This creamy prawn risotto (also known as shrimp risotto) is a fabulous gourmet dish that is easy to make and impossible to say no to! Plump, juicy prawns and rich Parmesan risotto go together so perfectly, it’s a match made in heaven!
This rich and creamy prawn risotto is straight out of a seafood lover’s dreams!
Making this restaurant-quality risotto is truly easy. The key is to give it your full attention while it cooks. Set aside 30 minutes or so and you’ll have an irresistible prawn risotto in no time!
A nice, creamy risotto is my own personal favorite comfort meal. Mix it with perfectly cooked prawns (or shrimp) and it can't get much better.
If you've never made prawns, they cook very quickly and with practically no effort. The hardest part of this dish is tending to the rice because it will take your full attention.
Never leave a risotto as it cooks! As long as you continue to stir and add stock when needed, you'll have no problem with this recipe.
🦐 The Difference Between Prawn And Shrimp
If you want to get technical, prawns and shrimp are two different creatures. However, for the sake of cooking, they can be used interchangeably. If you really want to look like you know your stuff- here’s how to tell the difference between prawn and shrimp!
Both prawn and shrimp are decapods, meaning 10-legged crustaceans. Each has some distinguishing traits that you can use to tell them apart! The first, and most obvious difference, is size.
Shrimp are the tinier of the two crustaceans and they live in saltwater. Shrimp also have tiny claws on two sets of their legs, while prawns have tiny claws on three sets of legs. Shrimp’s middle shell segment overlaps the other two segments causing their curved shape!
Prawns are typically much larger than shrimp. Prawns can live in freshwater, or brackish water (only somewhat salty). A prawn’s shell segments overlap across their abdomen, so they do not have the distinct bend in shape that shrimp do.
Luckily, there is no distinguishing difference in flavor between them. So, use whichever you’d like!
Pick up some seafood stock, Arborio rice, and prawns. The remaining ingredients you likely have at home already!
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil - Used to saute the shallots, garlic, and rice before you start adding stock!
- 1-2 tablespoons Shallots - If you don't have shallots, you can substitute white onions.
- 2 Cloves Garlic - 1 teaspoon minced. Garlic adds flavor to the Arborio rice as it cooks.
- 1½ cups Arborio Rice - Arborio rice is used for making risotto because it can absorb large amounts of liquid! You can also use Carnaroli rice.
- ¼ cup White Wine - Any dry white wine is fine. I usually choose a cheap Sauvignon Blanc when making risotto.
- 6 cups Seafood Stock - Buy it pre-made, or make your own. You will need somewhere between 5 and 6 cups for this recipe. That's why trying a piece of rice as you near the end is so important!
- 1 pound Prawns - Or shrimp! Peel them, devein them, and remove the tails.
- 2 tablespoons Butter - You can always add more if you think you need it.
- 1 large Lemon - You need the lemon zest and the lemon juice.
- Salt & Pepper - Just to your taste.
- ¼ cup Parmigiano Cheese - This is just the suggested amount, if you like cheese you can always add more.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredients, amounts & instructions!*
🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions
This recipe is fairly easy, just follow the directions to a T! Pay close attention to your rice, and don't forget to stir it or it may burn.
- Prep and sautee. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon shallots (or onion), and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Cook until the shallots are softened (1-2 minutes). Add the 1½ cups Arborio rice (or Carnaroli) and cook for 1-2 minutes, occasionally stirring.
- Next, add wine and cook. Add ¼ cup white wine to deglaze the pan. Keep the rice moving by stirring frequently. Add 2 of the 6 cups of Seafood stock and continue to stir occasionally until the rice has absorbed the liquid (3-5 minutes).
- Add more stock. Ladle the remaining seafood stock into the pan in small increments, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid before adding more stock. Continue until the rice is translucent and has an al dente firmness (about 20 minutes total time once the broth is added). You should still see the white core of the rice.
- Add the shrimp. Once you think the rice is done and you have added your last ladle of stock, stir in the shrimp. Stir until the shrimp is pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes.
- Season and serve. Finally, stir in the 2 tablespoons butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, and salt & pepper (to taste). Stir vigorously until all ingredients are well combined and a thick, creamy risotto is achieved. Portion onto warm plates, garnish with fresh dill or parsley (if desired), and serve!
This recipe will make 6 servings of prawn risotto. It is best to make separate batches if more servings are needed. You could serve it with some garlic bread or see my post for what to serve with risotto, or it can even be a one-bowl meal!
💭 Angela's Tips & Recipe Notes
- If you are unsure if your risotto is ready, try a piece of rice! If it is crunchy, continue to add stock and stir.
- Be sure to use already warmed stock as cool stock will greatly slow down the cooking process. I often keep the stock in a saucepan over low heat and ladle it directly from there.
- When the rice is al dente, remove it from heat! It will continue to cook once it is removed, and over cooked risotto gets mushy.
- Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan and edges of the pot when stirring, this is where the rice tends to stick.
- For a more exciting presentation, keep a few of the prawns with tails, cook them in a pan with butter, and garnish your risotto with them!
- Your risotto is best served on heated plates no matter which risotto recipe you make!
🥡 Storing & Reheating
Store your leftover prawn risotto in the fridge. Place it in an airtight container and it should keep for at least 3 days while refrigerated.
For the sake of taste and texture, it is best not to freeze risotto. Rice can develop a hard, grainy texture after being frozen.
Reheating Prawn or Shrimp Risotto
When reheating leftovers, add ¼ cup of broth or stock per 1 cup of risotto to a pot and bring it to a boil. Add the risotto and stir until heated through. If it is still too thick, add more stock as needed.
Alternatively, you could add the broth to a microwavable bowl and heat the risotto in the microwave. The shrimp may become rubbery if cooked too long.
🍚More Amazing Risotto Recipes!
We love risotto in this house, here are a few of my favorites!
Sure! Wine lends a bit of acidity and flavor, but risotto is still delicious without it. If omitting the wine, use more stock to deglaze the pan. If you still want to add a touch of acidity, throw in a splash of fresh lemon juice or some red or white wine vinegar at any point.
Arborio is probably the most commonly used rice for risotto, but it is widely thought that Carnaroli is superior. Arborio rice is wider and longer than its counterpart which leads to a thicker risotto. In Italy, Carnaroli is considered the "caviar" of risotto rice and is much preferred. If you do happen to find Carnaroli rice in your local grocery store, I highly recommend you try it!
If you prefer your stock homemade, you can try your hand at making your own seafood stock using the shells from your shrimp. Throw the shrimp shells in a stockpot with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
Add in 2 cups of onions, 2 cups peeled and chopped carrots, a few chopped celery stalks, and 2 garlic cloves. Then, add ½ cup white wine, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, and 2 ½ quarts of water. Finally, add a few sprigs of thyme, and 2 teaspoons each salt & pepper. Throw in a bay leaf (remember to remove it later) and boil for an hour. There you have it!
Prawn Risotto (Shrimp Risotto)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin)
- 1 tablespoon shallot (finely diced, up to 2 tablespoons)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice (or Carnaroli rice)
- ¼ cup white wine (dry white wine)
- 6 cups seafood stock (may use between 5-6 cups)
- 1 lb shrimp (peeled, deveined, and tail removed)
- 2 tablespoon butter (more, as needed)
- 1 large lemon (zested and juiced)
- each, salt & pepper (to taste)
- ¼ cup parmigiano cheese (freshly grated, to taste)
- Bring a large frying pan to medium heat with the olive oil, then add shallots (or onion) and garlic. Cook until shallots are softened (1-2 minutes). Add the Arborio rice (or Carnaroli rice), cook stirring occasionally for 1-2 minutes before adding the dry white wine to deglaze the pan.1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, 1 ½ cups Arborio rice, 1 tablespoon shallot
- Add wine and cook for a minute, keeping the rice moving (stirring frequently). Add one-third of the seafood stock, cook (stirring occasionally) for 3-5 minutes until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid.¼ cup white wine, 6 cups seafood stock
- Add the remaining seafood stock in ladled increments, allowing the rice to slowly absorb the liquid until the arborio rice becomes slightly translucent and is an al dente firmness and the core can still be seen in the center (about 20 minutes total time once the broth is added).
- Once all of the stock has been added (when you think you've just added the last ladleful), stir in the shrimp. Stir occasionally until the shrimp is pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes.1 lb shrimp
- Finally, stir in the butter, lemon juice, zest, Parmesan cheese, and salt & pepper (to taste). Stir vigorously until all ingredients are well combined and a thick, creamy risotto is achieved.2 tablespoon butter, each, salt & pepper, ¼ cup parmigiano cheese, 1 large lemon
- Remove from heat and portion onto heated plates. Garnish with fresh chopped dill or parsley if desired.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!