Skip to content Skip to footer

Risotto Rice Vs . Paella Rice: What’s The Difference?


Do you know the difference between paella and risotto rice? Many people don’t realize there is a distinction between these two types of rice. Risotto Rice and Paella Rice are two types of rice that are often used in their respective dishes. Risotto Rice is short, round grain rice, while Paella Rice can be any type of long grain rice.

In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between paella and risotto rice and the benefits of each type. We will also provide some tips on how to cook each type of rice. So, whether you want to make paella or risotto, read on for all the information you need!

What Are Risotto And Paella Rice, And What Are Their Key Differences?

Risotto rice and Paella rice are used to make paella and risotto, respectively. Paella is a Spanish dish made with seafood and is a popular dish in Spain. The word “paella” actually means pot, which describes the cooking vessel used to prepare this dish.

Risotto rice is short-grain rice that has a creamy consistency. In the U.S., risotto rice is typically used in the dish known as risotto. You might also see it as arborio rice, carnaroli, or a mix of different words.

Paella rice is also short-grain rice, often of the Valencia variety. Pasta paella and Valencia paella are two popular types of this rice. In Spain, it is often used to make the famous Spanish dish, paella.

Risotto and paella rice also have some notable differences, which we will explore in this blog post. Risotto rice has a round grain shape, while paella rice should have a long grain shape. Both types of rice are typically white, but risotto rice typically has more of a nutty flavor than paella rice.

This consistency and pronounced creamy flavor are because risotto rice absorbs a lot of liquid. It makes sense when you consider that much of risotto is typically made with stock, which creates and holds the extra water in the dish. In our opinion, the best recipe for making risotto calls for 3 cups of broth and 2 cups of awash in an oval-shaped pan. 

How Do You Make A Risotto Dish, And How Do You Make A Paella Dish?

When making paella, you can use either risotto or paella rice for this dish. Although paella rice is typically used to make the famous Spanish dish, it can also be used to make risotto.

One of the most significant differences between paella and risotto is the liquid content of each dish. Paella usually contains more liquid than risotto since it contains much more meat, seafood, and vegetables. Risotto tends to be a higher-alcohol dish that calls for red wine and sometimes even white wine! It’s important to remember that risottos are made with stock, while paellas contain shrimp and other shellfish and meats such as chicken or chorizo.

What Are Some Of The Best Risotto Recipes And Paella Recipes Out There?

1. Gourmet Mushroom Risotto

This is an excellent recipe if you want to make risotto with mushrooms. You can get the recipe from Epicurious.

2. Pesto Risotto Recipe

This pesto risotto recipe is simple and delicious! Get the recipe at City Girl Cooks Good Food.

3. Paella Recipe

If you love seafood and rice, then what are you waiting for? Get this paella recipe at My Recipes.

4. Lemon Grass Risotto Recipe

This risotto has a fragrant flavor that just screams fall! Get the lemon grass risotto recipe at The Cozy Apron.

5. Garlic Shrimp Paella

This garlic shrimp paella recipe is easy to make and has a delicious flavor. Get the recipe at My Recipes.

6. Summertime Tomato Risotto

This recipe uses fresh tomatoes to add a ton of flavor. It’s a fast dish that comes together in less than an hour! Get the recipe at Gourmet Sleuth.

7. Arborio Rice with Mushrooms and Thyme

This perfectly flavored risotto calls for arborio rice, mushrooms, and thyme! Get the recipe at Epicurious.

8. Chicken and Sausage Paella Recipe

If you love paella, you might just love this chicken and sausage version. Get the recipe at Pinch of Yum.

9. Saffron Scented Rice Pilaf

This rice pilaf is aromatic and delicious! It comes together quickly in a pressure cooker too! What more could you ask for? Get the recipe at Epicurious.

10. Chile Jack Shrimp and Corn Risotto Recipe

We love a good risotto recipe during the colder months, and this Chilean jack shrimp and corn risotto recipe is no exception! Get the recipe at The Cozy Apron.

11. Seafood Risotto

This seafood risotto calls for mussels, shrimp, fish, and calamari! It’s delicious, so get the recipe at Taste and Tell Blog.

12. Shrimp Paella Recipe

Paella might be the most well-known Spanish dish in the world! This shrimp paella recipe will delight all your guests next time you have a dinner party!

13. Easy Seafood Paella

This easy seafood paella recipe is fast and delicious! Get the recipe at Tastes Better from Scratch.

14. Chicken Risotto Recipe

This chicken risotto recipe is excellent for preparing chicken and Italian cuisine together. It’s super easy to make too! Get the recipe at The Cozy Apron.

15. Cajun Shrimp and Andouille Sausage Paella

This deliciously smoky, spicy cajun shrimp and andouille sausage paella recipe will wow all your dinner guests. Get the recipe at Sweet C’s Designs.

16. Shrimp Risotto with Caramelized Red Onions

We’re in love with this shrimp risotto with caramelized red onions recipe! It’s so easy to make and tastes fantastic! Get the recipe at Wine & Glue.

17. Healthy Risotto Recipe

This healthy risotto recipe uses brown rice for a delicious flavor twist! Get the recipe at Food Fanatic.

Which Type Of Rice Should You Use For Your Next Italian Or Spanish-Inspired Meal – Risotto Or Paella Rice?

As you can see, risotto and paella rice are two types of short-grain rice that both pack a flavorful punch for their respective dishes. Both types of rice are suitable for stuffing in a meal. However, we prefer to use paella rice for paella dishes and risotto rice for risotto dishes. This is simply preference – you can use either type of rice in any of the aforementioned recipes!


The difference between risotto and paella rice is subtle but an important distinction to understand. Both types of rice are versatile, delicious, and packed with intense flavor. But when it comes to the colors and tastes of the dishes, paella has shrimp and other shellfish, while risotto can call for mushrooms. More proper cooking techniques can help you achieve an excellent risotto or paella dish.

Whether you are cooking dinner at home or entertaining your guests at a dinner party, we hope that our blog has helped enhance your understanding of risotto and paella rice.

Leave a comment