Basil Parmesan Risotto

Return to the Kitchen
by Return to the Kitchen
4 servings
40 min

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Basil Parmesan Risotto is creamy, easy to make and a perfect side dish or meal. Grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil make give this recipe lots of delicious flavor.

Basil Parmesan Risotto with fresh basil on top in a white bowl next to a spoon
Ingredients for Basil Parmesan Risotto

The ingredients for this risotto recipe are simple and mostly pantry staples. If you tend to make risotto regularly I bet you already have the arborio rice on hand. For this recipe you will need:

  • olive oil
  • sweet onion
  • vegetable broth (or chicken broth or chicken stock)
  • arborio rice
  • white wine
  • parmesan cheese- freshly grated parmesan cheese or the cheese pre-grated at the grocery store
  • fresh basil leaves

If you use a low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth you may want to add a little salt to the final dish depending on your taste.

How to Make Basil Parmesan Risotto

The first step to making your risotto is getting all of your ingredients ready. Chop the onion and basil, measure the wine, rice and cheese, and heat up the broth. I used vegetable broth however chicken would work well too! Do not use water as a substitute because it will take away a lot of the flavor.

Once your ingredients are ready, bring your 4 cups broth to a boil. In the meantime, add your olive oil to a pan. Heat the pan over medium heat. Then, add the onion and cook about 5 minutes or until soft. Next, add the rice and stir to coat in the oil.

Now, add your wine and cook until absorbed, stirring frequently. The more you stir your risotto the creamier (without even adding cream) it will become! Once the wine is absorbed, begin to add the broth about 1/2 cup at a time.

Between each addition stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue to add broth until all is absorbed. If you find your risotto sticking to the bottom of the pan simply reduce the heat and that should help.

Finally, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the basil on top and serve immediately!

What to Serve with Risotto

Basil Parmesan Risotto with fresh basil on top in a white bowl.
Frequently Asked Questions

Is risotto gluten free?

Yes, risotto is made with rice making it a gluten free grain.

What is the best white wine for risotto?

Any white wine can be used to make risotto however a dryer, less sweet wine is best for flavor. Try using sauvignon blanc or chardonnay wine. That being said if you have a bottle open already of a different kind feel free to use it!

If you would prefer not to use white wine in the risotto for a specific reason go ahead and add an extra half cup of broth to the recipe in place of the wine. Broth makes a great substitute for the wine in risotto.

Why is making risotto difficult?

Risotto has a tendency to be considered difficult because of the hands on time. It is a recipe that needs your full attention for about 30 minutes. Once you make it a couple of times you will get the hang of it and it won’t be as intimidating.

Can I use jasmine rice to make risotto?

No, the only rice that can be used to make risotto is arborio rice. You can find this rice variety in most grocery stores in the rice section.

How do I store leftover risotto?

Leftover risotto should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Basil Parmesan Risotto with fresh basil on top in a white bowl.

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If you love risotto be sure to check out our recipes for Butternut Squash Risotto with Bacon and Pumpkin Risotto! Other recipes you may like are Three Bean Turkey Chili, Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas, Chicken Pot Pie, Crock Pot Chuck Roast with Potatoes, Turkey Lasagna Soup, Healthy Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup, Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Lasagna, Simple Gluten-Free Chicken Piccata and Almond Mandarin Quinoa Salad.

Recipe details
  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 30 Minutes Total time: 40 min
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  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 5-6 basil leaves, thinly sliced

Bring vegetable broth to a boil. Chop onion and basil.
In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium heat.
Add onion and cook for 3-5 minutes or until soft.
Add rice and stir to coat in oil.
Add wine and stir to deglaze pan. Cook on low and stir to absorb all wine.
Slowly add broth 1/2 cup full at a time. Be sure to stir very frequently. Continue additions until all broth is added and absorbed.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in parmesan cheese.
Top with basil, serve immediately and enjoy!
  • Make sure to stir as frequently as possible.
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