30+5 Amazing Dishes to Serve with Risotto

Risotto is the perfect dish for so many occasions. It’s creamy and hearty, and there are loads of different varieties you can try out. Plus, it is surprisingly easy to make once you get the hang of it!

If you really want to get this dish to shine, try serving it with one of the dishes from this list!

In this post, I’ll detail all of my go-to foods when it comes to what to serve with risotto. Let’s get started so you can finalize your menu!

Breads

Garlic Bread

Of course, you can never go wrong with garlic bread – especially when you’re serving an Italian main like risotto!

This simple garlic bread recipe is so easy, only takes half an hour and four ingredients, and is so much tastier than frozen!

I like using a soft French loaf for this recipe to get that soft, almost melt-in-your-mouth center that is saturated with butter.

This recipe is milder than some others, making it a great choice to serve with a flavorful risotto.

If your risotto is milder or heavy on the cream, you can add more garlic cloves, Italian seasoning, paprika, or even a little cayenne to give this bread more of a kick.

Bruschetta

For a lighter bread option that’s still bursting with flavorful freshness, try your hand at some bruschetta!

This recipe takes the classic appetizer and upgrades it to the next level, using crostini, high-quality heirloom tomatoes, onion, garlic, and fresh sprigs of basil.

If you can’t find heirloom tomatoes or they’re out of season, cherry tomatoes are okay as well – and I find multi-colored ones to be super pretty to look at!

Finally, this bruschetta recipe also uses the trendiest (and tastiest) cheese: burrata!

Burrata is a super soft and creamy type of mozzarella that is perfectly slathered across the bread as a base.

This helps keep the tomatoes from falling off with every bite, which is a problem I run into when eating bruschetta!

Crostini

If you’d rather keep it simple when thinking about what goes well with risotto for dinner, you can always just make crostini as well!

Crostini is pretty much the Italian version of toast: you take a good quality baguette and slice it, brush both sides of each slice with olive oil, and pop it into the oven for around ten minutes.

They’re so crispy on the outside while still being a little soft in the middle!

You can top them with plain sea salt, but I enjoy a little parmesan and/or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

And while it isn’t strictly traditional, I’ve also been known to use crostini to scoop up risotto as well.

Focaccia

If you’re wanting to take things to the next level and bake bread from scratch, you can never go wrong with focaccia!

This is my all-time favorite focaccia recipe as it yields amazing soft, pillowy focaccia with perfect airy pockets.

It does take some planning, however, as it’s best if the dough is made beforehand and refrigerated overnight. However, there are only five minutes of actual hands-on time needed!

Classic focaccia is topped with just rosemary and sea salt, but don’t be afraid to get creative. Use colorful toppings that pair well with your risotto recipe!

Proteins

Honey Mustard & Rosemary Chicken

This delicious chicken recipe always jumps to mind when I’m wondering what to serve with risotto, especially for simple and creamy varieties!

These chicken thighs are tender, juicy, and imbibed with flavor courtesy of the mustard rub.

The mustard flavor in this dish has layers of complexity, as the chicken is topped with a mouth-watering honey mustard sauce as well!

Garlic Butter Shrimp

Are you wondering what to eat with risotto? If you’re looking for simple, amazing flavor and a summer feel, this garlic butter shrimp recipe is also a classic! It’s so tangy, buttery, and savory.

My favorite part of this recipe is deglazing the pan with wine before making the sauce, as it means you keep all of the flavors from cooking the shrimp in the dish (and it means I get a glass of wine, too).

This is best done with pinot grigio or chardonnay, but any dry white wine will work well – and there are also alcohol-free wines available if you prefer!

You can serve this dish as a side to your risotto (best with crusty bread as well for soaking up the extra liquid), or you can top your risotto with the shrimp and sauce!

Cast Iron Skillet Steak

This cast iron skillet steak is the perfect thing to serve with mushroom risotto!

The smoky, butter-drenched steak goes so well with mushroom’s woody and hearty flavors and complements the creamy texture of the risotto.

You can make these steaks as simple as you like, but I enjoy flavoring them with some garlic, rosemary, and black pepper as well – especially if those flavors are also in my side dish.

Baked Salmon Filet

Baked salmon is so nutritious, delicious, and all-around amazing!

This recipe makes a flaky, succulent filet that is generously seasoned with garlic, herbs, and lemon juice.

I think this makes it pair extremely well with dishes that share that fresh citrus flavor, so I usually serve it with a lemon saffron risotto!

You can top your risotto with the fish, but I usually prefer to serve it alongside to keep the flavors distinct.

Oven Baked Pork Chops

When it comes to what to serve with mushroom risotto, this recipe is definitely the one for you!

Baking the chops gets them beautifully crispy on the outside and juicy and tender in the middle, and you’ll be glad to learn that they’re also pretty healthy to boot!

Just make sure to let them rest for a bit (three to five minutes) on a plate topped with foil before serving to keep them juicy and prevent overcooking.

Seared Scallops (With Garlic Butter!)

These seared scallops are another amazing seafood option, and they always manage to make home-cooked meals look (and taste) restaurant-quality.

Plus, they’re deceptively easy to make as well, and you can even use frozen scallops if you don’t get fresh ones near you!

It only takes ten minutes to cook, including the homemade garlic butter sauce.

These scallops are so packed with flavor that I like to keep things simple and serve them with a parmesan or lemon butter risotto, though you should feel free to experiment!

They look so pretty on top of the risotto, especially with a little parsley and lemon wedge (or zest) as garnish.

Mexican Shredded Beef

If you want to experiment with some fusion, I really like this Mexican shredded beef recipe with risotto rather than Mexican rice!

The creaminess of the risotto just feels so much more indulgent. I like it even more with a bell pepper or tomato risotto to ease the cultural crossover.

To be fair, I’d serve this beef with just about anything; it’s one of my all-time favorites!

You can make it easily in a slow cooker or instant pot, and it results in the most tender shredded beef ever.

It’s jam-packed with flavor as well, as it uses onion, green pepper, garlic, salsa, chili powder, and hot sauce, among other seasonings.

Butter-Seared Lobster Tails

Feeling fancy? These butter-seared lobster tails are the height of luxury!

They’re soft, melt in your mouth, and drenched in delicious buttery sauce.

You don’t need a Michelin star to make them either; they take less than half an hour and only use simple ingredients (butter, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper).

Enjoy them on a bed of simple or citrusy risotto – or even truffle risotto if you want to double down on the indulgence!

Lamb Roast

What goes with risotto better than a rack of lamb?

If you’re looking for a really hearty and filling meal, you can serve your risotto alongside this lamb roast.

Fair warning though: this recipe is not for the faint of heart and uses a whole bone-in leg of lamb and has a six-hour cooking time!

If you’re up for the culinary challenge, this delicate and tender roast will be an amazing reward.

Pan Seared Duck Breast

Do you want to try something a little different?

This duck breast is a special treat and is sure to enhance any dish it’s served alongside – risotto included!

This tender cut of meat has a golden brown crispy skin, a succulent layer of fat, and a moist, flavorful center.

It’s seasoned very simply with only salt and pepper to allow the taste of the meat to shine, making it a great option for many different risotto varieties.

Osso Buco

If you’re looking to keep things on theme and prepare a traditional Italian protein, osso buco is an amazing option!

To make it, you cook your meat over a long period (about an hour and forty minutes) on a low simmer in a gravy of butter, pancetta, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, white wine, chicken broth, and Italian seasonings.

You can use regular beef shanks, but veal is an amazing treat if you have access to it.

Since this recipe is already quite rich and has a complex and intricate flavor, I prefer to serve it with simple, lighter risotto like vegetable, lemon, or brown butter.

It’s also amazing topped with gremolata (an Italian green sauce of parsley, garlic, and lemon zest) to brighten up the palate!

Foil Pack Garlic Butter Sausage & Veggies

These tin foil-wrapped packs are so easy to put together and pop into the oven or on the grill!

They’re a nice, lighter option to serve with a rich carby dish like risotto.

I love that you can leave the sausage out (or substitute it) to accommodate guests who don’t eat meat as well, though cooking the meat with the veggies undeniably gives them an irresistible flavor infusion!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

This pulled pork recipe is so simple to make: you pretty much just throw the meat and seasonings in your slow cooker in the morning, forget about it – and then dinner will be ready when you are!

It’s amazing alongside risotto, though I often top my risotto with the pork or even stir it in.

This recipe only calls for salt and pepper, but you can add in other seasonings to better pair with the rest of your meal too.

I also love that you can choose how fatty you would like your dish (whether it’s for health reasons or just personal preference).

If you want to remove the fat from your dish, simply take the excess liquid from the slow cooker and put it in the refrigerator or an ice bath.

The fat will solidify and you can dispose of it before reincorporating the liquid into your pulled pork!

Filet mignon!

These perfect, mild, and tender steaks are amazing for any special occasion and partner seamlessly with risotto! 1

With this recipe, you’ll be able to cook them perfectly, flavored simply with butter, rosemary, garlic, and salt and pepper.

The trick is to sear them first, then finish them in a preheated oven to get the level of doneness you prefer.

Generally, you need two minutes in the oven for rare steaks, three to four for medium rare, five for medium, and six to seven for medium well.

The recipe provides great guidelines for measuring doneness by internal temperature if you prefer to do it that way too.

I especially like complementing the woody, hearty, and frankly fancy vibe of filet mignon with a rich mushroom risotto!

Meatballs

Move over, spaghetti – it’s risotto and meatballs in the house tonight!

These authentic polpettes are a little different from Americanized meatballs as they’re made with ground veal, parmesan, and Italian seasonings.

You can prepare these meatballs with the homemade sauce as in the recipe, or make them without browning them in the oven and finishing them in your risotto instead!

Eggs

If you’re looking for a vegetarian protein to serve with your risotto, eggs are always easy and delicious!

Try making a poached, fried, or even soft-boiled egg, and serving it with a green veggie-based risotto like spinach, asparagus, or broccoli.

If you are happy to serve meat, go for a breakfast-inspired twist by serving eggs with bacon risotto!

Air Fryer Crispy Prosciutto

No matter how long I’ve had it (and I’m proud to say I jumped on the bandwagon early) I’m always finding out new ways to use my air fryer!

This crispy, delicious prosciutto is the perfect protein to serve with risotto when you’re after a quick, last-minute (yet delicious) topping.

The recipe involves using pre-sliced, thin prosciutto and simply popping it into the air fryer for four to five minutes, flipping halfway through.

It adds amazing flavor and the perfect crunchy texture atop creamy risotto!

Veggies & Salads

Caramelized Mushrooms

Did you know you can caramelize mushrooms? These shrooms are amazing: sticky, sweet, crispy, and so healthy and nourishing.

I like them alongside a mushroom risotto to stay on theme and provide a healthy and delicious protein-packed veggie side.

Roasted Carrots with Thyme

These roasted carrots are a simple, sweet side dish that is so easy to make!

They cook on high heat, which brings out their sweetness without them becoming too soft, and gives them a light char on the outside for crispiness.

Plus, the hot temperature means that they are ready in less than thirty minutes!

Baked Tomatoes with Cheese

Is there a combo better than tomato and cheese?

This recipe takes these perfectly paired ingredients and lets them shine with the addition of just a little Italian seasoning and pepper.

I love serving these with a cheesy or tomato risotto, but they’re also great with simple and citrusy ones as well.

Garlic Butter Broccoli

I love broccoli in all its forms! The tiny little sprigs are perfect for clinging to all of the flavor and seasonings you put on them.

In this recipe, the broccoli is prepared with butter, olive oil, shallot, garlic, lemon juice, and parmesan – all seriously delicious.

It is the perfect light and yummy accompaniment to a rich risotto!

Tuscan Bean Salad

This simple white bean salad is so easy to prepare, and it only takes fifteen minutes total to make!

It’s bright and fresh from the lemon juice, dill, red onion, and bell pepper that is added to the beans, along with capers and seasonings.

This salad is also gluten-free and vegan, which many risotto recipes are (or can be) as well – making it a great option if you’re making a meal with either of those accommodations.

It also has lots of protein, ensuring you’ll feel energized and satisfied after your meal.

Arugula Salad w. Lemon Parmesan Dressing

This salad is really pared down and only uses two ingredients (arugula and parmesan) with a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper (and a little more parmesan – because why not?).

I love serving this super simple side with complex and flavorful risottos or as a palate cleanser between courses.

Garlic Sautéed Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is one of those vegetables that I think doesn’t get enough credit.

It’s super savory but not too bitter, so healthy, and extremely easy to prepare well!

This recipe keeps things straightforward, sauteing the chard in olive oil and garlic and then serving with a little sea salt sprinkled on top. It’s excellent as a side or as a topping to many different types of risotto.

Caprese Salad

A fresh Caprese salad is always a good idea!

It’s so bright, homey, and beautiful to present. To make it, you simply slice some ripe tomatoes and fresh mozzarella into quarter-inch rounds and layer them together with some basil leaves.

Then, drizzle with olive oil, add a little salt and pepper, and you’re done!

If you want a little extra, Caprese is also amazing with a little balsamic glaze.

If you don’t have any on hand, you can easily make your own by just reducing balsamic vinegar on the stove (I usually add in a little honey as well). This salad really makes a risotto-based meal feel complete!

Radicchio Salad with Pear, Walnut & Gorgonzola Dressing

This salad is also super simple: it’s just radicchio leaves, sliced pears, and walnuts. Make sure to toast your walnuts a little bit to bring out their flavor.

However, the magic of this recipe (along with using high-quality ingredients) comes from the dressing!

To make it, blend gorgonzola cheese, creme fraiche (sour cream is fine), dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper in a food processor until thick and creamy.

It is just so good, so make sure to be generous when dressing your salad!

Drinks:

White Wine

White wines like Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc go amazingly with seafood, citrus, and light vegetable risottos! They’re a good choice when serving chicken as well.

Red Wine

Red wines like Chianti or Pinot Noir go amazingly with richer risottos like mushrooms, especially if served with steak or red meat.

Desserts

Panna Cotta

This recipe is extremely easy, and ideal even if you’re a beginner at baking!

In fact, it doesn’t require any baking at all – just a little time at the stove and time to chill and set. It’s creamy, jiggly, and follows risotto perfectly.

Tiramisu

This decadent tiramisu is the perfect way to end your evening.

Though it’s great with the coffee liquor, you can substitute it with brandy if you like a stronger flavor – or omit it completely if you would prefer no alcohol at all!

Lemon Sorbet

Lemon sorbet is an amazing dessert, especially in summertime.

When I’m hosting a big group, I like to offer it as a non-alcoholic option while I’m doing limoncello as a digestif (though I always allow my guests to have both if they want!)

What to Serve With Risotto: 30 + 5 Dishes

Print Recipe
Course Side Dish
Keyword risotto
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes

Ingredients

Breads

  • Garlic Bread
  • Bruschetta
  • Crostini
  • Focaccia

Proteins

  • Honey Mustard & Rosemary Chicken
  • Garlic Butter Shrimp
  • Cast Iron Skillet Steak
  • Baked Salmon Filet
  • Oven Baked Pork Chops
  • Seared Scallops With Garlic Butter!
  • Mexican Shredded Beef
  • Butter-Seared Lobster Tails
  • Lamb Roast
  • Pan Seared Duck Breast
  • Osso Buco
  • Foil Pack Garlic Butter Sausage & Veggies
  • Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
  • Filet mignon!
  • Meatballs
  • Eggs
  • Air Fryer Crispy Prosciutto

Veggies & Salads

  • Caramelized Mushrooms
  • Roasted Carrots with Thyme
  • Baked Tomatoes with Cheese
  • Garlic Butter Broccoli
  • Tuscan Bean Salad
  • Arugula Salad w. Lemon Parmesan Dressing
  • Garlic Sautéed Swiss Chard
  • Caprese Salad
  • Radicchio Salad with Pear Walnut & Gorgonzola Dressing

Drinks:

  • White Wine
  • Red Wine

Desserts

  • Panna Cotta
  • Tiramisu
  • Lemon Sorbet

Instructions

  • Pick a side.
  • Pick a veggie.
  • Enjoy with a drink.
  • End with a dessert!