Creamy Lemon Risotto

This Italian Family
by This Italian Family
4 servings
30 min

Lemon Risotto, a delightful twist on the classic Italian dish, brings a burst of citrusy freshness to your dinner table. A staple of Italian cuisine, this vibrant dish combines creamy Arborio rice with the zesty flavor of lemon, creating a harmony of flavors that is both comforting and invigorating. Perfect for vegetarians and anyone craving a light yet satisfying meal, Lemon Risotto is easy to prepare and sure to impress.

It's a recipe that I always make in spring and summer and it just screams freshness, especially if you add some torn fresh leaves from a basil plant that I always have around at this time of year.

Recipe details
  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 25 Minutes Total time: 30 min
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  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (320 grams)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (700 milliliters)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Olive oil
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil (optional)

In a large skillet, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and halved garlic clove. Sauté until the onion is translucent and fragrant. Remove the garlic once it turns golden brown.
While sautéing the onion, warm the vegetable broth in a small saucepan over low heat to keep it warm.
Add the Arborio rice to the skillet and toast it, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes until it becomes translucent.
Pour in the white wine and let it evaporate while stirring.
Begin adding the warm vegetable broth to the rice, one ladleful at a time, stirring occasionally. Allow each addition of broth to be mostly absorbed before adding more. Cook the rice for about 20 minutes until it is tender yet slightly firm in the center.
About 15 minutes into cooking, when the rice is still slightly firm, add the lemon zest and juice to the skillet.
Once the rice is cooked, remove the skillet from heat. Stir in the heavy cream, grated Parmesan cheese, and white pepper. Cover the skillet with a lid and let it stand for 5-10 minutes.
Serve the risotto with optional shredded fresh basil on top for added freshness.