Prawn Risotto is a quick and easy recipe perfect any night of the week! With succulent juicy prawns, crisp asparagus and juicy peas in a parmesan wine al dente rice base this is decadent dining. Simple to make, packed with flavor and a ton of different textures, the whole family will enjoy this risotto. Risotto with prawns is weeknight friendly, comfort food with an aromatic sense about it.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the prawn risotto recipe in the points below:
- Simple ingredients: everything needed for the risotto with prawns and asparagus are simple ingredients and easy to find at the local grocery store. The prawns freeze really well, so you can have some in the freezer and grab them out to whip this up when the craving hits.
- Dinner made easy: ain't nobody got time to get home from work and stand in the kitchen for 2 hours cooking. This creamy prawn risotto recipe will take around 30 minutes, is loaded with flavor and will tick a lot of boxes and then some. A glass of wine and bowl of this will go down a treat!
- Taste and texture: the plump juicy prawns brings the unmistakeable seafood flavour and the asparagus, peas and rice along with the garlic and onion enable the variety of textures in the dish.
- Comfort food: We have parmesan cheese, white wine, butter, oil and prawns. This combination is sure to tick the prefer to make this at home than eat out or order in boxes 😉👍.
- Family favorite: this is a an easy risotto recipe that the whole family can enjoy together. The wine can be switched out for additional broth if needed and eaters of all ages enjoy the soft fleshy prawns.
- Alternative protein: weeknights are made easy with options like a Roast Chicken, Beef, Pork, Lamb or Tofu Noodle Stir Fry to turn to. Adding prawns to the mix are a great way to get some seafood into the week and switch it up so dinner is never 'same, same or 'boring'.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the king prawn risotto recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the shrimp risotto recipe calls for:
- Olive oil: we use a little bit of olive oil to cook the prawns in.
- Garlic: we use a little bit of garlic along with the butter and onion to create the rice flavour base for the risotto. Minced garlic, chopped garlic or 2 fresh garlic cloves will each work well.
- Salt and pepper: we use salt and a little bit of black pepper for seasoning when we are cooking the prawns.
- Butter: we use a small amount of butter to help cook the onion and garlic as well as to create the traditional risotto recipe flavor base.
- White wine: I like to use a pinot gris when making risottos. It can be a cheap bottle too, no need for anything fancy. A white wine in the $8-$10 range will do the trick.
- Parmesan cheese: freshly grated from a block of parmesan cheese using a micro plane zester is best. This delivers soft, melty cheese that holds its own in the rice mixture.
- Onion: we use ½ large brown onion. Simply peel the skin and finely dice it.
- Peas: frozen peas from the freezer are what we want to use. Regular or baby green peas will both work well. This ingredient allows us to add additional texture and vegetables to the recipe. A prawn & pea risotto won't disappoint 😁👍.
- Asparagus: you can use either regular or baby asparagus. We want 2 bunches that we trim the ends off and then slice the rest of the spears into quarter segments.
- Prawns: also known as shrimp by my American friends. We want to buy fresh prawns (shrimp) and peel and devein them ourselves.
- Arborio rice: this is a special type of short grain rice that absorbs a lot of liquid. Also known as risotto rice it is more robust and paler in colour than regular white rice.
- Chicken stock: also known as chicken broth. This liquid gets absorbed by the rice as the risotto cooks.
Tasty Tip: I like to provide you with a number of substitutions and variations giving you an array of options when making my recipes. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section (further below) before jumping into the instructions on how to make the recipe which are coming next 😉👌.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the creamy risotto recipe. We start by preparing the prawns. You will need a small knife and cutting board.
- Prepare the prawns (Photo 1)
- Add the oil, prawns, salt and pepper to the pan (Photo 2)
- Add the butter, garlic and diced onion (Photo 3)
- Next add the white wine (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Prawn Risotto
To make the prawn risotto we start by peeling and deveining the prawns. To do this, twist the heads off initially then peel the shell and legs of the prawns. Leave the end section and tail intact.
Once done use a small knife and cut along the backbone of the prawn. Find the digestive tract and remove this. Then repeat this process for all of the prawns. Once the prawns are deveined, you can rinse them under the tap and then use paper towel to pat them dry.
Next we want to cook the prawns. To do so place a large sauté pan on the stove top, turn the heat to high, add the olive oil, prawns, salt and pepper.
Cook the prawns for 2-3 minutes then flip to the other side and cook the 2nd side for 2-3 minutes.
Once the prawns are cooked use a slotted turner to lift them up and out of the pan and place them onto a paper towel lined plate.
Next without rinsing or cleaning the pan add the butter, garlic and onion.
Allow the butter to melt and stir to combine this mixture. Let the garlic and onion cook for 1 minute, then pour in the white wine like you see me doing in the photo above.
- Next add the rice to the pan (Photo 5)
- Then gradually add the stock (Photo 6)
- Then add the peas (Photo 7)
- Add the asparagus (Photo 8)
🍤 Risotto With Prawns
Next add the arborio rice to the pan and use a wooden spoon to stir it so that it gets covered in the butter and onion mixture. Once done gradually add in some of the stock.
We want to give this a chance to absorb slightly before adding more in. So add a bit, stir and let it bubble away, then add some more and keep going till it is all added in.
Once all of the stock is in the pan (not fully absorbed yet though) add the frozen peas. Stir to combine these and let them thaw and cook (1-2 minutes). Then add the asparagus and let it soften and cook (1-2 minutes).
Next add the parmesan cheese like you see in the photo below and give it a stir allowing it to melt and mix in.
- Add the parmesan cheese (Photo 9)
The cheese will melt quickly and be absorbed into the risotto. Once it has been you can add the cooked prawns back to the pan and let them heat through (1-2 minutes).
- Add prawns back to the pan (Photo 10)
As the prawns have already been cooked, we are not wanting to cook them further. Rather we want the hot risotto in the pan to heat them through so that they are warm when it comes to serving the dish.
Once done, get your garnish on with a generous sprinkling of black pepper and a scattering of some freshly grated parmesan cheese. Grab some bowls, forks and spoons and you are good to go 😁👌.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
For a wine pairing, try a chilled rose or a cold pinot grigio for a white wine.
For red wine, try a smooth pinot noir 😉👍.
Otherwise, you will likely find that this is a meal in one, a hearty and satisfying dish that will tick a lot of boxes and leave you feeling delightfully done.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftover risotto in a sealed, airtight container in the fridge for 2 days. The leftovers need to be reheated before being consumed.
How to Freeze
Risotto is excellent to freeze as it thaws and reheats very well. You might however, find that you loose some of the juiciness of the prawns if you try and freeze then reheat them.
So you can either purchase the prawns raw and freeze as a means to be organised and later down the track thaw and cook. Or you can make the risotto minus the prawns, freeze these portions, remove and defrost these and then cook and add the prawns when you are ready to make the meal.
How To Reheat
To reheat the risotto, portion it into bowls and cover with cling wrap.
Heat on high in the microwave for 1 minute then remove and stir. Return it to the microwave and heat on high for 1-2 more minutes or until heated through.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- You can use pecorino romano cheese (equivalent amount) in place of the parmesan cheese if you wish too.
- You can use vegetable stock (vegetable broth) in place of the chicken stock if you want to.
- Or if you want to make a homemade seafood stock using the prawn heads and prawn shells you can 😁👌.
- For additional vegetables, you can add some spinach leaves when adding the parmesan and let them wilt and mix in.
- For the prawns, you can use King prawns, Tiger prawns or banana prawns.
- When you are peeling the prawns if you want to remove the tails before cooking them you can.
- For a garnish you can use freshly grated lemon zest if you wish too.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- A non stick pan is best if you have one so that the rice doesn't stick to the pan. Non stick pans generally need less scrubbing too when it comes to cleaning up.
- When the prawns change colour they are usually cooked, but check them up close to ensure that there is only white and orange flesh with no translucent bits.
- We do want to add the stock gradually to the pan and let it start to be absorbed by the rice before adding more.
- Constant stirring the whole time is not essential but reasonably regular stirring especially once the stock has been added to the pan will deliver the best results.
- If prawns are your favourite thing to cook then you might also like the Prawn And Chorizo Skewers, Prawn Fettuccine, Prawn Pesto Pasta, Prawn Chow Mein, Prawn Pizza or the Prawn Skewers 😁👌.
- If you would like a suggestion for dessert to follow the meal, try the Microwave Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding. It is super fast to cook and goes well with a scoop or 2 of vanilla ice-cream.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
How to jazz up risotto?
To make risotto a complete meal consider adding seared scallops, beef strips, sliced chicken thighs, vegetables like mushrooms, peas and onion and ensure that there is a touch of parmesan cheese in the recipe.
How much stock in risotto?
For a risotto recipe that uses 2 cups of arborio rice, use 4 cups or 1 litre of stock.
Is it OK to eat risotto cold?
Cold risotto won't taste very good. It is best to reheat leftover risotto before eating it.
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
I like to try and give you lots of options so that you have a ton of ideas when it comes to 'What's for dinner?'. Here are some more recipes that offer a variety of proteins, cook time, methods and flavours.
- Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta
- Steak Risotto
- Thai Minced Pork
- Chicken Pesto Linguine
- Air Fryer Tortilla Pizza
- Chorizo Pasta Bake
- Spinach and Feta Pizza
- Baked Ziti With Meatballs
- Mince Pasta Bake
- Shrimp And Chicken Fried Rice
Prawn Risotto (Shrimp Risotto)
- 500 grams/ 1 pound prawns (shrimp) Note 1
- 2 tablespoon olive oil Note 2
- ¼ teaspoon salt Note 3
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 40 grams/ 3 tbs butter unsalted, Note 4
- 1 tbs garlic chunky chopped, minced or 2-3 fresh garlic cloves finely diced, Note 5
- ½ large brown onion skin peeled and finely diced, Note 6
- 2 cups arborio rice Note 7
- ½ cup/ 125 ml white wine Note 8
- 4 cups/1 litre chicken stock Note 9
- 1 cup frozen peas Note 10
- 2 bunches asparagus ends trimmed, cut into quarters, Note 11
- ½ cup parmesan cheese finely grated using a micro plane zester, Note 12
- black pepper
- parmesan cheese
- Prawns: prepare the prawns by using a cutting board and starting by twisting their heads off. Then peel the shell and legs, leaving the tail and end segment intact. Next use a knife and cut along the backbone of the prawns and remove the digestive tract. Repeat this process for all of the prawns.
- Cook prawns: place a large sauté pan on the stove top, turn the heat to high, add the olive oil, prawns, salt and pepper. Cook the prawns for 2-3 minutes per side until they have turned bright orange with white flesh and there is no translucent skin. Once they are cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the pan and place them onto a paper towel lined plate.
- Butter, onion and garlic: without rinsing or cleaning the pan we used to cook the prawns, add the butter, garlic and onion. Stir this mixture till the butter melts and then let the garlic and onion cook for 1 minute.
- Rice, wine and stock: once the garlic and onion have softened, add the Arborio rice and use a wooden spoon to stir and coat the rice in the butter mixture. Once the rice has a shiny look about it, pour in the wine and let it sizzle. Next gradually (not all at once) add the stock to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon to let it absorb bit by bit. Then continue to slowly add the stock and stir as you go.
- Peas, asparagus and parmesan: just before all of the stock has absorbed add the frozen peas and stir. They need 1-2 minutes in the risotto to thaw and cook. Once they have done add the asparagus and give it 1-2 minutes to soften and cook. Once it has add the parmesan cheese and stir to melt this, allowing it to combine with the rest of the risotto.
- Cooked prawns: next add the cooked prawns back to the pan and gently allow them to heat through.
- Garnish: generously garnish the dish with black pepper and parmesan cheese. Provide bowls, forks and spoons for serving then head to the table!
- Note 1 - Prawns: also known as shrimp by my American friends. We want to buy fresh prawns (shrimp) and peel and devein them ourselves. If you are tired and running low on energy, you can use store bought peeled prawns with or without the tails on to save a little bit of prep time.
- Note 2 - Olive oil: we use a little bit of olive oil to cook the prawns in. We also don't want to clean or rinse the pan after the prawns have cooked as we have already started to create the flavours in the recipe and some of the residual oil holds this flavor within.
- Note 3 - Salt and pepper: we use salt and a little bit of black pepper for seasoning when we are cooking the prawns.
- Note 4 - Butter: we use a small amount of butter to help cook the onion and garlic as well as to create a standard risotto recipe flavor base. Unsalted is best as we add salt as a separate ingredient in the risotto (when cooking the prawns/shrimp).
- Note 5 - Garlic: we use a little bit of garlic along with the butter and onion to create the rice flavour base for the risotto.
- Note 6 - Onion: we use ½ large brown onion. Simply peel the skin and finely dice it.
- Note 7 - Arborio rice: this is a special type of rice that absorbs a lot of liquid. Also known as risotto rice it is more robust and paler than regular white rice.
- Note 8 - White wine: I like to use a pinot gris when making risottos. It can be a cheap bottle too, no need for anything fancy. A white wine in the $8-$10 range will do the trick 😉👌.
- Note 9 - Chicken stock: also known as chicken broth. This liquid gets absorbed by the rice as the risotto cooks.
- Note 10 - Peas: frozen peas from the freezer are what we want to use. Regular or baby green peas will both work well. We add these in their frozen state and let them thaw and cook before we add the asparagus. You will find however, that they cook very quickly due to the already hot contents of the pan.
- Note 11 - Asparagus: you can use either regular or baby asparagus. We want 2 bunches that we trim the ends off and then slice the rest of the spears into quarter segments.
- Note 12 - Parmesan cheese: freshly grated from a block of parmesan cheese using a micro plane zester is best. This delivers soft, melty cheese that holds its own in the rice mixture.