J. Kenji López-Alt's Simple Restaurant Trick For Premade Risotto

Risotto is a classic Italian dish that is made by slowly cooking Arborio rice in a flavorful broth until it is creamy and tender. While the process of making risotto can be time-consuming, it doesn't have to be. According to Food and Wine, it shouldn't take more than 20 minutes to cook risotto to ensure an al dente texture. But if you know you won't even have that long to spare, you can cook risotto up to three days in advance (via Epicurious). By prepping your risotto in advance, you can significantly cut down on the cooking time and still end up with a delicious and creamy dish.

Renowned chef and food writer J. Kenji López-Alt suggests partially cooking the risotto, cooling it, and then reheating it with additional liquid. This technique works because the rice continues to absorb liquid even after it has been cooked. By partially cooking it in advance and then reheating it with more liquid, the rice will cook more quickly and evenly, and you'll end up with a creamy, perfectly cooked risotto.

This is how you can cook risotto in advance

To prep your risotto in advance, López-Alt says to cook your rice until it is just al dente, about 80% done (via Instagram). Remember you'll need to use a little less liquid than you would for a fully cooked risotto, as the rice will continue to absorb liquid as it cools. Then, transfer the partially cooked risotto to an aluminum container to quickly cool it. Once the risotto has cooled to room temperature, cover it, and refrigerate. When you're ready to serve the risotto, simply place it in a saucepan and stir in some additional broth, stock, or water, according to López-Alt for Serious Eats. Heat the risotto over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is heated through and creamy.

López-Alt's tip for partially cooking, cooling, and reheating risotto is a game-changer for busy home cooks who want to enjoy a delicious and satisfying dish without spending too long in the kitchen. By prepping the risotto in advance, you can spend less time cooking and more time enjoying a meal that is both comforting and elegant.

So the next time you're craving risotto, try López-Alt's technique and see how it can cut down on your cook time while still delivering delicious results.