Lemon Risotto

by | Aug 28, 2023 | DIY, Food, Life, Recipes | 0 comments

Years ago, I came across a Lemon Basil Shrimp Risotto recipe from the Pioneer Woman, and I was eager to try it because I absolutely love most anything with lemon!

However, I realized a few things right off hand that I’d need to adjust:

    1. I’m allergic to shellfish (yikes!)
    2. I’m not a huge fan of basil.

The bones of this recipe are great, but over the years, I’ve tweaked the flavor profile a bit to my own liking, and now, I love it! That’s what I like about cooking, is that even when using a recipe, you can tweak things and put your own spin on it.

Without further ado, I give you my variation of Lemon Risotto:


    • 2 Cups Arborio Rice
    • 5 Cups Chicken Broth
    • 1 Cup White Wine (*Suggestion: Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio; can use 1 cup chicken broth in place of wine)
    • 1 Shallot, Minced
    • 2-3 Garlic Cloves, Finely Minced
    • 2 Lemons
    • Dried Thyme
    • Salt & Pepper to Taste
    • Butter or oil
    • 2-3 Chicken Breasts (optional)

Heat the chicken broth on the stovetop in a small pot and leave it on low (you will use this as you go).

Sauté the shallot and garlic in a large pan with butter (or oil) until the shallot is translucent. Add the rice to the pan with the shallot and garlic, and toast it in the pan for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat to low, and add the cup of wine (or 1 extra cup of broth) and let it cook until that’s absorbed. Add one cup of broth to rice and let it cook, stirring until absorbed.

Continue to add broth in 1 cup increments, stirring and letting the broth be absorbed each time until the rice is cooked through. **This is a low and slow process**

Zest the lemons and add the zest and juice of the lemons, as well as a few sprinkles of dried thyme to the risotto.

Serve immediately with grilled chicken, or another protein, like shrimp or salmon.

As usual, it wouldn’t be a true “recipe” of mine without a few notes:

  • Risotto can be really high-maintenance. When I say you have to cook this on low and babysit it – I mean, you need to park yourself right by the stove and be prepared to get a good arm workout.
  • The thyme is optional, but it has a great pairing with lemon, so I really love it in here,
  • I’ve made it lately with my favorite wine from Trader Joe’s: Espiral Vinho Verde, which is the perfect light and crisp wine for this recipe. Plus, I don’t mind enjoying a glass while I cook!
  • I love to cook this in our Made In 3.5 Qt. Stainless Clad Saute Pan

If you try my version of this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think!


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Hey there, I´m Jenn!

I established Emerald Pine Collective in 2021 to pursue my creative passions after a 10-year career in Human Resources. Through my HR career, I recognized the special connections that I seamlessly made with people, and am fortunate that now, in my creative endeavors as a business owner, to remain rooted in connecting with and establishing relationships with people, celebrating them and their lives, through creative floral design.


With deep roots in North Carolina, I have a true desire to pour back into my local community and environment, so you’ll often find me gifting flowers and even planting pollinator-friendly plants in my community.


As an extension of my creative nature, I am also a self-published author of two children’s books: “What Might You Find At A Produce Parade?” and “Finley’s Findings.”