Risotto is my idea of comfort food perfection, and it doesn't get any better than this delicious Caramelized Onion Risotto. It is creamy, cheesy, and guaranteed to leave your tastebuds doing a little happy dance. I like this as a vegetarian main course, but it also works well as a side dish. Either way, this is one you will turn to again and again.
Risotto wasn't something I grew up eating, but it was love at the first creamy bite once I tasted it.
I've yet to meet a risotto that I don't like, but this Caramelized Onion Risotto really stands out. It is creamy perfection that never gets old!
Ingredients for Making Onion Risotto
- Avocado Oil: Olive oil would work as well.
- Yellow Onions: I like sweet yellow onions best in this recipe.
- Salt: Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Broth: I like to make homemade vegetable broth, but a good quality store-bought works as well.
- Butter: Olive oil can be used in place of butter if you like.
- Rice: Arborio rice makes the best risotto.
- Wine: If you don't have wine, you can use more broth.
- Parmesan: To keep this recipe vegetarian, make sure you use a rennet-free parmesan.
- Goat Cheese: A good quality goat cheese will offer the fullest flavor.
Caramelizing onions isn't tricky, but it does take time. For the holidays and other entertaining, I like to caramelize the onions a day ahead of time. Go ahead and deglaze the pan and keep the contents in a separate container to add to the broth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Risotto is a sauce Italian rice dish. Though it is creamy, it does not always contain cream. The creaminess comes from the starch that the rice releases when cooking. A good risotto should be loose, creamy, and never sticky.
Arborio is the most common rice used to make risotto. It is short-grained and usually creates a very thick sauce.
Do I Have to Heat the Broth Up Separately?
Although this is the most common way that risotto is made, you don't have to do this. It just saves time while cooking.
How Do I Make My Risotto Have the Best Flavor?
When you start with a base of perfectly caramelized onions and deglaze your pan, a party in your mouth is inevitable. For even more flavor, I recommend starting with homemade broth or a bone broth of good quality. A full-flavored broth will go a long way to ensuring your risotto is sensational.
Tools Needed to Make Onion Risotto Recipe
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Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to four days.
More Risotto Inspiration
- Risotto doesn't get any easier than this Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto. It is the perfect fall side dish that never gets oil!
- Looking for a lighter option? This Mushroom Cauliflower Risotto and Chicken Broccoli Cauliflower Risotto are both fabulous ideas.
- Get your pumpkin in with this fun mash up! Pumpkin Quinoa Risotto is healthy comfort food that you will crave again and again.
Instant Pot Caramelized Onion Risotto
Instant Pot Risotto is totally doable with minimal sacrifice of taste and texture.
The key is to make sure that you get all the brown bits up from caramelizing the onions so that you don't end up getting the burn signal.
See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for instructions on making this dish with your pressure cooker - it is the perfect solution for the holidays when you haven't got a moment to spare.
Instant Pot or Stovetop Caramelized Onion Risotto with Parmesan
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes. Stir.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook, without stirring, until the pot begins to brown, about 5 more minutes. Reduce heat to low and add salt. Cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, heat broth in a saucepan until hot.
- Transfer onions to a plate. Tent with foil to keep warm.
- Add ½ cup of broth to the skillet, scraping with a spatula to get up and bits on the bottom. Pour the liquid back into the broth mixture.
- Melt butter in a deep saute pan or risotto pan. Add rice and cook for 1 minute. Add wine and cook until absorbed, about another minute.
- Ladle enough broth to cover and simmer, stirring often, until it is absorbed. Continue to add broth in this manner, stirring often, and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until rice is tender but still has a bit of bite left. (You may not use all of broth.)
- Stir in cheese and all but ½ cup of onions. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, topped with the onions.
Instant Pot Instructions
- Start by setting your Instant Pot to high heat saute. When it says HOT add the oil and onions. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and sprinkle with the salt. Cook for about 30 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer the onions to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, place the rice and broth in a bowl. Stir for 20 seconds. Drain, reserving the liquid.
- Measure the reserved liquid and wine. Add additional broth or water to the Instant Pot so that you have a total of 3 ½ cups of liquid. Scrap up any remaining brown bits from the bottom of the pot and add the rice.
- Place the lid on your Instant Pot and set it to seal high pressure. Cook for 4 minutes and then do an Instant Release.
- Return the Instant Pot to saute mode and saute for 5 minutes stirring briskly. You can add additional broth if necessary. Stir in the Parmesan and goat cheese.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve warm with the onions.