Is Risotto Dairy Free? Dairy-Free Recipe with Chicken Broth

Risotto is an Italian dish made with Arborio rice, broth, and other ingredients depending on the specific recipe. A traditional risotto recipe typically includes butter, Parmesan cheese, or other dairy products to give it a rich and creamy texture. Hence, it is not dairy-free.

However, you can make a dairy-free version of risotto by substituting the dairy ingredients with alternatives. For instance, you can use olive oil or dairy-free margarine instead of butter and plant-based milk or cream (such as almond milk, coconut milk, or cashew cream) to achieve a creamy texture. You can also replace Parmesan cheese with a dairy-free cheese alternative or nutritional yeast to add flavor.

Is Risotto Dairy Free

So, while a traditional risotto is not dairy-free, you can adjust the recipe to make it suitable for a dairy-free diet.

How Can I Make Dairy-Free Risotto? Tasty Recipe with Chicken Broth & Mushrooms

This dairy-free risotto recipe is a delicious and satisfying dish that highlights the flavors of chicken broth and mushrooms. Customize it with your favorite vegetables, herbs, or protein to create a unique meal.


  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth (low-sodium)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced
  • 8 oz (about 2 cups) mushrooms, sliced (choose your favorite variety, such as cremini, shiitake, or button)
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil or dairy-free margarine
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast or dairy-free cheese alternative (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley or thyme, chopped, for garnish (optional)


  • In a medium saucepan, warm the chicken broth over low heat. Keep it warm throughout the cooking process.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil or dairy-free margarine over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pan or Dutch oven. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, frequently stirring to prevent burning.
  • Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan and cook until they have released their liquid and are slightly browned, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the Arborio rice to the pan, stirring to coat the rice with the oil or margarine. Cook the rice for 2-3 minutes, occasionally stirring, until it becomes slightly translucent around the edges.
  • Begin adding the warm chicken broth to the rice, one ladleful at a time, stirring frequently. Allow the rice to absorb most of the liquid before adding the next ladleful. Continue this process until the rice is creamy and cooked but slightly al dente. This should take about 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from heat and stir in the remaining 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil or dairy-free margarine, nutritional yeast or dairy-free cheese alternative, salt, and pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Allow the risotto to rest for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley or thyme, if desired.

How to Make Dairy-Free Risotto Creamy?

The creaminess of risotto without cheese or dairy is achieved through constant stirring. “No-stir” risotto recipes do not produce authentic risotto but a rice dish. Stirring is the fundamental aspect of risotto preparation, giving it its distinct texture and setting it apart from other rice dishes.

Can I make Vegan Risotto?

Yes, you can make vegan risotto. Use vegetable broth instead of meat-based broth, and replace dairy ingredients with plant-based alternatives such as olive oil, dairy-free margarine, and plant-based milk or cream. For a cheese-like flavor, add nutritional yeast or vegan cheese to the dish. Experiment with various vegetables and herbs for diverse flavors.

Vegan Risotto

Can you use Vegetable Broth in place of Chicken Broth?

Yes. You can use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth in risotto recipes. It is the best way to make it vegan or vegetarian.

Where did Risotto Originate?

Risotto traces its origins to Northern Italy, where rice cultivation was introduced by Arab merchants in the Middle Ages. The dish evolved in the Lombardy and Piedmont regions, where abundant rice paddies and slow-cooking techniques led to its unique creamy texture. Risotto gained prominence in the 19th century when Arborio rice was developed, enhancing the dish’s distinct characteristics. Today, it is a beloved Italian dish with countless variations enjoyed worldwide.

Risotto Originate


I live in Los Angeles with my better half, Dave, and our child, Corey. Each second with them is the acknowledgment of my fantasies working out as expected — and for that? I am so extremely thankful. Hi! I am Diana Rodriguez, the founder, author, and photographer of ATD.

Leave a Comment