yummy recipes for busy people

Shrimp Risotto with Asparagus & Basil

This Shrimp Risotto with Asparagus & Basil is so packed with flavor and quick and easy to make. Done in under 40 minutes, it’s the perfect decadent weekend dish.

Love risotto? Try out this Mushroom Risotto with Truffle Oil as well!

This post was first published on February 5th 2019 and the text was updated and recipe instructions clarified on December 27th 2019. The recipe itself remains the same delicious one.

a pan with shrimp risotto, topped with basil leaves and lemon wedges

Have you made risotto before? Maybe you tried my Creamy Truffled Mushroom Risotto? Or maybe you’re still a bit intimidated by the process behind making a risotto? I know, it can seem daunting. I didn’t even dare try my hands at it for a long time. But then I did, and quickly realized I really had nothing to be afraid off. Making risotto isn’t that hard at all – you just need to keep a few things in mind.

a plate with shrimp risotto in front of a a pan of shrimp risotto

How to Make a Perfect Risotto

In my book, there are three secrets to making your risotto stand out: using a good wine, cooking it slowly, and not cooking it to long.

Use a Good Wine for your Risotto

While you could use a simple cooking wine, I suggest not. Instead, I suggest using something you would actually drink. At least a decent wine – but even better, a really good one. When I’m making risotto for a special occasion I like to use the same wine in the dish as for drinking – this makes for a perfect pairing of the flavors.

a plate of shrimp risotto topped with basil leaves and a lemon wedge

With this Shrimp Risotto I love drinking a Sancerre – so therefore, I’d use a Sancerre in the dish as well. My sister thought I was mad when I did this and called it a waste of good wine, but to me, it’s just making all the more of it. You can go a bit cheaper on the wine as well, of course, but the general rule is (not all that surprisingly…) – the tastier the wine the tastier the risotto.

a plate of shrimp risotto topped with basil leaves and a lemon wedge being topped with parmesan

Cook Your Risotto Slowly

The second important step to making a perfect risotto is to take your time. After frying your shallots, garlic and rice, and cooking off the wine, add the broth and lower the heat to medium-low – the heat should be just high enough for it to boil, but not much higher than that. And let it sit there, slowly cooking away.

Now a common misconception is that you should need to add the broth slowly and stir often. This is actually gonna hurt you more than help you. As long as your heat is low enough your risotto will do fine on its own, and when you’re not constantly stirring it you run less risk of breaking the rice grains and ending up with mush.

Which brings us to the third point.

a spoonful of shrimp risotto

Don’t Cook Your Risotto Too Long

Now, finally, and maybe most importantly – don’t overcook your risotto. The trick here is that you have to take it off the heat before you think it’s done. Otherwise you will most likely overcook it.

So, after cooking it for about 14 minutes, start tasting the rice about once every minute. When it’s finished it should still have a solid core, but not be too hard. There should just be a touch of texture left in the middle. If the rice is soft all the way through it will be overcooked.

This is somewhat scary – but just take the plunge and take it off the heat when you’re not quiiiite certain it’s done. I promise, if it’s cooked for 16-18 minutes and the broth has been almost completely absorbed by the rice, it most likely is. Never once have I ended up with a noticeably undercooked risotto – but several times with an overcooked one…

a pan with shrimp risotto, topped with basil leaves and lemon wedges

Do you have any other tips for making a perfect risotto? Help the other readers out – leave a comment below!

a pan with shrimp risotto, topped with basil leaves and lemon wedges

Shrimp Risotto with Basil & Asparagus

5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 631kcal


  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled, in one piece but slightly crushed
  • 1.5 dl Avorio rice or other risotto rice
  • 2 dl dry white wine
  • 4 dl fish stock
  • 1.5 dl shredded parmesan cheese
  • 100 g large shrimp peeled and defrosted
  • 5 asparagus cut in bite-size pieces
  • 0.25 lemon juice of
  • 1 dl chopped fresh basil leaves loosely packed
  • salt & fresh ground black pepper according to taste

To serve

  • parmesan cheese shredded
  • 0.5 lemon cut in wedges
  • fresh basil can be omitted


  • Melt the butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. The pan should preferably be low and wide, but other pans work as well.
  • Add in the shallots and garlic and fry until the shallots are softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Add in the rice and fry until the butter has been absorbed by the rice, a few minutes.
  • Make sure the heat is on high. Pour in the wine and cook until almost completely absorbed. Stir constantly.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low, and remove the garlic cloves.
  • Add in the fish stock and bring to a slow simmer. Adjust the heat to keep this slow simmer, and stir once. Then do not stir again until done.
  • The risotto is finished when it’s cooked almost through – there should still be a solid core in the middle of the rice. When the risotto is finished, remove the pan from the heat and mix in parmesan, lemon juice and chopped basil. Then add in the shrimp and asparagus and mix well. Let sit for a few minutes to allow the shrimp and asparagus to heat up. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately with fresh basil, extra parmesan cheese, and a lemon wedge.
Nutrition Facts
Shrimp Risotto with Basil & Asparagus
Amount Per Serving
Calories 631 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 166mg55%
Sodium 1687mg73%
Potassium 605mg17%
Carbohydrates 65g22%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 34g68%
Vitamin A 1110IU22%
Vitamin C 30.1mg36%
Calcium 628mg63%
Iron 6.4mg36%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is approximate and automatically calculated, and should only be viewed as an indication.

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