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Salmon Risotto

5 from 1 vote

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Salmon Risotto is a great Italian rice dinner recipe packed with seafood in a creamy rice. Flavored with Parmesan cheese, lemon, and crisp peas. Gluten free.
Looking down on a bowl of Salmon Risotto with fresh lemons around it.

This delicious Salmon Risotto recipe is an amazing seafood dinner idea! Creamy risotto rice is mixed with flaky salmon and crisp peas, flavored with Parmesan cheese. An amazing and special Italian food perfect for date night and dinner parties!

Looking down on a bowl of Salmon Risotto with fresh lemons around it.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

This Salmon Risotto recipe is a delicious Italian dinner of creamy Parmesan risotto base with flaky fish and crisp peas.

You will love the richness of a risotto and while it can seem intimidating, all it needs is a little love and attention!

It really is a simple recipe that just requires stirring and some TLC to get that thick, creamy consistency that everyone loves. Whether a special occasion, dinner party, or just a regular dinner, you will love making this homemade risotto!

I am a HUGE risotto fan and once you learn how to make it, you cannot get enough! Try out our Mushroom Risotto or Caprese Pesto Risotto – and you can find even more risotto recipes down below!

What is Risotto?

Risotto is from Northern Italy and the result of rice coming to Italy from Arabs in the Middle Ages. They found the climate of Northern Italy to be perfect for growing rice!

Risotto refers more to the cooking method, which first toasts the rice and then slowly adds liquid to make the rice soft with a creamy texture.

It is very important to use arborio rice for risotto, as it has a high starch content which is what makes the creamy sauce.

Ingredients

Full quantities and recipe details can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Let’s talk about the ingredients you need for this homemade risotto!

Arborio Rice – a specific starchy rice that you NEED in order to truly make a risotto

Salmon – any cut of salmon steaks or salmon fillets is perfect to use. You can also use a leftover salmon with neutral or Italian flavors like a pan-seared salmon. This recipe includes instruction for raw salmon where we will poach it in the stock to put some seafood flavor into the liquid.

Butter – you can use olive oil if preferred but butter is my favorite!

Shallot – or red onion

Peas – I like to use frozen peas because they taste fresh! You can use any vegetables you desire for this recipe. Spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes are all great options.

Vegetable Stock – you can also use chicken stock, or a seafood stock if you can find it! (Chicken broth, vegetable broth, etc will all work!)

Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese – if you buy cheese that is already shredded, it is coated in an anti-caking agent that makes it difficult to melt smoothly. You could also use Pecorino Romano cheese.

White Wine – I like to use a Sauvignon Blanc for risotto, which is crisp and lighter. You can also use a chardonnay or pinot grigio. I do not suggest using anything sweet, as it will make your risotto sweet (such as Riesling, Moscato). I also do not recommend using a cooking wine as they tend to be low quality and low in taste.

Fresh Lemon – the acidity of lemon does wonders in brightening seafood! It is THE KEY to making this risotto amazing!

Salt

Black Pepper

Wine Replacements

You can easily omit the wine and instead add 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.

A close view of a spoon scooping some Salmon Risotto out of a bowl.

Instruction Overview

To make this great salmon risotto recipe, first put your stock in a medium pot and bring to a boil.

Add the raw salmon filets to the stock, reduce heat to medium or medium-high heat, and simmer to cook the fish through completely, approximately 8-10 minutes.

When the fish is cooked through (you can check by bending it in the middle or thickest part and make sure it is a light salmon pink color), remove the fish from the stock and set aside. Leave the stock on the stove at a simmer.

Heat your risotto pot over medium heat on the stove. I like to use a large saucepan or large pot for the risotto to make sure I have enough room.

Add butter to melt, and then add the shallots or red onion. Cook until translucent, 1-2 minutes.

Add the rice and toss to coat. Cook until lightly toasted, approximately 2-3 minutes.

Add the wine and reduce by half.

Add warm broth a cup at a time to the rice, and stir, stir, stir!

It is important that you use hot water or hot broth to add to the rice in order to keep the temperature up and develop that creamy texture.

Frequent or constant stirring in the cooking process is key to getting the creamy consistency you are looking for!

When most of the liquid is absorbed, but not all, add more stock or broth.

It will take at least 20-30 minutes to cook the rice to al dente, so get comfortable! It is worth it!

You want to continue cooking the rice until it is al dente, which means it still has some texture and bite to it, but is not crunchy.

Once you get the texture you want, remove from the heat.

Add the remaining butter and peas. Add the grated cheese and stir to melt.

Add the salmon in large chunks (it will break up more as you stir it) to the risotto and stir to combine.

Season to taste as desired with more salt, pepper, butter, and cheese.

Garnish as desired with fresh herbs like fresh parsley or fresh basil and more freshly grated Parmesan cheese. (Fresh dill would also taste great!). Serve with lemon zest and/or lemon wedges.

Cooking 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 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.

What is the Secret to a Good Risotto?

There are a few key tips that will give you an amazing risotto!

Make sure you are using warm stock or broth to add to the rice. This is important in order to keep the temperature up and create that creamy consistency.

You MUST use arborio rice to get the consistency you are looking for.

Lots and lots of stirring will create friction that activates the starches and makes it creamy!

FAQs

What can I use instead of wine in risotto?

You can replace the wine in risotto with more stock (whatever kind you are using). You will probably also want to add a Tablespoon or so of lemon juice or a vinegar in order to substitute for the acidity of wine.

Can I use balsamic vinegar instead of wine in risotto?

Balsamic vinegar is a great way to add acidity to risotto, but you should only add a little to the rice if replacing for the wine. The full amount (1 to 1 swap) would likely be too strong. It is also a great ingredient to drizzle over risotto when serving!

How to stop risotto from going soggy?

Risotto can feel soggy if it is overcooked with too much liquid. This can also happen if you do not toast the rice before adding liquid, as this helps keep the rice texture when cooking.

Can I use leftover salmon for salmon risotto?

Yes! Simply skip cooking the salmon in the stock, although you will lose a little salmon flavor throughout the rice because of this. Any neutral or Italian flavored salmon will work well.

A bowl of Salmon Risotto on a counter with lemons and parsley around it.
Pin of Salmon Risotto with title at top.

More Salmon Recipes

Salmon Recipes

Looking down on a bowl of Salmon Risotto with fresh lemons around it.

Salmon Risotto

Salmon Risotto is a great Italian rice dinner recipe packed with seafood in a creamy rice. Flavored with Parmesan cheese, lemon, and crisp peas. Gluten free.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 861kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 5 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
  • 12 ounces salmon raw, any cut
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons red onion finely diced (or shallot)
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine dry, such as sauvignon blanc or chardonnay
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup peas frozen is best, thawed
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 cup peas thawed and drained
  • ½ Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges, for serving

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. Bring to a boil over high heat.
    5 cups vegetable stock
  • Reduce stock heat to medium high and add the salmon. Cook until cooked through, approximately 8-10 minutes (check by breaking into the thickest part, it will be opaque and a light salmon pink color). (If using leftover salmon, skip this step).
    12 ounces salmon
  • Remove the salmon from the broth and set aside. Leave the stock on the stove on a simmer at medium low heat.
  • In a large pot, melt 2 Tablespoons of the butter over medium heat.
    6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Add the red onion to the pot when the butter has melted. Cook until the onion is translucent but not yet browning, approximately 3-4 minutes.`
    2 Tablespoons red onion
  • Add the rice and stir. Continue cooking to slightly toast the rice until it is just starting to show a little brown color, approximately 3-5 minutes.`
    2 cups arborio rice
  • Add the white wine to the pot. Cook until the rice is almost dry, where most of the wine has been absorbed.
    1 cup white wine
  • 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 4 cups. Add more stock or water to the hot stock pot to keep it warm as needed.
  • When your rice is cooked through, remove the pot from the heat. Add the peas, remaining butter, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice. 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.
    1 cup peas, 1 cup peas, ½ Tablespoon lemon zest, 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Taste the risotto and season with additional Parmesan, salt, and pepper as desired. Add the cooked fish in large chunks (it breaks up more the more that you stir) and stir to combine.
    Depending on your cheese, you may need no salt, or a couple teaspoons. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and fresh herbs as desired.
    salt, black pepper, 1 lemon

Notes

Get arborio rice online here.
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: 861kcal | Carbohydrates: 99g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 114mg | Sodium: 1660mg | Potassium: 780mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1956IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 265mg | Iron: 6mg
By on July 8th, 2024

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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