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Can You Freeze Risotto?

Can you freeze risotto or is it a bad choice? Well, because risotto is a rice-based dish that takes skill to blend and deliver the perfect texture, you might think that frozen risotto is out of the question. Alas, but it is not! If you have perfected the art of pulling off a tasty homemade risotto you may want to eat it right away. However if you find yourself with some leftovers that you cannot possibly let go to waste, you can freeze risotto for later. There will be texture changes once you reheat it, but in terms of food safety, it is perfectly fine to freeze risotto.

can-you-freeze-risotto

Frozen risotto reheated with grated cheese

 

How to Freeze Risotto

Whether you have made a chicken risotto or a mushroom risotto, your work of art should not go to waste. Freezing homemade risotto is actually quite easy. When you are ready to freeze the risotto, let it cool off a little bit. When it is still warm, put the risotto in a a plastic airtight container.

Thawing Risotto

There is really only one method to consider when thawing frozen risotto. It involves defrosting the homemade risotto in the refrigerator overnight.  The method you choose to reheat risotto can result in very different textures to your dish, so let’s cover that next.

Reheating Risotto

There are a few ways that you can go about reheating frozen risotto once it has been thawed. You can reheat it in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in the oven. Your choice should be dictated by your desired texture so choose accordingly.

Microwaving – When using the microwave, you will want to make sure you stir your risotto frequently. You may also find that you might need to add some liquid to get the texture you desire or it will get dry. Around 3 minutes in the micro.

Stovetop – You can also use a nonstick pan on the stovetop at medium heat. This method may also leave you needing to add some water, butter, wine, or extra stock that you used in your original risotto recipe in order to get the texture closer to its original. Cooked it up until it is hot and have the desired texture you want.

reheating-frozen-risotto

On the left image you have thawed risotto ready to be reheated. On the right image some water was added to the risotto.

Oven – Still another option would be to use the oven. This method would be preferred for anyone looking for a crunchier texture. Heat risotto in the oven at 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit in a tightly covered, greased dish or a pan covered with foil. Cook until piping hot.

For any of the above methods, it is recommended to add a little bit of water and stir it in with the risotto. In that way you will get a little some moisture. If you add stock or wine that would work as well.

 

FAQs

Can I freeze risotto in freezer bags?

Yes, that is also an option. As a matter of fact, when you buy frozen risotto they often are sealed in solid bags made out of plastic. Make sure to use thicker freezer bags when you freeze the risotto, or even use a food sealer.

Can risotto be frozen half cooked?

Yes, many restaurants do something that is called par-cooking. This is about cooking foods half way. If you order risotto in some restaurants you will sometimes only have to wait 15 minutes to get your ordered risotto, and that is because it has been par-cooked. If you cook the risotto half ways, it must be chilled quickly not to let it overcook.

Can you freeze risotto and make risotto cakes of the leftovers?

That is actually a very good idea. Frozen risotto leftovers are great for making risotto cakes. You can even make Arancinis out of the leftovers, which are small stuffed rice balls.