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Cook up a delicious and creamy single serve Risotto in just 30 minutes! This easy risotto recipe is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Craving a creamy, comforting dish without the commitment to large portions? Enter this single serving risotto recipe – a perfect fusion of flavors and comfort, designed to satisfy without overwhelming your kitchen or your plate.

This Risotto, perfect as a stand-alone meal, pairs beautifully with Baked Shrimp, crispy Chicken Nuggets, tender Slow Cooker Ribs, or juicy Smothered Pork Chops, making it an excellent choice for a two-person meal.

Why You’ll Love This Easy Risotto Recipe

  • Portion Control: Designed specifically for one serving, it eliminates waste or leftovers. If you’d like to make a second bowl, double the ingredient amounts and use a larger pan to cook the risotto.
  • Efficient: This dish is prepared in one pot, making cleanup a breeze.
  • Versatile: This basic recipe allows you to easily add your preferred ingredients.
  • Ease: Risotto has a reputation for being fussy, and while risotto does take a little time to cook and requires stirring the ingredients in the pan, this easy risotto recipe takes no longer than about 30 minutes from start to finish.
  • Tested and perfected recipe: I’ve taken the risotto recipe I’ve used for years and scaled down the ingredients to be the perfect size for one person.
a spoonful of mushroom risotto over a bowl.

What Is Risotto?

Risotto is a rice dish that originated in Italy. This classic Italian dish is made with Arborio rice, which is a short-grain rice that is high in starch. The starch helps to create a rich and creamy consistency when the risotto is cooked slowly in broth. Often risotto will feature additional ingredients like wine, butter, Parmesan cheese, and various meats or vegetables.

Choosing The Right Rice For Risotto

For a creamy and authentic risotto, Arborio rice stands out due to its high starch content. This starch ensures a velvety consistency when cooked. While grains like basmati or jasmine might be popular, their lower starch content won’t give you that signature risotto creaminess.

Why Arborio works:

  1. Short-Grain Profile: Arborio’s shorter, rounder grains absorb broth effectively and cook uniformly.
  2. Starch Content: Its abundant starch results in the desired creamy texture.

Top Risotto Rice Varieties:

  1. Arborio: Renowned for its ability to absorb liquids, Arborio offers a rich texture.
  2. Carnaroli: A larger grain with a high starch, it’s praised for delivering ultra-creamy results, though a bit harder to source.
  3. Vialone Nano: Less common than Arborio but notable for its thickness and impressive liquid absorption.

While there are other risotto rice varieties like baldo, cal riso, and maratelli, they’re rare in the U.S. Remember, long-grain rice varieties, such as jasmine or basmati, aren’t recommended for authentic risotto.

Pro Tip: Because you need the starch from the rice to make risotto, never rinse the rice before cooking it.

RELATED – Comfort Foods For One

Ingredients

risotto ingredients on a wooden cutting board.

If you have any ingredients leftover from this easy risotto recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Chicken broth: Broth infuses extra flavor into each grain of rice. The broth needs to be heated before adding it to the rice which will allow the rice to absorb the liquid and reduce the cooking time. I use low-sodium chicken broth in my recipe so I can control the sodium and I’ll add additional salt towards the end of the cooking time if I feel the risotto needs it. Feel free to use vegetable broth to make a vegetarian risotto. Use leftover broth in Broccoli Casserole, Chicken Paprika, or Tortellini Soup.
  • Butter: I use butter and olive oil to toast the rice which adds a nutty taste to the risotto.
  • Olive oil: I use extra virgin olive oil in this small batch risotto recipe as well as in every other recipe on One Dish Kitchen that calls for olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is the least processed form of olive oil. It is an unrefined oil and the highest-quality olive oil you can buy. Because of the way extra virgin olive oil is made, it retains a more true olive taste. It also contains more of the vitamins and minerals found in olives. It’s my favorite type of olive oil to use but you may use light olive oil instead.
  • Mushrooms: Use jarred mushrooms or fresh ones. I like to use shiitake, Crimini, or baby Bella mushrooms that have been cleaned and quartered. If you don’t like mushrooms, feel free to leave them out. Leftover mushrooms can be used in Mushroom Pasta, Salisbury Steak, or Chicken and Rice Casserole.
  • Onions and garlic: Chopped onions and garlic add a classic flavor base to risotto. The onions caramelize as they cook which adds a hint of sweetness.
  • Salt: For flavor.
  • Rice: Use Arborio rice, it’s easy to find and is located in the rice section of most supermarkets. It is known for its ability to absorb liquid and release starch, making the risotto creamy. Store uncooked rice in a cool, dry place in a tightly closed container like the pantry. You can also store rice in the freezer in a sealed airtight container or in a resealable freezer bag. It will keep well for years.
  • White wine: Use dry white wine like chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, or pinot grigio in this recipe. Each type of wine will gently infuse its flavor into the dish and the wine also helps to deglaze any stuck food bits in the pan. The risotto won’t taste like wine because the wine simmers until the alcohol evaporates. You can also make a delightful champagne risotto by using champagne instead of wine. If you’d prefer not to use alcohol, use broth instead.
  • Parmesan cheese: Helps make the risotto extra creamy and delicious! If you don’t have Parmesan, use another type of hard cheese.

This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why I used them. For the full recipe please scroll down to the recipe box at the bottom of the post.

Recipe Variations

Risotto is a canvas, and here’s how you can paint it differently:

  • Seafood Risotto: Add sautéed shrimp or mussels.
  • Vegetable Risotto: Incorporate asparagus, peas, or spinach.
  • Cheese Burst: Try blue cheese or goat cheese for a twist.
  • Risotto with peas: This is a light and refreshing variation made with peas. The peas are added to the risotto during the last few minutes of cooking, adding a pop of sweetness to the dish.

How To Make Risotto For One Person

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make risotto. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Pour the chicken broth into a 2-quart saucepan and bring it to a simmer over low heat. Make sure to have a ladle nearby.

Be sure to keep the broth at a gentle simmer.

chicken broth in a small pot on the stove.
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and the olive oil over medium heat in a deep-sided 10-inch skillet.
  2. When the butter has melted, add the mushrooms and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the chopped onions, garlic, and salt, and cook for another minute.
onions, mushrooms, and garlic in a small skillet.
  1. Stir in the rice.  Let the oils coat the grains and continue to toast the rice, frequently stirring for about 2 minutes.
rice, mushrooms, and vegetables in a small black skillet.
  1. Add the wine to the pan and simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated, stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add ¼ cup of the broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes.

Pro Tip: Timing is key to making a perfect risotto. When you add the broth to the risotto, make sure that you wait until the risotto has almost completely absorbed the liquid and the rice is almost dry before adding the next portion of broth.

  1. Continue to add broth to the pan, ¼ cup at a time, and stir until absorbed. Continue this process until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

Making risotto is different than other ways of cooking rice. Risotto cooks without a cover so the rice simmers instead of steams until the liquid is fully absorbed. A steady simmer ensures that the rice will soften over time.

  1. Stir in butter and parmesan cheese.
  2. Remove from the heat, taste, and season with additional salt, if desired.  Serve immediately.

Pro Tip: Always enjoy risotto right away to enjoy the rich, pudding-like consistency. As the risotto cools down, it gets thicker. If the rice absorbs too much moisture as it sits, you can add in a bit more of the warm broth and stir as needed to loosen the texture.

mushroom risotto in a small skillet
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RELATED: The Best Soup Recipes For One

Expert Tips

  • Gather your ingredients: Make sure to have all of your ingredients handy.  When you’re in the middle of making risotto you don’t want to have to search for an ingredient.
  • Be patient: Risotto requires patience and careful attention. It’s crucial to stir the risotto constantly to prevent the grains from sticking together. This constant stirring also encourages the starches to release from the rice while keeping the grains separate.
  • Use warm broth: Adding cold broth to a hot pan will cool the rice down and slow down the cooking process. Keep the broth at a simmer in a small pot so everything stays hot and cooks evenly.
  • Don’t add the broth all at once: It may be tempting to just pour all of the broth in at one time. Do not do this, you will just be boiling rice. By slowly adding the broth, you allow the rice to simmer and create the signature creamy sauce. Wait until the rice absorbs all of the broth before adding more.
  • Cook until the rice is al dente: Just like pasta, the rice should be al dente – tender but with a slight bite to it. Risotto should not be mushy.
  • Consider adding vegetables: If you want to add vegetables to your risotto, cook them separately before adding them.
  • Consider adding protein: Make a lovely shrimp risotto by adding cooked shrimp to the top. I like cooking the shrimp in butter and garlic as shown in our Shrimp Tacos recipe.

Storing and Reheating Risotto: A Guide

Always store leftover risotto in an airtight container in the fridge and aim to consume it within 3 days. Avoid freezing risotto, as its texture doesn’t hold up well.

Safety First: Never leave risotto out for over an hour. The potential for harmful bacterial growth in rice products is high if not stored correctly.

Reheating Methods:

  1. Microwave: Transfer risotto to a microwave-safe dish, add a touch of butter or broth, and stir. Microwave until warm, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stovetop: In a saucepan, combine risotto with a splash of broth. Warm over medium-low heat, stirring regularly.

Additional Tips:

  • Always cool risotto thoroughly before refrigerating to deter bacterial growth.
  • On the stovetop, avoid excessive heat to prevent overcooking and drying out.
  • When microwaving, stirring ensures even heating and prevents drying.

Follow these guidelines to relish your risotto leftovers as if they were freshly made.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many people will this small batch risotto recipe serve?

This risotto recipe serves one (maybe two, if this is a side dish). If you are cooking for a group, refer to this Champagne Risotto as it serves 6 people.

What size pan should I use?

I use a 10-inch skillet for this single serve risotto recipe, For best results, please use a pan of a similar size.
For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use, please visit our FAQ page.
Examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen can be found on our Store page.

Can I cook risotto without wine?

Yes! If you want to make risotto without wine, use broth instead.

Can I make vegan risotto?

Absolutely, use olive oil instead of butter and skip the Parmesan or use a vegan alternative.

Should I rinse risotto rice?

No. Do not rinse your rice when making risotto. Rinsing the rice will wash away the starches from the surface of the grains. Starch is what makes risotto thick and creamy and you want those starches to seep into the cooking liquid instead.

Can I make risotto in advance?

Yes, you can make this recipe in advance. Simply cook the risotto according to the instructions, then let it cool completely. Store the risotto in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you are ready to serve, reheat the risotto in a saucepan over medium heat until it is heated through.

risotto in a bowl topped with fresh parsley.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you’ve tried this mushroom risotto recipe or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

If you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see it!

RELATED: 15 Easy Desserts For One


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Risotto For One

4.88 from 25 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Cook up a delicious and creamy single serve risotto in just 30 minutes! This easy recipe is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 ½ to 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter , divided
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup sliced mushrooms (fresh or jarred)
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup Arborio rice
  • 2 ounces white wine
  • ¼ cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions 

  • Pour the chicken broth into a 2-quart saucepan and bring it to a simmer over low heat.  Make sure to have a ladle nearby.
    Be sure to keep the broth at a gentle simmer.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and the olive oil over medium heat in a deep-sided 10-inch skillet.
  • When the butter has melted, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally for 1 minute.
  • Add the chopped onions, garlic, and salt and cook for another minute, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the rice.  Let the oils coat the grains and continue to toast the rice, frequently stirring for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the wine to the pan and simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated, stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes.
  • Add ¼ cup of the broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Continue to add broth to the pan, ¼ cup at a time, and stir until absorbed. Continue this process until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter and parmesan cheese.
  • Remove from the heat, taste, and season with additional salt, if desired.  Serve immediately.

Video

Notes

Expert Tips
  • Gather your ingredients:Make sure to have all of your ingredients handy.  When you’re in the middle of making risotto you don’t want to have to search for an ingredient.
  • Be patient: Risotto requires patience and careful attention. It’s crucial to stir the risotto constantly to prevent the grains from sticking together. This constant stirring also encourages the starches to release from the rice while keeping the grains separate.
  • Use warm broth: Adding cold broth to a hot pan will cool the rice down and slow down the cooking process. Keep the broth at a simmer in a small pot so everything stays hot and cooks evenly.
  • Don’t add the broth all at once:It may be tempting to just pour all of the broth in at one time. Do not do this, you will just be boiling rice. By slowly adding the broth, you allow the rice to simmer and create the signature creamy sauce. Wait until the rice absorbs all of the broth before adding more.
  • Cook until the rice is al dente: Just like pasta, the rice should be al dente – tender but with a slight bite to it. Risotto should not be mushy.
  • Consider adding vegetables: If you want to add vegetables to your risotto, cook the vegetables separately before adding them in.
  • Consider adding protein: Make a lovely shrimp risotto by adding cooked shrimp to the top. I like cooking the shrimp in butter and garlic as shown in our Shrimp Tacos recipe.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 814kcal, Carbohydrates: 94g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 40g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 14g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 82mg, Sodium: 1347mg, Potassium: 716mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 917IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 279mg, Iron: 6mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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I’m Joanie and I’m incredibly happy you’re here! Our aim is to inspire individuals with access to single serving recipes, education, and a supportive community that will enable them to enjoy the preparation of a meal that will nourish both body and soul.

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20 Comments

  1. This was a delicious dish!
    We are empty nesters and cooking for just 2 is hard to figure out. This was a perfect side for us!

  2. I tried your recipe and it was very good!
    However, I found that serving more than one.
    I had a serving with chicken last night and still have about five more servings left.
    Next time I make it I will either half or quarter your recipe.

  3. absolutely delicious. all your recipes work for one person. The trick is not to get too complicated, and you show me how to do that!

  4. My boyfriend & I are obsessed with this recipe – we make it at least once a month. Neither of us are mushroom fans, so we leave them out and it still comes out perfectly without needing any other adjustments. It makes the perfect amount for two people as a side dish!