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Easy Lemon Risotto Recipe

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This lemon risotto recipe is deliciously bright and dreamy. We’re using a classic creamy risotto ratio of ingredients, but adding in a few extras for a boost of bright flavor that’s still plenty satisfying. Serve this meal on its own or as a side dish alongside air fryer lobster tails, scallops, shrimp, or roasted chicken for a delicious restaurant-worthy dinner at home.

This recipe to make risotto is very straight-forward and I’ll walk you through each step. While it’s known as a “fancy” dish, the method is actually quite simple. While this risotto is good enough to stand on its own, asparagus and peas are also delicious (and green!) accompaniments that can easily be added. To turn this into lemon pea risotto, stir in some 5-minute frozen peas before serving.

Try my bucatini cacio e pepe, penne pomodoro, lemon ricotta pasta, shrimp linguine, or scallop pasta for other date night meals at home.

Bowl of lemon risotto with sage leaf garnish.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

What You’ll Love About Lemon Risotto

  • Restaurant quality meal at home
  • Bright and comforting flavors
  • Satisfying meal and dish
  • Ready in less than 30 minutes
  • Made with simple ingredients

Risotto Ingredients

The ingredients to make lemon risotto are pretty simple, and because they are so simple, use high-quality ingredients where you can.

  • Olive oil – Use high quality olive oil for best flavor.
  • Butter – Use high quality butter for best flavor.
  • Shallots – A medium shallot is recommended, but you could also use 1/4 of a yellow or sweet onion instead.
  • Arborio rice – Arborio rice is a great option for risotto and will make a thick and soft risotto and can be found at most grocery stores. If you can find carnaroli, this is known as the best rice for risotto.
  • Dry white wine – You’ll want a white wine that is not sweet. Sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, pinot gris, or pinot blanc are good options.
  • Broth – Use chicken stock for a slightly richer flavor, or vegetable broth to make this lemon zest risotto totally vegetarian.
  • Lemon – Look for a fresh bright lemon without bruising or discoloration as we’re using both fresh lemon juice and the zest.
  • Parmesan cheese – Grate your own parmesan cheese for best flavor or use high quality grated parmesan for convenience.
Ingredients to make lemon risotto recipe in bowls.

How to Make Lemon Risotto

Ok, let’s make some lemon parmesan risotto! If you’ve made risotto before, you’ll be familiar with the method. And if you haven’t, don’t worry. While this is a restaurant-worthy meal, making risotto is quite simple:

  • Sauté aromatics. In a dutch oven over medium heat, melt butter and oil together. When it foams, add in shallots and cook until translucent.
  • Toast rice. Add rice to dutch oven and stir so that oil and butter mixture coat the grains of rice. Let rice toast in the pan lightly. (We don’t want it to burn!)
Toasting rice in skillet for risotto.
  • Deglaze pan. Pour wine into dutch oven and scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of pan while it comes to a simmer. Stir with rice until wine is absorbed.
Deglazing rice with white wine in skillet.
  • Add broth to pan. Now we will add broth to rice mixture 1 cup at a time, stirring until the liquid has absorbed. Continue to add broth and stir until rice is cooked to a tender al dente.
Adding broth to risotto skillet.

TIP: You want risotto to have a little chew, but not be crunchy.

  • Add lemon. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese until combined.
Finished risotto in skillet.
  • Season. Season with flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste and garnish with minced parsley if desired.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is risotto gluten free?

Yes, risotto is naturally gluten-free.

Is risotto rice or pasta?

While risotto tastes like a creamy pasta dish, it’s made up of rice!

Do you cook rice before making risotto?

No, you don’t cook rice before making risotto, it will cook during the process of making it.

Plate of lemon risotto with a side salad.

Storage Instructions

Store risotto leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

How to reheat

The best way to reheat risotto is in a saute pan with a splash of broth or water. Stir to incorporate liquid into risotto until hot. Add more liquid to loosen it up if necessary.

Can you freeze risotto?

No, freezing risotto is not recommended as the texture will change and the rice can become hard and grainy.

How to Serve Risotto to the Whole Family

I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in. 😉

This mild risotto is generally pretty kid-friendly…but I know that doesn’t always mean much, lol! Serve it with some sides that you know they will eat and serve a tiny portion of risotto if they’ve never had it. Like a teaspoon!

All of my articles on feeding kids can be found here and if you want a FULL list of all of the videos I have with hacks, tips, scripts, and ideas for feeding kids, check out my instagram or tiktok page.

Lemon risotto with sage garnish.

What to Serve with Risotto

Risotto is the type of meal that can stand-alone for a full meal, or round it out with a green salad, protein, or quick vegetable:

More Fancy-Ish Recipes

If you like this citrus risotto recipe, you might also like some of these other date night-worthy meals:

It’s 5pm. Are you still wondering what’s for dinner?

Menu Plans by My Everyday Table can help you out.

The plan addresses three major issues when it comes to weeknight dinners: having a plan, time, and one family meal

You’ll save time, save money, waste less food, and feel calm when 5pm hits because your dinner is already planned.

Helpful Tools to Make Lemon Parmesan Risotto

  • Dutch Oven – This kitchen workhorse is helpful for everything from soups to Italian risotto rice.
  • Citrus Juicer – Use this to get all the citrus juice out of your lemons and limes.
  • Microplane Zester – This is a kitchen staple tool. Use for garlic, citrus zest, and of course, parmesan cheese.

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Bowl of lemon risotto with sage leaf garnish.

Lemon Risotto Recipe

  • Author: Emily Dingmann of myeverydaytable.com
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Italian
Save Recipe


Let me show you how to make this lemon risotto recipe at home! It’s restaurant quality, but the method is easy and it’s ready in 30 min.


Units Scale
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. shallots, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups hot chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat olive oil and butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. When butter foams, add shallots, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 1-3 minutes.

  2. Add rice to dutch oven and stir so that oil mixture coats rice. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, to lightly toast the rice.

  3. Deglaze pan with wine, stirring to combine until wine is absorbed.

  4. Add 1 cup of broth to pan and stir until absorbed. Add broth, 1 cup at a time, until absorbed, stirring constantly.

  5. Continue to add broth and stir until rice is cooked to al dente.

  6. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, and grated Parmesan cheese.

  7. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Keywords: lemon risotto, lemon risotto recipe

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Photo Credit: All photos in this post were take by Loren at Sweet Rustic Bakes

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  1. Kristina

    Easy to make
    Flavor is AMAZING!
    A little bit goes a long way

    This recipe demands your full attention.
    Depends on if you like your risotto like “rice” or “creamy polenta.” Recommend reducing amount of Chicken broth. I stopped at 4 cups, and it was pretty soupy.