Lobster Risotto Recipe – An Easy Guide

Bring a luxurious dining experience to your table with this rich, creamy, and decadent lobster risotto recipe. There’s no need to book a reservation for this fine dining favorite. With a few simple steps and ingredients, this classic Italian dish from Piedmonte is sure to wow your friends and family.

Lobster risotto is as much about the incredible creamy texture as it is the decadent flavor. The best lobster risotto recipe should combine easily accessible ingredients with simple techniques. Skip searching lobster risotto near me and instead let’s dive into this luscious culinary creation!

The Basics of Lobster and Risotto

While there is nothing wrong with enjoying lobster in all of its pure glory like grilled lobster tails or boiled lobster, it’s also equally at home being the star ingredient in other dishes. Let’s start with the different ways you can prepare lobster for your lobster risotto recipe.

Lobster Recipes

Lobster risotto is both a great way to stretch out a luxury ingredient like lobster as well as to use leftover lobster. It is a dish that you can use different cooking methods to prepare the lobster. Here are some of the basic lobster recipes that will allow you to easily prepare your lobster risotto.

  • Boiled lobster – This will give you the most lobster flavor as you can use the liquid to make your lobster stock for the risotto. You will also have the most meat.
  • Broil lobster – This quickly cooks the lobster while intensifying the flavor.
  • Steam live lobster – This will give you the most pure lobster flavor while offering up a more gentle way of cooking lobster.
  • Smoke lobster tails – Give the lobster that mysterious additional layer of flavor by smoking it. This method takes a little longer but can add depth to your finished risotto recipe.
  • Parboil lobster – If you plan on finish cooking the lobster in the risotto itself you can blanch or parboil the lobster. This will only partially cook the lobster and allow it to finish in the risotto, preventing it from over cooking.

Want to make your lobster risotto recipe extra easy? Look no further than our cooked tail, knuckle, claw meat.

Risotto Recipes

Once you have decided on how to cook lobster, you can decide on what flavor profile you want for your risotto. Risotto can be as simple as just baptized in a snow flurry of Parmigiano-Reggiano or dressed in the little black dress of squid ink. Here are a few popular risotto recipes for inspiration.

  • English Peas with Sweet Onion – Geoffrey Zakarian combines seasonal ingredients like spring peas with sweet spring onions. This is delicious on it’s on while also being a great flavor base for lobster.
  • Champagne Risotto – What goes better with lobster than champagne? With ingredients like crispy prosciutto and sweet asparagus, this risotto recipe from Giada de Laurentiis pairs well with lobster.
  • Lemony Shrimp Risotto – Another delicious risotto recipe from Giada de Laurentiis, the classic combination of lemon and seafood makes this dish shine. Feel free to swap the shrimp in the recipe for lobster.
  • Tomato and Parmesan Risotto – Simplicity at its finest, this risotto from Epicurious is all about the sweet and acidic bite of cherry tomatoes and the nutty flavor of parm. Tomatoes and seafood such as lobster are a classic Mediterranean pairing.

How to Make a Lobster

Before you make your lobster risotto recipe you first need to decide how to cook your lobster or decide if you’ll be using already cooked lobster. One of the best methods for how to cook lobster for risotto is by boiling whole lobsters. This way you will not only have the most lobster meat, but you’ll also have the added benefit of the flavorful liquid.

  • Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. You will want a pot that is large enough to accommodate the lobsters without the water overflowing. You’ll want to fill the pot 2/3 of the way full. You can also add aromatics into the water like heads of garlic, halved lemons or onions, bay leaves, or fresh thyme sprigs.
  • While the water is coming to a boil, humanly dispatch the lobster. Make sure to check out our guide on how to kill a lobster before cooking.
  • Carefully place the lobsters into the boiling water headfirst keeping the legs and tail pointed away from you. You will want to begin timing how long they’re in the boiling water once you cover the pot. Cooking time will vary by weight. For a 1 1/2 pounds lobster the time will be between 7-9 minutes while a two pounds lobster will be between 10-12 minutes. The internal temperature of the lobster should be between 135-140 degrees.
  • Submerge the boiled lobsters into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Don’t forget to preserve some of that boiling liquid for the risotto!

Butter Poached Lobster

Another excellent method for how to cook lobster for your lobster risotto is to make butter poached lobster. This is a gentle method of cooking lobster that keeps the lobster meat tender and succulent while also adding richness. You can also reserve some of the butter to either add to your risotto recipe or to toast breadcrumbs in to top off your risotto.

  • Make sure your lobster meat is defrosted. drain it well.
  • Bring a small amount of water or wine to a boil in a large sauce pan. You want 1/4 cup or a little less.
  • Turn heat to low. Add a few cubes of cold butter at a time into the hot liquid, whisking constantly. When the butter is emulsified add a few more cold cubes of butter until you’ve added a cup of butter, or two sticks.
  • Gently fold in the lobster meat. If the meat is raw keep gently stirring until the lobster is cooked through, about 4-6 minutes. If the butter seems like it is starting to break briefly remove the pan from the heat so it can cool down.
  • If the lobster meat is already cooked gently fold it into the warm butter sauce and then turn off the heat. The residual heat will warm it through.

Lobster Risotto Recipe

Making a spectacular risotto recipe always starts with picking the right ingredients. Unlike some recipes that require a laundry list of items you only need a select few for risotto, but you want to ensure you pick the best quality.


  • Rice – All great risotto starts with picking the right rice. Arborio is the easiest to find and most commonly used. This is a medium grain rice that cooks up creamy, but be careful of overcooking it because you don’t want it to break down and become mushy. Carnaroli is considered the king of risotto rice. It cooks up incredibly creamy while still retaining the texture of the individual rice grains. The third option for rice is Vialone Nano. This shorter grain rice cooks up more quickly than carnaroli while still being creamy.
  • Stock – Homemade stock or broth is always the best however, you can also use a high quality store bought stock. For lobster risotto you can use the lobster shells to fortify a store bought chicken or seafood stock. Allow the shells to simmer in the stock and infuse it with another layer of flavor.
  • Wine – Many risotto recipes will call for some type of wine. Pick a wine that you enjoy drinking. Keep in mind that as the risotto cooks the wine will reduce and the flavor will intensify. This lobster risotto recipe calls for brandy which is a common pairing with lobster.
  • Aromatics – The aromatics used in risotto will vary by the recipe but the most common are garlic and onions. This gives depth of flavor to every bite.
  • Cheese – Parmigiano-Reggiano is the classic choice. The nutty, salty flavor adds umami. Make sure to grate it yourself for the best texture.

When it comes to picking the right lobster for your lobster risotto recipe, you have several options. Live lobsters will always be the best option. Not only will you get the most meat, you also get the benefit of the flavor provided from the shell. If you want something easier, lobster tails are also a great option. And the easiest option of all is already shucked lobster meat. You can use both raw lobster meat as well as already cooked lobster meat. The options are endless.

Step-by-Step Instuctions

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat and add salt. Add lobster tails and allow them to boil for 8-10 or until just done. The meat will be opaque white, and the internal temperature will be between 135-140 degrees. Remove from the water and allow to cool. Once cook cut into bite sized chunks and set aside.
  • Bring a pot of chicken stock to a boil and then reduce the heat to low to keep it hot.
  • Allow the butter to melt in a large saucepan on medium heat. Occasionally swirl it to move it around. Allow the butter to foam and then begin to turn brown. It will smell nutty.
  • Add the rice and stir it, coating it completely in the butter. Add the brandy and let it come to a simmer and cook until mostly evaoporated.
  • Add half a cup of stock and stir until it is mostly evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  • Continue adding the stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of stock to absorb before adding the next. Cook until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite, about 20 minutes.

Finishing Touches

  • Remove from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, the remaining butter and 2 tablespoons chives. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Transfer the risotto to a large serving bowl. Arrange the lobster meat on top of the risotto and garnish with the remaining chives.

Best Lobster Risotto Recipe

When it comes to picking the best lobster risotto recipe for you, you want to look for a recipe that calls for quality ingredients and relies on technique. Making risotto is an easy process but it does rely on technique. Adding hot stock a little at a time will allow the rice to cook without dropping the temperature. Constantly stirring coaxes out that creamy, dreamy texture. Not adding the next ladle of broth until the current addition is absorbed prevents the rice from becoming mushy and runny. Regardless of what recipe you decide on you want to make sure that is relies on technique.

Nutrional Information

Risotto is a rich and luxurious dish, but can be a part of a balanced diet. True risotto gets its texture from the starches in the rice combined with the constant stirring…there usually isn’t any actual heavy cream involved. With the whole grain of rice as the main component, this dish also naturally gluten free.

It can easily be made dairy free by replacing the small amount of butter used with plant-based butter and eliminating the cheese. You could also use heart healthy olive oil depending on the recipe.

The rice used in making your lobster risotto is high in protein while being a healthy carbohydrate. It gives you about 12% of your daily vitamins and is also high in minerals. Combined with the high protein in lobster, this is also a high protein dish.

Cultural and Regional Variations

There are six distinct regional variations of risotto in Italy. Each version celebrates the riches of that particular area, utilizing ingredients accessible to them.

  • Risotto Milanese gets its trademark yellow color and delicate floral flavor from saffron. It is traditionally made with beef or vegetable broth.
  • Risotto alla Parmigiana comes from the Emilia-Romagna region and highlights the nutty, rich flavor of Parmigiano-Reggiano. It often accompanies roasted meats.
  • Risotto Pescatora is commonly found in coastal regions. This risotto includes seafood such as lobster, shrimp, clams, and calamari. It is cooked in white wine with garlic and tomatoes and has a briny flavor of the sea.
  • Risotto ai Fungi can be found all across Italy and celebrates the humble mushroom. This is a rich and earthy risotto.
  • Risotto al Barolo hails from the Piedmont region of Italy, the same area as robust Barolo wine. It combines the wine with onions and garlic and is often served with braised meats.
  • Risotto al Nero di Seppia gets its distinct ebony color from squid ink. It’s found in coastal regions, especially Venice, and often includes calamari or prawns.

Complementary Dished and Pairings

Risotto can be served as both a main dish, and also as a decadent and luxurious side or starter. It depends on what type of risotto you’re making as well as what your planned menu is. This humble dish is the epitome of effortless elegance and can turn any meal into a true occasion.

What to Serve Risotto With

Cheesy risotto on rice

While risotto itself is a completely star it can also be a great accompaniment to more meaty mains. Here are just a few ideas on what to serve risotto with.

  • Roasted meat such as lamb or beef
  • Braised pork or veal shanks
  • Seared scallops
  • Grilled shrimp
  • Grilled lobster tails
  • Steak
  • Surf and turf
  • Don’t forget the cocktails! Wine is a natural pairing for risotto from a crisp pinot grigio to a beautiful pinot noir. It all depends upon the ingredients in the risotto, as well as personal preference.

What Goes with Lobster

Risotto isn’t the only thing that pairs well with lobster. There are many different dishes, both light and decadent that complement the sweet and succulent flavors of lobster. Here are a few ideas.

Lobster tail piggyback and asparagus

What Goes with Risotto

Risotto is truly a fully sensory experience, especially when it’s a lobster risotto recipe. It’s richness should be allowed to shine, so think of light, bright, and fresh flavors.

  • Lemon arugula salad
  • Steamed vegetables such as broccoli or snap peas
  • Grilled asparagus
  • Caprese salad
  • A salad dressed with a champagne vinaigrette
  • Crusty bread or garlic bread
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Lemon Lobster Risotto on plate with garnish

How To Make Lobster Risotto At Home (Beginner Friendly)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

This easy brown butter lobster risotto from Giada de Laurentiis will turn any night into a true occasion. With the nuttiness of brown butter complementing the sweet lobster meat, this is a total hit. 

  • Total Time: 50
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 1 pound lobster tails
  • 4 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1.  Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the lobster tails and boil for 8 to 10 minutes until the shells curl and the lobster meat turns white. Drain, transfer to a cutting board, and cool for 15 minutes. Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut through the top shell lengthwise. Remove the meat and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Keep hot over low heat.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Cook until the butter begins to foam and then turns brown, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Add the onion and cook, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Add the brandy and simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of stock and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue adding the stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of stock to absorb before adding the next. Cook until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, the remaining butter and 2 tablespoons chives. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Transfer the risotto to a large serving bowl. Arrange the lobster meat on top of the risotto and garnish with the remaining chives.


  • Always use a heavy-bottomed pan for even heat distribution while cooking your risotto
  • Heat your liquids before adding them to the rice to help maintain a consistent cooking temperature
  • Keep stirring the risotto regularly to encourage the rice to release its starch, which gives that signature creamy texture
  • Taste as you go, particularly when nearing the end of cooking time, to ensure the rice is cooked to your preference
  • Freshly grate your Parmesan cheese for the best flavor and texture in the risotto
  • If the risotto thickens upon standing, loosen it with a splash of warm broth before serving
  • Author: Lobster Louie
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of lobster works best with lobster risotto?

Any type of lobster meat will work for lobster risotto. However, a whole lobster will give the most depth of flavor as you can also utilize the shells.

How can I tell when lobster meat is perfectly cooked for risotto?

Always cook your lobster meat to temperature, between 135-140 degrees. It is actually okay to slightly undercook lobster for risotto as it will continue to cook in the warm rice.

Can lobster risotto be made Dairy-Free or Gluten-Free?

Yes. Because risotto is rice based, it is naturally gluten free. It can be made dairy-free by using plant based options for the butter and cheese, or even olive oil.

What’s the best way to incorporate the lobster flavor throughout the risotto?

Use the shells from the lobster to make a reinforced seafood stock.

How should leftover lobster risotto be stored and reheated?

Allow the risotto to cool and then transfer it to an airtight container. Keep it refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. To reheat it add it into a saucepan on low heat and continually stir until warmed through.

What are some common variations on lobster risotto?

Adding other types of seafood to lobster risotto is a common practice including shrimp and seared scallops. Another common type of lobster risotto is saffron lobster risotto.

Can I prepare any components of lobster risotto in advance?

You can make your seafood stock in advance, including freezing it if desired. You can also cook your lobster up to a day in advance.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when making risotto?

Picking the wrong rice as well as rinsing the rice prior to cooking are the biggest mistakes.

What are your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Your personal data will be used to support your experience throughout this website, to manage access to your account, and for other purposes described in our privacy policy.