Wondering how to reheat the risotto the right way? I have not one, but four super easy methods that can help you save its texture and flavors!
Risotto is one of those infamous dishes where reheating is considered a taboo. Unfortunately, risotto is so easy to combine with various dishes that you simply cannot stay away from it!
I prepare risotto at least once a week, and most of the time, whether I plan so or not, I end up with leftovers. In essence, I appreciate any food that I can save for later as that allows me to have more free time than I would otherwise spend cooking.
As you probably already know, the bad news is that risotto can be quite mushy and flavorless once reheated. However, the good news is that some tricks and a bit of planning ahead can prevent this awful scenario.
Want to find out how to reheat risotto the right way? Stay tuned, and you will!
What is Risotto?
I like to know what I eat, literally! So let’s find out what risotto is, shall we?
Risotto is an Italian dish. It has been a part of the Italian tradition ever since the 14th century. The tradition originated in southern Italy but quickly spread to its northern region as well.
According to a legend, the first risotto was made when one young glassblower apprentice from Flanders used his saffron pigment to prepare rice for a wedding. Yet, who really invented risotto remains a secret to this days, as there are numerous theories out there, including the one that recipe was created by Giovanni Vilardi, assistant chief chef of kings.
What is much more important is how the traditional Italian risotto is made. In order to make this Italian specialty, you need to sauté rice in olive oil, onions and garlic mixture (you can use some herbs too).
Next, you need to cook some broth (or stock) and slowly add rice in it. Gradually mix in saffron as well. Let it simmer together until the rice absorbs the stock. Normally, it will be done in about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Interesting Fact: In Italy, risotto is not a side dish but rather a primo (first course) eaten before the main dish.
What Must You Know Before You Reheat Your Risotto?
Let us return to our topic question – how to reheat risotto?. Before we discuss the best methods you may use to reheat risotto, let us first go through some of the important points you need to consider.
- You must not keep the leftover risotto in your fridge for more than 2 days.
- The risotto needs to cool down completely before you refrigerate it.
- The risotto must not spend more than one hour at the room temperature (after it cools down)
- The most secure way to store rice is to freeze it at 0 degrees as that will decrease its susceptibility to bacterial growth
- Make sure to confirm that rice is fresh and bacteria-free by inspecting its odor, color, and texture before you start the reheating process.
- Make sure that you always store your risotto in a glass airtight container
- Once thawed, risotto must not be frozen again nor reused.
- Do not eat risotto without reheating it first.
You May Need: One of the Best Freezer Containers
If you plan ahead, and act in accordance with my warnings you have good chances to enjoy your leftover risotto soon, just keep on reading!
How to reheat the risotto
Finally, the four best methods you can rely on when you want to reheat the risotto:
1. How to reheat the risotto in a microwave
We live in a hectic world – every minute counts! For this reason, microwaves are a must! The fact that you can use one to reheat the risotto just proves my point.
You will need:
- Glass bowl
- The leftover risotto that has been refrigerated immediately after cooling off
- White wine (broth or water can be used as well)
- The refrigerated risotto
- After you take risotto out of the fridge, transfer it into a glass bowl and add some white wine (water or broth will do too).
- Place the bowl into the microwave and turn it on to medium. Set the time to about four minutes.
- Pause the process from time to time and stir the risotto so that it can be evenly reheated.
- Serve hot!
Extra Advice: A bit of butter will help restore creamy risotto texture! You can add it near the end of the process.
Although this is the quickest method, it is not the easiest one. It requires your full attention, or you might end up with a dry risotto.
2. How to reheat risotto in the oven
If you plan to use the leftover risotto as a basis for another dish, the oven is a great place to do it!
You will need:
- Two bowls
- Baking Flour
- Preheat your oven to about 180 degrees Celsius.
- Once you take your risotto out of the fridge transfer it into a bowl and let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes.
- Add grated cheese and combine the two well
- Roll the rice into balls with your hands
- Pour some flour into one bowl, beat the eggs into another bowl,
- Fill the plate with breadcrumbs.
- Roll each rice roll into the flour, and then dip it into the beaten eggs and breadcrumbs.
- Use an oven thermometer too (180 degrees)
- Line a baking tray and place oiled (I use olive oil) rice balls on it. You can spray them with olive oil too
- Bake the balls until they turn golden brown. or about twenty minutes
- Serve hot!
Extra Tip: Check on the risotto from time to time so that it does not overcook!
3. How to reheat risotto on the stovetop
This method locks in the original flavor and is best suited for all of you who will use the risotto the following day.
You will need:
- Some broth
- 3/4 cup of water
- Take the risotto out of the fridge and allow it some time at the room temperature.
- Pour some broth or water in a saucepan and add the risotto
- Heat it on medium heat for about two minutes. Don’t forget to stir all the time !
- Take it off of the stove and add some white wine, half a cup of water, and butter to restore its creamy texture and full flavor
4. How to reheat risotto using steamer baskets
We all have a steamer basket in our homes and use it quite rarely, so let us put it to good use!
You will need:
- Stainless steel steamer basket/ metal colander.
- Heatproof bowl or plate.
- A pot with a lid (big enough to place a steamer basket)
- Some water
- Take the risotto out of the fridge
- Place the steamer basket into your pot
- Add some water making sure that it cannot reach the steamer basket even when boiling
- Place on medium heat and bring to boil.
- Pour the risotto into a bowl, place it inside the steamer basket and put the lid on.
- Reduce the heat and let it steam for a couple of minutes. Check it from time to time so that you would know when it is done.
- Once the risotto is evenly heated, add some wine and butter and enjoy it hot!
Extra Tip: Use this method when you are not in a hurry as it requires more time than all the other listed methods. A great amount of risotto can take around an hour to reheat via this method!
Tips to Help You Reheat the Risotto the Right Way
Now that you have learned how to reheat risotto, I have a few additional tips that will perfect your knowledge!
- You can set aside a good amount of the cooking liquid you have cooked the rice in just before the rice is completely done and use that instead of plain water in all the methods. Keep it in the fridge in the meantime of course!
- White wine can be replaced with vodka in all the methods listed. By the way, alcohol serves to loosen things up, as usual!
- You might add some lemon juice too.
- It would be best to separate rice you plan to store some time before it is completely done and store it in the fridge in an air-tight container. Remember to add some water once you start reheating such undercooked rice!
- When reheating risotto in a hot oven, sprinkle some Parmigiano on top. It will secure a soft and crunchy combo quite hard to resist!
- Frequent stirring is a must when you use the microwave, or you will end up with a gooey mess!
- Remember that rice absorbs water like crazy! It happens while it cools, and while it heats too. I bet it happens while it is in the fridge too! It literally and sucks water out of any environment!
- It might not be a bad idea to divide the liquid you are going to use and first heat up only half of it. Add the rest of the liquid in later on – remove the risotto from the heat and let the liquid be absorbed while you gently stir.
- Avoid storing large batches of risotto as it is prone to bacterial growth!
- Once reheated, risotto cannot be refrigerated and reused again without risking contamination and foodborne illnesses!
- The steamer basket risotto reheating method is maybe the slowest method, but best restores the taste and flavor in comparison to other methods above.
In conclusion, enjoy your reheated risotto! Do not forget to spread the knowledge as well! 🙂