Lobster Risotto Recipe

Lobster, believe it or not, was once a really cheap food, until prices surged in the 1880s (according to Business Insider). Those darn kids of the late 19th century, always ruining things for the rest of us! Well, there's no doubt that lobster is super expensive today, and we're not expecting that to change any time soon (at least not until those Star Trek food replicators become a thing).

What would you say, then, if we told you there was a way to stretch a single lobster to serve four people while still making for an impressively upscale presentation? Enter the risotto, an Italian dish composed in large part of budget-friendly rice. Recipe developer Stephanie Rapone says this particular risotto works perfectly "as a main dish with a simple salad on the side."

Be warned: Making risotto is pretty labor-intensive and hands-on (so much stirring!), but it is absolutely worth it.

Collect the lobster risotto ingredients

This dish has a rather lengthy list of ingredients, in part because we're making our own stock. First you will need a (pre-cooked) lobster, of course. You'll also be using some vegetables: an onion, a carrot, some celery, garlic, and a shallot. You'll also need the zest from a lemon, a bay leaf, some tomato paste, whole peppercorns, ground pepper, salt, olive oil, butter, white wine (dry, ideally), and Parmesan cheese. Don't forget the rice (arborio is the go-to for risotto). Lastly, grab some chives if you want, to add a bit of greenery to the finished plate.

A note on the rice: Rapone says the starchy exterior of arborio rice provides a creamy texture when cooked. This, she explains, "is what you want for risotto." She does tell us that there are other types of rice that make a good risotto, but arborio is the one you'll find most commonly in the grocery store.

Make the lobster stock

Take the lobster meat out of the shells, then toss the shells into a stock pot or pressure cooker. Add the veggies (minus the shallot), garlic, tomato paste, bay leaf, peppercorns, and 2 teaspoons salt. Add 6 cups of water to the pot (5 cups if using a pressure cooker), then bring it to a boil. Stir the stock, then reduce the heat until just simmering. Let the stock cook, lid-free, for 90 minutes. If you're going the pressure cooker route, just cook the stock for ½ hour instead, then follow this by 15 minutes' worth of releasing the pressure naturally before a quick-release. Once the stock is done, strain it, but keep it warm until you're ready to use it.

While you can always use seafood stock from a can or carton, Rapone does recommend taking this extra step, as she feels this makes the dish more "lobster-forward and flavorful." It also allows you to get more bang for your buck by putting the lobster shells to good use.

Begin cooking the rice

Heat the olive oil with a bit of butter over medium heat, until the butter is melted but the mixture's not yet smoking. Add the shallot and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Now add the rice and stir; let it cook for a minute to a minute and a half; this will toast the rice slightly. Pour in the wine and cook for yet another minute (until mostly absorbed and evaporated), then add a cup of the stock. Stir for — you guessed it — a minute. (Is your arm getting tired yet?)

Let the rice cook on its own for 2 or 3 minutes without any stirring. This allows it to settle while your arm gets a short rest. Once the stock is absorbed, though, it's time to add another cup of stock and start stirring again. Repeat the whole add-stir-rest process for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until you've used about 4 to 5 cups of stock and the rice is tender but not mushy.

Finish off the risotto

Mix the lemon zest with the ground pepper, half the Parmesan, the remaining butter, and about ¼ cup of the stock. Stir this mixture into the rice until you have a nice, creamy mixture, adding salt if needed. Chop up the lobster meat, then stir most of it into the risotto. As a final touch, sprinkle the dish with the remaining lobster pieces plus the rest of the Parmesan. If you like, you can also add some chopped chives.

Lobster risotto recipe
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Treat yourself without breaking the bank. You'll only need one lobster for four servings of this luxurious and hearty Italian rice dish.
Prep Time
Cook Time
rice with lobster and lemon
Total time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
  • 1 whole lobster (1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds), steamed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, 2 whole and 2 minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 5 to 6 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Optional Ingredients
  • fresh chives, chopped
  1. Remove the lobster meat from the shells.
  2. Break up the shells and put them in a large pot or pressure cooker.
  3. Put the onion, carrot, and celery in the pot with the lobster shells.
  4. Smash the 2 whole garlic cloves and add them to the pot along with the tomato paste, bay leaf, 2 teaspoons of salt, and black peppercorns.
  5. Add 6 cups of water to the pot (5 cups if using a pressure cooker).
  6. Bring the stock to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  7. Stir the stock and cook, uncovered, for an hour and a half. (If using a pressure cooker, close it and set it to cook for 30 minutes, then release pressure for 15 minutes followed by a quick release.)
  8. Strain the broth and keep it warm.
  9. Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking.
  10. Add the shallot and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until soft and translucent but not brown.
  11. Add the minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  12. Add the arborio rice and stir for 1 minute to 90 seconds.
  13. Add the wine and stir for 1 minute.
  14. Add 1 cup of warm stock and stir constantly for 1 minute.
  15. Let the rice and stock settle in the pan, cooking for 2 to 3 minutes until the stock is absorbed.
  16. Repeat this process until the rice is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes and using 4 to 5 cups of stock in all.
  17. Mix the lemon zest with the ground pepper, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, remaining butter, and ¼ cup stock.
  18. Stir the Parmesan mixture into the rice until creamy, adding salt if necessary.
  19. Chop the lobster meat; set a small amount aside. Fold the rest of the lobster into the risotto.
  20. Top the dish with the rest of the Parmesan and the reserved lobster, sprinkling with chopped chives if desired.
Calories per Serving 595
Total Fat 16.2 g
Saturated Fat 7.9 g
Trans Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 227.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 70.1 g
Dietary Fiber 4.4 g
Total Sugars 4.1 g
Sodium 1,601.8 mg
Protein 35.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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