Risotto is one of the most delicious and broadly loved comfort meals from Italian cuisine. The mouth-watering and delicious flavors this dish has can not be compared to every other. Prepared with unique Risotto rice referred to as Arborio rice, this recipe additionally uses three special forms of cheese, mascarpone, parmesan, and cheddar.
Risotto is an Italian dish made by cooking starchy, short-grain rice like arborio with stock till it becomes creamy. When you serve it on a plate, risotto must spread out right into a silky, spoonable pool. Cheeses may serve as a nice ingredient for preparing cheese risotto.
The flavor of some cheeses pairs very well with the richness of the rice used for risotto. Although not every cheese pairs well with the risotto. The good thing about this meal is that you don’t have to go to a restaurant to order it. You can prepare it in the comfort of your home.
All you need is cheese, Arborio rice, and a few additional toppings. If Arborio rice is not available, you can use any available rice. However, risotto is traditionally made with Parmesan cheese, but below are some of the nice cheeses that can substitute parmesan in making delicious risotto.
What Cheeses Can You Use For Risotto?
Risotto is popular comfort food that can be made with many different types of cheese. It is a classic dish that’s simple to make and delicious to eat. It’s also quite versatile, which means there are many different types of cheese you can use for risotto.
Cheese pairs well with risotto because it adds another layer of flavor, but it’s important to choose the right kind. Here are some of the most common cheeses used in risotto.
1. Parmesan cheese
Parmesan cheese is the undisputed king of the risotto world. The savory and salty cheese is often used to finish a dish, but it can also be the main ingredient. Parmesan cheese has an intense aroma and sharp flavor that pairs well with other cheeses and vegetables.
Parmesan cheese is the best cheese for risotto because it’s got a bit of a nutty flavor, and it’s also very creamy. It’s like a cross between mozzarella and cheddar, so it’s got that nice creaminess. And it’s not super expensive either. Parmesan is also one of those cheeses you can use in any dish; you don’t have to use it on your risotto. You can use parmesan on salads and pasta and other things.
So that’s why I recommend this one as the best cheese for risotto. It’s one of the most versatile cheeses globally and is best known for being used in risotto. Parmesan doesn’t melt like mozzarella or Gruyere, so it stays in chunks, adding flavor and texture to your dish. The nutty flavor of parmesan works well with the creamy texture of risotto, and the two are made for each other.
2. Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella is a fresh creamy Italian cheese that is considered spun-curd cheese. Mozzarella goes down well with risotto, both fresh and shredded mozzarella. After cooking, you can add your mozzarella cheese to the arborio rice to spice up its flavor.
A mild and creamy cheese, mozzarella is the most popular cheese used in risotto. It goes well with all types of risotto because it melts effortlessly into the rice and gives it a creamy texture. You can also use Mozzarella di Bufala if you want your risotto to have an even richer flavor.
You can take a big ball of the fresh and cheesy stuff, make it into cubes, and stir it into your risotto simply before serving. The cubes will melt simply sufficient to present you with superb cheese pulls. However, they will keep many of their shapes, so you have a bit of texture.
Mascarpone is an acid-set creamy, soft Italian cheese with a little tangy and sweet flavor. If you are looking for a rich, creamy cheese to include in your risotto recipe, mascarpone is the right answer.
Mascarpone is a creamy cheese from Italy that has been produced for hundreds of years. It is made by adding cream to the curds of cow’s milk that have been heated until they separate into cheese curds and whey. Mascarpone has a rich, buttery taste that blends well with other flavors and works well in creamy sauces and desserts.
This creamy cheese is made from cream and has a slightly sweet flavor. It melts well when heated and adds richness to any dish. It is luxurious, buttery, pairs well with Arborio rice, and helps make the entire risotto creamy and delicious when done. Since it is not entirely salty, combining it with classic Parm is best to enrich and spice up the flavor.
4. Sharp Cheddar
Sharp cheddar is a fantastic choice for risotto. It’s got just enough tang to cut through the dish’s richness, but it’s not so sharp that it will overpower other flavors. It also melts beautifully, so when you’re making your risotto, you can add some cheese cubes and let them melt into the risotto as it cooks.
Although cheddar is not Italian, it is most people’s favorite. Sharp cheddar melts nicely and produces a nutty, earthy, and nice flavor when melted.
Both white and yellow cheddar sit well with risotto; the only difference is that the latter makes the dish yellowish, which is entirely a bad thing; imagine yellowish rice. So, it is best to go for white cheddar to have yourself a plain delicious risotto.
Taleggio, a French semi-soft cheese, has a nutty, earthy flavor and a soft texture. It has a mild taste that makes it delicious when used as an ingredient for risotto. Being stinky and extremely gooey, Taleggio is not for everybody.
Since Taleggio is too soft to grate, you have to make it into small cubes or slice it into smaller pieces and stir properly.
Taleggio is a semi-hard Italian cheese with a spicy aroma and a soft, creamy texture. It’s named after the Taleggio Valley in Lombardy, Italy. In risotto, Taleggio melts beautifully. It’s an ideal choice for making creamy risottos because of its high moisture content and buttery flavor. Taleggio is also great for pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches, and pasta dishes like Baked Macaroni & Cheese.
What makes Taleggio so special is its intense flavor. It’s rich and creamy with an earthy aroma and notes of mushroom, hazelnut, and butter. In addition to being eaten on its own as an appetizer or snack, Taleggio is also used in cooking because it melts well when heated. Try it in risotto for a real treat!
Fontina is a cheese that works well in a risotto. It melts easily and has a creamy texture, making it the perfect choice for the base of the dish. Fontina is also mild in flavor so that it won’t overpower other ingredients in your risotto.
If you are looking for a less tensed cheese to include in your risotto, Fontina is here. Fontina is relatively creamy and rich; the flavors of this cheese are sweet and savory, unveiling tones of butter and roasted nuts as it lingers on your plate.
Fontina is a semi-hard cheese that melts very well and produces a funky flavor that makes it a great ingredient for risotto. You can grate Fontina to your taste, and remnants are still cool to be used in the next batch, as it does not spoil easily.
Fontina has a pale yellow color and can be used for melting or cooking. The cheese works well with risotto because it melts well and has a mild flavor to complement the other ingredients in the dish.
Gruyere has a similar texture as Fontina, but it has a nurture and more buttery flavor. It is one of the best options for French onion soup due to its melty and creamy quality. Gruyere complements and gives color to most additional ingredients used in risotto.
If you want to heat up or make spicy the flavor of Gruyere risotto, you have to add additional toppings like onions, shredded chicken, pepper, and so.
Gruyere is a Swiss cheese that has been made since the 12th century. Gruyere is known for its nutty, mushroomy flavor and creamy texture. It’s best served on its own or with fruit like apples or pears, or as an accompaniment to meat dishes such as steak or lamb.
When it comes to the best cheeses for risotto, Gouda is underrated. Gouda cheese tastes sweet, nutty, and creamy with a caramel-like and butter-like flavor. Gouda cheese has a peppery content that cuts the risotto’s heaviness and richness.
Once melted, Gouda gives your risotto a sophisticated taste and is not pretentious. Creamy Smoked Gouda is delicious. Hence it is the best type of Gouda to include in your risotto. Once done, It makes the creamy risotto extra creamy, and then you can top it with a fresh mushroom with herbs.
Gruyere pairs well with red wine and white wine. It’s also delicious with sweet wines like Sauternes or Champagne and fortified wines like Madeira or Port.
9. Pecorino Romano
Pecorino Romano is very similar to parmesan cheese, and most people refer to it as Parmesan cousin. Pecorino is a greatly hard cheese grate, just like its big brother parmesan.
Risotto is usually made with Parmesan cheese, but I prefer the flavor of Pecorino Romano when it comes to risotto. This Italian cheese has a slightly nutty flavor that goes well with the rice and helps add a little extra creaminess to your dish.
It tends to be saltier, tangier, sharper, and altogether more delicious because it is made from sheep’s milk and sheep milk happens to be the best and most healthy form of milk. Pecorino Romano arguably is one of the best cheeses to try in your risotto diet. It complements each additional topping it is paired with.
Parmigiano-Reggiano gives risotto a smooth, creamy texture and a slightly nutty flavor. You can also use other hard cheeses like Asiago or Grana Padano if you don’t want to spend the money on Parmigiano-Reggiano. If you love making risotto as much as I do, you should try using Pecorino Romano instead of parmesan next time you’re making it!
Brie cheese makes your risotto extra fancy. Once the ring is removed first, the creaminess is mouth-watering. Brie can be best enjoyed in risotto meals when paired with fresh herbs and mushrooms.
Brie is a soft, creamy, and mild cheese named after the village in France where it was first made. It’s perfect for eating on its own or melting on top of grilled chicken or steamed vegetables. You can also use brie to make a savory risotto by cutting the rind off and stirring it into your rice mixture.
Brie’s mild taste makes it a good choice for risotto because you can use just about any other ingredient without overpowering the flavor of the cheese itself. Try adding cooked vegetables, mushrooms, or herbs to your risotto for variety.
You have to cut your brie into thicker slices and stir through the risotto until it is melted. Taste at intervals for salt level and serve immediately once done.
The cheese you choose for your risotto will significantly impact its flavor. Therefore you should choose a cheese with complementary flavors to create a unique risotto. This can be anything from parmesan, pecorino, romano, and asiago to Gruyere or even manchego with some goat or blue cheeses thrown in for good measure.
Finishing your risotto with a strong, sharp cheese is a safe choice, as that cheese will stand up to and complement the other flavors in the dish. Parmesan, as mentioned above, has always been one of the most popular cheeses for risotto. Still, you can use specific Italian cheeses to take your risotto to another level. Many restaurants opt for an aged Brie or a Manchego (both have a similar funkiness as parmesan), but these are not what Italians would prefer.
While making risotto is an easy and delicious meal, even dishes best left to the pros run into problems sometimes. Here you’ll find some advice on making perfect risotto every time to enjoy the dish more often.