This recipe for shrimp risotto is light and lemony with a hint of parmesan cheesy goodness.

Risotto is easier to make than you think! It’s the perfect late lunch, dinner, or special occasion dish that always impresses and even better topped with pan fried shrimp.

Shrimp Risotto in the pot

An Easy Risotto Recipe

Risotto is an Italian restaurant favorite. This version is a decadent tasting rice dish with parmesan cheese and a hint of lemony goodness topped with juicy shrimp.

  • Risotto is a restaurant-worthy recipe that’s actually so easy to make at home.
  • The secret to its creamy goodness is in the high starch content of arborio rice that’s released when it’s cooked.
  • This risotto is topped with shrimp but the fresh lemon flavor pairs well with almost any seafood from salmon to scallops.

Make it a meal by serving with a crispy Caesar Salad, or a bright and tangy Caprese Salad. Risotto is delish with some Homemade Garlic Bread to go with it.

labelled ingredients for shrimp risotto

Ingredients & Variations

ARBORIO RICE: Short-grain Arborio rice is key for a risotto recipe. Cooked in wine, broth, and seasonings, risotto comes out creamy with a savory flavor.

The addition of parmesan cheese adds salty richness and a creamy texture while lemon adds a fresh and tangy flavor.

SEASONINGS: The shrimp are lightly seasoned in butter, garlic, and paprika. Try your favorite seasoning mixes like Cajun seasoning, blackened seasoning or lemon pepper seasoning.

SHRIMP: Choose fresh shrimps that are of the same size, are intact, and smell fresh. If using frozen, thaw before cooking. Tails off is easier for eating but tails on can make a pretty presentation, the choice is yours.

ADD-INS: Shrimp risotto can be enhanced with any one of these colorful, healthy, veggie additions: spinach, peas, asparagus, mushrooms, or diced bell peppers.

Get Ready to Stir!

Risotto gets its creamy texture from the starches in the rice, not from added dairy! Stirring risotto as it cooks keeps it from sticking but more importantly, makes the luscious creamy texture.

As bits of warm broth are added and the rice is gently stirred and agitated, the starches from the grains mix with the broth to create a perfect dish. Be aware, that this recipe is not dairy-free as the parmesan cheese still contains dairy.

a collage of steps for making risotto

How to Make Shrimp Risotto

Shrimp Risotto is super easy to make. It takes a bit of time and a lot of stirring, but the results are so worth it.

  1. Lightly browning the rice first with onion adds an extra layer of flavor.
  2. Simmer wine and lemon juice (per recipe below) until evaporated.
  3. Slowly add warmed broth a bit at a time while stirring the rice until the rice is tender and creamy (no cream or milk required!).
  4. Remove skillet from heat & stir in butter, parmesan cheese, & parsley. Cover & set aside.
  5. Season & cook shrimp in a pan with garlic butter. Top the risotto and serve.

seasoned shrimp in a bowl

Tips for Creamy Risotto

  • Toast the Arborio rice in a small amount of olive oil to warm up the grains and intensify the flavor.
  • Ensure you’re adding warm broth for the best consistency and even cooking.
  • Gently stir the risotto, this is important to release the starches and make a great creamy dish.
  • Meat or veggie add-ins should be added lightly warmed as well before adding to the risotto.
  • Warm the dish or bowl before serving risotto (fill it with really hot tap water while you’re finishing up the shrimp).

cooked Shrimp Risotto in bowls

Got Leftovers?

Keep leftover shrimp risotto covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop and add additional chicken broth or some milk to restore the creamy texture.

Freeze portions in zippered bags with the date labeled on the outside. Thawed shrimp risotto will not be as firm once it’s thawed. Fresh veggie add-ins will make this a whole new dish!

More Risotto Recipes We Love

Did you make this Shrimp Risotto? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

Shrimp Risotto in the pot
5 from 16 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Shrimp Risotto

Shrimp Risotto is so flavorful with garlic, lemon, & parmesan in every bite!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 servings



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ small onion chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup white wine or extra broth
  • 1 lemon
  • 3-4 cups chicken broth warmed, or as needed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese freshly grated, plus extra for serving
  • 1 teaspoon parsley chopped


  • ¾ pound medium shrimp peeled, deveined and tails removed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic minced



  • Zest the lemon and juice 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
  • Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add rice and continue stirring until rice begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook just until fragrant.
  • Add wine, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Cook until evaporated while stirring.
  • Begin adding the warmed broth, about ½ cup at a time, stirring until evaporated after each addition. This will take about 15-20 minutes.
  • Once all of the broth has been added, remove from the heat and stir in parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons of butter, and parsley. Cover and set aside.


  • Toss shrimp with lemon zest, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add shrimp in a single layer and cook 1 minute.
  • Flip over, add butter and garlic. Cook 2-3 minutes more or just until cooked through. Remove from the saucepan.
  • Stir the risotto, season with salt, and pepper to taste. Spoon the shrimp over the risotto.
  • Garnish with parsley, lemon slices, and additional parmesan cheese for serving. Drizzle with olive oil if desired.


It is important that the broth is heated.
Optional add-in: 1/2 cup defrosted peas or steamed asparagus at the end.
To make risotto ahead of time, add about 3/4 of the broth while stirring as directed. Cool and refrigerate. To serve, heat the risotto on the stovetop and once heated, continue adding the remaining warmed broth a bit at a time until the risotto is tender and creamy.
Option: Warm the dish or bowl before serving risotto (fill it with really hot tap water while you're finishing up the shrimp).
5 from 16 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 466 | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 169mg | Sodium: 1105mg | Potassium: 361mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 456IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 176mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer, Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine American
plated Shrimp Risotto with writing


top view of Shrimp Risotto in bowls
Shrimp Risotto in blue bowls with a title
Shrimp Risotto cooked in the pot and plated with writing


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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


    1. You definitely can Christine. Vegetable broth tends to be a little sweeter than chicken broth, so the taste will be a little different, but it’ll still be delicious!

  1. My family & I LOVED this risotto dish. I tried making risotto before with no success! This recipe is perfect. I followed the recipe exactly as shown. Will definitely be making it again. I have a blank recipe book where any recipe I add has to taste so delicious. I’m definitely adding this recipe. Actually I’ve already added other spendwithpennies recipes so thank you so much from across the Atlantic in Ireland 5 stars