Christmas Risotto with Lemon and Shrimp — Party of Two

Photo by: Julie Wampler ©2015 Julie Wampler (Table for Two)

Julie Wampler, 2015 Julie Wampler (Table for Two)

It seems like once November hits, the season of food begins. If you had a hand in helping out with the Thanksgiving feast, you know the labor of love it can be to cook all day, even if it was for just you two or for a small crowd. So now that Christmas is almost upon us, don’t let the thought of another holiday meal stress you out.

This Christmas risotto with lemon and shrimp has simple yet elegant flavors. For some reason risotto sounds like a daunting thing to cook, but I’ll show you with my recipe below how simple it actually is.

Traditionally, risotto is also made in large batches to feed a crowd, but here I’m breaking that tradition and showing you how to make it for exactly two people! You and your special someone will love making risotto together this holiday season, but hang on to this recipe into the New Year for any time you want a warm and inviting risotto made with love.

Photo by: Julie Wampler ©2015 Julie Wampler (Table for Two)

Julie Wampler, 2015 Julie Wampler (Table for Two)

Christmas Risotto with Lemon and Shrimp


2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

3/4 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 cup diced onions

1 clove minced garlic

3/4 cup risotto or Arborio rice

1 heaping tablespoon lemon zest

Juice of half a lemon

1/3 cup white wine

3 1/2 cups chicken broth

Salt and pepper, to taste


In a heavy-bottomed pot, such as a Dutch oven, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat up over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, brown shrimp on both sides without fully cooking them through. They’ll need about 1 minute on each side. Remove and set aside on a plate.

In the same pot, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then add onions and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, then add the risotto. Stir to gently toast it.

Add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Turn the heat to medium and add the white wine. Continue stirring until most of the wine has cooked off, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Slowly add the chicken broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently. Keep stirring until liquid has been absorbed, then add more. Continue doing so until risotto is fully cooked through and liquid has been completely absorbed. You may need more than 3 1/2 cups of chicken broth, or you may need less.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste, then add the shrimp back in. Toss to incorporate and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes for shrimp to cook all the way through.

Divide evenly into bowls and serve.

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