Is Risotto Rice OK for Paella? – Rice Array

Is Risotto Rice OK for Paella? – Rice Array


There are various viewpoints on what kind of rice is the most suitable for paella. Some staunchly advocate the use of risotto rice while others claim that any short grain rice is adequate. So, what’s the actual scenario? Is it fine to use arroz for paella or should one adhere to short grain varieties? This blog post will delve into both possibilities, assisting you in determining the ideal rice variety for your next paella meal!

What Is Risotto Rice, And Where Does It Come From?

Risotto is a traditional Italian dish with arborio rice and stock or broth Arborio rice is a long grain variety of Italian rice with slightly higher starch content than other varieties of the exact grain This means risotto rice will take longer to cook and may need extra liquid to reach the proper texture for paella Since risotto is generally considered a liquidy dish its cooking time will be similar to that of paella rice type so you may want to choose one of the other options discussed below instead such as bomba or calrose rice.

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Why Do People Use Risotto Rice?

Most paella recipes use short grain white or Calasparra (almost identical) rice as the main ingredient Some people like the flavor of risotto rice though and it’s one of the most common choices for those making paella at home For others the texture matters: Arborio rice is known for its creamy texture and slightly chewy consistency It tends to stay firm when cooked which some may prefer! Therefore choosing the right rice variety is crucial to bring out the dish’s full potential.

How Do You Make Risotto Rice, And What Are The Key Ingredients?

There are plenty of ways to make risotto rice Some people cook it as is without extra ingredients while others prefer a traditional risotto rice dish with added vegetables For our purposes we’ll focus on the al dente rice variety which is cooked until just firm but not hard and dry.

Key Ingredients:

A pound of Risotto rice

One stick of butter or 1/4 cup of butter equivalent

1 pint of chicken stock (or broth)

4-5 cups of hot stock

a pinch of saffron threads (about 1/2 teaspoon)

Two tablespoons of olive oil or canola oil

One thing to note is that bomba rice used in paella recipes usually ranges from 4 5 cups with most using closer to 5 cups For a rice dish like this paella recipe where you have different cooking times and temperatures it’s a good idea to use a lot more liquid than regular risotto Using a paella pan or paellera is recommended for creating the perfect socarrat.

Why Should You Avoid Overcooking Risotto Rice?

Paella is known for its tenderness but short grain paella rice can withstand higher heat levels than the fluffy Arborio varieties Risotto rice can take longer to cook thoroughly than most other types of rice so it’s essential to adjust the cooking times listed below accordingly When preparing in a paella pan Bomba rice is the best rice variety to use.

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Is Risotto Rice Ok For Paella, Or Should You Use A Different Type Of Rice Altogether?

If you’re looking for tender long grain short grain rice then risotto rice would be a great option However if you’d prefer to use the traditional Valencia saffron rice a type of paella rice found in most paella dishes there are plenty of other varieties that can provide the same texture and flavor with less fuss.

1. Short Grain White Rice

Calasparra is a paella rice variety of short grain white rice used for making paella It can be found in most grocery stores with Spanish or Asian foods Most brands will suffice but some claim to be the best variety of Calasparra rice One example is Melilla Padela while another is La Chinata It is best cooked in a paellera or paella pan to achieve the crispy base known as socarrat and can be combined with ingredients such as chorizo and sofrito for a Valencian twist.

2. Short Grain Brown Rice

Another rice variety is brown rice sometimes called Spanish Style or Valencia rice (depending on the brand) It’s known for its slightly nutty flavor and drier texture There are different varieties some are lighter in color and others are darker One example is Calasparra Brand Spanish Style Brown Rice a popularrice type found in many stores and used for making paella dishes.

What Are Some Of The Best Recipes For Paella That Include Risotto Rice As An Ingredient?

1. Paella de Susquet: Sauteed Rice, With Fresh Seafood and Vegetables

This recipe from Paella by Cat Cora calls for short grain senia rice gently sautéed with olive oil to add a nice nutty flavor to the dish using a paella pan You can serve this mixture over your favorite seafood in a paella dish!

2. Recipe For Paella De Manzanilla. This Paella Recipe Includes Saffron Rice And Fish (No Meat), Among Other Things!

Although not technically a recipe, this post from David Lebovitz offers an opinion on using risotto rice vs. Spanish-style brown rice in paella.

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3. Barcelona Style Paella With Aioli & Alioli

This Barcelona paella dish from the YouTube channel Cooking With Manuela offers a traditional Catalan style of paella rice including saffron rice arroz Many restaurants across Spain serve this type of paellas and it’s one of the most popular variants in Catalonia.

4. Seafood Paella (Paella Valenciana)

This seafood paella recipe from All Recipes is fit for any special occasion but it is also vegan! The saffron bomba rice variety is complemented by an herbed tomato sauce and there are plenty of fresh vegetables.

5. Paella Alicante

Paella Alicante is a type of paella from the province of Alicante It usually includes chicken rabbit and seafood This particular recipe from Chef in Boots features a wide variety of ingredients including parsleyed potatoes and artichoke hearts (the latter’s added if you’re using fresh paella rice) Bomba rice is a popular rice grain used to make this rice dish in Eastern Spain with a paella pan along with chicken broth and paprika.

Are Any Risks Associated With Risotto Rice In Paella, Or Is It Entirely Safe To Do So?

Some people believe that using risotto rice to make paella is acceptable and can be a great way to replace traditional paella rice If you want to do this remember that risotto rice takes longer to cook than Calasparra or Valencia rice variety.

Risotto is generally considered a creamy food that can be affected by bacteria if it’s not stored correctly Although many restaurants use this rice dish daily with no problems some risks are involved when serving and storing it properly (For example the saffron and chicken broth can spoil if you leave the dish too long )

How Does Risotto Rice Change The Flavor And Texture Of Paella Compared To Other Types Of Rice Used In This Dish?

Risotto rice is usually the dish’s star so it changes the flavor of paella depending on what you’re serving With this in mind it would be best to use paella rice or bomba rice in dishes you plan to serve and consume immediately Otherwise it could spoil Again restaurants use paella rice and have no issues reheating or storing it properly however some risks are involved if proper care isn’t taken If you have leftover paella rice and don’t think you’ll eat it right away consider another type of paella or paellas that can be eaten cold (i e fideos) instead.


If you love the flavor of risotto and would like to use it as an ingredient in paella consider using bomba rice It adds great flavor to your rice dish and is perfect if you plan to serve your paella immediately If you have leftover risotto rice consider using a different rice variety instead.

Unfortunately risotto rice can spoil if not properly stored or served immediately after cooking If you are serving a large group of people at an event such as a party this should be fine however if you’re doing a smaller group (or just yourself) there may be some risks with leftover arroz valenciana.

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