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A bowl of Risotto with shrimp
4.62 from 18 votes

Creamy Parmesan Risotto with Shrimp

Feel free to substitute the homemade shrimp stock for store-bought seafood stock, or low-sodium chicken broth. Click here to learn more about arborio rice.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time35 mins
To make homemade stock40 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 732kcal


For the Homemade Shrimp Stock (optional)

  • Shells from at least 2 pounds of raw shrimp
  • 1 medium onion roughly chopped
  • 2 ribs celery roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
  • 5 large bay leaves
  • 8 cups water

For the Parmesan Risotto with Shrimp

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon salt divided
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 pounds shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 6 tablespoon salted butter divided
  • 8 cups homemade shrimp stock (or low-sodium chicken stock, vegetable broth, or water)
  • 4 shallots minced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice do not wash
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups grated parmesan cheese divided
  • Fresh parsley to garnish
  • lemon wedges for serving (at least 3-4 lemons)


For the Homemade Shrimp Stock (optional)

  • If you haven't already, thaw the shrimp. Peel and devein each shrimp (leave tails on or remove, up to you). Transfer the shrimp to a large bowl and set aside in the refrigerator). Meanwhile, add the shells to a large pot. Add the roughly chopped onion, celery, smashed garlic, and bay leaves. Fill with approximately 8-9 cups of water (you will need 8 cups of stock, but the additional liquid will account for any liquid lost to avaportion).
  • Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a separate pot or container and set over low heat to keep warm. Cover.

For the Parmesan Risotto with Shrimp

  • Remove the shrimp from the refrigerator. Pat dry with paper towels and gently toss to coat with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper, and sweet paprika. Mix thoroughly to combine and set aside.
  • To cook the shrimp, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook for 3 minutes before flipping and cooking the other side, approximately 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove cooked shrimp to a clean plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining shrimp (see notes).
  • If using store-bought broth, bring to a simmer in a small pot over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and keep warm until ready to use.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large Dutch oven or large, wide, deep sauté pan set over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until soft, approximately 4-6 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the arborio rice and mix thoroughly to coat in butter and shallots. Cook for 2 minutes or so, stirring often to prevent the rice from burning. Add the white wine and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the wine has evaporated.
  • Begin adding the hot stock, one ladle at a time, stirring frequently. Wait to add another ladle until the broth/liquid has been almost completely absorbed by the rice. Don't be tempted to rush this process as this is what makes risotto unique with its extra creamy consistency.
  • Reduce the heat if you notice that the broth is evaporating rather than be absorbed, or the rice is boiling hard- it should be gently simmering. This will take approximately 20 minutes or so. It's ready when the rice is soft, but still slightly chewy. You may not use all of the broth (but likely most of it).
  • When your risotto is ready, remove from heat and stir in the last 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve immediately garnished with freshly chopped parsley, lemon wedges, and additional Parmesan cheese. Top with plump cooked shrimp.
  • Allow leftovers to cool before transferring to an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


If you prefer not to cook with wine, replace it with 1/2 cup of broth.
Preparing homemade shrimp stock will add an additional hour of prep/cook time to this recipe. If you don't have that kind of time, feel free to make your risotto with homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock or veggie broth, I do not recommend using plain water.
You may cook the shrimp either before you start the risotto or after. There are pros and cons to each. Cook the shrimp before, cover, and let it rest. It won't be as sizzling hot, but it will be warm and delicious. Cook it after and the same may be said for the risotto - though you could always add an extra small ladle of warm broth after the shrimp has cooked, cook the rice for a minute or so over low heat, and you'll be good to go. A third option is to bake your shrimp. To bake -
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. 
  • Spread the shrimp in an even layer over a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • In the last 5 minutes of cooking your risotto, transfer the shrimp to the oven and bake until the shrimp are pink and cooked through (approximately 5 minutes).
Can't find Arborio rice? Substitute with Carnaroli rice, Vialone Nano Rice, or other grain completely like farro, pearled barley, or steel-cut oats. Note that total liquid amounts and cooking times may vary.
You may also enjoy: What is Arborio Rice?
This recipe is 100% gluten-free.


Calories: 732kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 441mg | Sodium: 2594mg | Potassium: 385mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1031IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 630mg | Iron: 7mg
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