What Is Risotto?
If you’ve eaten in a northern Italian restaurant, either outside of Italy or within the region itself, you’ve likely come across risotto. It’s a dish with humble origins, where the star of the recipe is Arborio rice. Risotto should be cooked with broth or stock until the rice is tender (just past al dente) and has a creamy consistency. The goal is to achieve a soup-like, pourable consistency, versus a dense rice with next to no sauce.
What is Buffalo Wingless Risotto? It’s our twist on a classic Italian risotto featuring buffalo wing sauce. You can certainly add chicken if you like, but we keep it vegetarian. This recipe is extremely hearty and comforting on cool evenings, but honestly can be enjoyed year round.
What’s In Buffalo Wingless Risotto?
Like with any traditional risotto recipe, you’ll want to start with Arborio rice. This is hands down the best short grain rice for risotto, and here’s why: the shorter the grain, the more starch it releases as it cooks. This leads to a creamier risotto!
You’ll also need:
- Unsalted butter and extra virgin olive oil
- Onion, though you can substitute with minced shallots.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- White wine: Use something good enough to drink! The flavor will intensify as it cooks down.
- Chicken stock: We recommend low-sodium; you can substitute with vegetable broth to keep it entirely vegetarian.
- Frank’s hot sauce, or other buffalo wing sauce
- Blue cheese or gorgonzola crumbles
- Fresh chives, thinly sliced:
Grab a large pot to make the buffalo wingless risotto in, as well as a medium saucepan to heat up the chicken stock.
Expert Tips For Cooking Risotto
- Stir in warm broth! When you add cold stock or broth to the warm pan, you bring down the temperature of the other ingredients, which can affect cook time.
- Cook over medium heat. If you increase to medium-high, you’ll run out of stock (or water) before the rice is fully cooked. Risotto requires time and patience, and the best recipes typically take a minimum of 17-25 minutes for the rice to fully absorb the liquid, while releasing its natural starch to create a super creamy sauce.
- Serve quickly after finishing. One of the key features of a good risotto is its soup-like texture. By that we mean it should be more liquidy than not. If you let a cooked risotto sit for long, it will congeal and become dense. You want to serve the risotto while its pourable.
How To Serve Risotto
Keep it simple: serve with crusty baguette and a big arugula salad!
Storage, Make Ahead, and Freezing
When stored properly in an airtight container in a refrigerator, risotto will keep for up to 5 days. Note: risotto is best fresh! It will thicken as it rests because of the natural starches found in rice.
We do not recommend freezing risotto. The texture of the rice changes when you freeze it, and you risk it turning grainy.
The best option is to reheat risotto on a stovetop in a saucepan. Add a generous splash of chicken or vegetable stock (water works too!), then reheat over medium until warm, stirring as needed. If the risotto is too thick, add another splash of liquid until you reach your desired consistency.
Make buffalo wing inspired arancini!
This is a recipe that we’ve been making for over 15 years — truly! If you love all the classic flavors of buffalo chicken wings, but you really love rice, this dish is for you!
If you make this Buffalo Wingless Risotto recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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Buffalo Wingless Risotto Recipe
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- ¼ – ½ cup Frank's hot sauce
- ½ cup blue cheese or gorgonzola cheese, crumbled, plus more for serving
- ¼ cup chives or scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for serving
- Warm the stock. Place 6 cups of chicken stock in a large saucepan or pot, then bring to a boil. Once warm, reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Sauté the onion. In a large skillet with deep sides, heat 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add diced onion and cook stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add 3 cloves chopped garlic, then season with ½ tsp Kosher salt and ¼ tsp black pepper. Cook 1 minute more.
- Toast the rice. Add 2 cups of Arborio rice then cook, stirring often, for 1-2 minutes until warm and toasted.
- Add the wine. Pour in 1 cup of white wine, then allow to cook for 1-2 minutes, until most of the wine has evaporated.
- Add the chicken stock. Begin adding stock 1-2 ladlefuls at a time, stirring constantly. After a couple minutes, most of the stock should have been absorbed by the rice. Repeat, adding more stock and stirring continuously, until the rice is creamy, yet tender, about 20 minutes total. Variation in cook time may be due to the size of your pan or the temperature. You want the rice to be al dente with just the slightest bite. The risotto should move freely around the pan and be more soupy than dry.
- Add the hot sauce. When the rice is fully cooked, add in ¼-½ cup of Frank’s hot sauce. Use more if you like things spicier, or less if you want it more mild. You can always add more later.
- Finish, then serve. Stir in ½ cup of crumbled blue cheese or gorgonzola and ¼ cup thinly sliced chives (or scallions). Taste, adjust seasoning as needed, then serve immediately with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, more crumbled blue cheese or gorgonzola, and additional chives, if wanted.
Photography by: Cambrea of Cambrea Bakes