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How To Reheat Risotto, 5 Simple And Delicious Ways!

Italians gave us pizza. They gave us pasta and espressos. But that’s not all. Another dish Italians blessed us with that is not as popular as some of the previous ones is risotto. 

If you’re not familiar with it, risotto is a deliciously creamy rice dish originating from the north of Italy. 

It is made with broth and a variety of other ingredients, including veggies, meat and sometimes even wine. 

When you first make risotto, the texture is soft and velvety. Unfortunately, when it comes to risotto leftovers, this dreamy texture turns from smooth and creamy to dry and, quite frankly, unappetizing. 

But wait! Before you decide to throw away that risotto that’s been stored in the fridge for a few days, keep in mind that risotto can be revived with a few simple hacks!

That’s right. Risotto can be reheated four different ways and if you’re craving something a little different, can also be repurposed into a new dish. 

Why throw away a perfectly good meal when you can follow these quick and easy instructions that will have dinner on the table in no time?

how to reheat risotto

How To Reheat Risotto In The Microwave?

Reheating your risotto in the microwave is a great option if you need to whip up dinner quickly. 

Following this approach is fairly easy but can also lead to dry risotto if not executed properly, so it’s important to follow these steps: 

Pro Tips 

  • The suggested amounts for the add-ins are based on 1-2 servings of risotto. If serving more, you will need to adjust this accordingly. 
  • We don’t, however, recommend heating too much risotto in the microwave at once as it will not heat evenly throughout the entire bowl.
  • It doesn’t matter which liquid add-in you choose. It is really up to your own preference. What is important is that you don’t skip this step, as your risotto will be very dry. 
  • Another way to avoid dry risotto is by adding a damp cloth or plastic wrap. If using the plastic wrap, make sure to puncture the surface with small holes so that too much moisture does not build up within the bowl and you don’t end up with soggy risotto (or a plastic balloon). 
  • Don’t skip the stirring step! This is vital for an evenly cooked risotto. 
  • If using a broth, use a low-sodium variation, so your dish isn’t too salty. 
  • The 3-5-minute timeframe is an estimation. This can vary slightly depending on how much risotto you are reheating. The safest approach is to test it to see if it is sufficiently heated (but be careful, it might be hot!). 
how to reheat risotto

RELATED: White Rice vs Fried Rice

How To Reheat Your Risotto On The Stovetop?

Another foolproof way of heating up your risotto is by cooking it in a saucepan on the stovetop. 

This method takes just a few short minutes and will give your dish a lovely fragrant flavor. 

Pro Tips 

  • The suggested amounts for the add-ins are based on 1-2 servings of risotto. If serving more, you will need to adjust this accordingly. 2-3 tablespoons per 1 cup of risotto is what is generally advised.
  • If you prefer a more moist risotto, we would definitely go with 3 tablespoons. 
  • Don’t skip the stirring step! This is vital for an evenly cooked risotto. 
  • If using a broth, use a low-sodium variation, so your dish isn’t too salty. 
  • The 3-4-minute timeframe is an estimation. This can vary slightly depending on how much risotto you are reheating. The safest approach is to test it to see if it is sufficiently heated (but be careful, it might be hot!).
  • You can cut the cooking time down to 2 minutes by allowing your risotto to come to room temperature after removing it from the fridge. 

How To Reheat Risotto In The Oven?

Reheating your risotto in the oven is just as effective as the previous methods, however, it does take a bit longer, so we recommend only using this approach if time isn’t a concern. 

how to reheat risotto

Pro Tips 

  • Don’t skip the stirring step! This is vital for an evenly cooked risotto. 
  • If using a broth, use a low-sodium variation so your dish isn’t too salty. 
  • The 15-20-minute timeframe is an estimation. This can vary slightly depending on how much risotto you are reheating. The safest approach is to test it to see if it is sufficiently heated (but be careful, it might be hot!). 

How To Reheat Risotto In A Steamer Basket?

Steaming your leftover risotto is also highly effective and a great option if you have a steamer basket on hand. 

This approach is ultra simple and just requires your leftover risotto and some water. 

It can be completed by executing the following steps:

How To Reheat Risotto In A Steamer Basket?

Pro Tips 

  • If you don’t have an oven-safe bowl, another option is to line your steamer with parchment paper. 
  • If your risotto looks dry when you check on it, you can add a little more water or vegetable or chicken broth. 
  • Depending on how much risotto you are putting into the steamer, may vary the total cooking time. Your best bet is to simply check on it and make your best judgment (don’t be afraid to taste-test it!). 
  • Don’t skip the stirring step! This is vital for an evenly cooked risotto. 

How To Repurpose Your Risotto Into Rice Balls?

When you don’t feel like eating risotto for the second time in a row, repurposing it is a great alternative. 

Italian rice balls, or “arancini,” are the perfect dish for this and will transform your leftover risotto into delightful spheres of deep-fried deliciousness. 

How To Repurpose Your Risotto Into Rice Balls?

Pro Tips

  • If you’re a cheese lover like us, you can add shredded cheese to your risotto and incorporate them into the rice balls.
  • Otherwise, you can also add cheese at the very end. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice will also provide your arancini with a lovely tangy flavor. 
  • Make sure you don’t overcrowd the balls in the frying pan. 
  • A good indicator that your rice balls are done is when they turn golden brown. If you’re still feeling uncertain, you can also use a thermometer. When the balls have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, they’re done. 
How To Reheat Risotto?

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Store Risotto?

Risotto can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container.

Remember that the risotto will be a little thick and dry when you take it out because of the rice’s starch, but you can easily remedy this with any of the reheating methods described previously in the article. 

Note: if you are storing seafood risotto, do not leave it in the fridge for longer than 3 days. 

Can You Freeze Risotto?

Freezing risotto is not recommended as the texture will become hard and grainy and, quite frankly, unpleasant to eat when it thaws. 

If this doesn’t bother you, the best way to freeze risotto is in an airtight container or resealable bag that has been removed from any excess air. 

Risotto can be stored in the freezer for up to one month. 

How Do You Fix Soggy Risotto?

If you added too much liquid to your risotto, don’t panic. Simply spoon some of the excess liquid out, or allow it to sit off the heat for a short period of time to allow the rice to absorb it. 

Keep in mind that risotto is not meant to be dry and should have a creamy consistency. 

How To Reheat Risotto In The Microwave?

How To Reheat Risotto In The Microwave?

Prep Time: 30 seconds
Active Time: 3 minutes
Additional Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes 30 seconds
Difficulty: Easy

Risotto is mixed with liquid of choice and placed in a microwave-safe bowl covered by a paper towel or plastic wrap and heated in the microwave in intervals of 30 seconds, ensuring to be stirred during these breaks. The risotto then rests for an additional 30 seconds after being removed from the microwave. 

Materials

  • Leftover risotto
  • 1-2 tablespoons of either water, stock (vegetable or beef), milk, or wine

Tools

  • Microwave
  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • Plastic wrap or paper towel
  • Spoon

Instructions

  • Remove the leftover risotto from the fridge
  • Retrieve a microwave-safe bowl 
  • Place the risotto in the bowl and add 1-2 tablespoons of either water, vegetable or beef stock, milk or wine
  • Place either a damp paper towel over top of the bowl or plastic wrap with small punctures in the top
  • Set your microwave to medium heat
  • Place the risotto in the microwave and begin cooking it in bursts of 30 seconds, making sure to stir the risotto during intervals 
  • Allow to cook for 4 minutes or until the risotto is thoroughly heated through 
  • Remove the risotto from the microwave and allow to sit for 30 seconds before eating
How To Reheat Your Risotto On The Stovetop?

How To Reheat Your Risotto On The Stovetop?

Prep Time: 1 minute
Active Time: 3 minutes
Additional Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Risotto is mixed with liquid of your choice in a saucepan for 3-4 minutes or until evenly heated through.

Materials

  • Leftover risotto
  • 2-3 tablespoons of either water, stock (vegetable or beef), milk, or wine

Tools

  • Stovetop
  • Saucepan
  • Spoon

Instructions

  • Remove the risotto from the fridge
  • Retrieve a saucepan 
  • Set the element on high-heat
  • Put in 2-3 tablespoons of either water, stock (vegetable or beef), milk, or wine 
  • Once the liquid is hot and starts to simmer, reduce the heat to medium
  • Add the risotto to the saucepan 
  • Stir for 3-4 minutes so that the liquid is incorporated into the risotto
  • Cook until the risotto is heated through evenly 

How To Reheat Risotto In The Oven?

How To Reheat Risotto In The Oven?

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Risotto is mixed with either water or broth in a bowl and placed in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes. 

Materials

  • Leftover risotto
  • Water or broth (chicken or vegetable)

Tools

  • Oven
  • Heat-proof bowl
  • Foil
  • Spoon

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Retrieve a heat-proof bowl and place your risotto inside
  • Spread out the risotto evenly throughout the bowl
  • For every cup of risotto you have, add in 1 tablespoon of either water or broth
  • Take a sheet of foil and cover the top of the bowl with it
  • Place the bowl of risotto in the oven 
  • Cook for 15-20 minutes, ensuring to stir it halfway through 
  • Remove from oven and serve immediately 

How To Reheat Risotto In A Steamer Basket?

How To Reheat Risotto In A Steamer Basket?

Prep Time: 1 minute
Active Time: 3 minutes
Additional Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Risotto is placed in a steamer in a saucepan and steamed for 3-4 minutes on medium heat until evenly heated through. 

Materials

  • Leftover risotto
  • Water

Tools

  • Saucepan and lid
  • Stovetop
  • Steamer basket
  • Oven-safe glass bowl
  • Spoon

Instructions

  • Fill a saucepan with water halfway
  • Place the steamer in the saucepan and bring to a boil on high heat
  • Remove your risotto from the fridge and place it in an oven-safe glass bowl 
  • Put the bowl of risotto into the steamer and put the lid on top of the saucepan
  • Reduce the heat to medium
  • Steam for 3-4 minutes, making sure to stir every once in a while
  • Remove and enjoy!
How To Repurpose Your Risotto Into Rice Balls?

How To Repurpose Your Risotto Into Rice Balls?

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 2 minutes
Additional Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Difficulty: Medium

Risotto is formed into rice balls and dipped in eggs and breadcrumbs before being fried in oil in a frying pan. 

Materials

  • Leftover risotto
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • Vegetable or canola oil
  • Toppings of choice

Tools

  • Cast iron frying pan
  • Whisk
  • Paper towel/parchment paper
  • 2 bowls

Instructions

  • Remove risotto from the fridge and allow it to get to room temperature
  • Beat 2 eggs in a bowl with a whisk
  • Fill your cast iron frying pan with oil and set the temperature to medium-high heat
  • Place breadcrumbs in a bowl
  • Begin forming risotto into balls the size of golf balls
  • Check that your oil has reached a temperature of 375 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Once it has reached this temperature, begin dipping rice balls one by one first into the egg mixture and then into the breadcrumbs
  • Place each ball into the oil- do not let them touch 
  • Once the entire balls are golden brown, remove them and allow to rest for a couple minutes on either a paper towel or parchment paper 
  • Add toppings if desired!

Jess Smith
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