Creamy Shrimp Risotto with Bacon is THE dish to make for Date Night In. This combines a slow-cooked risotto with sautéed bacon and shrimp, all topped with some freshly grated parmesan cheese. So fancy, so delicious!
We’ve been spending a lot of time at home lately – hello 2020 – and so today I’m providing you with the perfect dish to make for a small party of two (or four if it’s a double date). Here’s what you need to enjoy a quiet but memorable evening at home.
- The ingredients for this risotto. See below!
- Some fun, relaxing music, of course. We love some good old Luther. 😀
- A bottle of wine. You could also use the remaining wine that’s used in this dish or open another.
- Your favorite board game or deck of cards. Euchre, anyone?
- Maybe even some candles, for the candlelit dinner you’ve always dreamed of!
Date Night In is pretty easy for us now that we are empty nesters (except for college breaks). But you also could include the kids in this one, and let them help create a nice relaxing, “restaurant-quality” evening.
Ingredients needed for Creamy Shrimp Risotto with Bacon:
- Olive Oil – Used to sauté the veggies.
- Butter – For additional richness, I use a couple tablespoons of unsalted butter.
- Veggies – Yellow onion and garlic, always.
- Rice – You’ll need Arborio Rice to make this dish. I often times order it, as it can be difficult to find in the grocery stores.
- Wine – White wine is used in this recipe. You can use additional broth in its place.
- Broth – Lower-sodium chicken broth is used here.
- Seasonings – Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Cheese – Make sure you buy a wedge of real parmesan cheese. You’ll need to freshly grate it, which is super simple.
- Bacon – Use any type of real bacon you enjoy most. You’ll need to slice it into tiny pieces.
- Shrimp – I often buy the raw shrimp that’s ready to go. Peeled, deveined, and tails removed.
How to make Creamy Shrimp Risotto with Bacon:
- Sauté veggies. In a medium stockpot, heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, salt, and pepper, and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and rice, and stir constantly for a minute or two, slightly browning the rice.
- Add liquid. Pour in the wine, and stir. Let the wine absorb into the rice, stirring often. Then add chicken broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, letting it absorb into the rice before adding more. This will take about 25 minutes or so. DON’T add the broth too quickly. Add more seasoning as you go. Remove from heat when the liquids are added and absorbed, and stir in the parmesan cheese.
- Cook bacon. Meanwhile, sauté the bacon in a hot cast iron skillet. Cook until crispy, and then remove the bacon from the skillet, and all but about one tablespoon of the grease.
- Sauté shrimp. Cook the shrimp in two batches, flipping as they turn pink. Remove from heat.
- Serve. To serve, divide the risotto into four bowls. Top w shrimp, bacon, and some additional parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper.
What is Arborio Rice?
Arborio Rice is a variety of short-grained rice. It retains more of it’s natural starch content due to less milling (than ordinary long-grained rice). The slow cooking process (and the technique below) releases this starch, giving risotto it’s creamy consistency.
What to serve with risotto:
Creamy Shrimp Risotto with Bacon
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion – chopped
- 3 cloves garlic – minced
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup white wine (like Sauvignon Blanc) – or use extra broth
- 4 cups lower sodium chicken broth
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
- 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese – plus more to serve
- 4 slices bacon – chopped
- 1 pound large raw shrimp – peeled, deveined, with tails removed
- Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and butter, and when butter is melted, add the onion, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Sauté until softened, approximately 3 minutes. Add garlic and Arborio rice, and stir for a couple of minutes to brown the rice slightly.
- Add the white wine, and cook until absorbed, stirring frequently. Then add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth at a time, waiting each time until the broth is absorbed. This will take approximately 20-25 minutes. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Meanwhile, in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the diced bacon and cook until crispy. Then remove the bacon, and keep about a tablespoon of bacon fat in the skillet. Place back on the stove, and add half of the shrimp. Flip after a minute or two, or when the shrimp turns pink. Cook until done, and remove immediately. Repeat with remaining shrimp.
- When the broth is absorbed and the rice is soft, remove from heat and add parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
- To serve, spoon the risotto into serving bowls. Add cooked shrimp and bacon, and top with additional parmesan cheese.