Creamy Lemon & Herb Baked Risotto (no-stir, no-sauté)

This Creamy Lemon & Herb Baked Risotto recipe uses an entirely hands-off method of cooking risotto in the oven. Unlike usual risotto recipes, there’s no need to stir, and you don’t even need to sauté onion! It’s incredibly luscious yet fresh and bright from the herbs and lemon. It’s delicious alone but pairs especially well... Get the Recipe The post Creamy Lemon & Herb Baked Risotto (no-stir, no-sauté) appeared first on RecipeTin Eats.

Creamy Lemon & Herb Baked Risotto (no-stir, no-sauté)
Creamy Lemon Herb Baked Risotto fresh out of the oven

This Creamy Lemon & Herb Baked Risotto recipe uses an entirely hands-off method of cooking risotto in the oven. Unlike usual risotto recipes, there’s no need to stir, and you don’t even need to sauté onion!

It’s incredibly luscious yet fresh and bright from the herbs and lemon. It’s delicious alone but pairs especially well with fish, prawns and chicken.

Creamy Lemon Herb Baked Risotto fresh out of the oven

An effortless creamy Baked Risotto recipe

There will always be a time and place for risotto made the traditional way, stirring leisurely at the stove for a good 25 minutes as cookbooks and Italian nonnas have always insisted.

This no-stir, no-sauté, “dump and bake” risotto recipe is for all the other times. It is:

✅ Incredibly creamy;
✅ Results in perfectly cooked “al dente” rice;
✅ Requires no stirring during cooking – not even once; and
✅ Does not even require sautéing of onion or garlic beforehand. It “self sautés” in butter in the oven.

I tell people it is 98.5% as good as the traditional way made on the stove where hot stock is gradually ladled in, and you have to stir constantly for 25 minutes. But truthfully, most ordinary folk would not be able to tell the difference. Hand on heart, it is that good!

Creamy Baked Risotto with Crispy Skin Barramundi
Creamy Lemon & Herb Risotto served with crispy skin Barramundi (cook it using the exact same steps in this Crispy Skin Salmon recipe)

What you need for Creamy Baked Risotto

Here’s what you need to make this entirely hands-off creamy risotto in the oven. The base recipe is a creamy Parmesan Risotto which is delicious just as it is, but I’ve also added a lemon and herb flavouring option which is insanely good!

Ingredients in Creamy Baked Risotto
  • Risotto rice – To make risotto, you need to use risotto rice, which is different to ordinary white rice because it’s got higher levels of particular starches that thickens and makes the risotto beautifully creamy without the need for cream. While there are actually a number of risotto rice varieties (eg. Carnaroli, Vialone Nano), by the far the most common you’ll encounter is Arborio rice. I am using Arborio rice here;
  • Chicken stock/broth – We use a whole large carton in this recipe (4 cups / 1 litre). Nice and handy because no measuring is required! Be sure to use low sodium (ie. low salt) stock otherwise the end result will be a touch on the salty side after the parmesan is added;
  • Parmesan cheese – For an umami flavour punch, to compensate for not sautéing the garlic and onion nor deglazing the pot using white wine like I do with all my stovetop risottos such as my favourite Mushroom Risotto;
  • Garlic and onion – Standard risotto foundations, finely chopped and minced as usual;
  • Butter – Some for the cooking part, and some to stir in at the end. You can cut down on the butter at the end if you insist, but don’t skimp on the butter for the cooking part because the onion and garlic “self-sautés” in the butter. If you cut the butter down, the onion will just boil!

This is what the plain Creamy Parmesan Risotto looks like. I call it “plain”, but there’s certainly nothing plain about how it tastes!!

Creamy Baked Risotto in a casserole pot, fresh out of the oven

Lemon and Herb flavouring option

To make the Lemon and Herb flavour, all you need is one lemon, and any herbs you choose – I used parsley, chives and dill.

Herbs and lemon for creamy risotto
  • Lemon – we use the lemon rind for lemon flavour, as well as the juice for freshness; and
  • Herbs  – I’ve used a 1-2-3 combination of parsley (1 tbsp), chives (2 tbsp) and dill (3 tbsp). Using a ratio like that is a handy way to strike a good flavour balance between the “lead vocals” in flavour (dill, in this case) with the “backup singers” (parsley and chives in this case, which are more subtle in flavour). You can use any herbs you want and it’s easy to figure out how much to add because we just add the herbs in right at the end so just keep adding to your taste!

How to make Creamy Baked Risotto

Recipes don’t get any easier than this: Put it all in a dish, cover and bake! It’s so ridiculously hands-off I’m surprised it doesn’t wash up and do the dishes for you as well afterwards. (OK, OK – there is stirring required at the end, but I still maintain that it’s a “dump and bake” recipe!)

How to make Creamy Baked Risotto
  1. Heat stock using whatever means you want – stove, microwave. Heat until just hot and steamy; it doesn’t need to be boiling. This pre-heating ensures the rice cooks evenly. Can’t be bothered? That’s fine too. Just add 10 – 12 minutes to the bake time, to factor in the time it takes for the stock to heat up in the oven;
  2. Put everything in casserole dish – The rice, stock, butter, onion and garlic;
  3. Bake 35 minutes – Cover with casserole lid or tightly with foil, then bake for 35 minutes or until the rice is just cooked. Ovens are never the same so it may take a bit longer or less in yours;
  4. Yes, it will appear liquid-y – It will look somewhat watery when you take it out, rather than creamy or appetising. But have faith! It will become creamy in the next step …
  5. Stir vigorously – Add the parmesan and extra butter, then stir the risotto vigorously until you see the liquid starting to thicken and turn white. By stirring the risotto, you are activating the starch in the risotto which emulsifies with fat (butter in this case) and thickens the liquid to make it creamy!
  6. Goal: Thick and creamy, never dry and stodgy! Risotto should always be thick and creamy, oozing on the plate. It should never clump in a stodgy and dry pile. Nobody likes stodgy risotto!
  7. Lemon and herbs last, if using – Lastly, add the lemon and fresh herbs. We do this right at the end to preserve the fresh flavour; and finally …
  8. Plate up quickly while it’s still oozy and creamy! If it gets too thick waiting in the casserole, just add 1 tbsp of boiling water at a time and stir it in well to loosen it up.
Close up of bowl of creamy Lemon Herb Baked Risotto

Reheating risotto (this one reheats well!)

Ordinarily you will read in recipes that risotto does not keep well and that leftovers are just good for making Arancini balls. And there’s no denying that risotto is at its best when freshly made!

However, if you cook the risotto rice so it is just al dente tender (rather than mushy and soft) and the risotto is creamy enough (like pictured) it actually reheats very well. Nice and creamy, and 100% delicious!

Plate of creamy risotto with crispy salmon
Creamy Lemon & Herb Risotto served with Crispy Skin Salmon – where readers first spied this risotto recipe and requested it!

What to serve with risotto

Risotto is a wonderfully versatile dish. It can be a humble dish – simple, comforting and rustic – or an extravagant one, imbued with decadent ingredients at fine restaurants.

Risotto can also play many roles. It can be a starter (as it would in a traditional Italian meal), star as a main course or, often as in my case, deployed as a sort of side dish.

Because it’s so creamy, it’s ideal for mopping up with each bite of steak or chops, prawns or fish.

Lemon & Herb Risotto is particular excellent with fish, since fish loves lemon, and the soft texture of the risotto isn’t too harsh against tender fish flesh.

In fact, I’m sharing this risotto recipe today by popular demand after I showed the Lemon & Herb Risotto as the accompaniment for a Crispy Skin Salmon I shared on Monday! That is why the risotto is heavy on the dill – because we all know dill and salmon are best of friends! – Nagi x

Watch how to make it

Creamy Lemon Herb Baked Risotto fresh out of the oven

Creamy Lemon & Herb Baked Risotto (no-stir, no-sauté!)

Recipe video above. One of the the simplest risottos you'll ever make, this is a "dump and bake" risotto cooked in the oven. Fragrant with lemon and herbs, this risotto is good enough to eat on its own but makes a wonderful accompaniment to meats, fish, seafood and mains.
Course Sides
Cuisine Italian, Western
Keyword baked risotto, easy risotto recipe, lemon herb risotto recipe, risotto recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 5 – 6 as a side
Calories 406cal
Author Nagi



  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio risotto rice (Note 1)
  • 4 cups chicken stock , low sodium (or vegetable)
  • 1/2 onion , finely diced (brown, white, yellow)
  • 1 garlic clove , finely minced (large!)
  • 30g/ 2 tbsp butter , unsalted, cut into 1.5cm / 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese , finely grated (store bought pre grated is fine)
  • 30g/ 2 tbsp extra butter , unsalted, cut into 1.5cm / 1/2″ pieces (Note 3)

Lemon Herb Flavour (excellent with fish & prawns, Note 4):

  • 2 tsp lemon rind (1 lemon)
  • 2 – 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp parsley , finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chives , finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp dill , finely chopped


  • Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (all oven types).
  • Heat up the chicken stock until just before boiling using whatever method suits – stove or microwave.
  • Pour the stock into a small casserole pot ~24cm/10″ wide. Then add all the remaining Risotto ingredients – rice, butter, onion, garlic, pepper.
  • Cover with lid or foil, bake 35 minutes or until rice is just cooked – tender but not mushy. The risotto will still look liquidy – that's what you want to ensure risotto is creamy at the end!
  • Remove from oven, stir ta few times to break up rice. Add finishing butter and parmesan, then stir vigorously until the watery liquid becomes creamy, and mostly evaporates/gets absorbed.
  • The risotto should be oozy and creamy, not thick, gluey or stodgy. If it gets too thick, add 1 tbsp of boiling water at a time to loosen it up, stirring well after each addition.
  • Taste for seasoning and adjust (I find it's just right).
  • Serve while hot and creamy, topped with more parmesan if desired!

Lemon Herb flavouring option:

  • Add lemon rind, juice and herbs, stir through gently just before serving.


1. Risotto rice – Risotto needs to be made with risotto rice (Arborio rice is my choice) because it’s extra starchy. This is what makes risotto beautifully creamy without the use of cream. Find it in the rice section of grocery stores.
2. Pot/pan – 20cm/8″ square pan also works, or similar volume any other size. Avoid using a wide, giant pan because then the risotto spreads out too thin and might dry out.
If you scale recipe up, then you need a larger pot. Or a smaller pot if you scale down!
3. Extra butter for finishing – if you really want to reduce the fat, you can skip the extra butter used to finish. But do NOT skimp on butter for the cooking phase. It is essential for the onion and garlic to “oven sauté” in the butter while it bakes (it floats on the sauce with the butter). Otherwise, the onion just boils in stock – not as nice!
4. Herbs – any (Western) herbs of choice are fine here. It’s added at the end, so taste as you go and trust your tastebuds to tell you when you’ve added the right amount!
5. Storage & reheating – unlike most risottos, this one will reheat well as long as the rice is cooked until tender not mushy and soft. Keeps 4 days in the fridge. Reheat in microwave. Add touch of water if needed to loosen. Note however that herbs may lose some colour. Also the lemon flavour tends to fade, so consider propping it up with a fresh spritz of juice.


Calories: 406cal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 469mg | Potassium: 279mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 487IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 3mg

Life of Dozer

That time he tried to plead innocence over the big wet patch on my newly mopped floors….

Dozer wet patch outline on floor
Dozer wet patch on floor

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