Parmesan Risotto with Shrimp and Asparagus

Whether you’ve made risotto or not, I’m sure you have heard of it. If you have made it, you know how simple and easy it can be. Chances are if you haven’t made it, you assume it’s time-consuming. The best-kept secret of risotto is the fact that it’s super easy. Yes, it’s best when you babysit it while adding stock, but that is only a time commitment of 20-30 minutes. Really, that’s just the perfect amount of time needed to decompress from the day and make a delicious and wholesome meal.

Risotto can be a chameleon. Any flavor combination can be paired with the creamy rice to create the best meal. Ever.

Top down view of creamy yellow colored risotto sitting in copper colored kettle with wooden spoon sitting inside

At its core, risotto is basic: rice, white wine, and stock. Those three ingredients are the base that creates a super-creamy risotto. Since the recipe can be so simple, each component matters immensely.

  • First, the rice must be arborio. Arborio rice is a short-grain rice that’s high in amylopectin starch which helps good risotto attain a creamy texture.
  • Second, the white wine. If you cannot have wine, it can be left out, but just a small amount of white wine gives a nice acidic layer to the risotto. The acidity balances out the richer flavors.
  • Last, the stock. Chicken or vegetable stock not only flavors the risotto but helps the risotto gain its creaminess when added slowly. Risotto can work when stock is added all at once, but the outcome will not be the same. Adding it all at once can unevenly cook the rice and not achieve as creamy of texture. When warm stock is added over a 20-30 minute cooking period, the rice is able to slowly absorb the stock and release its starch at the same time.
Top down view of sheet pan filled with roasted asparagus and shrimp

To make this a meal, asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, and shrimp really round out the flavors.

  • The mushrooms are sautéed with onion in some bacon grease and cooked with the rice. The shiitake variety are sturdy and can hold up to the longer cooking time.
  • To keep this recipe simple, the asparagus and shrimp are roasted together in the oven. A quick roast keeps the texture of both but also brings out so much flavor.
  • To finish the risotto, fresh Parmesan cheese and bacon round out the flavors.

Together, this is a warm and comforting bowl. It’s a perfect transition towards spring.

Top down close up view of risotto sitting on white plate topped with asparagus and pink colored shrimp pieces

Watch how to make this Parmesan risotto:

Top down view of white bowl filled with creamy light brown colored risotto with sheet pan filled with asparagus and shrimp to the side
Print Pin
4.25 from 8 votes

Parmesan Risotto with Shrimp and Asparagus

This creamy Parmesan risotto will have your tastebuds in heaven! When paired with shrimp and asparagus and topped with bacon, it's easy enough for a weeknight!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: rice, risotto
Difficulty: Intermediate
Method: Cooking
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Kaleb

Ingredients

  • 3 strips thick-cut bacon
  • 2 tbsp bacon grease
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 oz shitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
  • 1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed off and cut into 1-2" pieces
  • 1 lb shrimp, raw, with tail on
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • ½ cup white wine (Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 5-6 cups chicken stock, kept warm on stove
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 5 oz grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and slowly cook until browned on both sides. Remove the bacon, leaving 3 tbsp grease in the dutch oven.
  • Sauté the onion and salt until just starting to become translucent, 5 minutes. Add the shitake mushrooms and continue to saute until slightly soft, 3 minutes.
  • On a large baking sheet, lay the shrimp and asparagus in an even layer. Drizzle with olive oil and rub to evenly coat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic, and rub to evenly spread the garlic. Place in the preheated oven and roast until the shrimp is opaque and the asparagus is crisp-tender, 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with fresh lemon juice and set aside.
  • When the mushrooms are slightly soft, add the rice. Stir constantly to toast the rice, 1-2 minutes. Add the white wine and stir until the Dutch oven is mostly dry. While watching the risotto and continuing to stir, add ½ to 1 cup of stock at a time. Continue to stir and add stock until the rice is fully cooked and the risotto has become creamy, 25-35 minutes. If the rice is not fully cooked, continue to add stock and cook.
  • When finished, stir in the Parmesan cheese, shrimp, and asparagus. Serve with crumbled bacon.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 543 kcal (27%)Carbohydrates: 39.8 g (13%)Protein: 41.3 g (83%)Fat: 24.3 g (37%)Saturated Fat: 10.4 g (65%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 10.7 gTrans Fat: 0 gCholesterol: 164.6 mg (55%)Sodium: 2093.4 mg (91%)Potassium: 778 mg (22%)Fiber: 2.4 g (10%)Sugar: 6.7 g (7%)Vitamin A: 118 IU (2%)Vitamin C: 9.5 mg (12%)Calcium: 558.9 mg (56%)Iron: 3.1 mg (17%)

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  • 5 stars
    I made this tonight. This was my first time making Risotto. Unfortunately, there’s not enough for me as we have an extra for dinner tonight. I did get to taste it and it was delicious! Will make this again.

  • 5 stars
    Yummy! Have to practice a little to get everything prepped at the right time, so I’m not having to step away from the risotto so much, but was a very doable weeknight meal. I substituted Baby Bella mushrooms, and they held up well. You need much less salt than called for with the shrimp and asparagus. I used about 1 tsp, and it was too salty. I also used only 1/2 lb. of asparagus…which was plenty…and less than 8 oz of Parmesan…probably about 3/4 cup…and it was plenty creamy and rich tasting.

  • I liked this recipe, however I thought 8 ounces of parmesan cheese was too much. I’m going to try it again with 2 ounces and increase til I get the desired flavor, otherwise it was delicious. Perfect for a Friday night Lenten dinner!

  • 5 stars
    Fabulous!!!!! I followed the recipe exactly and watched the video probably a dozen times before I attempted making this dish. It’s impressive and tastes like we went out to a fancy restaurant. Thanks Kaleb!

  • 5 stars
    Delicious – definitely used less Parmesan but still had amazing flavor. Simple, elegant dish that even the kids enjoyed.