How Many Cups of Risotto Rice Per Person: A Serving Guide

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Risotto rice in a white plate with fork on the side with a text "how many cups of risotto rice per person"

Do you often make more risotto than required? Are you bad with measurements and always end up with too much rice? Do you wonder how many cups of risotto rice per person is needed?

Risotto produces the best results with medium-grain rice varieties like Arborio and Carnaroli. 

These grains look tiny, and if you use them excessively, you might cook too much risotto. It’s crucial to consider how many cups of risotto rice to cook for one person and avoid any leftovers or wastage.

As a general rule of thumb, using ½ cup of uncooked risotto rice per person is best when you don’t have any sides. That amount will give you 1.5 cups of cooked risotto. However, if you have heavy appetizers, you can reduce the amount to ⅓ cup of uncooked risotto rice per person.

How Many Cups of Risotto Rice to Use Per Person?

When I started cooking risotto by myself, I always messed up the quantity of rice. Once, I made enough risotto for a whole family of four when I just needed it for myself! At this point, I knew I had to learn the correct quantity of risotto rice to use per person.

After several trials, I figured you should use ½ cup of uncooked rice (like Arborio or Carnaroli) to cook risotto for one person. It will yield you at least 1.5 cups of cooked risotto per person. 

If you plan to serve other main or side dishes, use ⅓ cup of uncooked risotto rice instead of ½ cup.

The table below will help you understand the portion size of risotto rice per person. I have also included the amount of broth you need to cook risotto rice.

Number of PeopleUncooked Rice (in cups)Cooked Risotto Size (in cups)Broth Required (in cups)
21 cup3 cups4 cups
42 cups6 cups8 cups
63 cups9 cups14 cups
84 cups12 cups16 cups
105 cups15 cups20 cups

Factors Affecting the Portion Size of Risotto Rice

Creamy chicken and garlic rice dish, topped with Parmesan and parsley.

You can get a general idea about the portion size of risotto rice for one person. However, note that it doesn’t always remain the same! 

Many factors affect the quantity of risotto consumed by a single person. Here are the things that I always consider:

1. Appetite of a Person

One of my brothers can gulp down two whole servings of risotto! So, if you make risotto for people with a large appetite, increase the suggested serving size.

It is best to consider the appetite of your guests and cook risotto accordingly. I prefer cooking extra so no guest returns home hungry. 

2. Other Dishes

If you have cooked other heavy dishes with the risotto, like grilled chicken, your guests may eat less rice than you expect. You can reduce the quantity of risotto rice in such cases.

On the other hand, if you cook risotto with no other appetizers, you should increase the serving size. For instance, instead of using half a cup of rice per person, use three-fourths or one whole cup.

3. Cultural Factors

When you have guests from different cultures or nationalities, this factor is one of the most important to consider.

Rice is a staple ingredient in many places, including Southeast Asia and South America. Therefore, some people from these regions may eat larger portions of rice. 

How to Make Basic Mushroom Risotto?

If you want to make a simple mushroom risotto that can serve two people, I have the best recipe for you. Let’s understand the process!

What You Need:

  • 1 cup of unwashed and raw arborio rice (you can also use other varieties like carnaroli, paella, or calrose
  • 3 sliced garlic cloves 
  • 3 sliced pieces of mushrooms (preferably portobello or porcini)
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 cups of vegetable stock 
  • 1 cup of white wine (non-alcoholic substitute is one tablespoon of lemon juice) 
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese 
  • Fresh parsley leaves 

Cooking Process:

1. Take a wide pot and pour two tablespoons of olive oil.

2. Then, sauté sliced garlic cloves in the oil on medium heat until they turn slightly golden.

Sauteed garlic in a pot with a logo of Fooducopia on the lower right side of the image.

3. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté them on medium-high flame. 

Added sliced mushrooms in the pot with a logo of Fooducopia on the lower right side of the image.

4. Next, add one cup of arborio rice and toast it in the olive oil for two minutes. Then, turn the heat to low.

Added arborio rice in the pot with a logo of Fooducopia on the lower right side of the image.

5. Add two cups of stock to the rice, keep stirring the mixture, and let it cook for a few minutes. 

Water is already absorbed from the rice with a logo of Fooducopia on the lower right side of the image.

6. Continue to stir the rice quickly every few minutes. This ensures that your risotto develops a creamy consistency.

7. Once the rice has absorbed all the liquid, add the remaining two cups of stock.

Stock added to the pot with a logo of Fooducopia on the lower right side of the image.

8. Pour one cup of white wine or one tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir the rice again. 

9. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste and cook the rice for the next few minutes. 

Salt and pepper sprinkled to the risotto rice with a logo of Fooducopia on the lower right side of the image.

 10. Again, keep stirring the rice in frequent intervals. 

 11. After a few minutes, taste your rice. If it is al dente, add two tablespoons of butter and sprinkle some cheese and parsley. 

Butter, cheese and parsley added to the risotto rice with a logo of Fooducopia on the lower right side of the image.

12. Combine and stir everything well, and transfer the risotto to a serving bowl!

Risotto rice in a bowl with a logo of Fooducopia on the lower right side of the image.

Can You Store Extra Risotto?

Young girl peeking in kitchen fridge.

If you cook more risotto than required, don’t worry! You can always store it in the refrigerator or freezer.

Risotto is safe to consume for up to five days in the refrigerator. However, I recommend consuming it within two to three days, as its taste and texture may deteriorate over time. 

You can also freeze your risotto for up to three months, but it comes at the cost of losing its creamy texture. It is better to avoid freezing.

Let’s take a look at how to refrigerate leftover risotto:

  1. If your risotto is still hot, let it cool to room temperature
  1. Then, transfer the risotto to an airtight container and close the lid tightly. 
  1. Place the risotto in the refrigerator and ensure the temperature remains around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Similarly, you can also freeze the risotto.
  1. Avoid keeping the risotto container near any smelly ingredients in your fridge.

Warning: Don’t store hot risotto in the fridge. Its steam can condense and release moisture, which causes mold growth! Always let your risotto cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing.

Tips to Reheat Leftover Risotto

I love eating spoonfuls of risotto while it is still in the fridge! Yet, when you want to experience its authentic flavors and creaminess, it is necessary to follow specific reheating steps. 

You can use a microwave, an oven, or a stovetop to reheat risotto. I prefer the microwave, as it is quick and hassle-free. 

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Transfer the risotto to a microwave-safe container or bowl. 
  2. Next, pour two tablespoons of broth or water for every one cup of risotto.
  3. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel. It prevents the loss of moisture from the risotto.
  4. Microwave the risotto for two minutes and give it a gentle stir every 30 seconds.

If you have frozen risotto, just let it thaw in the refrigerator and follow the abovementioned steps.

Final Thoughts

It can get embarrassing if you don’t cook enough risotto for your guests. Therefore, instead of shooting in the dark, I always think about the cups of risotto rice per person. It can help you prepare the right amount of risotto and avoid any wastage.

Saniya Baxi Avatar


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