How to Store, Freeze and Reheat Risotto

updated Aug 20, 2022
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It’s hard to imagine there are leftovers of creamy, comforting risotto, but it happens. Maybe you’re just a small household or you thought your family would be hungrier. Whatever the reason, when there’s extra in the pan, don’t toss it in the trash — you have options! Leftover risotto can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days, depending on the ingredients used.

Here’s everything you need to know about leftover risotto: how to store it, freeze it, and enjoy it the next day.

How to Store Risotto

While risotto really is at its best when it’s fresh, if you do happen to have leftover, it will be fine in the refrigerator. The risotto will thicken because of the rice’s starch, but you have options when you need to revive it — more on that below.

Just store it in an airtight container and it will be good for up to five days. One caveat: If it contains meat, like this sausage and tomato risotto, it’s better to keep it for up to just three days.

Is Freezing Risotto A Good Idea?

It’s actually best not to freeze risotto. Cooked rice can become hard when frozen, and the texture of the risotto could get a bit grainy. You’re better off not risking these changes and simple storing leftover risotto in the fridge instead.

How to Reheat Risotto

Here’s how to bring leftover risotto back to life: For every 1 cup of risotto, bring about 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (whichever you used to make your original pan) to a boil on the stove in a pot large enough to fit the risotto. If you don’t happen to have either on hand, water can work in a pinch. Add the risotto and stir it for a few minutes until the rice warms up. If the risotto is still quite thick, you can add a splash or two more broth, as needed, to loosen it up.

Even better, make leftover risotto balls. Reheated risotto won’t taste exactly like its former self, since the rice will cook a little more as it warms up and become less al dente, so transforming risotto into something completely new is a winning solution. Add a few eggs to the cold risotto, shape the mixture into balls, coat them in breadcrumbs, and pan-fry them and you’ll have a winning snack that may rival the original. Another similar recipe is cheesy arancini.