This prawn risotto is made with a rich homemade prawn stock that utilises every last drop of flavour from the prawn heads. It’s rich, creamy and the ultimate comfort food!
Creamy Prawn Risotto Recipe
Seafood lovers, this creamy prawn risotto with a homemade prawn stock is just for you! It’s rich, creamy and tastes just like the ocean. What makes it stand out from the crowd is the prawn stock that is made with every last drop of flavour from the prawn heads. Before you turn up your nose, prawn heads is where the flavour is at and if you aren’t using them then you are missing out! By utilising them in our prawn stock, we unlock a depth of flavour that will make your taste buds practically dance with joy!
Picture this: tender, plump prawns delicately cooked, their succulent flesh mingling with the creamy risotto, creating a symphony of textures and flavours. But what truly brings this dish together is the dynamic duo of butter and cheese. When these indulgent ingredients are stirred through the cooked prawn risotto, they transform it into a luxurious masterpiece, blanketing every grain of rice in silky deliciousness! So go on, indulge in each spoonful, appreciating the creamy richness and the marriage of irresistible flavours!
Let’s talk prawn heads—the unsung heroes of this prawn risotto recipe. I have said it before and I will say it again, if you aren’t using prawn heads in your prawn based meals then you are missing out on so much flavour! These little pockets of flavour are like hidden treasure chests, bursting with a world of taste. Not only by using them does it minimise food waste, but it also creates such a rich depth of flavour that will take your dishes to new heights.
The prawn heads are fried off in lots of olive oil and then left to simmer with vegetables and salt and pepper for 1 hour to create a beautiful stock for the risotto. This prawn stock is a gift from the culinary gods, adding unmatched depth and complexity to our dishes. You can also use this prawn stock recipe with so many other seafood based recipes that require stock!
My tips on making the best risotto
I must admit, I was slightly terrified to make my first risotto. There is a misconception they require a lot of skill to make but this could not be further from the truth! While they ask for a fair bit of your time, they don’t ask for any special skillset to make them. Follow my tips below for the best risotto result.
Stock – Let’s talk about one of the secrets to creating an outstanding prawn risotto—stock! Stock is the foundation that can elevate a good risotto to a whole new level of culinary delight. I like to always use a homemade stock such as this prawn stock or my chicken stock. These stocks are like liquid gold, packed with depth, complexity, and a symphony of flavours that will dance on your taste buds. If you are short on time, make sure you are buying a high quality stock that is rich in flavour!
Rice – It’s important you use arborio rice when making a risotto. This special rice variety boasts a higher starch content compared to other types of rice, and that’s what gives your risotto that irresistible creaminess we all adore. The magic happens as the rice absorbs the flavourful broth and releases its starch, creating a velvety, luxurious texture that coats each grain. And here’s the best part—using arborio rice allows you to achieve that creamy goodness without the need for heavy cream.
Patience – risotto is best served on a slow Sunday’s evening as patience is key when making it! Time is of the essence when a ladel of stock as been added to the rice as it needs to be stirred through until the rice has fully absorbed it. This step cannot be rushed as it creates that beautiful silky texture you are after!
Butter & Cheese – this is what brings everything together in your risotto to create a beautiful creamy texture. I have used Westgold butter as it’s of exceptional taste and quality! As it melts into the risotto, it coats each grain of rice, creating a silky smoothness that is simply irresistible. And let’s not forget about cheese—the final touch that adds a delightful creaminess and a burst of flavour to our garlic prawn risotto.
Check out my other seafood recipes here at Daen’s Kitchen:
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This recipe is sponsored by our friends at Westgold butter.
Creamy Prawn Risotto
- 1 kg prawn heads
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 fennel bulb roughly chopped
- 1 carrot roughly chopped
- 2 onions with skin on and quartered
- 4 bay leaves
- 8 cups water
- 1/2 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 kg prawns peeled and de-veined
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 white onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 6 cups prawn stock
- 50 g Westgold butter unsalted
- 1/2 cup pecorino romano grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 lemon
- fennel frond to serve
- In a large pot on a high heat, fry the prawn heads with the olive oil for five minutes or until they turn a deep red colour. Using a potato masher, mash the prawn heads to release all their flavour and juices. You want to use every last drop of that gorgeous flavour that lives in their heads!
- Add the vegetables to the pot and fry them for 30 seconds. Add the water and bring to the boil with the lid on. Once boiling, turn the heat down and leave to simmer for 1 hour.
- Drain your stock through a mesh colander into a clean pot. Leave on a very low simmer with the lid on.
- In a large pot on a low heat, bring the olive oil to heat. Fry the onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until translucent and fragrant. Stir occasionally to avoid them from burning.
- In the same pot on a medium heat, add your rice and cook for 2 minutes or until the rice turns opaque. Add in the wine and keep stirring with the rice until all of the wine has been absorbed by the rice.
- One cup at a time, add in the prawn stock and stir through until all the stock is absorbed. Repeat this step 5 more times until you have used up all of your stock. Your rice will start to become plump as it continues to cook and absorb the stock. It should take roughly 25 minutes to cook. When you have added your last cup of stock you want only 80% of the liquid to be absorbed.
- Turn the heat to low and add the prawns, butter and cheese into the pot and stir through. Cook for 3 minutes or until the prawns flesh turns pink and is no longer translucent. Be careful not to overcook your prawns!
- Take your risotto off the heat, squeeze the lemon and sprinkle some fennel fronds all over. Serve immediately and enjoy!
What makes this dish stand out from other prawn risotto recipes?
This prawn risotto recipe stands out from the crowd because it’s made with a rich homemade prawn stock that utilises every last drop of flavour from the prawn heads. The result? A risotto that’s creamy, indulgent, and bursting with the taste of the ocean. Don’t be afraid to embrace the prawn heads—they’re where the flavour is at! By using them in our prawn stock, we unlock a depth of flavour that will take your risotto to new heights.
Can I use a different type of rice for the risotto?
While arborio rice is the traditional (and in my opinion, best) choice for risotto, you can experiment with other short-grain varieties as your risotto rice. These varieties also contain high starch content, which is essential for achieving that creamy consistency in prawn risotto recipes. However, keep in mind that different rice types may require slight adjustments in cooking time and liquid measurements. So, it’s always a good idea to follow the specific instructions for the type of rice you choose.
Can I make this garlic prawn risotto in advance?
While risotto is best enjoyed fresh and immediately after cooking, you can prepare certain components in advance to save time. You can make the prawn stock ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 2 days or freeze it for longer storage. However, it’s best to cook the risotto right before serving to maintain its creamy texture. Reheating risotto can alter the consistency and affect the overall taste and texture.
How should I serve the garlic prawn risotto?
Garlic prawn risotto is a fabulous dish on its own, but you can elevate the dining experience by serving it with a few accompaniments. Here are some suggestions:
- Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of grated pecorino romano cheese for an extra burst of flavour.
- Serve alongside a fresh green salad or steamed vegetables to add a refreshing balance to the richness of the risotto.
- Pair it with a glass of crisp white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, to complement the flavours of the seafood and risotto.
What are some variations of prawn risotto that I can try?
While this creamy prawn risotto is already a showstopper, there are endless possibilities to customise your prawn risotto to suit your taste preferences! Here are a few ideas to inspire your adventures in the kitchen:
- Add a touch of spice with a sprinkle of chilli flakes or a drizzle of chilli oil for a fiery kick.
- Incorporate fresh herbs like parsley or basil to enhance the flavour profile.
- Add a burst of colour and sweetness with peas or roasted cherry tomatoes.
- For a burst of freshness, finish the risotto with a sprinkle of lemon zest or a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Get creative with additional seafood, such as scallops or mussels, to create a seafood medley in your risotto.