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James Carrier Photo by: James Carrier

Basil Risotto

This basil risotto makes a delicious side for chicken or pork. 

Sunset JULY 2002

  • Yield: Makes 6 servings


  • About 6 1/2 cups fat-skimmed reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 shallots (about 2 1/2 oz. total), peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio or other short- or medium-grain white rice
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine


1. In a 2- to 3-quart pan over high heat, bring 6 1/2 cups broth to a simmer; cover and reduce heat to maintain simmer.

2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, whirl basil, garlic, and 1 teaspoon olive oil until coarsely chopped. Add cheese and whirl until finely ground.

3.Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and the butter to a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat; when hot (mixture will be foamy), add shallots and stir often until limp, 1 to 2 minutes. Add rice and stir often until beginning to turn opaque, 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Add wine and stir until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 6 cups broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring after each addition until almost absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes total. Stir in basil mixture and cook, stirring often, until rice is barely tender to bite and mixture is creamy, about 2 minutes longer. If risotto is thicker than desired, stir in a little more broth.

5. Ladle risotto into wide, shallow bowls, and serve immediately.


Roasted red peppers are wonderful with this dish; serve them whole, on the side, or minced, on top.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 316
  • Calories from fat: 37%
  • Protein: 13g
  • Fat: 13g
  • Saturated fat: 6.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 38g
  • Fiber: 4.5g
  • Sodium: 932mg
  • Cholesterol: 26mg

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Basil Risotto Recipe