Risotto Milanese – Cheats Quick No Stirring Required. Amazing!

Risotto Milanese
Risotto Milanese

Cheat’s Risotto Milanese is a fast track, hands free recipe that doesn’t get any easier. This shortcut method saves on the classic cooking of standing by the stove and ladling in stock while constantly stirring, and stirring.

We came across this cheats version of Risotto Milanese from the doyenne of British cooking Delia Smith, she with the prim persona, twin sets and failproof recipes.

Risotto Milanese is the classic accompaniment to serve with Osso Buco. That utterly delicious Italian braise of beef shanks cooked on a soffrito of onion, carrot and celery. Top it off with wine, stock, tomatoes and thyme, cover and let the whole thing braise until melt-in-the-mouth tender and serve with this cheats risotto Milanese. 10/10…SO UNBELIVABLY GOOD!

Risotto Milanese is the Classic Accompaniment to Serve with Osso Buco

Risotto Milanese served with Osso Buco

What Is Arborio Rice?

Arborio rice is an Italian variety of superfine rice that’s short, rounded and pearly and is perfect for making risotto and can absorb as much as three times its weight in liquid .

Its high in starch as it undergoes less milling than ordinary long-grain rice and therefore retains more of its natural starch content.

Cooking Arborio rice releases this starch, resulting in a firmer, chewier and creamier rice compared to other kinds of rice.

At a Glance This Is What You Need To Make Risotto Milanese

Ingredients to make Risotto Milanese


chicken stock
brown onions
salt and fine white pepper

Shopping List

arborio rice
saffron threads (optional)
white wine
parmesan cheese

Ridiculously Easy To Make

Saute off some onions in butter, throw everything in the same pot and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for around 20 minutes and toss some parmesan cheese through and you’re done! How easy was that!

What does It Taste Like?

Cheats Risotto Milanese is creamy, without using cream, cheesy with parmesan, every grain is soft and velvety with just enough starchy stock to keep it all together. Super tasty!

Saffron (Or Not)!

Saffron is one of the most expensive and precious spices in the world. It originates from a crocus flower commonly called ‘saffron crocus’.

Each crocus flower only produces three threads (stigmas) of saffron, and the flower only blooms for one week each year.

It must be harvested in the morning whilst the flower is still closed and takes about a thousand flowers to produce just 28 grams (1 ounce) which explains why its so expensive.

Its flavour is subtle yet fragrant. It smells a little like sweet hay, and the stigmas should be a dark red.

As saffron is expensive and we know that not everyone has it hanging in their pantry you can totally leave it out from the recipe. We love the colour that it brings to the risotto but often make Cheats Risotto Milanese ourselves without it.

Can I Freeze Risotto?

Freezing leftover risotto is not something that we would recommend. Cooked rice can become hard when frozen.

If you do go ahead and freeze your leftover risotto be prepared to lose some of the flavour and risk the rice grains becoming mushy once you’ve reheated it. Forewarned, is forearmed! 👍

grating cheese over Risotto Milanese

Parmesan Cheese Substitutes

Parmesan cheese is the classic Italian cheese used for making risotto. However if you’re not feeling particularly flush, or you can’t get a Parmesan you can still make a delicious risotto.

Try using a Grano Padano which is Parmesans usually cheaper, but still tasty cousin.

Romano cheese is another delicious cheese to substitute for Parmesan. Depending on how long the Romano has been aged its flavour is rich, with a slightly nutty flavour.

Pecorino cheese is another very tasty substitute to use in your risotto. It’s a sheep’s milk cheese that’s hard and a little on the salty side so you might want to hold back on the salt in the recipe if using.

Watch How To Make  Risotto Milanese

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What To Do With Leftover Risotto?

Leftover cold risotto can be turned into tasty and easy, delicious meals.

  • make Risotto al Salto which uses the leftover rice to make a crispy rice pancake by frying the rice in a frypan with butter
  • try making risotto cakes by shaping the rice into a rissole shape and dip in flour, followed by beaten egg and finally breadcrumbs then frying them gently in butter
  • Arancini balls are another delicious way to use up leftover risotto. They’re delicious, crispy, crumbed and deep fried balls that have a pocket of mozzarella cheese stuffed in the middle
  • Or try stuffing portobello mushrooms with leftover risotto, sprinkle with cheese and grill

Don’t forget to let us know what you thought when you make this fabulous Risotto Milanese in the comments below. 

Cheats Risotto Milanese
Yield: 4 serves

Cheats Risotto Milanese

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This is a great little recipe to have in your repertoire. It quick, economical and darned delicious.


  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 50g butter (2 ounces)
  • 280g arborio rice (10 ounces)
  • 275 ml dry white wine (9 1/2 fluid ounces)
  • 275 ml chicken stock (9 1/2 fluid ounces) we used 2 oxo chicken stock cubes
  • generous pinch of saffron - optional
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (or substitute - see cheese notes above)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine white pepper


  1. place saffron threads into stock and stir
  2. melt butter over low-medium heat in a medium sized heavy based saucepan that has a lid
  3. add onions and gently saute till transparent (about 10 minutes) note: you are not looking to colour the onions
  4. add rice to saucepan
  5. add wine and salt and pepper
  6. add stock and saffron
  7. bring to a boil then place lid on saucepan and immediately turn the heat down to the lowest setting
  8. cook for 20 minutes
  9. remove lid and gently stir through parmesan and thyme
  10. serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 382Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 50mgSodium 1164mgCarbohydrates 31gFiber 1gSugar 3gProtein 11g

Nutritional information provided here is only intended as a guide.

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