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How to Reheat Risotto Perfectly (3 Easy Methods)

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Creamy, delicious, al dente risotto is such a decadent dish. Freshly cooked risotto cannot be beat, but what do you do when you have leftover risotto? This How to Reheat Risotto guide with 3 easy methods will save that risotto and make it just as good as when you first made it or enjoyed it at a restaurant. Leftover risotto is great as another meal or use it as a side dish.

How to Reheat RIsotto Perfectly (3 Easy Methods) written over a faded picture of butternut squash risotto with bacon in a copper pan.

What is Risotto?

Risotto is a classic Italian rice dish made with arborio rice. Traditionally the dish includes ingredients such as onion, dry white wine, broth and parmesan cheese. When making this delicious dish a lot of stirring is required for the starches to be released from the rice. It is cooked slowly on a low temperature to give more time for the rice to absorb the liquid. Risotto can be served as a side dish or main course. 

How to Store Leftover Risotto

Before you can reheat leftover risotto you need to be sure that it is stored correctly. Following these storage tips will ensure the best taste and quality.

Allow leftover risotto to cool to room temperature and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Do not allow risotto to sit at room temperature for more than 4 hours. If you leave risotto out beyond 4 hours will increase your risk of food poisoning when reheating the risotto.

Leftover risotto can also be stored in the freezer for later. If you choose to freeze risotto, be sure to store it in an airtight container to avoid freezer burn and preserve the quality. Frozen risotto should be completely thawed before reheating for the best results.

How long can I store risotto?

Risotto stored in the refrigerator should be used with in 5 days. However, because freezer storage allows you to keep foods longer, risotto may last 2-3 months in the freezer.

Basil Parmesan Risotto with fresh basil on top in a white bowl next to a spoon.
Basil Parmesan Risotto

How to Reheat Risotto

Next time you have risotto leftovers, be sure to heat them up correctly. Choose one of these three best methods for reheating risotto to get the same creamy texture you had with your fresh risotto dish. 

Stovetop Method for Reheating Risotto

If you froze the leftover risotto be sure to completely defrost it before reheating it. The best option is to let it sit in the refrigerator overnight or for up to 24 hours before reheating.

To reheat risotto on the stove, you will need a non-stick pan or skillet as well as some liquid. Preferably the same liquid that was made when the risotto was made such as chicken broth, vegetable broth or beef broth.

Heat the skillet over medium heat. Add the liquid and once warm add the leftover cold risotto to the pan. Stir frequently to keep the risotto from burning or sticking to the pan. Heat until warmed through. If needed add more liquid to adjust the consistency.

Serve reheated risotto right away and do not store any leftovers as this increases the risk of bacteria growth.

Oven Method for Reheating Risotto

Again, if you are using risotto that was frozen be sure that it is completely thawed before reheating. For this method, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then, place the risotto in an oven safe dish such as a 8×8 dish or round oven safe dish.

Next, add a splash of liquid that is similar to what it was cooked in. Try chicken broth, vegetable broth or beef broth. Then, cover the dish with aluminum foil. This will help to keep the steam from the liquid from evaporating and help to reheat the risotto.

Place container into the preheated oven and cook until heated through. Remove the dish from the oven every 5 minutes or so to stir it thoroughly. This will ensure that it is heating evenly and will it keep it from burning. If the risotto needs more liquid, add a little at at time to get the right consistency. Serve right away for best results.

As with the previous method, do not save any reheated risotto to use another time.

Pumpkin risotto in a white bowl with a gold rim.
Pumpkin Risotto

Microwave Method for Reheating Risotto

Be sure to start with fully thawed risotto if using previously frozen leftovers. Then, place risotto into a microwave-safe dish. Add a small amount of liquid such as chicken broth, vegeatable broth or beef broth. Loosely cover the dish with a lid, damp paper towel or microwave-safe plastic wrap.

Place in the microwave and heat in 30 second intervals. Stir the risotto well in between each interval and cook until heated through. If necessary, add a little more liquid to get your desired consistency. Serve immediately after reheating. Do not save reheated leftovers.

How to Improve Reheated Risotto

There are a few ways to improve the flavor and texture of reheated risotto and all of them are simple! Give these a try if your reheated risotto is still subpar:

  • Adjust the consistency by adding more liquid. We prefer to use chicken broth, vegetable broth or beef broth. You can also use water, milk or cream.
  • Add in more fresh ingredients such as fresh herbs like basil and cilantro.
  • Sauté up some peppers, onions and garlic and serve over your risotto. This can be done with other vegetables as well.
  • Add more cheese! Some fresh grated cheese will go a long way in improving the flavor of leftover risotto. If necessary, add some liquid a long with the cheese so it is not too thick.
  • Add a little butter or olive oil. Additional fat will help to give reheated risotto a more rich flavor.
  • Season it up a bit! Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika or any of your other favorite spices!

If all else fails, see some of our favorite recipes below to use up that leftover risotto!

Butternut Squash Risotto with Bacon in a copper skillet next to a tan towel
Butternut Squash Risotto with Bacon

Can I save reheated risotto?

No! You should not save reheated risotto because there is a risk of more bacterial growth each time a food is reheated and cooled down. Saving leftover risotto for a second time is not a good idea. For this reason, only reheat the risotto you plan to eat. This may mean heating smaller quantities instead of a large batch of risotto but it will be worth not wasting any.

We hope this guide has helped you to reheat your risotto correctly or given you another way to use it! Leftover risotto can be just as good as the first time around when done correctly.

Bowl of chicken pesto risotto next to a blue and white striped cloth and a spoon
Chicken Pesto Risotto

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