Seafood Risotto

Easy & Comforting One-Pot Seafood Risotto Recipe

Easy Vegan Carbonara With Smoky Tofu Bacon Recipe Reading Easy & Comforting One-Pot Seafood Risotto Recipe 12 minutes

Whip Up This Simple Yet Comforting One-Pot Seafood Risotto In No Time For Your Weeknight Dinners!

We've all been there: It's been a hectic week at work, and all you want is to whip up a quick dinner so you can eat while catching up on your favourite shows on Netflix. 

But you're feeling bored with making the same fast dishes you've been making for the past few months, and you're on the hunt for something different. But then you it even possible to prepare a quick dinner that is packed with flavour and nutrients?

Enter the humble Italian dish that many would think it'd take hours to prepare; our fuss-free and easy one-pot Seafood Risotto recipe by Gina Beschorner of Style Curator. Seafood risotto is a comforting Italian dish that only requires ingredients that are easily found in your nearest local supermarkets. Though perhaps you may even have some of it in your pantry already! 

Like what we mentioned earlier, many have the impression that seafood risotto requires a lengthy amount of time and effort to make because you've got the prep work to consider, the consistent stirring to get it to its signature creamy state, and the cost of ingredients to boot.

But did you know that with the right recipe, seafood risotto only takes less than an hour to be perfectly cooked?

Our seafood risotto recipe is a quick and simple one that you can prepare at home for your weeknight dinners or special occasions. It's specially made to be versatile so you can easily adapt it to your liking, like adding extra veggies or replacing the seafood for another type of protein such as chicken, lobster, beef, or even mushrooms.

Though it may seem a little dramatic, this delightfully comforting seafood risotto will definitely make you fall in love the moment you taste and indulge in a mouthful of this creamy dish. It's safe to say you will find yourself making this seafood risotto recipe over and over again!

Seafood risotto ingredients with the Cosmo Casserole.

What Is Seafood Risotto Made Of?

Seafood risotto is a traditional creamy Italian dish made out of several ingredients that are native to Italian households, but easily obtainable from your local supermarket.

Short-Grained Rice

One of its main ingredients is the prized Arborio rice. It is a popular type of short-grain rice that absorbs large amounts of liquid, contributing to the creaminess you'd expect from a seafood risotto.

Savoury Broth or Stock

The next fundamental ingredient is the stock or broth used to simmer the risotto. We used a vegetable broth in this seafood recipe, but you can also opt for a seafood broth or fish stock to add more depth to the dish's flavour profile. While homemade broth or stock has more flavour, it's definitely more convenient to use store-bought stock that contains little to no added sodium.

Olive Oil and Butter

You will also need olive oil and butter to fry the soffritto - finely chopped celery, carrots, and onions. The olive oil and butter give the soffritto more depth, creating a good foundation for the seafood risotto. 

Of course, your risotto is not complete without garnishing and seasonings! We use freshly grated parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. You can even opt for lemon zest instead of lemon juice.

White Wine Is Optional, But Adds A Delicious Depth Of Flavours

Additionally, white wine is also needed for this recipe to add acidity and balance the richness of the dish. But if you prefer to cook without wine, you can add more stock and substitute the acidity with some lemon juice.

Also, you'd be surprised to know that an authentic Italian risotto recipe does not use cream to achieve creaminess. Instead, tomatoes are the base of this recipe. While we use seafood marinara and crushed tomatoes for this recipe, some use tomato paste instead.

The secret ingredient to a flavourful risotto lies with the stock.

What Is The Secret Ingredient In Risotto?

Without a doubt, stock is a significant ingredient that could make or break a good risotto. You can prepare your own seafood stock or buy high-quality seafood, fish, prawn stock, or vegetable stock.

But what if you don't have stock or broth? In a pinch, you can use the good ol' salt and water mixture. The water doesn't have to be as salty as the sea (like pasta water). Too much salt might overwhelm the flavour of the other seafood risotto ingredients.

Add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt for every 6 cups of water and bring it to a boil over high heat in a large pot. Once the water is at a boil, adjust to low heat, and your salted water mixture is good to go. 

But don't add all the stock in one go! Instead, you'll want to add one ladle of salted water at a time and gently stir with a wooden spoon (wooden spoons are not abrasive so your cookware lasts longer!). Let the rice fully absorb the water before you add another ladle of salted water.

Lemon and parsley are perfect garnishes for seafood risotto.

What Food Goes With Seafood Risotto?

You've prepared your risotto dishes for your Christmas Eve dinner or any other special occasion. Now you're wondering; what would go well with seafood risotto?

To balance the risotto's creaminess, one of my favourite sides for risotto is a simple arugula salad with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. You can also serve risotto with roasted vegetables of your choice, such as broccoli, asparagus, or carrots. Vegetable fritters are a nice alternative if you want to add a bit of crunch to your meal.

If you're going for a seafood themed dinner, seafood dishes such as pan-seared scallops, grilled prawns, grilled crayfish, or baked salmon would pair perfectly as extra sources of protein. Not to mention how it will be a rather lavish seafood dinner that will definitely wow your dinner guests!

When it comes to wine, you can't go wrong with Chardonnay for its depth and flavour to complement the creamy risotto. Besides, Sauvignon Blanc is another excellent aromatic choice that will elevate your dinner, especially when a creamy risotto is the main dish of the night.

For dessert, a creamy lime panna cotta, sorbet or fruit salad are refreshing options to satisfy your sweet tooth without feeling too heavy while serving as delightful palate cleansers. But if you wish to indulge in decadent desserts for a luxurious experience, go for brownies, chocolate mousse, and of course a classic Italian tiramisu!

Pouring Arborio rice into the Cosmo Casserole.

Can I Replace Arborio Rice With Other Rice?

Starchy, short-grained rice is an absolute must for seafood risotto. Well, all risotto for that matter. The type of rice used for risotto is really important because it must have enough starch to naturally thicken the risotto.

The basics of cooking risotto involve achieving a thick and creamy consistency without adding additional starch into it. This is done by using rice that produces a lot of starch, such as Arborio rice. As you stir at medium heat, it will cause the starch to dissolve into the creamy consistency found in a risotto.

Arborio rice is typically a staple when it comes to risotto because it is able to maintains its al dente state after cooking. The slight chewiness of the rice contrasts wonderfully with the creaminess of the seafood risotto.

Carnaroli Rice and Vialone Nano Rice

If you can't find Arborio rice, you can look into replacing it with other short-grained rice like Carnaroli and Vialone Nano rice as your next best bet. These rice retain their shape well even after being stirred and simmered in broth throughout the cooking process.

But what if you can't find all three? Don't fret, because there's one particular rice that will serve as the perfect replacement and you can easily find it in your nearest NTCU or Sheng Shiong supermarket; sushi rice.

Sushi Rice

The only thing to keep in mind is how there's no need for you to rinse the sushi rice as you want to save its starch for the cooking process. While it may not achieve the exact same results as Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice, sushi rice is still a great starchy, short-grained rice alternative.

That said, there's one type of rice you must avoid when it comes to risotto; long-grain rice. Long-grain rice like Basmati and Jasmine rice are not suitable for risotto as they don't absorb much liquid, nor do they have enough starch needed to achieve the desired creaminess for risotto.

You'll want to avoid Jasmine rice in particular as it tends to break down once simmered for an extended duration. This means that you'll end up with congee instead of risotto!

Adding a marinara mix into the seafood risotto.

What Other Ingredients Can I Include In Seafood Risotto?

We would like to think that we have a pretty great recipe for a good risotto on our hands. But how can you elevate it to, dare I say, a perfect risotto to your liking?

More seafood, of course! Fresh seafood is always the best. But frozen seafood is convenient because you can buy frozen seafood ahead of time. That way, you don't have to head to the nearest supermarket to buy fresh seafood after a long day of work. These particular cooked seafood will elevate your risotto - sea scallops, lobster tail, shrimp, squid, and mussels.

What If I Don't Have Fish Stock?

If you don't have fish stock, don't fret! Other substitutes will work just as well for your risotto.

Clam juice is a wonderful replacement for fish stock. It infuses your seafood risotto with a lot of flavour, making you feel like you're by the ocean as you feast on your dinner!

Shrimp stock works beautifully as well, especially if you plan to prepare a shrimp risotto. The natural sweetness of shrimp stock gives the risotto a delightfully savoury sweetness that you can rarely find in restaurants since it's typically a homemade ingredient.

Chicken stock will work as a neutral base for your seafood risotto, which you may already have in your pantry. To give the chicken stock more flavour, you can combine the chicken stock with some clam juice.

For a rich umami flavour, you can substitute fish stock with miso. Simply combine miso with water to prepare an absolutely delicious broth. But keep in mind that miso is pretty salty, so you may want to start off with a small amount of miso first and adjust the seasoning after giving the broth a taste.

Just as you would with fish stock, remember to add one ladle of your substituted stock or broth and let the rice absorb more before you continue adding stock.

Cooking soffritto in the Cosmo Casserole.

Can I Replace Olive Oil In The Soffritto?

Soffritto is the base of your seafood risotto. It comprises finely chopped onion, carrots, and celery fried at medium-high heat in a large saucepan with butter and olive oil. The traditional soffritto does not call for garlic, salt, or pepper. But depending on the end result of the dish, you could still add these to season to taste with salt and pepper.

Olive oil is what gives more aroma and depth to your dish. But if you don't have any olive oil on hand, vegetable oil works great too.

If you realised you've cooked too much soffritto, you can always store your extra portions in an airtight container and freeze them for the next time you will be making risotto

Bonus Tip: Another alternative is to blend the extra soffritto with roasted pumpkin to make the most flavourful pumpkin soup ever. It's also a delicious appetiser to enjoy before digging into your seafood risotto!

Grating Grana Padano on freshly cooked seafood risotto.

Which Ingredient Should Never Be Used In Traditional Risotto?

While you might assume that cream is the contributing factor to a risotto's creaminess, cream is actually not used in traditional risotto. 

Instead, the creaminess stems from stirring occasionally throughout the cooking process. As you stir, the arborio rice releases its starch, which forms the risotto's creaminess.

Can I Prepare A Vegan Risotto?

Yes, you absolutely can. Vegan mushroom risotto is just as tasty and bursting with flavour. You can include a few varieties of mushrooms to add more texture to your vegan risotto. Garnish your vegan mushroom risotto with chopped flat-leaf parsley, freshly ground black pepper, and vegan parmesan, and you're ready to serve this dish for dinner!


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