Creamy Shrimp (or Prawn) Risotto With Peas is a delightful, hearty, and comforting dish made with juicy shrimp, arborio rice, and homemade stock.
Ready in only 30 minutes, this restaurant-quality risotto is perfect for a weeknight meal as well as a romantic date night!
This delicious shrimp risotto (or prawn risotto if you are in the UK) is extremely easy to make with a minimum of preparation.
Same as my popular Creamy Shrimp Pasta, I use fresh tiger prawns for this dish but feel free to use frozen shrimp or ready-peeled shrimp to make things even easier!
You can add mussels, scallops, or any other seafood to your risotto if you are not a big fan of shrimp.
What is Risotto
Risotto is a classic Italian dish made with starchy medium or short-grain rice cooked with stock until it reaches a creamy consistency.
The base of risotto consists of shallots, olive oil or butter, dry white wine, and starchy rice.
The creaminess of risotto comes from butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano as well as the rice itself.
There are many different types of risotto and Shrimp Risotto is one of the most popular ones along with Mushroom Risotto and Pumpkin Risotto (Risotto Alla Zucca).
In Italy, it is typical to serve risotto as a starter / first course but I often serve it as a main course along with a bowl of Rocket Salad with Parmesan or Turkish Shepherd Salad (Coban Salatasi).
Why This Recipe Works?
- This restaurant-quality dish tastes delicious, is a perfect meal for a romantic date night dinner, and is much cheaper!
- The leftovers of Shrimp Risotto are great for making Italian Rice Balls (Arancini), which is a perfect finger food similar to Icli Kofte (Turkish Kibbeh).
- It is extremely creamy without any cream added!
- Creamy Prawn Risotto is a complete meal itself as it contains prawns and peas.
- It is also versatile. You can add any green vegetables you have in your fridge. You can substitute prawns with other seafood such as scallops, clams, or mussels.
Ingredients for Creamy Shrimp Risotto
The Best Rice for Risotto
The most important ingredient for risotto is the rice and to get the perfect results each time, choose the right type of rice. Carnaroli, vialone nano, arborio, or Baldo are the best options and they all absorb the liquid well, giving you that lovely creamy texture we are after.
Don't rinse the risotto rice before using it. Washing the rice removes the starch, which is what helps give risotto its velvety&creamy texture.
What Shrimp (or Prawns) Should I Use?
Prawns are the star ingredient for this risotto dish and it is best to try and buy the fresh ones.
I personally prefer fresh tiger prawns or king prawns for the chunkier texture.
Also, they add a luxurious feeling to the dish and they are amazingly juicy.
I buy them in bulks, peel, devein, and freeze for future use.
There is a short video on the recipe card that shows how to peel and devein raw prawns.
You can keep shrimp frozen for up to 3 months and defrost fairly quickly which makes them perfect for emergencies.
Alternatively, you can buy good quality frozen shrimp in supermarkets to make things easier.
You can also use smaller-sized prawns if you prefer.
You will also need:
- Mascarpone cheese - I add this creamy cheese to all my risotto dishes for a velvety and rich texture. You can substitute it with creme fraiche.
- White wine - It intensifies and enhances the flavor of the risotto. You can use vermouth for a sweeter taste. Omit it for a child-friendly version.
- Parmesan Cheese - Use a good quality block of parmesan and grate it just before using it. This is a must. Don't even think about using pre-grated cheese. You have to use the real thing for the best flavor and texture in risotto. You can substitute it with Pecorino Romano.
- Stock - I prefer using Homemade Vegetable Stock for risotto dishes. However, Chicken Stock works great as well. You can also use store-bought stock or stock cubes if you don't have any stock in hand. Make sure you don't add too much salt as ready-made stocks and stock cubes contain salt already.
How to Make Creamy Shrimp Risotto?
Achieving the perfect flavors and consistency in a risotto can be tricky, especially when the internet is full of many incorrect recipes.
But once you follow the basic tips and technics I've learned over the years as a chef, you will be able to create your own signature risotto dishes with your favorite ingredients.
Heat the chicken stock, seafood stock, or vegetable stock in a pan and leave it on low heat to simmer.
Set it aside. You will use this when cooking the risotto.
Heat a large pan or large skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter at medium heat.
Add the shrimp and cook for a couple of minutes, until they get pink.
Don't be tempted to cook any longer as they will cook more later with the risotto!
Remove the shrimp to a plate and add the olive oil to the same pan.
The flavor from the sautéed shrimp will be the base flavor of our risotto!
Add the shallots and chopped garlic cloves, and gently sauté for 2-3 minutes until they are soft and translucent.
Add the rice and sauté for a few minutes until they are semi-translucent.
Pour in the white wine, and cook until all the alcohol evaporates.
Turn the heat to low and start adding the simmering stock a ladle each time.
Keep stirring the rice every few minutes, until the stock is totally absorbed by the rice.
Add more stock when there is no more liquid in the pan and repeat the same process until the rice is nearly cooked but still crunchy.
Stir in the mascarpone cheese, salt, and pepper at this point, and cook for a few more minutes.
Check the rice and add more stock if necessary until it's cooked al dente.
Add the cubed butter along with the peas and give it a good stir.
Stir in the shrimp, turn the heat off, and add the grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Do not stir the Parmesan cheese in, and let the risotto rest for 5 minutes with a lid on before serving.
Serve the risotto and garnish with chopped parsley or chives and extra grated parmesan cheese.
Top Tips From the Chef
- Make sure the broth/stock is warm - Adding cold liquid to the risotto when it's cooking will slow down the cooking process, and may end up shocking the rice so it won't absorb as much liquid. Keep your stock/broth simmering on low heat. Add a ladle at a time, cooking and stirring over medium-low heat until the rice is al dente. This helps the rice to fully absorb the liquid and flavors. Do not add the stock all at once.
- Keep your attention fully on your risotto - Don’t let your risotto simmer unattended. Stirring is a crucial part of cooking risotto. It helps the rice to release its starch and gives the risotto a creamy texture. Check and stir often, ideally every 30 seconds to achieve the velvety texture we are after. Stirring also helps to prevent it from drying out or sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Adding the butter - Always add the butter just before the cooking process end. Make sure the butter is cubed, cold, and fresh out of the fridge. Add the butter and stir until combined, then turn the heat off.
- Adding the Parmesan cheese - Add the Parmesan cheese when the cooking process is finished. Turn the heat off, sprinkle the cheese, do not get tempted to stir it, cover it with a lid, and leave for 5 minutes before serving.
- Use your prawn shells - If you use fresh prawns in the shell, save the shell to add to your vegetable stock for extra flavor.
How to Serve Creamy Shrimp Risotto?
This Creamy Shrimp Risotto with Peas is a complete meal itself.
However, you can serve it with a bowl of salad on the side such as Greek Cucumber Salad and Gavurdagi Salatasi (Tomato and Walnut Salad), or Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts if you want to turn it into a feast!
Storage and Reheating Instructions
The best way to enjoy risotto is when it is freshly made.
However, the leftovers would keep refrigerated for up to 2 days in an airtight container.
The leftovers are also great for making Arancini - Italian Rice Balls. They are perfect as an appetizer or finger food!
The easiest way to reheat leftover risotto is to use a microwave.
You can also reheat it in a pan on low heat with a bit of stock addition. Make sure to stir the risotto continuously while reheating.
Shrimp Risotto Recipe Variations
- Spicy Shrimp Risotto - Add some red pepper flakes or chili powder for a spicy kick that pairs perfectly with the creamy risotto.
- Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto - Use asparagus instead of peas for a fresh and vibrant flavor that complements the shrimp.
- Shrimp and Mushroom Risotto - Add sautéed mushrooms to the risotto for an earthy and savory flavor that complements the sweetness of the shrimp.
- Make it Lemony Shrimp Risotto - Add a squeeze of lemon juice and lemon zest to the shrimp risotto for a bright and fresh flavor that cuts through the richness of the dish.
Yes, you can use frozen shrimp for this recipe.
However, it's important to thaw them properly before cooking to ensure even cooking and optimal flavor.
You can thaw frozen shrimp by placing them in the refrigerator overnight or by running them under cold water for a few minutes.
Avoid using hot water or leaving them out at room temperature to thaw as this can result in uneven cooking and potential food safety concerns.
Yes, you can substitute peas with another vegetable of your choice in this recipe.
Some great options include asparagus, spinach, or roasted red peppers.
You can even mix and match different vegetables to create a unique flavor profile.
Just keep in mind that the cooking time may vary depending on the vegetable you choose, so adjust accordingly.
You can taste your risotto to determine if it's ready, the rice should have an al-dente texture.
It should be runny, easily spreading on a plate yet still keeping some shape.
For more delicious shrimp recipes why not try:
Did you make this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out! Leave a comment below and tag @cookingorgeous on Instagram and hashtag it #cookingorgeous.
I hope you enjoy the process of making this Creamy Shrimp Risotto as much as you enjoy eating it! 🙂
Bon appétit! / Afiyet Olsun!
Creamy Shrimp Risotto With Peas
- 1 Saucepan
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 300 g shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small shallot (finely chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
- 320 g risotto rice (carnaroli, vialone nano, arborio or baldo)
- 115 ml dry white wine or vermouth
- 1 l vegetable stock or fish stock
- 1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese
- 150 g frozen peas
- 50 g butter (cut in small cubes)
- 50 g parmesan (grated)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Heat the chicken stock or vegetable stock in a pan and leave it on low heat to simmer. Set it aside. You will use this when cooking the risotto.
- Heat a large pan with 1 tablespoon of butter at medium heat.
- Add the shrimp and cook for 1 ½ to 2 minutes, until they get pink. Don't be tempted to cook any longer as they will cook more later with the risotto!
- Remove the shrimp to a plate and add the olive oil to the same pan.
- Add the shallots and garlic, and gently sauté for a few minutes until they are soft and translucent.
- Add the rice and sauté for a few minutes until they are semi-translucent.
- Pour in the white wine, and cook until all the alcohol evaporates.
- Turn the heat to low and start adding the simmering stock a ladle each time.
- Keep stirring the rice every few minutes, until the stock is totally absorbed by the rice.
- Add more stock when there is no more liquid in the pan and repeat the same process until the rice is nearly cooked but still crunchy.
- Stir in the mascarpone cheese, salt, and pepper at this point and cook for a few more minutes.
- Check the rice and add more stock if necessary until it's cooked al dente. Add the cubed butter along with the peas and give it a good stir.
- Stir in the shrimp, turn the heat off and add the grated Parmesan cheese on top. Do not stir the Parmesan cheese in, and let the risotto rest for 5 minutes with a lid on before serving.
- Serve the risotto and garnish with chopped parsley or chives and extra grated parmesan cheese.
- Keep your stock/broth simmering on low heat. Add a ladle at a time, cooking and stirring over medium-low heat until the rice is al dente.
- Always add the butter just before the cooking process end. Make sure the butter is cubed, cold, and fresh out of the fridge.
- Add the Parmesan cheese when the cooking process is finished.
- If you use fresh prawns in the shell, save the shell to add to your vegetable stock for extra flavor.
- This Creamy Shrimp Risotto with Peas is a complete meal itself.
- Don't be tempted to cook shrimp any longer than stated in the recipe card as they will cook more later with the risotto!
- Don't rinse the risotto rice before using it. Washing the rice removes the starch, which is what helps give risotto its velvety&creamy texture.
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What a great recipe… We all loved it and it was so easy to make. Very tasty
This was delicious, the whole family loved it! I was asked to make it again.