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Lemony shrimp risotto feels a little bit fancy. And yet it comes together almost entirely from ingredients you can stock in the pantry and freezer — so it’s equally perfect for a busy weeknight and a last-minute dinner party.

lemony shrimp risotto with broccoli in a pan
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Why we love this recipe

I always feel like risotto is pure comfort food masquerading as something very impressive (or, okay, at least medium-impressive). It’s basically the best of all possible worlds.

Lemony shrimp risotto with broccoli is:

  • Ready in about 30 minutes to satisfy the bellies and the souls of anyone who happens to be around.
  • Parsley aside (and hey, leave it out if you don’t have it), made entirely from pantry, freezer, and long-lived ingredients. You can buy them ahead when you’re feeling combobulated and simply thank yourself later.
  • Despite that, full of bright, fresh, beautifully balanced flavors — and plenty of protein and veggies, too.
  • Flexible. See the notes throughout the post about options for serving to a mixed crowd of vegetarians and pescatarians, and more.

I first published this recipe here in 2016. I’ve since updated the post for clarity and made a few gentle tweaks to the recipe itself.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls
  • Arborio rice is an Italian short-grain variety of rice. Its high starch content helps create risotto’s silky, creamy broth. And its superior quality means the grains retain their al dente bite amidst the creaminess. Alternatively, you can use carnaroli rice. It works similarly but has a slightly longer grain, higher starch content, and firmer texture.
  • Whenever possible, I make this recipe using the fabulous liquid left over from poaching shrimp cocktail, which I keep in the freezer. Other good options include lower-salt commercial shrimp or seafood stock, chicken broth, or a good vegetable broth. (This vegetable broth has by far my favorite flavor profile.) If you’re serving some vegetarians, you can cook the shrimp in a separate pan, use vegetable broth, and, when you’re ready to serve, just arrange shrimp on top of part of the risotto or in individual serving bowls.
  • Use a dry white wine that you’d be happy to drink (and serve the rest of the bottle at the table!)
  • Small wild shrimp from the freezer section are perfect here. They’re less expensive than larger shrimp and easier to eat and to distribute throughout the dish. I like to buy them peeled and cleaned, either with tails on or off.
  • When I first published this recipe, I called for frozen chopped broccoli, which is nice and small and distributes so well throughout the risotto. These days it’s nearly impossible to find, so petite florets are just fine, too.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a beautiful batch of lemony shrimp risotto with broccoli. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. First you’ll sauté the shrimp and garlic in a little bit of the butter until just cooked through, and sprinkle with a bit of the lemon juice. Remove and reserve.
  2. Cook the onion in the remaining butter and olive oil, then toast the rice. Pour in the wine and stir frequently as it absorbs.
  3. A cup or so at a time, add the broth, stirring frequently and letting it absorb into the rice. With the final addition of broth, add the broccoli so it has a chance to warm through. With about a minute left, stir in the shrimp and remaining lemon juice. Stop when there’s still a bit of silky broth in the pan and the rice is creamy but with a slight bite in the center of the grain.
  4. Off the heat, stir in the cheese and parsley. Let it rest for five minutes before serving so the broth has a chance to thicken up a bit.

Expert tips and FAQs

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

Risotto’s combination of firm-tender rice and creamy broth will be at its best shortly after cooking. I don’t recommend making it in advance. If you need to, you can parcook it in advance, proceeding though step nine below but stopping with a couple of cups of broth still to add. Finish right before serving.

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a week. They’ll taste great but thicken up a bit, which is fine. You can reheat in the microwave.

Shrimp risotto leftovers also make great arancini with fresh goat cheese or mozzarella in the middle.

More favorite risotto recipes

lemony shrimp risotto with broccoli in a pan

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Lemony Shrimp Risotto with Broccoli 780 | Umami Girl-2
4.82 from 22 votes

Lemony Shrimp Risotto with Broccoli

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
This is a great, company-worthy meal that makes an instant dinner party pretty much straight from the pantry and freezer (so you can always have these ingredients on hand).
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) butter, divided
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pound (454 grams) small wild shrimp, peeled, cleaned, and defrosted if frozen
  • Juice of 1 lemon, about 3 tablespoons/45 ml, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
  • 1 ½ cups (270 grams) arborio rice
  • ½ cup (120 ml) dry white wine that you like to drink
  • 4 cups (945 ml) lower-salt seafood, chicken, or vegetable broth
  • 10 ounces (284 grams) frozen chopped broccoli or petite florets, defrosted
  • ½ cup (40 grams) grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Instructions 

  • In a 12-inch nonstick pan or shallow Dutch oven, melt one tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat.
  • Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds to a minute, until very fragrant.
  • Add shrimp to pan in a single layer. Cook for about a minute on one side, until becoming opaque, then flip and heat the other side until just cooked through. Sprinkle with about a tablespoon of the lemon juice and stir.
  • Remove from pan and reserve.
  • Heat the remaining two tablespoons butter and the olive oil over medium-high in the same pan.
  • Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add rice, stir well to coat with butter and oil, and cook for a minute.
  • Pour in wine and stir to incorporate. Simmer, stirring frequently, until almost evaporated.
  • Add broth by the cupful, continuing to stir frequently and adding more as it absorbs. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt during this process.
  • Stir in broccoli as you add the last cup of broth.
  • Stop cooking when there’s still a bit of thick broth remaining and the rice is tender but with the tiniest bite in the center of the grain. In the last minute or so of cooking, stir in reserved shrimp with any accumulated liquid, along with remaining lemon juice.
  • Remove from heat and stir in parmesan and parsley, along with some freshly ground black pepper if you like.
  • Let rest for five minutes before serving.

Notes

  1. Arborio rice is an Italian short-grain variety of rice. Its high starch content helps create risotto's silky, creamy broth. And its superior quality means the grains retain their al dente bite amidst the creaminess. Alternatively, you can use carnaroli rice. It works similarly but has a slightly longer grain, higher starch content, and firmer texture.
  2. Whenever possible, I make this recipe using the fabulous liquid left over from poaching shrimp cocktail, which I keep in the freezer. Other good options include lower-salt commercial shrimp or seafood stock, chicken broth, or a good vegetable broth. (This vegetable broth has by far my favorite flavor profile.) If you’re serving some vegetarians, you can cook the shrimp in a separate pan, use vegetable broth, and, when you’re ready to serve, just arrange shrimp on top of part of the risotto or in individual serving bowls.
  3. Use a dry white wine that you'd be happy to drink (and serve the rest of the bottle at the table!)
  4. Small wild shrimp from the freezer section are perfect here. They're less expensive than larger shrimp and easier to eat and to distribute throughout the dish. I like to buy them peeled and cleaned, either with tails on or off.
  5. When I first published this recipe, I called for frozen chopped broccoli, which is nice and small and distributes so well throughout the risotto. These days it's nearly impossible to find, so petite florets are just fine, too.
  6. Risotto's combination of firm-tender rice and creamy broth will be at its best shortly after cooking. I don't recommend making it in advance. If you need to, you can parcook it in advance, proceeding though step nine below but stopping with a couple of cups of broth still to add. Finish right before serving.
  7. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a week. They'll taste great but thicken up a bit, which is fine. You can reheat in the microwave. They also make great arancini with fresh goat cheese or mozzarella in the middle.

Nutrition

Calories: 399kcal, Carbohydrates: 49g, Protein: 15.2g, Fat: 15g, Fiber: 3.1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Grains
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

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Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.82 from 22 votes (22 ratings without comment)

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7 Comments

  1. I am trying the Risotto with shrimp, lemon and broccoli tonight. It looks delicious, surely it will taste that way, too. Thanks for the recipe.