At the beginning of 2011, I set 5 cooking techniques I wanted to learn. One of them was to learn how to cook risotto. I tried several times last year, but I never got it right. No matter how long I cooked and stirred and added more liquid, I ended up with rice that was crunchy in the center.


I had just about given up on risotto when I cooked a recipe the other week for chicken thighs cooked on top of regular rice in the oven. The rice went into the oven uncooked. It came out cooked very nicely. I wondered, “Can this be done with Arborio rice for risotto, too?”


I did a search, and I found out that yes, risotto can be cooked in the oven. Last night, I gave it my first try. I used the simplest recipe I could find, Martha Stewart’s Oven-Baked Risotto. I didn’t want to get too fancy or use too many ingredients in case it didn’t turn out.


The beauty of this method — besides the fact that it works — is that it’s less time-consuming than the traditional stovetop method. Once you pop the rice in the oven, you leave it alone. When you do risotto on the stove, there’s a constant stirring and adding of liquid. I was able to put the rest of dinner together while this cooked in the oven.




  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • 2 to 2 1/4 cup hot water, divided
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley



  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Heat a medium-sized, oven-proof Dutch oven or pot with a lid on the stove over medium heat.
  3. Add the olive oil and allow it to heat.
  4. Saute the onion in the olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Don’t allow it to burn.
  5. Add the Arborio rice, stir to coat thoroughly with olive oil for about 1 minute.
  6. Add the white wine and stir until the wine has burned off, about 3 minutes.
  7. Add 1 1/2 cups of hot water, chicken stock, salt and pepper, and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  8. Put the lid on the pot, and place in oven for 20-25 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed but the rice is still creamy, not dried out. (Check at 20 minutes).
  9. When all liquid is absorbed, pull out of oven, add 1/2 to 3/4 cup hot water (add the 1/2 cup first and if it still needs more to be really creamy, add the rest), Parmesan cheese and butter. Stir. Toss in parsley. Serve.

My notes


  • Always leave a potholder over the pan you used once you take it out of the oven to remind yourself it was just in the oven. The pot I used is one I rarely use in the oven, and when it came time to throw the parsley in, I removed the lid with just my hands without thinking. Fortunately, it had been out of the oven for a bit at that point, but it was still really hot.
  • This had a very mild flavor, probably because it used more water than chicken stock/broth. It was still delicious, but next time, I’ll try a recipe that uses more stock, less water.
  • Purists will probably balk at making risotto this way, but I don’t really care. It was easy, it worked and my family loved it.

Other oven risotto recipes that caught my attention


Tease photo of risotto dish: Shutterstock

The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.