Zesty and refreshing yet also satisfying, Pan Seared Shrimp  Risotto with zesty, creamy Lemon Garlic Risotto puts on a fancy air, it’s actually quite simple and easy to make!

Creamy Risotto with Seared Shrimp - an easy yet fancy dinner recipe, perfect for date night!

Pan-seared garlic shrimp risotto with a creamy, delightful lemon garlic risotto is quite the romantic meal for any occasion!

Whether it’s a dinner for one, two, or many, this dish is sure to please all who try it.

Just picture this:

Perfectly cooked buttery shrimp over a bed of indulgent rich in flavor risotto, generating all those romantic feels.

Although this dish exudes that special occasion vibe, it’s actually low-fuss to prepare.

The shrimp can be seared while the risotto is cooking, reducing the total cook time to right around 45 minutes.

It nails creamy texture, zesty, citrusy tang, a rustic vibe, and the seafood infusion we all crave.

The recipe serves 3 to 4 individuals, but it’s very easy to double or triple the batch of both shrimp and risotto if serving more people.

What is Risotto?:

Risotto is a creamy rice dish made with arborio rice. The luscious creaminess of the dish is attributable to the great amount of starch in arborio, rather than dairy. 

In addition, while many risotto recipes you’ll come across call for parmesan cheese (or other types of cheese), they are usually otherwise dairy-free. You can certainly add some cream to notch up the deliciousness if you’d like!

Did you know risotto is naturally gluten-free? There tends to be a misconception that risotto is pasta, when it is, in fact, arborio rice.

Depending on whether or not you eat dairy, you can add cheese or leave it out, or use butter to cook the shrimp or skip the butter. 

Let’s discuss the ingredients.

Seared shrimp with creamy risotto - a healthy, delicious fancy dinner recipe

Shrimp Risotto Ingredients:

Shrimp: Garlicky buttery perfectly cooked pan-seared shrimp is rich and inviting. Risotto and shrimp pair nicely, especially when everything is tied together with zesty lemon, and rustic onion and garlic.

Avocado Oil: Used for searing the shrimp and sautéing the onion for the risotto, I like using avocado oil because it has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor. You can choose your preferred cooking oil if you don’t typically have avocado oil on hand.

Arborio Rice: The main event here! Arborio rice is amazingly puffy, starchy, and naturally becomes creamy when cooked.

Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth: We need liquid to cook the rice and using chicken broth or vegetable broth infuses more flavor into the risotto.

Onion, Garlic, and Lemon Zest: There’s just no other way to say it: onion, garlic, and lemon zest make any meal an absolute dreamboat. These three ingredients make the risotto taste robust and rich and zesty. Plenty fresh!

Sea Salt: Be sure to add sea salt to your personal taste in order to enhance the flavor of the meal. I find any time a dish tastes bland, the flavors are much more pronounced when I add sea salt.

Optional Additions: 

You can add 1 cup of grated parmesan and ⅓ cup of white wine to the risotto if you like it! You can also add butter to the shrimp for an even more decadent flavor.

Pan Seared Shrimp with Lemon Garlic Risotto in a bowl

How to Make Pan Seared Shrimp Risotto:

Make the Risotto:

Begin by preparing the risotto as the shrimp takes only a few minutes to cook.

Pour the chicken broth into a large saucepan. Cover it and heat over high on the stove top until it comes to a full boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and keep the saucepan covered while you sauté the onion. You want the broth to remain hot, just below boiling point.

Bring the chicken broth to a boil

Heat the avocado in a thick-bottom large pot (I use my Dutch oven) over medium-high. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Cook the onion in a large pot

Stir in the minced garlic, arborio rice, and lemon zest and sauté another 2 minutes. 

Add the arborio rice to the pot and stir well

Add the broth to the rice, one ladle full at a time (about ¾ to 1 cup), stirring well between each addition and allowing the liquid to mostly absorb before adding more. Add the dried parsley and sea salt. The rice should be cooking at a controlled boil the whole time, uncovered.

Stir in the chicken broth one ladle full at a time.

Continue adding the broth and stir constantly until the rice is completely cooked. The texture should be slightly al dente, but soft and not mushy. If after adding all of the broth the rice is not fully cooked, continue stirring in additional broth or water until it is finished.

Continue cooking the risotto, adding chicken broth once liquid has been absorbed

Taste the risotto for flavor and if desired add sea salt or lemon zest or juice. 

Pan Sear the Shrimp:

You can multi-task this recipe by sautéing the shrimp while the risotto is cooking. To do so, heat the avocado oil in a large skillet and allow it to heat up to a sizzling point. 

Add the shrimp and sprinkle liberally with paprika and sea salt. Allow the shrimp to cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute per side, or until both sides have a golden sear and the shrimp is cooked through.

Quickly add in the garlic and butter (skip the butter for dairy-free) and stir everything around for another 1 to 2 minutes, until the shrimp is well coated in butter and sautéed garlic. Remove from the heat and drizzle with lemon juice.

Pan-Seared Shrimp in a skillet

Serve the garlicky shrimp over risotto and enjoy!

You can also make my Lemon Asparagus Risotto or my Mushroom Risotto to go along with the pan seared shrimp!

In addition, you can also make the shrimp in your air fryer by preparing my Air Fryer Lemon Garlic Shrimp recipe.

Creamy Lemon Garlic Risotto with seared shrimp. A nourishing, delicious fancy romantic dinner recipe!

Enjoy this fancy display of zesty deliciousness!

Creamy Risotto with Seared Shrimp - an easy yet fancy dinner recipe, perfect for date night!

Pan Seared Shrimp with Lemon Garlic Risotto

5 from 1 vote
Perfectly pan seared shrimp with delicious creamy lemon garlic risotto is one of those meals you'll keep going back to!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 3 to 4 Servings

Ingredients

Pan Seared Shrimp

  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 lb raw shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • ¼ tsp sea salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp butter optional
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

For the Risotto:

  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • Zest of 2 lemons about 1 Tbsp
  • ½ tsp sea salt to taste

Optional Add Ins:

  • ½ to 1 cup grated parmesan cheese**
  • cup dry white wine such as sauvignon blanc***

Instructions

Make the Risotto:

  • Begin by preparing the risotto as the shrimp takes only a few minutes to cook.
  • Pour the chicken broth into a large saucepan. Cover it and heat over high on the stove top until it comes to a full boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and keep the saucepan covered while you sauté the onion. You want the broth to remain hot, just below boiling point.
  • Heat the avocado in a thick-bottom large saucepan over medium-high. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic, arborio rice, and lemon zest and sauté another 2 minutes. 
  • Add the broth to the rice, one ladle full at a time (about ¾ to 1 cup), stirring well between each addition and allowing the liquid to mostly absorb before adding more. Add the dried parsley and sea salt. The rice should be cooking at a controlled boil the whole time, uncovered.
  • Continue adding the broth and stir constantly until the rice is completely cooked. The texture should be slightly al dente, but soft and not mushy. If after adding all of the broth the rice is not fully cooked, continue stirring in additional broth or water until it is finished.
  • Taste the risotto for flavor and if desired add sea salt or lemon zest or juice. 

Cook the Shrimp:

  • You can multi-task this recipe by sautéing the shrimp while the risotto is cooking. To do so, heat the avocado oil in a large skillet and allow it to heat up to a sizzling point. 
  • Add the shrimp and sprinkle liberally with paprika and sea salt. Allow the shrimp to cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute per side, or until both sides have a golden sear and the shrimp is cooked through. Quickly add in the garlic and butter (skip the butter for dairy-free) and stir everything around for another 1 to 2 minutes, until the shrimp is well coated in butter and sautéed garlic. Remove from the heat and drizzle with lemon juice.
  • Serve the garlicky shrimp over risotto and enjoy!

Notes

*Omit the butter to keep the whole recipe dairy-free
**Stir in Parmesan cheese at the end of the cooking process, at the same time you add back in the mushrooms and peas.
***If using white wine, add it to the stock pot at the same time you add the arborio rice (early in the cooking process).

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 3 · Calories: 469kcal · Carbohydrates: 56g · Protein: 31g · Fat: 13g · Fiber: 5g · Sugar: 3g
Author: Julia
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: creamy risotto recipe, gluten free main dishes, healthy dinner recipes, how to make risotto, is risotto gluten-free, pan seared shrimp with risotto, shrimp recipes, what is risotto
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Garlic Butter Pan Seared Shrimp with Lemon Garlic Risotto - an amazing date night meal that is dairy-free, gluten-free and easy to make!

Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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