risotto side dishes

What To Serve With Risotto? 7 Side Dishes

Once you try risotto, you always want more. Either you have it as a side dish or let it shine as the main one. No matter how you prepare it, having the perfect side dish recipes will help you make the meal more delicious.

Stay tuned to find out what goes well with risotto! You can make these recipes at any time to go with your favorite risotto.

What Is Risotto?

Risotto is an Italian rice dish. The rice is prepared in broth until it becomes creamy and dense. The broth can be chicken, beef, fish, or vegetable.

Some usual risotto ingredients include butter, white wine, onions, scallions, mushrooms, parmesan cheese, and more. Risotto is the most common type of rice in Italy, but it is becoming more popular everywhere. Many people confuse risotto with a pasta dish.

The most common rice used to prepare risotto is a high starch, short or medium grain. Arborio, Baldo, and Roma rice are usually preferred. Since risotto is prepared over low heat, you should always pay close attention to the cooking process.

Although it can be served only with olive oil, butter, salt, and pepper, you will likely see risotto with vegetables and a protein source. Unlike popular belief, risotto does not contain any cream or dairy. The consistency is like this because of the starch in the rice grain. You can choose risotto as a first dish or a side dish.


Nutrition Facts

One cup of risotto with cheese and a sauce (204 g) has the following nutritional content (*):

  • 339 calories
  • 135 g water
  • 10.5 g protein
  • 14.3 g fat
  • 40.8 g carbohydrate
  • 0.612 g fiber
  • 0.204 g sugar
  • 224 mg calcium
  • 1.82 mg iron
  • 28.6 mg magnesium
  • 212 mg phosphorus
  • 143 mg potassium
  • 657 mg sodium
  • 55.1 µg vitamin A
  • 26.5 mg cholesterol

While risotto can be high in carbohydrates, you can make it healthier by choosing a lighter cream and olive oil. Accompany your risotto with some vegetables for fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Homemade risotto can also be low sodium as opposed to store-made.

So, What Goes With Risotto?

Below are some options for risotto sides that you can serve any time!

#1. Butter Garlic Shrimp

This butter garlic shrimp recipe is decadent and complex. The flavors are buttery and aromatic, perfect to go with your favorite creamy risotto.


  • ½ stick butter
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your butter garlic shrimp:

  1. Wash, clean, and chop your vegetables. Set them aside.
  2. Add half of the butter to a skillet. Once it begins to melt, add the garlic.
  3. Stir in the onion and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp, and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until they turn pink.
  5. Stir in the vegetable broth, lemon juice, parsley, dill, red pepper flakes. Stir and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add the remaining butter and cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Serve hot on top of your risotto or the side.

#2. Sauteed Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

If you want to add some greens to your meal, spinach is the way to go. You can add sun-dried tomatoes for sweet and savory.


  • 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • ½ yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes with oil
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your sauteed spinach and sun-dried tomatoes:

  1. Wash, clean, and chop your vegetables.
  2. Add the olive oil and garlic to a skillet. Once it is hot, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Slowly cook the spinach, adding it as it begins to wilt.
  4. Once the spinach is ready, stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and capers.
  5. Continue to cook for another minute, as you toss well.
  6. Season with oregano, parsley, mustard powder, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  7. Serve your sauteed spinach and sun-dried tomatoes on top of your risotto.

#3. Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Mushrooms always pair with risotto, and this sauce is no different. You can use non-dairy alternatives if you want to keep things healthier.


  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ⅓ cup white wine
  • ⅓ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your creamy mushroom sauce:

  1. Clean and chop your vegetables, set them aside.
  2. Add the butter and garlic to a skillet. Once it begins to melt, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the mushrooms, salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  4. Pour the white wine, and cook until the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Stir in the chicken broth and cream. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Add the cornstarch and mix until it thickens. Simmer for another couple of minutes.
  7. Serve your mushroom sauce hot on top of your favorite risotto.

#4. Pea and Leek Soup

Another great way to get your greens is drinking them! This pea and leek soup is savory, creamy, and very delicious.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups watercress
  • 2 cups frozen peas (or green beans if desired)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your pea and leek soup:

  1. Wash, clean, and chop your vegetables.
  2. Add the olive oil to a saucepan. Once it is hot, add the leeks and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Pour the vegetable broth and allow it to boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.
  5. Add the watercress and peas. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cream, garlic powder, lemon juice, mustard powder, salt, and pepper.
  7. Cook for a few more minutes.
  8. Turn off the heat and pour the hot soup into a food processor or blender.
  9. Blend your soup until it reaches a creamy consistency.
  10. Return to the saucepan and heat for a couple more minutes.
  11. Serve your pea and leek soup hot with olive oil drizzled on top and fresh parsley.

#5. Caprese Salad

Who does not like a Caprese salad? This recipe adds the final touch of balsamic glaze to add sweetness and citrus at the same time.


  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 5 thick slices of mozzarella
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 4 tablespoons fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your Caprese salad:

  1. Wash, clean, and slice your tomatoes. Set them aside.
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to a saucepan. Cook over high heat until it boils.
  3. Turn the heat to a low simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the vinegar becomes a thick glaze with a syrup consistency.
  4. Turn the heat off and allow the deglaze to sit.
  5. In the meantime, place alternate slices of tomatoes and cheese on a serving plate.
  6. Sprinkle the olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper on top.
  7. Pour the balsamic reduction over your salad and top off with the basil leaves.
  8. Serve your Caprese salad fresh on the side of your risotto.

Tip: you can store the Caprese salad in the refrigerator for two days, but do not pour the balsamic glaze until you are ready to eat it.

#6. Lemon Chicken Piccata

This lemon chicken piccata is delicious and delicate. You can serve it on top of your risotto or as a side dish, and you can even add scallops or fish!


  • 2 boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoon white wine
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your lemon chicken piccata:

  1. Place your chicken on a cutting board and flatten it using a mallet or a weighted plate.
  2. Add the flour, cumin, salt, and pepper to a plate.
  3. Pass each chicken cutlet on the flour mixture. Make sure both sides are fully covered.
  4. Heat the olive oil and garlic in a skillet. Cook each chicken cutlet for 5 minutes, switching sides halfway through.
  5. Remove the chicken and set it aside.
  6. Stir in the lemon juice, chicken broth, and white wine to the same skillet.
  7. Bring the liquid to a boil, and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  8. Add the oregano and return the chicken to the skillet.
  9. Serve your lemon chicken piccata hot with fresh parsley on top.

#7. Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto

For a bit of green and also some more protein, this asparagus wrapped in prosciutto is the way to go. You can mix healthy vegetables with a delicate protein source without much guilt.


  • A bunch of asparagus
  • 6 slices of prosciutto
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parmesan to serve

Follow these steps to prepare your asparagus wrapped in prosciutto:

  1. Heat your oven to 375 ° F.
  2. Wash, clean, and trim the ends off your asparagus.
  3. Cut the slices in half, trying to get them to be the same size.
  4. Cut the prosciutto slices and wrap each asparagus slice. Make sure to tug on the prosciutto so it stays wrapped.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the asparagus on it and sprinkle with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  6. Bake your asparagus for 10 to 12 minutes or until the asparagus is softer and the prosciutto is more crispy.
  7. Serve the asparagus warm or at room temperature with fresh parmesan cheese on top.

How Can I Pick The Perfect Risotto Side Dish?

Risotto is a delicate yet satisfying dish that everyone will love. You can have it be a star on its own or serve it as a side dish. Enjoy your favorite risotto dish with these recipes that are all affordable and tasty.

For those that want to serve something healthier, go with a vegetable dish. The sauteed spinach with sun-dried tomatoes is sweet and aromatic. You can also go with the Caprese salad, which packs flavor and also protein.

If you want to add more protein to your risotto, then a dish with meat or seafood is the right one. The butter garlic shrimp is a quick and easy solution with tons of flavor. The lemon chicken piccata is another Italian classic that never disappoints.

For all other options, go with something traditional or new. The creamy mushroom sauce goes well on top of any risotto. The asparagus wrapped in prosciutto is a delicacy in itself and will surprise everyone.

Finally, try the pea and leek soup, which is creamy and filling without the need for many ingredients.


Now that you know what to eat with risotto, there is no excuse to prepare it as a complete meal next time. You can combine these risotto side dishes at any time without much trouble. Enjoy your favorite risotto and let it shine with these recipes!

See more: How to Reheat Risotto

*image by frederiquewacquier&vision.si/depositphotos

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