Cooking with Leftovers: Risotto Cakes

published Mar 22, 2012
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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

One of my favorite things about making a batch of risotto is anticipating the crispy risotto cakes I’ll make with the leftovers. They are, if possible, even better than the risotto itself. Especially if one happens to sneak a slice of cheese in the middle.

As it cools, risotto gradually loses its creamy sauce-like consistency and firms up. We can take scoops of this leftover risotto and actually shape it into patties that hold their shape when pan-fried. The outside of the risotto cakes turn crispy and golden while the insides warm and soften.

As an extra treat, slip a piece of cheese into the middle of the cake as you shape it, as with arancine. That bit of melted cheese with the chewy rice and the crunchy pan-fried bits makes an unbeatable combination. You can also dip the risotto cakes in egg and panko to make an extra-crispy crust.

Serve these risotto cakes over a plate of dressed salad greens for an easy weeknight meal. I also like cold risotto cakes, making them a good choice for lunches at my desk and long airplane rides.

Here are a few recipes to inspire your cooking:

Risotto Cakes with Roasted Tomatoes and Arugula from Martha StewartMushroom Risotto Cakes from EpicuriousFontina Risotto Cakes with Chives from Bon Appétit

Have you ever done this?