Risotto al Limone (Lemon Risotto) Recipe

This Risotto al Limone, aka lemon risotto, is so creamy, perfectly tangy and simply delicious! Made with simple ingredients using the authentic Italian method, it’s the perfect meal!

I love lemons and anything tangy or sour, so this lemon risotto al limone was the perfect combination of flavors with a creamy texture. It tastes a lot like spaghetti al limone, but it’s risotto instead of spaghetti al dente!

This recipe is intentionally a little looser than most risottos. It’s so creamy, silky and luxurious. If you are a risotto lover, don’t hesitate to try my Risotto with Tartufo and my Goat cheese risotto!

Contents:

📖 Origins of recipes

There are apparently many conflicting versions of the origins of risotto, but it naturally begins with the introduction of rice to Italy. Rice was introduced to countries like Italy and Spain by the Arabs in the Middle Ages.

In Milan, originally part of Spain, rice was very popular, as was “slow cooking.” The combination of simmered rice with spices like saffron ultimately resulted in a dish similar to modern risotto.

Risotto is known as an Italian dish and is popular throughout Italy and in Italian restaurants in other countries, but it is more popular in northern Italy.

🎥 Watch the video of this recipe

🍚 Why you will love this Risotto al Limone

  • Bright and lemony! The fresh zest and juice pairs so well with the typically heavy risotto, making it much lighter and fresher!
  • Simple ingredients. Nothing complicated here, they are all easy to find ingredients.
  • Creamy and full of flavor! I couldn’t believe how FLAVOROUS this risotto was!

🥘 What you need for this recipe

Ingredients and substitutions:

ingredients with labels.
  • Arborio rice – The type of rice is extremely important for risotto, do not substitute it. ONLY arborio or carnaroli rice will work.
  • Olive oil
  • Broth or water – I used salted water for this recipe to keep the color light, but a pale chicken stock would be nice too!
  • Shallot – I highly recommend using a shallot, but half of a small white or yellow onion can also work.
  • Sherry wine – Sherry cooking wine worked best in this recipe because it added a bit of sweetness. If you can’t get sherry, just use any dry white wine.
  • Butter – Stick butter if you prefer, salted or unsalted, depending on your preference.
  • Parmesan cheese – Freshly grated Parmesan, please do not use the “cheese” from the green tube!
  • Lemon juice and zest – Buy lemons, zest them and squeeze them yourself for best results!

Tools and Equipment:

  • Small pot for broth
  • Large frying pan or pot for risotto
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Wooden spoon

📋 How to make Risotto al Limone

Step 1: prepare the ingredients

Finely chop a shallot, zest and squeeze the lemons and grate the parmesan. Cut the butter into small pieces and put it back in the refrigerator for later.

In a small saucepan, heat broth or water over medium heat, covered, until steaming.

Step 2: Prepare the risotto

In a large saucepan or heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Next, add the shallot and sweat until translucent and soft. Add 1 tablespoon lemon zest and mix until fragrant.

Then add the arborio rice to the pan and stir until the rice is lightly toasted, being careful not to burn the shallots. Add the sherry wine and use a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan and scrape the “bottom” (brown bits) from the bottom.

Once the wine is cooked and absorbed and the rice is almost dry, add a ladleful of hot stock or hot water. Stir continuously until the liquid is absorbed. Then add another ladle.

Repeat this cooking process until the rice is cooked through.

Step 3: Finishing Touches

Once the rice is cooked, add the lemon juice, the remaining tablespoon of lemon zest, the Parmesan and the cold cubed butter.

Stir vigorously until the butter and cheese are completely emulsified into the risotto. Add kosher salt and black pepper and adjust to taste.

Serve hot and garnish with fresh chives, flaky salt and the remaining lemon zest.

lemon risotto in a bowl.

💭 Expert tips and tricks

  • The type of rice is extremely important for risotto, do not substitute it. ONLY arborio or carnaroli rice will work.
  • I used salted water for this recipe to keep the color light, but a pale chicken stock would be nice too!
  • For the risotto to work, it must be stirred constantly. This may seem like a pain, but keep stirring! It’s also important that the broth is hot, so keep it in a small saucepan over low heat.

Storage and reheating tips:

  • Keep refrigerated : Wait until the risotto is at room temperature and store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days.
  • Store in the freezer: Store in an airtight freezer-safe container for up to about 3 months.
  • How to reheat: Always inspect leftovers for dirt or mold using your eyes and nose. Reheat by adding a drizzle of olive oil to a non-stick pan over medium heat until everything is hot. Garnish with fresh parmesan.

Recipe FAQs

What is the secret to a good risotto?

The secret to a good risotto is constant stirring of the rice, that is, stirring constantly. Stirring releases the starches from the rice, making it thicker and creamier without using heavy cream.

How to make risotto tastier?

At first, be sure to toast the rice for added flavor. For even more flavor, add salt, pepper, parmesan, butter and lemon!

Can you overcook risotto rice?

Even though it seems like the risotto takes forever to cook, you also need to be careful not to overcook it. Overcooking risotto rice will make it too sticky and not luxurious and creamy.

Do you like a recipe you’ve tried? Please leave a 5 star rating🌟 in the recipe card below and/or a comment in the comments section further down the page. Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook when you try one of my recipes!

📖 Recipe

risotto in a bowl with a spoon.

Risotto al Limone (Lemon Risotto)

This Risotto al Limone is so creamy, perfectly tangy and simply delicious! Made with simple ingredients using the authentic Italian method, it’s the perfect meal!

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Course: Main Course, Rice, Side dish

Kitchen: Italian

Diet: Gluten free, vegetarian

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes

Servings: 2 people

Calories: 541kilocalories

Instructions

  • Finely chop a shallot, zest and squeeze the lemons and grate the parmesan. Cut the butter into small pieces and put it back in the refrigerator for later.

  • In a small saucepan, heat broth or water over medium heat, covered, until steaming.

  • In a large pot or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Next, add the shallot and sweat until translucent and soft. Add 1 tablespoon lemon zest and mix until fragrant.

  • Then add the arborio rice to the pan and stir until the rice is lightly toasted, being careful not to burn the onions. Add the sherry wine and use a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan and scrape the “bottom” (brown bits) from the bottom.

  • Once the wine is cooked and absorbed and the rice is almost dry, add a ladle of hot water or stock. Stir continuously until the liquid is absorbed. Then add another ladle.

  • Repeat this process until the rice is cooked through.

  • Once the rice is cooked, add the lemon juice, the remaining tablespoon of lemon zest, the Parmesan and the cold cubed butter.

  • Stir vigorously until the butter and cheese are completely emulsified into the risotto. Add salt and pepper and adjust to your liking.

  • Serve hot and garnish with fresh chives, flaky salt and the remaining lemon zest.

Video

Remarks

  • The type of rice is extremely important for risotto, do not substitute it. ONLY arborio or carnaroli rice will work.
  • I used salted water for this recipe to keep the color light, but a pale chicken stock would be nice too!
  • For the risotto to work, it must be stirred constantly. This may seem like a pain, but keep stirring!

Nutrition

Calories: 541kilocalories | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 31g | Saturated fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated fats: 2g | Monounsaturated fat: 11g | Trans fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 540mg | Potassium: 177mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 725UI | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 321mg | Iron: 3mg

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