Risotto is a dish consisting of rice cooked in stock and mixed with other ingredients, like meat or vegetables. Although it doesn’t sound like a whole lot, trust me, it’s filling and absolutely delicious.
No, it’s not just cooked rice. It’s so much more than that. Risotto uses high-starch, short-grain rice that absorbs liquid without becoming mushy. It’s art, really.
If you had to guess where it originated, I bet you said, “Italy.” That’s correct! In the 14th Century, rice was introduced to Sicily, Italy (and Spain) by the Arabs. Rice cultivation continued in Naples, Italy and eventually extended to northern Italy through the marshes of the Po River Valley. The Mediterranean climate with high humidity was favorable to growing short and medium-grained rice. Between this rice and the spices from the East, risotto became a popular staple of Milan, Venice, and Genoa.
The dish can be served as a side or as a meal, and there are so many different recipes on how to make it with different ingredients. Personally, I love a good mushroom risotto.
As creamy and as dense as risotto rice gets, you’re probably thinking that it’s super unhealthy, right? Wrong! Technically, risotto is a healthy dish because it offers a balance of all three macronutrients, giving you a suitable range of calories. The short grained rice used is also packed with more fiber than traditional pasta. And although creamy, it doesn’t need a heavy, dairy-based sauce.
With that being said, risotto is actually quite filling. If you don’t devour it when it’s first served, you can most definitely save it for another mealtime. But you have to be careful when reheating that you don’t lose the beautiful dish’s consistency. When thinking how to reheat risotto, there are a few methods to do so, and it can be as simple as putting it in the microwave. But we like to make sure you have options.
So, without further ado, let’s get started on the best ways to rehat risotto.
Is It Safe to Reheat Risotto?
First things first, yes, as long as you do it properly it is safe to reheat risotto! So, you can enjoy it the next day (or in the next couple of hours after you put it away).
However, it is important to know how to cook the risotto recipe if you’re making it yourself, and how to reheat it in a way where you still preserve the creamy texture it has.
What is the Best Method to Reheat Risotto?
The best method to reheat risotto really comes down to preference.
Some may think the easiest way (such as the microwave) is the best way because it’s quick. Others may prefer a slower method like the stovetop because it preserves the texture a little better.
Aside from microwaving and the oven, other ways to reheat risotto include the steamer and in the oven. How do you know what method will work best for you?
Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Read on for our complete breakdown of each method.
Reheating Risotto in the Microwave
The microwave is definitely the quickest and easiest process to warm up your risotto.
Start by taking your chilled risotto out of your fridge and placing it into a glass or microwave-safe bowl.
To ensure you get the texture back, add a little wine, water, or broth stock into the same bowl and stick it into a medium-heat microwave for about 4 minutes.
You can break this up in time so you’re sure to stir in between segments.
If you’re microwaving and after 4 minutes it’s not hot enough to your liking, you can heat it up more. Pro tip: you can add a little bit of butter to make it maintain its texture and then stick it back in the microwave.
Be aware that microwaving can result in a very dry risotto if you’re not cautious, so make sure you add the extra liquid!
Reheating Risotto in the Oven
Putting your risotto in the oven is a great method for preserving the taste, although it will take longer. Begin by taking your leftover risotto out of the fridge and leaving them out to get to room temperature, all while preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take an oven safe dish and coat it with butter. Then, add the risotto to the dish. Since this is a butter-friendly reheat, you’re going to add a bit of butter on the top of the risotto.
Liquid, such as vegetable broth or chicken broth, is optional, but if you feel your risotto was originally dry, it may be a good option. Stir a little before you stick it in the oven.
You will bake the risotto for about 10 minutes, but make sure to stir in increments during the time. If it seems too dry when you check on it, you can add more liquid.
Reheating Risotto on the Stove
Reheating risotto on the stove will turn out very tasty. However, this method requires the most attention.
It’s important to use a non-stick pan to reheat because it will prevent the risotto from sticking to the bottom. You can use either butter and wine or meat broth to add to the risotto. Vegetable broth or plain water is also fine. Be sure to stir it well before placing it on the heat.
After you’ve stirred well, put the pan on medium heat.
Once the risotto starts to warm up, continue stirring. For this method, you’ll constantly be stirring and watching the pan to ensure sticking doesn’t happen.
And of course, if it’s too dry, you can continue to add liquid until the risotto is heated thoroughly.
Reheating Risotto in a Steamer
If you don’t have a microwave, a steamer basket is a great way to reheat risotto.
Start by dropping the steamer basket in a pot filled with boiling water. Let it heat up for a minute or so, then pour the refrigerated risotto into the steamer basket. The heat coming from the boiling water will help to heat the risotto without drying it out.
Proceed to cover the pot and lower the heat, as low heat helps to keep the risotto fresh and retain its flavor. You don’t need to add any other substance like butter or liquid, but you can if you want to revive some of its creaminess.
Tips for Reheating Risotto
If you could take away anything from the reheating methods, it’s to make sure you keep the risotto moist while reheating.
You can add butter or liquids such as wine, broth, or water. Whatever it may be, just make sure your risotto gets something to revive its texture. If you don’t like wine but still want alcohol to help loosen the risotto, you can use vodka. To that, you can divide the cooking liquid and heat half of it before starting the reheating process. You can then add the rest of the liquid after removing the risotto from the heat. Keep stirring while the Risotto absorbs the liquid.
An additional liquid substance you can add is lemon juice, but this would be used more if you wanted a spicier taste.
Another important tip is to figure out how much risotto you want to reheat before you actually reheat it.
Risotto is prone to bacterial growth, so it’s best to evade storing large batches anyway. However, once you reheat the first time, try to avoid reusing or restoring it as it could result in food poisoning. Besides that, risotto will lose the little texture and taste you have left when reviving it.
What Can You Do with Leftover Risotto?
If you’ve decided you don’t want to try and reheat your risotto to its original form, you can get creative with your leftovers.
One of the most popular recipes is turning your leftover risotto into arancini (or “rice balls”). This may take a while to make, but once it’s done the outcome is scrumptious.
Begin by lining parchment paper in a container that will fit in your refrigerator. Once that’s prepped, whisk 4 medium-sized eggs together and add them to the risotto, stirring well. Then add a cup of breadcrumbs and stir until the mixture becomes sticky.
Once you reach that texture, form the arancini by mixing a mozzarella ball with a spoonful of the risotto blend. The ball will be about the size of a golf ball. Once you’ve got your balls, lay them out in the fridge in the container for about an hour. Afterwards, you’ll roll them into more breadcrumbs and fry the arancini in vegetable oil and drain them off once you get a nice golden-brown color.
Although this is by far the most popular recipe, you can also make risotto cakes which are similar in idea.
Let’s be real, you can’t go wrong with putting risotto and fried food together!