Parmesan Risotto Side Dishes

Parmesan Risotto with garlic is a creamy and velvety Italian dish that tastes gourmet yet is easy to make! Short grain rice is cooked with broth until tender and creamy and flavored with parmesan.

Serve this as a side dish or add in some veggies or shrimp to make it a Complete meal.

Parmesan Risotto on a plate with parsley

A classic entree Like roasted split chicken breast or juicy garlic grilled shrimp are perfectly paired with this dish!

What is Parmesan Risotto?

What exactly is Risotto anyway? It’s a creamy and delicious side dish made with starchy short-grain Italian rice (most often Arborio) and cooked on the stovetop. This rice is perfect for things Like creamy rice pudding or cabbage roll casserole. While risotto can be made with other grains (Like mushroom barley risotto) arborio is my favorite choice.

Making true risotto is easy, but you definitely have to be able to give it some attention. While this rice is a creamy dish, it doesn’t contain dairy to give it this consistency (it does contain dairy in the cheese/butter of course).

Ingredients for Parmesan Risotto in a pot

How to Make Risotto

Heat stock in the microwave or a small saucepan that you can keep right near the rice while it cooks. It’s important to use hot or warm broth, never cold.

  1. Sauté the onions, then stir in rice and garlic. Lightly brown the rice.
  2. Add wine and hot stock (per recipe below).
  3. Stir in parmesan and the other seasonings last.

Tips for Making Risotto:

  • Add hot stock, a ladle at a time. Stir until liquid is completely absorbed into the rice before adding more.
  • Be mindful and keep stirring until the dish is complete.
  • When the broth is all added in, the rice should be creamy and cooked through. If not, then add a little hot water and keep stirring until it’s done.

Parmesan Risotto in a pot with butter, parsley and cheese

What Goes with Risotto?

Serve risotto with simple things so that it really stands out as something special. Serve veggies and meats on the side or stir them in to make this a meal!

  • Veggies: sautéed mushrooms, roasted asparagus or roasted green beans.
  • Meat: baked salmon, lemon pepper shrimp, or a classic baked chicken breast.

Can You Freeze Risotto?

In terms of food safety, it’s perfectly fine to freeze Risotto, but it’s not optimal for maintaining flavor and texture. Arborio Rice is so starchy, that freezing it will tend to make it grainy, thus ruining all your Hard work to create the perfect creamy texture.

  • Refrigerate: Store in an airtight container in the fridge. It should last for about 3-4 days.
  • Reheat: Pop in the microwave, being careful not to overcook. (Check it at 10-second intervals, once it’s hot, it’s ready.) Or, use the stovetop, stirring constantly, and adding a little hot broth or water to liven it up.

Like this fabulous Italian cuisine either for parties or when you feel Enjoy making something really special the whole family will be sure to enjoy.

Easy Rice Side Dishes

  • Creamy Mushroom Risotto – easy gourmet side!
  • Easy Rice Pilaf – an easy one-pot dish
  • Cilantro Lime Rice – fresh & zesty flavors!
  • Easy Oven Baked Rice – the perfect texture
  • Garlic Butter Kale Rice – ready in 30 mins!
  • Easy Mushroom Rice – made with pantry staples!
  • Butternut Squash Risotto – creamy & savory
Parmesan Risotto on a plate with parsley

5 from 5 votes

Review Recipe

Parmesan Risotto

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
An easy, creamy, and velvety Italian treat that tastes like a gourmet dish!
Print Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • cup onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • ½ cup white wine or extra broth
  • 3 cups chicken broth warmed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • cup parmesan cheese freshly grated, plus extra for serving
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley


  • Warm the broth in the microwave or in a small saucepan.
  • Add olive oil and onions to a saucepan, cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in rice and garlic, cook until rice starts to lightly brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add wine and cook until evaporated while stirring. Add warmed broth ½ cup at a time stirring until evaporated after each addition. This will take about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, stir in parmesan cheese (reserve a couple of tablespoons for garnish), butter and parsley. Taste and season with salt & pepper as needed.

Recipe Notes

It is important that the broth you add is heated.
Optional add in 1/2 cup defrosted peas or asparagus at the End.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 367, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 26mg, Sodium: 965mg, Potassium: 235mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 389IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 216mg, Iron: 3mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

In this space, I am always sharing flavorful, fresh, (mostly) healthy recipes that I love to make and eat in my real, actual, every day life. If I wouldn’t eat it in real life, I won’t put in on the blog. You’re cooking for yourself, your family, your roommates, or your friends. I want you to be so excited about these recipes that you eagerly await 5pm when you can go home from work and start cooking.

Parmesan Risotto Side Dishes

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