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Risotto al Limone (Lemon Risotto)

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Risotto al Limone (Lemon Risotto) is a fresh and bright take on this classic rice recipe. A creamy Parmesan cheese with lemon flavors makes it a perfect side or main course with vegetables and protein. Gluten free and vegetarian. #risotto #italianrecipes #vegetarianrecipes
A plate full of Risotto al Limone (Lemon Risotto) and asparagus

This Risotto al Limone (Lemon Risotto) is so good, you will love serving it up as a side for your favorite Italian meals or as a main course with lots of vegetables.

A plate full of Risotto al Limone (Lemon Risotto) and asparagus

Risotto al Limone might seem a little strange but the freshness and bright flavors from the acid lift up a commonly heavy dish.

Balance the flavors you love with more or less lemon, or more or less cheese.

This recipe is written to bring a slight edge to the lemon flavors (we are here fore lemon risotto, after all!) and keeping the classic creamy risotto.

Close up of the rice on a plate with asparagus

Wine Substitutions

Want to make a risotto without wine? Not a problem!

You can easily omit the wine and instead add more of the juice of a lemon instead to bring the same acidity.

You can save the lemon until the end and start with just a little, adding as much as you want.

Pesto Crusted Salmon on a bed of Risotto al limone with air fryer asparagus on a plate

Does the Rice Type Really Matter?

Yes! Arborio rice is high in starch and as this starch is released in the cooking process, it gives risotto the creamy texture.

Arborio is also a short grain rice which means it stays a little firm and chewy.  You want risotto to have just a little bite or texture to it and not be soggy or too soft.

You can find Arborio rice at most grocery stores or online in bulk.

A fork full of rice hovering over the plate

Stirring Risotto

Do you really need to stir the risotto so much?

In my opinion, yes. 

Some people say that they do not notice a difference and just let the rice sit there and cook in all of the liquid at once.  But I DO notice a difference.

The stirring and gradually adding of the liquid definitely makes the risotto creamier.

Grab a glass of wine or a friend and hang out with your Lemon Risotto for a bit, stirring as it cooks. 

Yes, you can go back and forth to the pot stirring every few minutes, but the best ever risotto I made was when I was constantly stirring.

A round white plate with Risotto al Limone (Lemon Risotto) and asparagus

Using Lemon

Fresh lemon juice and zest is best here.

Why both?

The lemon zest brings a concentrated flavor with minimal acid, and the juice brings a strong, acid packed flavor.

Using both together really drive the lemon flavor forward without being too subtle or overpowering.

And adding them both at the end really let them shine without fading through cooking.

Pin image for Risotto al Limone (Lemon Risotto) on a white plate with asparagus and title at bottom
A plate full of Risotto al Limone (Lemon Risotto) and asparagus

Risotto al Limone (Lemon Risotto)

Risotto al Limone (Lemon Risotto) is a fresh and bright take on this classic rice recipe. A creamy Parmesan cheese with lemon flavors makes it a perfect side or main course with vegetables and protein. Gluten free and vegetarian. #risotto #italianrecipes #vegetarianrecipes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 692kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place the stock in a small pot and heat over medium low. You want the stock to be warm when adding it to the risotto so that the temperature change does not affect the rice.
  • Add 2 Tablespoons butter to the pot. When the butter is melted, add the rice and stir. Continue cooking to slightly toast the rice until it is just starting to become translucent and show a little brown color, approximately 3-5 minutes.`
  • Add the white wine to the pot. Cook until the rice is almost dry, where most of the wine has been absorbed.
  • Add one cup of stock to the rice. Stir continuously until most of the stock has been absorbed.
    Repeat this process 1/2 cup of stock at a time until the rice is cooked thoroughly. You want the rice to have just a little bit of bite left so that it is not completely mushy.
    Depending on your rice, you may need more or less stock for the right consistency so start tasting the rice after 6 cups of stock has been used.
  • While the rice is cooking, zest your lemons, and then juice them. Set aside.
  • When your rice is cooked through, remove the pot from the heat. Add the remaining butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese. It is important to do this before adding salt and pepper because the cheese is salty. Stir to combine and until the cheese and butter have melted into the risotto.
  • Taste the risotto and season with additional Parmesan, salt, and pepper as desired.
    Depending on your cheese, you may need no salt, or a couple teaspoons. Serve immediately.

Notes

Get arborio rice online or in your local grocery store in the rice section.
Use any white wine that you enjoy drinking. I advise staying away from sweet wines as it will make the risotto very sweet as well. Chardonnay or sauvignon blanc are the ones I tend to use.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 692kcal | Carbohydrates: 89g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 2416mg | Potassium: 166mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1744IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 294mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @threeolivesbranch or tag #threeolivesbranch!
By on March 14th, 2021

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

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2 thoughts on “Risotto al Limone (Lemon Risotto)”

  1. 5 stars
    I’m loving risotto lately and this recipe sounds great, can’t wait to try it! I love the idea of adding both the lemon juice and zest for extra lemon flavour. My whole family would love this meal. Thank you!

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    This risotto looks irresistible and so flavorful! I’ve printed the recipe! My hubby and I love rice. I always struggle to find good risotto recipes so this will be a treat! I will definitely be trying it.

    Reply

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