it has reduced by one-third.
  4. Add 1 cup of Arborio rice and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, and stir until the rice absorbs the liquid.
  5. Add 4 cups of the stock and cover. Place in the oven for 45 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven, and use a wooden spoon to fluff the rice. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, 4½ cups of vegetable stock, and 1 cup of Parmesan. Stir vigorously for two minutes, or until the rice is creamy. Add the lemon zest and remaining Parmesan cheese, and stir until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Enjoy!
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 483
Total Fat 22.9 g
Saturated Fat 13.6 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 59.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 40.0 g
Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
Total Sugars 6.4 g
Sodium 946.5 mg
Protein 25.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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