Easy Parmesan and Herb Risotto

Easy Parmesan and Herb Risotto


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It’s no secret that I love rich, decadent food. The hard part with recipes that make such delicious creations usually take roughly 4 days to make and you’re slaving over the stove the entire time. That last part is not my favorite at all. As much as I love to cook, I love being able to create complex dishes that look like they took way more time than they actually did. Risotto was always this beautifully rich, light, and creamy dish that I loved from afar, it just seemed too difficult to make. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so happy to be wrong.


Thanks to America’s Test Kitchen, I have been able to make risotto on the fly a few times now. I talked about it with the Breakfast Tortas, but when I get an idea about food in my head, I can’t shake it. That’s what happened the first time I ended up making risotto. I had a big craving and pulled out my copy of The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook and flipped to the index. I found the recipe for their Almost Hands-Free Risotto and realized that the only thing I needed to get from the store was the Arborio rice. Well, well, well. Guess what I made the next day? Yep, that risotto.

The first time you make something new, especially if it’s something you dream about, it can be really intimidating. I remember watching the rice  like a hawk, trying to make sure I didn’t over or under cook it, and I was so paranoid that I would mess up and waste everything. This is what I love about America’s Test Kitchen, they take all the reasons to freak out while cooking away. I’ve never had one of their recipes flop, or come out weird, and they do their very best to find the most efficient, approachable and relatable ways to make your favorite recipes. I grew up watching PBS and public television, so ATK has been in my life for all 16 seasons. They’re even on Netflix now, so the only reason I ever want to leave my house is to go to the grocery store!


Back to that risotto! Arborio rice is different than regular long or short grain white rice, and it’s imperative that you use it. As the starch releases, it gets super creamy and wonderful all on it’s own. You know what might be the best part about risotto? When you have leftovers, you can make arancini! Imagine, little breaded balls of risotto that are stuffed with a bit more cheese, peas and maybe some meat dipped in a good marinara sauce Go ahead and catch your breath. I’m that excited, too.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and find that you start making risotto more often.

ATK's Almost Hands-Free Risotto with Parmesan and Herbs

Yields: 6 servings

  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • Table salt
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • Ground black pepper
  1. Bring broth and water to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain gentle simmer.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in large Dutch oven over medium heat. When butter has melted, add onion and ¾ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened but not browned, 4 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until grains are translucent around edges, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, until fully absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir 5 cups hot broth mixture into rice; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until almost all liquid has been absorbed and rice is just al dente, 16 to 19 minutes, stirring twice during cooking.
  4. Add ¾ cup hot broth mixture and stir gently and constantly until risotto becomes creamy, about 3 minutes. Stir in Parmesan. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter, lemon juice, parsley, and chives; season with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, add up to ½ cup remaining broth mixture to loosen texture of risotto. Serve immediately.
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 55 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour

Let me know what you think in the comments!

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  • Barbara VH

    I’m drooling reading this recipe. Adding it to my list!

  • Citra Kale

    Looks absolutely scrumptious. simple yet fulfill anything for perfect lunch/ dinner

  • I love risotto, but back when I started cooking I didn’t realize the importance of using the arborio! Whoops! Thankfully I’ve corrected that mistake. And now I have a great and easy recipe to try it with! Thanks!

  • Food Done Light

    Love ATK. They actually have a baked risotto recipe that I use quite often. Looks like you have made a perfect risotto here.

  • Risotto is probably my favorite food to make and enjoy. Yours looks so cheesy and delicious!