This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This prawn risotto recipe (also known as shrimp risotto) is so easy to cook up and is so flavorful and creamy.
If you have held back making risotto because it seems to hard - this risotto recipe is for you! Creamy and lemony with a lightly firm texture like rice (but better!)
What You'll Need
2 Tbsp olive oil (or oil of choice), divided
2 Tbsp butter , divided
1 pound prawns or shrimp (de-veined & peeled with tail still on), thawed
¼ cup lemon juice (or juice of one large lemon)
1 Tbsp garlic , minced (2-3 large cloves)
1 tsp dry thyme
¼ tsp paprika
1-½ tsp lemon zest (or amount from one large lemon)
1-½ cups Arborio rice , uncooked
3 cups chicken stock , or broth
¼ tsp salt , more to taste
¼ tsp black pepper , more to taste
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup parmesan cheese , grated
Prawns vs Shrimp
What's the difference?
Prawns and shrimp are actually different creatures, but for the sake of recipes they are one in the same and can be freely used interchangeably.
So ... don't worry, Prawn Risotto and Shrimp Risotto are one in the same.
I actually used shrimp in this recipe, but depending on where you live you may have easier access to prawns.
So, why is the name of the recipe Prawn Risotto instead of Shrimp Risotto?
Good question! It's simply because prawn recipes are more widely searched than shrimp recipes. And I wanted more people to be able to access this delicious, easy risotto recipe.
Plus, I wanted you (and everyone else) to realize that they too can create this fancy-shmancy, tasty creamy risotto recipe for themselves at home.
It really is easy and quick, but you do need to stay in the kitchen for 20-30 minutes and watch the pot so the risotto doesn't scorch.
You are basically cooking rice, but it's cooking uncovered and tended. Normal rice is cooked covered and unattended.
Tips for Making Prawn Risotto
Having all your ingredients handy for this recipe before starting is a great idea, as it moves fairly quickly.
Plus, you will want to keep your eye on the pot the whole time so the risotto doesn't get too hot and scorch on the bottom.
If using frozen prawns / shrimp, you could gather all your ingredients together while they are thawing to save time.
If using frozen, which I did, you will want to thaw the prawns (shrimp) in some cold water for about 10-15 minutes before cooking.
I also blot them a bit with napkins or paper towels to remove more of the excess water after draining before adding them to the hot pan.
The first cooking step is to quickly brown the prawns (even if they are already cooked).
Make sure your pan is nice and hot before adding the oil and prawns. They will brown quickly, and you don't want them to overcook (they'll get rubbery).
Just a nice brown, which will add some lovely, tasty brown bits to the pan (which will in turn add lots of yummy flavor to your risotto).
After the shrimp is done, you will remove them from the pan (again, you don't want to overcook them). They will be added back at the end.
The lemon juice is added to the pan after removing the prawns. Still with the pan on medium heat, the lemon juice will de-glaze the pan.
This process "sweeps" up the brown bits and adds lovely flavor. It's a quick process (one minute or less) - you don't want all the lemon juice to evaporate.
The rest of the process is fairly simple. Just follow the directions and watch your pot, stirring frequently.
A good portion of the liquid will evaporate off while cooking, which is what you want. This leaves you with condensed, rich flavors and creamy texture.
Making Risotto with Shrimp
Heat Dutch oven (or heavy pot) to medium on stove top for 2-3 minutes. Once heated, add 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil.
Cook the shrimp 2-4 minutes, stirring halfway through to brown on both sides. If shrimp is already cooked, cook just until browned (you don't want to overcook). Then remove the shrimp from the pan.
You will next de-glaze your pan with lemon juice by adding it to the pan and stirring to combine the brown bits from the bottom of the pot (still on medium heat - 1 minute max).
Quickly add 1 tablespoon oil as well as the garlic, thyme, paprika, lemon zest, and rice. Stir and cook on medium for 2 minutes uncovered.
Add all of the broth, salt, black pepper, and the other 1 tablespoon of butter and stir.
Still on medium heat, you will cook the mixture uncovered for about 20 minutes, making sure to stir frequently.
Turn the heat off, add the cream and parmesan cheese, and stir. Let sit 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt and black pepper as desired. Stir again as needed and serve right away.
Add shrimp to the risotto and mix in, or add to the top of each serving.
Rice should still be a bit under cooked (slightly chewy), and mixture should be thick and creamy. If thicker than you want, you can add more broth and/or cream.
Other Recipes to Love:
Cream Style Corn (so creamy & cheesy with no sugar added)
Sauteed Broccoli with Red Peppers
Prawn Risotto Recipe (AKA Shrimp Risotto)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil (or oil of choice), divided
- 2 Tbsp butter , divided
- 1 pound prawns or shrimp (de-veined & peeled with tail still on), thawed
- ¼ cup lemon juice (or juice of one large lemon)
- 1 Tbsp garlic , minced (2-3 large cloves)
- 1 tsp dry thyme
- ¼ tsp paprika
- 1-½ tsp lemon zest (or amount from one large lemon)
- 1-½ cups Arborio rice , uncooked
- 3 cups chicken stock , or broth
- ¼ tsp salt , more to taste
- ¼ tsp black pepper , more to taste
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese , grated
- Heat Dutch oven to medium on stove top for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 Tbs each of butter and oil. Cook shrimp 2-4 minutes, stirring halfway through to brown on both sides. Remove shrimp from the pan.
- De-glaze pan with lemon juice by adding it to the pan and stirring to combine the brown bits, still on medium heat (1 minute max).
- Quickly add 1 Tbs oil garlic, thyme, paprika, lemon zest, and rice. Stir and cook on medium for 2 minutes uncovered.
- Add all the broth, salt, and black pepper, and other 1 Tbs of butter and stir. Still on medium heat, cook uncovered for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Turn heat off. Add cream and parmesan and stir. Let sit 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt and black pepper as desired. Stir and serve right away.
- Add shrimp to the risotto and mix in, or add to the top of each serving.
- Rice should still be a bit under cooked (slightly chewy), and mixture should be thick and creamy. If thicker than you want, you can add more broth or cream.
Don't Forget to Pin For Later!