This Seafood Risotto is rich, creamy and flavorful. It's made with white fish, scallops, tomatoes and spices commonly used in Spanish dishes. This is the perfect dish for a date night in or for your next dinner party!
Risotto is what dreams are made of! Nothing beats the creaminess and comfort that this dish gives. I know a lot of people can be intimidated by and scared to make risotto at home. I promise you anyone can make it! It requires a lot of hands-on cooking but it is incredibly simple. Once you get the hang of it, you will be making risotto all the time.
This seafood risotto is everything you love about the classic dish but with the addition of seafood, tomatoes and a few more spices. This recipe is kind of a hybrid between risotto and Spanish paella. You are going to love it!
What is risotto?
Risotto is a creamy Italian dish that's almost like mac and cheese made with rice. Risotto is cooked slowly by adding 1 cup of liquid (usually chicken or vegetable broth) at a time, unlike other rice dishes. The slow cooking process allows the rice to release its starches, which results in a creamy and rich sauce.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Rice- you need arborio rice in order to achieve the perfect creamy risotto. Other types of rice won't result in a creamy risotto.
- Broth- you can use chicken, vegetable or seafood broth for this recipe.
- White wine- you want a dry white wine that isn't too sweet, such as a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris. If you don't want to use alcohol, you can add another ½ cup of stock and add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice.
- Seafood- you can use any of your favorite seafood in this recipe. I recommend white fish, scallops, shrimp, lobster, mussels and/or clams.
- Tomatoes- you'll need a can of diced tomatoes. I prefer to use one with no salt added so I can control the saltiness of the dish.
How to make the perfect seafood risotto (full details in the recipe card below):
- Begin by cooking the onion. Cook it in olive oil and butter until it has softened.
- Prepare the seafood. Season it with salt, black pepper and paprika.
- Add the garlic and rice to the pan. Cook for a 1 minute, toasting the rice.
- Next, deglaze the pan with dry white wine. This step is optional. In a traditional risotto recipe, you will begin adding the broth here. However, since this recipe uses a can of diced tomatoes, this is when you will add them, along with the spices to the pan. Allow the liquid to dissolve before moving on to the next step.
- Pour in the broth. You will use 1 cup or ladle at a time and will repeat this step until you have used all the broth. Stirring the risotto regularly.
- Cook the seafood. I cooked the fish and scallops in a sauté pan with a little bit of oil.
- Add the seafood to the rice. Turn off the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese and basil or parsley. Serve.
- The key to risotto is adding broth to the rice in small increments (1 ladle or cup at a time).
- Be sure to only add warm broth to the rice in order to ensure you get the perfect texture. It helps to maintain the starch content of the arborio rice. Bring the broth to a boil in a small saucepan, then turn it down to simmer so it stays warm while cooking the risotto.
- Stir the risotto regularly but not constantly.
- Keep the seafood risotto at a simmer, not a boil!
Storage & Reheating
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. If using the stovetop, add a little more broth while reheating.
More Seafood Recipes
Spanish Style Seafood Risotto with Scallops
- 4 cups chicken, vegetable or seafood broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine, optional*
- 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne, optional for spice
- ¼ cup fresh basil or parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ pound white fish, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 pound scallops
- shrimp, lobster, clams or mussels, optional
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Bring the broth to a boil in a small saucepan, then turn the heat to low and keep it at a simmer.
- Heat olive oil and butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 4 minutes, until it is translucent.
- While the onion is cooking, season the seafood with salt, pepper, and paprika. Set aside.
- Add the garlic and rice to the pan with the onion and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant and the rice is toasted.
- Pour in the wine, if using, and cook until it is fully absorbed for about 3 minutes. Pour in the can of diced tomatoes and cook, stirring, until all of the liquid has been absorbed, about another 3 minutes.
- Add in the salt, pepper, turmeric and cayenne to the pan and stir to combine.
- Using a ladle, add approximately 1 cup of simmering broth to the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, but not continuously, until all of the broth has been absorbed.
- In the meantime, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Next, add seafood to the pan and cook until it is almost done, about 5 minutes.
- Repeat Step 7 until you have used all of the broth or the rice is al dente.** Turn off the heat, add basil or parsley and Parmesan to the pan and mix until combined. Stir in the seafood, serve and top with more parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.