If you’re looking for a main dish that will give you the taste of Italy in a single bite, I’ve got you covered. This classic Italian shrimp risotto takes your mouth on a delicious journey! Add cooked shrimp to creamy risotto then add a lemon tang that brightens the dish!
Want to immerse yourself even more in Italian food? Check out this post of over 42 Italian recipes!
Risotto, along with other starchy foods like pasta, are an essential component of Italian food. They are traditionally served as a first course before a heartier second course, often meat.
The first risotto recipe dates back as far as the 1800s, but rice was grown for centuries before that in Italy. The Italians have found some of the best ways to eat rice. Point in case: risotto!
Making this shrimp risotto
One key rule for great risotto is that it has to be cooked with a short grain rice, like aborio, which is higher in starch content.
Pro tip: don’t rinse your arborio rice like you would for other rice dishes. This gives it the classic, creamy, risotto consistency.
Make sure you buy your shrimp peeled, deveined, and tails-on. If you don’t see any fresh shrimp or prawns in your local grocery store, frozen should work in a pinch! Season the shrimp with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and throw those in the oven so they can cook while you work on the risotto.
Cook your garlic, onion, and celery in olive oil before you add the arborio rice. They will help add some depth to your risotto. Once you’ve cooked the rice in the oil for several minutes, add the white wine (my favorite part!) and fish or chicken stock which will absorb into the rice, creating that thick and creamy consistency. Add the peas and shrimp last, and finito, your shrimp pea risotto is ready to eat!
- 5 cups fish or chicken stock, divided
- 1 pound large prawns (or shrimp), peeled, deveined, and tails-on
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 large stalk celery, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 ½ cup arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest, preferably organic
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (optional)
- 2 large organic lemons, quartered
1. Place the top oven rack in the center position and pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
2. Pour the fish or chicken stock into a large sauce pan. Bring it to a light simmer over medium heat.
3. Meanwhile, put the prawns in a large bowl and drizzle with two tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and toss to combine. Spread shrimp into an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
4. In a separate large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic. Season with a pinch or two of salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion becomes soft and translucent, approximately 4-5 minutes.
5. Add the arborio rice to the skillet and lightly toast, stirring continually, for about 1-2 minutes. Pour in the wine and stir continually until the wine is almost fully absorbed, approximately 2-3 minutes.
6. Add one half cup of the warm fish or chicken stock to the skillet and stir constantly until it is absorbed into the rice, approximately 2-3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining stock, stirring continually until the excess liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked through, approximately 25-30 minutes total.
7. Add the peas to the risotto in the last 5 minutes of cooking and stir to combine.
8. Once the peas are added to the risotto, place the prepared prawns into the pre-heated oven and roast for 5-6 minutes, or until they are opaque. Do not overcook. Remove from oven and set aside.
9. When the peas are heated through, stir the fresh parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and grated cheese (if using) into the risotto until thoroughly combined. Serve immediately topped with the roasted prawns and fresh lemon wedges on the side.
10. Garnish with additional fresh parsley and grated cheese, if desired.
Tip 1: Substitute large wild-caught shrimp if prawns are not available.
Tip 2: Do not rinse the Arborio rice before cooking. The extra starch is needed to create the signature creamy texture of this dish.
Tip 3: To incorporate even more flavor into each bite, roughly chop half the prawns and stir into the risotto in Step 9. Then, divide the remaining whole prawns to top off each serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 577Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 277mgSodium: 1063mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 73g