Lobster Risotto

published Oct 14, 2022
Lobster Risotto Recipe

A classic stovetop method for a creamy, rich, and decadent lobster risotto.


Prep15 minutes

Cook30 minutes to 40 minutes

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Credit: Laura Rege

Break out the table linens and candles: This lobster risotto is a special-occasion dinner that’s absolutely worthy of both. Whether you’re celebrating something big or small, this restaurant-quality meal fits the bill. It’s studded with seafood, tinged with saffron, and brightened with chives and lemon. And the best part? It’s easier to make than you might expect.

Can I Use Frozen Lobster for Lobster Risotto?

Yes, you can use frozen cooked lobster meat for lobster risotto. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, then add it directly into the risotto at the end of cooking. The heat from the pan will gently warm the lobster.

Credit: Laura Rege

What Ingredients Go In Lobster Risotto?

  • Rice: Like with most risottos, rice is the heart of this dish. You’ll want to use a starchy, short- or medium-grain rice, which will help create the classic creamy risotto texture. You may see packages labeled “risotto rice,” or they may include a specific name, such as carnaroli, arborio, or vialone nano. Personally, I’m a big carnaroli fan because the rice has a higher starch content and firmer texture than arborio, which results in a creamier risotto that’s much more difficult to overcook.
  • Shallot: Shallots are milder and sweeter than your typical onion, which means they’ll enhance this dish instead of overpowering it.
  • White wine: A 1/2 cup of dry white wine adds flavor and acidity to the risotto.
  • Broth: Here, the broth is simply a combination of clam juice and water, so you don’t have to worry about making your own lobster stock. Clam juice (I like the Bar Harbor brand) is readily available at the grocery store and has a cleaner, more consistent flavor than store-bought seafood stock.
  • Saffron: Just a pinch of saffron delicately perfumes the risotto, lends a lovely color, and pairs beautifully with the flavor of the lobster.
  • Finishing touches: After the risotto comes off the heat, you’ll add the lobster, plus lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, and a bit of grated Parmesan cheese to tie it all together.

What Wine Goes Well with Lobster Risotto?

You’ll need 1/2 cup of dry white wine to cook this risotto, so select one you enjoy the taste of because it’s also the accompaniment. Something crisp and refreshing like Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or my personal favorite, Picpoul de Pinet, will cut through the richness of the lobster meat and buttery rice.

Lobster Risotto Recipe

A classic stovetop method for a creamy, rich, and decadent lobster risotto.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes to 40 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1 pound

    cooked lobster meat (2 1/2 to 3 cups), thawed if frozen

  • 2 (8-ounce) bottles

    clam juice, such as Bar Harbor

  • 5 cups


  • 1

    large shallot

  • 1 small bunch

    fresh chives

  • 1 ounce

    Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup firmly packed freshly grated or 1/3 cup store-bought grated)

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups

    carnaroli, arborio, or vialone nano rice

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    saffron threads

  • 1/2 cup

    dry white wine

  • 1/2

    small lemon


  1. Thaw 1 pound cooked lobster meat in the refrigerator overnight if needed.

  2. Pour 2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice and 5 cups water into a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep at a very low simmer.

  3. Drain the lobster meat if needed and cut into bite-sized pieces (2 2 1/2 to 3 cups). Place in a medium bowl. Finely chop 1 large shallot (about 1/3 cup). Finely chop 1 small bunch fresh chives until you have 1/4 cup. Finely grate 1 ounce Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 packed cup), or measure out 1/3 cup store-bought grated.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the unsalted butter in a large, high-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the shallot and sauté until softened and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

  5. Add 1 1/2 cups carnaroli rice, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon saffron. Cook, stirring often, until the edges of the rice have turned translucent but the center is still opaque, about 2 minutes. You should also be able to smell the aroma of toasted rice. Add 1/2 cup dry white wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until the wine has completely reduced and the pan is almost dry, about 3 minutes.

  6. Begin incrementally adding the warm clam juice broth one ladle at a time, stirring often. Wait until the liquid has been almost completely absorbed by the rice before adding another ladle. After about 15 minutes, begin tasting the rice to gauge how far it has cooked.

  7. Continue adding broth until the rice is al dente (still has a bit of chew), the broth is creamy, and the dish has the consistency of thick porridge, 20 to 30 minutes total (you might not use up all of the broth). If you run your spatula through the risotto, the risotto should flow slowly to fill in the space.

  8. Remove the pan from the heat. Finely grate the zest of 1/2 small lemon into the pan, then squeeze the juice of the lemon into the pan. Add the lobster meat, Parmesan, half of the chives, and remaining 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and stir until the butter is melted. Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Serve immediately, garnishing each bowl with the remaining chives.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.