Risotto for One

Single Serving Classic Risotto Recipe

by Lana Verbytska
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This Risotto for One recipe is sure to impress with its flavorful taste, creamy texture, and easy cooking process. With minimal ingredients and easy preparation, you can effortlessly whip up a delicious single-serving risotto without the need to cook for a crowd. Treat yourself to the harmonious blend of flavors in every spoonful and experience the joy of a homemade risotto. With its creamy texture and mouthwatering flavors, this recipe is a must-try.

Whether you’re a novice in the kitchen or an experienced home cook, this recipe comes with helpful tips, variations, and storage instructions, ensuring your risotto turns out perfect every time.

Risotto in a serving plate on a wooden board

What is Risotto?

Risotto is a classic Italian dish known for its creamy and luxurious texture. It is made by cooking arborio rice with broth, typically in a gradual and constant process. The key to a good risotto lies in the cooking technique, which involves adding the liquid (usually broth) gradually to the rice, stirring constantly to release the starch and create the desired creaminess. This slow and steady method allows the rice to cook evenly while maintaining a firm bite, known as “al dente.” Wine is commonly used in risotto recipes. It is typically added during the cooking process to enhance the flavor profile of the dish. The most commonly used wine for risotto is dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.

Risotto is often served as a main course but can also be enjoyed as a side dish. It is a popular dish in Italian cuisine and is enjoyed worldwide for its amazing taste and comforting nature.

Classic risotto in a plate on a wooden board with spoon

Why You’ll Absolutely Love This Recipe

  • Quick and convenient: This recipe is perfect for those times when you’re cooking for yourself and want a delicious meal without spending hours in the kitchen. With a prep time of just 5 minutes and a cooking time of 25 minutes, you’ll have a satisfying risotto on your plate in no time.
  • Perfectly portioned for one: This recipe is specifically designed for a single serving, eliminating any guesswork when it comes to portion sizes. You won’t have to worry about leftovers or having to adjust quantities. This recipe allows you to enjoy restaurant-quality risotto in the comfort of your own home, even when dining alone.
  • Creamy and comforting: The creamy texture of the dish, achieved through the gradual addition of broth and the incorporation of cheese and butter, creates a comforting and indulgent dish. Each spoonful is rich, velvety, and packed with flavor.
  • Versatile and customizable: While this recipe provides a classic base, it serves as a canvas for your culinary creativity. You can easily customize the risotto by adding your favorite ingredients, such as sautéed mushrooms, cooked shrimp, or roasted vegetables.
  • Impressive flavors in a simple dish: The combination of sautéed onion, garlic, white wine, and parmesan cheese creates a harmonious blend that you will absolutely enjoy.


  • Arborio Rice: Arborio rice is a short-grain rice known for its high starch content. It is the preferred rice for making risotto.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil helps to sauté the onions and garlic.
  • Onion: Sauteed onion adds depth to the dish and enhances the overall taste profile.
  • Garlic: Garlic brings its distinctive aroma and flavor to the risotto, adding a delicious savory element.
  • Dry White Wine: Dry white wine brings acidity and brightness to the risotto. It helps to deglaze the pan, enhancing the flavors and providing balance. If preferred, for a non-alcoholic version, you can substitute the wine with more broth.
  • Chicken Broth: Broth serves as the cooking liquid for the risotto. It infuses the rice with flavor and helps to create a creamy consistency. Feel free to use vegetable broth for the recipe.
  • Butter: It contributes to the overall creamy texture and enhances the taste.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan is a key ingredient in risotto, it adds depth and richness to the dish.
  • Salt and Pepper: Seasonings to balance the overall flavor profile.

Ingredients for classic risotto

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preparing this dish is incredibly easy and simple. Just follow the step-by-step instructions below to achieve a perfectly delicious dinner:

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute the chopped onion in the heated olive oil until it becomes translucent, typically around 3 minutes.
  2. Add the arborio rice and minced garlic to the saucepan. Cook the rice and garlic over medium heat, stirring constantly, for approximately 2 minutes or until the grains start to become translucent on the edges.
  3. Pour in the dry white wine and continue to cook and stir until the wine is absorbed by the rice.
  4. Begin adding the hot vegetable or chicken broth to the saucepan, about ½ cup at a time. Cook and stir the rice, allowing each addition of broth to be absorbed before adding more. This gradual process should take around 15 minutes. The rice should be tender but hold its shape.
  5. Once the rice reaches the desired texture, remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and butter until melted and fully incorporated into the risotto. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Allow the risotto to rest for a minute or two to allow the flavors to meld together. For added flavor, sprinkle some additional grated Parmesan cheese on top. Enjoy your delicious homemade risotto!

A plate with risotto on a wooden board

Expert Tips

Following these tips, you will make the perfect classic risotto:

  • Toast the rice properly: Toasting the arborio rice for a couple of minutes before adding the liquid helps develop a nutty flavor and creates a firm texture that allows the grains to hold their shape during cooking.
  • Maintain the right heat: Risotto requires a delicate balance of heat. Maintain a medium heat throughout the cooking process to ensure even absorption of the broth and prevent the rice from overcooking or sticking to the pan.
  • Stir consistently: Stirring the risotto is essential for achieving the desired creamy texture. It helps to release the rice’s starches, resulting in a creamy consistency. It also prevents the rice from sticking to the pan and ensures even cooking.
  • Gradually add the broth: Adding the broth half a cup at a time allows the rice to absorb the liquid slowly. This gradual process ensures that each grain is cooked evenly and absorbs the flavors.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings: As you near the end of cooking, taste the risotto to check the texture and seasoning. Adjust the salt, pepper, and other seasonings to suit your personal preference.
  • Serve immediately: Risotto is best enjoyed fresh and hot. Serve it immediately after adding the cheese and butter to maintain its creamy texture and maximize the flavors.

Storage Instructions

As this is the recipe for a single serving, I don’t think you will have any leftovers. However, if you decide to double or triple the recipe or want to make a larger batch for meal prep purposes, here are the storage instructions:

  • Allow the risotto to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Store the risotto in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • To reheat, you can use a microwave or stovetop method. If using the microwave, place the desired amount of risotto in a microwave-safe dish, cover it with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe wrap, and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until heated through. If using the stovetop, place the risotto in a saucepan with a splash of broth or water to prevent it from drying out, and gently warm over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.
  • Keep in mind that reheated risotto may lose some of its creaminess and become slightly drier. To revive the creamy texture, you can add a small amount of broth, water, or cream while reheating and stir until the desired consistency is achieved. And sprinkle with Parmesan before serving.

Recipe Variations and Ideas for Add-Ins

Want to explore different flavors and customize your risotto experience? Check out these recipe variations and creative add-ins that will create new delicious combinations:

  • Mushroom Risotto: Add sliced mushrooms (such as cremini, shiitake, or porcini) to the recipe. Saute the mushrooms along with the onions for extra flavor and a delightful earthy taste.
  • Asparagus and Pea Risotto: Blanch some asparagus spears and blanch or steam peas separately. Add them to the risotto during the last few minutes of cooking to maintain their vibrant color and crispness.
  • Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Risotto: Stir in a handful of baby spinach leaves and some chopped sun-dried tomatoes towards the end of the cooking process. The spinach will wilt into the risotto, providing a pop of green, while the sun-dried tomatoes lend a sweet and tangy flavor.
  • Lemon and Herb Risotto: Add freshly squeezed lemon juice and some finely chopped fresh herbs like parsley, basil, or thyme to the risotto during the final stages of cooking. The citrus notes will give it an interesting refreshing twist.
  • Seafood Risotto: If you enjoy seafood, you can incorporate cooked shrimp, scallops, or even chunks of white fish (such as cod or halibut) into the risotto. Add them in the last few minutes of cooking to ensure they are cooked through.
  • Roasted Vegetable Risotto: Roast your favorite vegetables like butternut squash, zucchini, or bell peppers and add them to the risotto. The roasted veggies will impart a caramelized flavor and provide textural contrast to the creamy rice.
  • Pesto Risotto: Stir in a spoonful of homemade pesto at the end of cooking to infuse the risotto with its vibrant and herby flavors.

Creamy single serving risotto in bowl with a spoon inside

More Delicious Dinner Ideas

It’s time to treat yourself to a delightful solo dining experience with this Risotto for One recipe. We would love to hear about your results with this recipe, so don’t forget to leave us a comment below. Enjoy!

Risotto in a serving plate on a wooden board

Risotto For One

Rating: 5.0/5
( 6 voted )
Prep Time: Cooking Time: Total Time:
Cuisine: Yield: 1 serving
Calories for Serving: 200 kcal 20 grams fat
This Risotto For One recipe is sure to impress with its flavorful taste, creamy texture, and easy cooking process. With minimal ingredients and easy preparation, you can effortlessly whip up a delicious single-serving risotto without the need to cook for a crowd. With its creamy texture and mouthwatering flavors, this recipe is a must-try.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ small onion, chopped
  • ½ cup arborio rice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup dry white wine (or more broth)
  • 1 ½ cups hot chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • ½ tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup parmesan, grated + more for serving
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until it becomes translucent, for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the rice and minced garlic, then cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for approximately 2 minutes or until the grains start to become translucent on the edges.
  3. Add the wine and cook, stirring until it is absorbed.
  4. Gradually add the broth, ½ cup at a time, cooking and stirring until each addition is absorbed. This process will take about 15 minutes. The rice should be tender but hold its shape.
  5. Once the rice is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste, stirring until the cheese and butter have melted and incorporated into the risotto.
  6. Serve the risotto with a sprinkle of additional Parmesan cheese on top.


Calories: 334kcal Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 4.6g Cholesterol: 16mg Sodium: 1064mg Carbohydrate: 41.7g Fiber: 1.7g Sugar: 1.5g Protein: 7.7g Calcium: 129mg Iron: 1mg Potassium: 108mg
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Can I use a different type of rice for this risotto recipe?
While the best results are typically achieved with arborio rice, you can experiment with other short-grain rice varieties like Carnaroli or Vialone Nano. Keep in mind that the cooking times and liquid ratios may vary slightly.
Can I substitute the wine with something else?
If you prefer not to use wine, you can substitute it with additional vegetable or chicken broth. This will still yield a delicious risotto, but the wine does add a unique flavor and depth to the dish.
Can I make a larger batch of risotto?
Absolutely! To make a larger batch, simply multiply the ingredients accordingly while maintaining the ratio.
How much risotto rice is needed per person?
The general rule of thumb is to use approximately 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of uncooked risotto rice per person. This should yield a satisfying portion for a single serving.

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