Risotto is one of the most popular rice dishes in the world. This authentic Italian recipe is cooked very slowly in broth until it reaches creamy, velvety consistency.
While recipes widely vary, a basic recipe usually calls for short-grain rice (primarily Arborio), butter, onion, white wine, parmesan cheese, and broth.
We don’t know how you end up with leftovers, but we’ve all been there. Like other rice dishes, leftover risotto might raise a concern: can you reheat risotto safely?
Keep reading to find all you need to know about storing and reheating leftover risotto.
Tips To Safely Store and Keep Risotto Warm
Raw, uncooked rice may contain spores of harmful bacteria Bacillus cereus. These spores can survive during cooking.
That means when leftover rice is left out at room temperature, the spores can grow and produce toxins that cause diarrhea and vomiting.
To reheat leftover risotto safely, you need to make sure that it is also correctly stored. We have some useful tips for you to keep in mind about its proper storage.
- Refrigerate leftovers as soon as possible, ideally within 1 to 2 hours after cooking. However, you shouldn’t leave them for more than one hour if the room temperature is above 90 °F.
- Pack the leftover into a shallow, airtight container to allow quick cooling. To store a large portion, divide it into several containers.
- Keep the leftover for 3 to 5 days below 40 °F (4 °C). Discard if it’s been too long in the fridge.
- Throw out if risotto was left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature. Don’t put it back in the fridge or reheat it.
Regardless of the reheating methods, here are two basic rules to follow.
- 1. Ensure the rice dish is steaming hot and reaches a safe temperature of 165 °F.
- 2. Do not reheat more than once.
Now, let’s get to the step-to-step guide of reheating this ultimate Italian dish for a warm and comforting meal!
What To Expect from Reheated Risotto
Risotto is best enjoyed straight off the stovetop when it is still warm and fresh. After spending some time in the fridge, and it gets cold, the rice dish will thicken because of the starch content.
After reheating, the rice absorbs extra liquid, and it goes from al dente to overcooked, mushy rice. In other words, reheated risotto won’t taste as delightful as freshly prepared.
Of course, you don’t have to throw out leftovers. Reheating is still a decent way to revive the cold risotto, certainly much better than letting it go to waste.
There are two easy, quick ways to reheat leftover risotto: in the microwave and stovetop. Check our detailed instructions below.
Reheating Risotto in a Microwave
Let’s start with this method because microwaving is the first go-to option to reheat leftovers for most people. It’s convenient, quick, and great to heat up a single portion for yourself at work!
Here is how to reheat leftover risotto in a microwave.
- 1. Transfer the rice dish to a plate or microwave-safe container.
- 2. Add some butter and liquid (broth, water, white wine, or a combination of them).
- 3. Stir thoroughly and microwave for ± 3 to 4 minutes on medium power.
- 4. After the reheating time has elapsed, remove it from the microwave. Stir well and check if the dish is heated evenly. If not, pop it back and continue microwaving for short intervals of 30 seconds.
Reheating Risotto on a Stovetop
This reheating technique takes slightly longer than the microwave. But, it is worth your time and effort because it works wonderfully to maintain the delicate texture and rich flavors of leftover risotto.
Here is how to do it.
- 1. In a non-stick pan, melt some butter or olive oil. Then, add the risotto and broth. You can also add water if you don’t have any broth. However, you might want to season it if you add water.
- 2. Over low to medium heat, reheat the rice dish while stirring it constantly to combine everything.
- 3. If it still looks dry and not creamy enough, feel free to add more butter and broth as well as some grated cheese.
- 4. When it is thoroughly heated up and achieves the perfect creaminess to your liking, kill the heat and remove the risotto from the pan.
- 5. Add grated parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
Turn Leftover Risotto Into Other Delicious Dish
Risotto won’t taste as wonderful as fresh after spending a night or two in the refrigerator. Cold rice is certainly not very appetizing. Meanwhile, after reheating, it will be overcooked and tends to become softer and mushy.
Fortunately, if either option doesn’t seem appealing to you, you can turn cold leftover risotto into something even more delicious. Here are some easy recipes to make from it.
- Arancini (fried risotto balls)
- Crispy and cheesy risotto cakes
- Risotto casserole
- Chicken risotto soup
See more: What To Serve With Risotto
Yes. You can safely reheat fried rice, boiled rice, or any dishes containing rice as long as they are appropriately refrigerated.
Make sure the rice is piping hot all the way through to kill off any harmful bacteria. To minimize food poisoning risk, it is best to reheat rice only once. Don’t warm it up if it was left at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
Yes. It is safe to eat as long as it is handled and stored correctly. Just to be on the safe side, it’s best to warm it up shortly before eating. Plus, the taste and flavor are much better than cold rice. Check our step-to-step instructions for reheating risotto.
Absolutely not. It’s a big no-no to eat unrefrigerated, cooked rice dishes. When left out on the countertop, spores of harmful bacteria Bacillus cereus can germinate, grow exponentially, and produce toxins that cause diarrhea, vomiting, and other symptoms.
Basic, regular risotto typically lasts for 3 to 5 days. But, it is best to eat within 3 days if it was prepared with meat or sausages.
Yes. If you want to prepare it ahead of time for a tight week, one little trick is to cook the rice slightly undercooked.
After that, spread it in a large, shallow container to cool quickly and then refrigerate. When it’s time to serve, scoop out the rice, add water/ broth, and cook until creamy.
In A Nutshell
Risotto is best eaten right immediately after cooking. But that doesn’t mean you should throw out leftovers. As long as it’s been refrigerated properly, a quick reheating will revive this rice dish for a creamy and flavorful meal!
Suppose you don’t feel like heating up risotto. In that case, you can also turn it into other tasty meals such as arancini or casserole. Check our tips and detailed instructions to store and reheat leftovers safely!
*image by gbh007&frederiquewacquier/depositphotos