Mastering Mom’s chicken noodle soup is one of those milestones every young chef must conquer. First, it takes a bit of muscle memory, but once you have it down, you’ll be able to replicate it time after time. The same goes for learning the tricks and time-old techniques of a true Italian risotto.

Lucky for you, we’ve picked out our top three essential risotto recipes, to make your introduction to the risotto world a whole lot easier. Once you nail one of these recipes, you’ll be able to take any Arborio rice and turn it into a work of art–faster than we can say, Parmigiano Reggiano.

Before You Start

Now, rice varieties may often change according to the ingredients used, but when it comes to risotto, one thing remains the same. Arborio rice is the key. 

This Italian-born rice is part of the medium-grain familia and is essential to cooking up a tasty, wholesome risotto. With just the right amount of water retention and the perfect starchy texture, it creates the optimal balance of soft fluffy grains and delectable creaminess.

Make it Mushrooms, Make it Creamy

It doesn’t get anymore more standard than this classy Mushroom Risotto. Ideal for an early winter pick-me-up, it’s the kind of TLC you crave in the colder months.

This recipe balances earthy tastes, with salty, cheesy, and all-around mouthwatering flavors all into one simple dish. Add evaporated milk and Parmesan cheese, and you’ll be learning the basics for a creamy risotto.

Simply Sage & Squash

Fresh herbs make all the difference in this easy Butternut Squash Risotto. Overflowing with flavor, yet only requiring a few staple ingredients, it will teach you exactly why, sometimes, less is more.

Butternut Squash Risotto
Butternut Squash Risotto

Subtle hints of nutmeg and cayenne pepper, along with freshly chopped sage, offer up a complex twist on this fall treat. Add butter, sautéed onions, and Parmesan cheese and you’ll see just how easy it is to convert one simple veggie into a masterpiece of flavors.

A Trifecta: Greens, Golden Beets, & Goat Cheese

Golden beets, greens, and goat cheese, this recipe will teach you the value of mixing sweet, salty, and tangy flavors.

Beet Risotto with Beet Greens & Goat Cheese
Risotto with Golden Beets, and Goat Cheese

With dry white wine, savory dried bay leaves, and well-seasoned vegetable broth, this risotto comes together with little to none. As a bonus, it includes layers of added flavors from earthy greens and salty grated Parmesan to creamy goat cheese and sweet beets.

The Right Rice for the Job

When it comes to recipes like these, we owe all successful risottos to our Authentic Grains Carolina® Arborio Rice – with its starchy taste and medium-grain nature, this rice product is sure to give you the desired texture and taste of the delicious risotto your family will be dreaming about for days to come.