Can You Use Basmati Rice For Risotto? + Basmati Rice Risotto Recipe

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Basmati rice is versatile; it can be used for almost any food and is nutrient-dense, but can basmati rice be used for risotto? Here is everything you need to know about using basmati rice for risotto.


Risotto is a creamy Italian dish made with broth, shallots, or onions sauteed in butter, mushrooms or vegetables, dry white wine, aromatics of choice, and high-starch short-grain white rice like Aribo, Carnaroli, Baldo, Maratelli, and Vialone Nano.

These rices are known to release their starch while absorbing liquids as they cook, resulting in a stunner of creamy goodness. Risotto can be made in pretty much different ways with numerous ingredients. However, it requires precision, constant attention, and care; otherwise, you’ll end up with an overcooked rice dish.

Risotto tastes much like a rice version of Mac and cheese. Starches set when they cool, which makes risotto best enjoyed from the stove to grasp all that saucy goodness. In cases where you made more than expected, you could mix in eggs, roll ’em in some breadcrumbs, and deep fry, creating arancini risotto balls—a delicious treat.

Can You Use Basmati Rice For Risotto?

Basmati is a long-grain aromatic rice with a nutty flavor. It is commonly used in Indian cuisines such as biryanis, pilafs, and other rice-based dishes. It comes in both white and brown varieties, with each lending its own unique character to any dish it is used in. Basmati rice is usually fluffy, has a separate grain texture when cooked, and hardly overcooks.

Basmati rice can be used to make risotto, but you may not achieve the exact results you would with short-grain starch rice as basmati has a lower starch content, which means it absorbs less liquid and releases less starch.

However, there are still ways to effectively use basmati rice to make your risotto, which will require even more precision and attention. We will be sharing our recipe later in this article.

What Does Risotto With Basmati Rice Taste Like?

Risotto made with basmati rice is a rich and satisfying meal and can be enjoyed with proteins or vegetables. Basmati rice lends its fragrance and nutty note to the risotto rice, while the cheese, broth, and butter make it creamy and more flavorful.

How Does The Nutritional Profile Of Basmati Rice Risotto Compare To Arborio Rice Risotto?

Nutrient Basmati Rice Risotto Arborio Rice Risotto
Calories 334 kcal 166 kcal
Fat 18 g 7 g
Sodium 741 mg 322 mg
Carbs 36 g 20 g
Fiber 1 g 0.3 g
Sugar 2 g 0.1 g
Protein 7 g 5.2 g

As you can observe, when risotto is made with basmati rice, it tends to have more calories, fat, sodium, carbs, fiber, sugar, and protein than when risotto is made with arborio rice.

However, basmati rice also has a lower glycemic index, which means it does not spike blood sugar levels as much as arborio rice. Basmati rice is also rich in essential nutrients, such as complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

Arborio rice, on the other hand, has higher levels of amylopectin starch, which gives it a creamy texture and makes it more suitable for risotto.

Can You Mix Basmati Rice With Other Rice Varieties For Risotto?

Certainly, you could mix basmati rice and other short-grain rice like Arborio to get a complex yet balanced texture and flavor. After trying this recipe when I was short on Arborio rice and mixing in some basmati rice, I have gone on to prepare risotto this way over 30 more times. The result is always weirdly good.

You should also take into consideration that basmati has a longer cooking time, which means you will have to cook both rices separately to reach a uniform level of doneness, or you may have to cook the basmati for some minutes before you add the arborio rice.

Other Types of Rice That Can Be Used in Cooking Risotto

To make risotto, rice with a high starch content is preferred, as it contributes to that signature creamy texture we all love. Here are four of the best types of rice I use for risotto:

  • Baldo: This is a medium-grain rice that has a similar shape and starchiness to arborio, but with a more delicate flavor and aroma. It is ideal for risotto with seafood or vegetables.
  • Maratelli: This is an heirloom variety of rice that is grown in the Piedmont region of Italy. It has a round and plump shape and a high resistance to overcooking. It is suitable for risotto with meat or cheese sauces.
  • Sant’Andrea: This is a superfine rice that is also grown in Piedmont. It has a slender and elongated shape and a lower starch content than other risotto rice. It is good for risotto with light and delicate flavors.
  • Jasmine: This is another long-grain rice that has a floral and slightly sweet flavor. It is also low in fat and high in antioxidants, making it a nutritious choice for risotto. Jasmine rice gives a subtle and pleasant aroma to the risotto, while the other ingredients add richness and depth.

Other rice could make a great risotto dish, but these are the ones I have used over time.

Can Basmati Rice Risotto Be Reheated Without Compromising Its Texture?

Unlike other short-grain rice, which can hold its creamy state, basmati risotto tends to become dryer when reheated.

To begin reheating, you need to add some liquids, preferably broth. This will help reintroduce moisture to the rice. Stir to distribute the moisture evenly.

Risotto is a dish that has to be finished within two hours of being made, or it could grow some bacteria that could cause food poisoning. If you must store it in the refrigerator, it has to be in an airtight container for 3 days max.

Cortiso Davids

My culinary adventure began at an early age when I would stand on a chair to help my mom stir pancake batter. Over the years, I've honed my skills and knowledge, drawing inspiration from family recipes, celebrated chefs, and the vibrant food cultures that make our world so diverse and fascinating.

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