Unlocking Culinary Excellence: Discovering the Best Rice for Risotto Perfection

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Crafting a perfect risotto is an art that goes beyond just mastering the cooking technique. The foundation of this creamy, comforting dish lies in selecting the right type of rice. In the culinary world, risotto is synonymous with rich flavors and a distinct, creamy texture that can elevate a simple grain to an exquisite dining experience. But not all rice is created equal when it comes to achieving that quintessential risotto perfection. In this guide, we will embark on a culinary journey to explore and unravel the mysteries behind the best rice for risotto. From the Italian classics like Arborio and Carnaroli to lesser-known yet equally remarkable options, we aim to assist you in making an informed choice that will take your risotto from ordinary to extraordinary.




Editor’s Choice

Budget Pick

Commercial- Grade


Riso Carnaroli Melotti | Italian Carnaroli Classic Risotto Rice | 2.2lb (1kg)

RiceSelect Arborio Rice for Italian Risotto, Premium Gluten Free Rice, Non-GMO, 32 Ounce Jar

Riso Scotti, Vialone “Nano” Rice for Risotto, 1 kg (2.2 lbs) Box, Cryovac Bag for Ultimate Freshness

On this list we have 3 best rice for risotto

In a hurry? Check the best rice for risotto from amazon. Just check the product link, the detail & price.

rice for risotto

Best Rice for Risotto – 2024 Reviewed

This article will introduce you to some of the best rice for risotto now available and assist you in determining which model is most suited to meet your requirements.


Editor’s Choice

Riso Carnaroli Melotti | Italian Carnaroli Classic Risotto Rice | 2.2lb (1kg)

Indulge in the authentic taste of Italian cuisine with Riso Carnaroli Melotti, a premium selection of classic risotto rice revered by chefs and gourmands alike. This elegant 1kg (2.2lb) package promises a culinary experience that transports you to the heart of Italy with every bite.

Key Features:
  • Quality and Tradition: Riso Carnaroli Melotti is cultivated with meticulous care and tradition on the fertile plains of Italy. Known for its exceptional quality, this rice is a testament to generations of farming expertise.
  • The King of Risotto: Carnaroli rice is often hailed as the “king of risotto rice” for its superior characteristics. It boasts a high starch content, contributing to a creamy texture in risotto dishes while maintaining a delightful al dente firmness.
  • Perfect Absorption: The grains of Riso Carnaroli Melotti are celebrated for their excellent absorption properties, ensuring that flavors from your broth and ingredients are soaked up perfectly, resulting in a rich and flavorful risotto.
  • Versatile Culinary Experience: While ideal for creating the perfect risotto, Carnaroli rice can also be used in a variety of dishes, from salads to paellas, showcasing its versatility in the kitchen.
  • Elegantly Packaged: This 2.2lb (1kg) package of Riso Carnaroli Melotti is designed to ensure freshness and quality, making it a thoughtful gift for food enthusiasts or a staple in your own pantry.
  • Cooking Perfection: Bring a touch of Italian finesse to your dining table with Riso Carnaroli Melotti, and craft risottos that resonate with authenticity, flavor, and tradition.
Detailed Overview:

Riso Carnaroli Melotti offers a rich and authentic taste of Italian cuisine through its premium selection of classic risotto rice. This 1kg (2.2lb) package is a culinary gem that promises to elevate your dishes and transport your taste buds straight to the heart of Italy.

Cultivated with great care and rooted in tradition, Riso Carnaroli Melotti is grown on the fertile plains of Italy, where generations of expertise in rice farming have perfected the art of producing top-quality grains. Carnaroli rice, often referred to as the “king of risotto rice,” is renowned for its unique characteristics that make it ideal for risotto. It possesses a high starch content, which contributes to the luxurious creamy texture that risotto is celebrated for, while also maintaining a delightful al dente firmness when cooked.

One of the standout attributes of Riso Carnaroli Melotti is its exceptional ability to absorb flavors. The grains are celebrated for soaking up the nuances of broths and other ingredients, ensuring a rich and flavorful outcome in every risotto dish.

Beyond its use in risotto, Carnaroli rice is versatile and can be seamlessly incorporated into a variety of recipes, from salads to paellas. This makes it not just a single-use ingredient but a staple that can enhance various meals.

Packaged elegantly to ensure freshness and quality, Riso Carnaroli Melotti makes a thoughtful and exquisite gift for food enthusiasts and is equally fitting as a staple in your own kitchen pantry.

In essence, Riso Carnaroli Melotti invites you to bring a touch of Italian finesse to your dining table. It’s an opportunity to craft meals that resonate with authenticity, flavor, and tradition, ensuring a memorable culinary experience each time.

While the pros highlight the quality and authenticity that Riso Carnaroli Melotti can bring to your culinary creations, the cons may focus on aspects such as price and availability.


Riso Carnaroli Melotti is a premium Italian risotto rice that promises to bring authentic flavors and textures to your culinary creations. Packaged in a 2.2lb (1kg) quantity, this rice is known for its high starch content, which ensures a creamy consistency in risotto dishes while maintaining an al dente firmness. Cultivated with tradition and care on the fertile plains of Italy, Carnaroli rice is versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes beyond risotto. The elegant packaging ensures freshness and makes it a thoughtful gift for food enthusiasts. Despite its potential higher price point and the learning curve associated with perfecting risotto, Riso Carnaroli Melotti stands out for its quality and authentic Italian taste.


Best Commercial-Grade

RiceSelect Arborio Rice for Italian Risotto, Premium Gluten Free Rice, Non-GMO, 32 Ounce Jar

Embark on a culinary journey to Italy with RiceSelect Arborio Rice, specially crafted to bring the authentic and rich flavors of Italian risotto right to your kitchen. This 32-ounce jar is filled with premium Arborio rice, a variety renowned for its superb texture and ability to create the perfect risotto.

Key Features:
  • Premium Quality: RiceSelect ensures that each grain of Arborio rice is of top-notch quality, providing you with an exceptional base for your Italian dishes.
  • Gluten-Free: Catering to various dietary needs, this Arborio rice is gluten-free, making it a suitable choice for individuals with gluten sensitivities or those pursuing a gluten-free diet.
  • Non-GMO: Committed to natural goodness, RiceSelect Arborio Rice is Non-GMO Project Verified, ensuring that you’re bringing a product free from genetic modification to your table.
  • Ideal for Risotto: Arborio rice is celebrated for its creamy texture and high starch content, which are key characteristics for crafting the perfect, authentic Italian risotto.
  • Convenient Packaging: Packaged in a 32-ounce jar, RiceSelect Arborio Rice ensures easy storage and long-lasting freshness. The transparent jar allows you to see the quality of the rice and monitor the quantity available.
  • Versatile in the Kitchen: Beyond risotto, this Arborio rice can be used in a variety of dishes, bringing its unique texture and flavor to enhance your meals.

With RiceSelect Arborio Rice, every dish is an opportunity to explore authentic Italian cuisine and create memorable meals right in the comfort of your home.

Detailed Overview:

RiceSelect Arborio Rice offers a taste of Italy in a convenient 32-ounce jar, perfect for crafting authentic Italian risotto at home. This premium rice is renowned for its distinctive characteristics that make it a favorite among chefs and home cooks alike. Arborio rice is known for its high starch content, which imparts a creamy texture to dishes, especially risotto, while still maintaining a pleasant firmness when cooked.

RiceSelect ensures that this Arborio rice is not only of high quality but also caters to various dietary needs. It is gluten-free, making it an excellent choice for those with gluten sensitivities or anyone pursuing a gluten-free diet. Moreover, the rice is Non-GMO Project Verified, signifying a commitment to providing products free from genetic modification.

Beyond its use in traditional risotto, RiceSelect Arborio Rice showcases its versatility by being a fantastic addition to a variety of other dishes. Its unique texture and flavor can elevate any meal, making it a staple in any kitchen.

The rice is thoughtfully packaged in a 32-ounce jar, which is not only practical for storage but also ensures the freshness of the product. The transparent jar allows consumers to easily view the rice’s quality and keep track of the quantity available.

In essence, RiceSelect Arborio Rice invites you to experience authentic Italian flavors, providing a foundation for creating memorable meals and exploring the rich and creamy world of risotto right in the comfort of your own kitchen.

While the pros focus on the quality, authenticity, and convenience that RiceSelect Arborio Rice offers, the cons consider aspects like price and availability.


RiceSelect Arborio Rice is a premium quality rice that comes in a convenient 32-ounce jar, perfect for crafting authentic and creamy Italian risotto. This gluten-free and Non-GMO Project Verified rice is suitable for various dietary needs. Known for its high starch content, Arborio rice ensures a distinctive creamy texture in risotto while maintaining a pleasant firmness. The product is versatile and can be used in various dishes, making it a valuable addition to any kitchen. The transparent jar packaging not only ensures freshness but also allows easy monitoring of the quantity available. While the product may come at a premium price and require some learning to perfect the dish, its authentic flavor and convenient packaging make it a sought-after choice for lovers of Italian cuisine.


Best Value

Riso Scotti, Vialone “Nano” Rice for Risotto, 1 kg (2.2 lbs) Box, Cryovac Bag for Ultimate Freshness

Elevate your culinary experience with Riso Scotti’s Vialone “Nano” Rice, specially crafted for creating the perfect risotto. This 1 kg (2.2 lbs) box is thoughtfully packaged to bring Italy’s rich flavors and traditional recipes to kitchens around the world.

Key Features:

  • Supreme Quality: Riso Scotti is renowned for its dedication to quality, and this Vialone “Nano” Rice is no exception. Selected with precision and care, each grain promises to deliver an authentic and delightful taste.
  • Perfect for Risotto: Vialone “Nano” Rice is a preferred choice among chefs and home cooks for risotto due to its distinctive characteristics. The short, plump grains ensure a creamy consistency while holding their shape during cooking.
  • Cryovac Packaging: The rice comes in a Cryovac bag, ensuring ultimate freshness and preserving the quality of the grains. This vacuum-sealed packaging prevents moisture and air from affecting the rice, keeping it fresh and ready to use.
  • Traditional Italian Flavor: Riso Scotti brings the traditional flavors of Italy to your table. Vialone “Nano” Rice is known for its ability to absorb flavors, making it an excellent base for your risotto and other Italian dishes.
  • Versatile Culinary Use: Beyond risotto, this Vialone “Nano” Rice is versatile and can be used in various recipes, allowing you to explore and create delightful meals.

Indulge in the authentic taste and superior quality of Riso Scotti’s Vialone “Nano” Rice and transform your meals into memorable culinary experiences.

Detailed Overview:

Riso Scotti’s Vialone “Nano” Rice, specifically curated for crafting the perfect risotto, comes in a 1 kg (2.2 lbs) box that ensures both quality and authenticity. Originating from Italy, the rice is meticulously selected and processed, bringing forward traditional flavors and techniques that have been passed down through generations.

Vialone “Nano” Rice is particularly favored for making risotto due to its unique properties. The grains are short and plump, known to deliver a beautifully creamy consistency while still maintaining their structure during the cooking process. The rice’s inherent capacity to absorb flavors shines in a risotto, resulting in dishes that are rich and deeply satisfying.

One of the standout features of this product is its packaging. The rice is enclosed in a Cryovac bag, which provides an air-tight environment that locks in freshness and safeguards the rice from external elements such as moisture. This vacuum-sealed approach ensures that the grains remain in optimal condition until ready to use.

Beyond its prominent use in risotto, the Vialone “Nano” Rice is versatile in its culinary applications. It can be used in a variety of traditional Italian recipes, enabling chefs and home cooks to experiment and create a range of dishes.

In essence, Riso Scotti’s Vialone “Nano” Rice is a bridge to authentic Italian cuisine, offering an opportunity to explore the nuances of traditional flavors while guaranteeing freshness and quality from the first grain to the last.

While the pros underscore the quality, consistency, and packaging of Riso Scotti, Vialone “Nano” Rice, the cons focus on aspects like price, availability, and individual preferences.


Riso Scotti’s Vialone “Nano” Rice is a high-quality rice, curated specifically for making authentic and creamy risotto. Packaged in a 1 kg (2.2 lbs) box, this rice is known for its short, plump grains that create a perfect consistency in dishes while absorbing flavors excellently. The product comes in a Cryovac bag, which vacuum-seals the rice to ensure ultimate freshness and protection from external elements. Beyond risotto, the rice is versatile and can be used in various traditional Italian recipes. While it might be priced at a premium and may require careful storage after opening, the traditional flavor, convenient quantity, and packaging make it a preferred choice for enthusiasts of Italian cuisine.

Buying Guide: Best Rice for Risotto

risotto rice buying guide

Choosing the best rice for risotto involves understanding the characteristics that contribute to the dish’s signature creamy texture and satisfying bite. Here are some key factors to consider:

Starch Content:

  • Risotto rice needs to be high in starch, particularly amylopectin, which gives the dish its characteristic creaminess. This starch is released gradually as the rice cooks, creating that silky sauce without turning the grains mushy.

Grain Type:

  • Arborio: The most commonly used rice for risotto, Arborio is a medium-grain rice with a high starch content. It offers a good balance between creaminess and firmness.
  • Carnaroli: Often referred to as the ‘king of risotto rice’, Carnaroli is a slightly longer grain with an even higher starch content than Arborio. It’s less likely to get overcooked, resulting in a creamier risotto while still retaining a firm bite.
  • Vialone Nano: This is a shorter and rounder grain with a high starch content, known for absorbing flavors well and yielding a slightly looser risotto.

Absorption Capacity:

  • The best risotto rice should be able to absorb a significant amount of liquid without losing its structure. This allows the grains to soak up the flavors of the broth and other ingredients.

Origin and Authenticity:

  • Authentic Italian rice varieties such as Arborio, Carnaroli, and Vialone Nano are often preferred for their consistent quality and traditional appeal. Look for indications like DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) on the packaging for assurance on authenticity.

Price and Availability:

  • While specialty rice varieties might offer a superior texture and flavor, it’s also important to consider your budget and how easily a particular type of rice can be sourced from local or online stores.

Personal Preferences:

  • Depending on your taste preference, you might favor a creamier texture (Carnaroli) or a more al dente bite (Arborio). Experimenting with different types can help you find your perfect match.

Reviews and Recommendations:

  • Sometimes, the best way to find a great product is to rely on the experiences of others. Check out reviews, ask for recommendations from friends, or seek guidance from experienced chefs.

By paying attention to these factors, you’ll be well-equipped to choose the perfect rice that aligns with your risotto aspirations, ensuring a dish that’s not just delicious but also impeccably crafted.

Tips and Tricks from Culinary Experts

Culinary experts and chefs often have a wealth of tips and tricks up their sleeves, honed over years of experience. Here are some valuable insights to elevate your cooking skills:


  • Balanced Flavors: Experts recommend tasting and adjusting the seasoning throughout the cooking process to build layers of flavor.
  • Finish with Salt: A pinch of salt sprinkled just before serving can elevate the taste of a dish.

Knife Skills:

  • Sharp Knives: Keeping your knives sharp is crucial for precision and safety.
  • Proper Grip: Hold the knife securely with a pinch grip for better control.

Mise en Place:

  • Prepare and organize all your ingredients before you start cooking. This French term means “everything in its place” and ensures a smooth cooking process.

Heat Management:

  • Preheating: Always preheat your oven or pan before cooking for even heat distribution.
  • Resting Meat: Let cooked meat rest before slicing to retain its juices.

Risotto Mastery:

  • Stirring Just Enough: Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to stir risotto constantly. Stirring at intervals is enough to release the starches.
  • Quality Stock: A flavorful stock is key to a great risotto.

Baking Wisdom:

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Eggs, butter, and milk should be at room temperature for even mixing in baked goods.
  • Accurate Measurements: Baking is a science, and using exact measurements is crucial.

Pasta Perfection:

  • Salting the Water: Adding enough salt to the pasta water is essential for flavoring the pasta from within.
  • Reserving Pasta Water: The starchy pasta water can be used to adjust the consistency of your sauce.

Sauces and Reductions:

  • Low and Slow: Simmer sauces and reductions gently to intensify flavors without burning.
  • Straining for Smoothness: Strain sauces for a silky texture.

Vegetable Vibrancy:

  • Blanching: Briefly boiling and then plunging vegetables into ice water maintains their color and crunch.
  • Roasting for Depth: Roasting vegetables can deepen their flavors and add a caramelized texture.

Presentation Matters:

  • Garnishing: A simple garnish can transform a dish visually and add a burst of flavor.
  • Plating with Purpose: Consider color, height, and texture when plating food.

Experiment and Adjust:

  • Trust Your Palate: While recipes are guidelines, don’t be afraid to adjust to your taste.
  • Continuous Learning: Stay curious and keep exploring new techniques and flavors.

By incorporating these tips and tricks from culinary experts into your cooking practices, you’ll not only improve your skills but also add a touch of professional finesse to your dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Below are some common questions about selecting the best rice for risotto, answered with expertise.

best risotto rice

Q: Why is Arborio rice commonly used for risotto?

A: Arborio rice is widely used for risotto because of its high starch content, particularly amylopectin, which imparts the creamy texture that is characteristic of a classic risotto. Its medium grain size and good absorption capacity allow it to soak up flavors well while retaining a slightly al dente bite.

Q: Is it possible to use long-grain rice for making risotto?

A: Traditional risotto recipes call for short to medium-grain rice varieties due to their higher starch content. While it is possible to make a risotto-like dish using long-grain rice, the result may not have the same creamy consistency and texture that is expected of a classic risotto.

Q: How does Carnaroli rice differ from Arborio rice when used in risotto?

A: Carnaroli rice is often considered superior to Arborio for risotto due to its slightly longer grains and higher starch content. Carnaroli tends to maintain its structure better during the cooking process, resulting in a creamier texture with a firm bite. It’s less likely to become overcooked compared to Arborio, making it a favorite among chefs for high-quality risotto.

Q: Can sushi rice be used as a substitute for traditional risotto rice?

A: Sushi rice, which is usually a short-grain variety like Japonica, can be used as a substitute in risotto due to its similar high starch content. While it may not yield the exact same texture and flavor profile as traditional risotto rice varieties like Arborio or Carnaroli, it can still produce a reasonably creamy and satisfying dish.

Q: How important is the origin of the rice in making authentic risotto?

A: The origin of the rice can play a significant role in the authenticity and quality of risotto. Italian rice varieties such as Arborio, Carnaroli, and Vialone Nano are often grown in specific regions under controlled conditions, ensuring consistent quality. Labels like DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) can indicate authenticity and adherence to traditional cultivation practices.

Q: What role does the age of rice play in cooking risotto?

A: The age of the rice can influence its moisture content and, consequently, its cooking time and texture. Fresher rice has higher moisture content and may require slightly less cooking liquid and time. Aged rice, being drier, might need a bit more liquid and time to reach the desired creamy consistency.

Q: Why is continuous stirring recommended while making risotto?

A: Continuous or frequent stirring is recommended in traditional risotto recipes to ensure an even release of starch from the grains, which contributes to the creamy consistency of the dish. However, excessive stirring can lead to overworked and mushy rice, so finding a balance is key.

Q: What type of rice is typically used for making risotto?

A: Traditional risotto is made using short to medium-grain rice varieties such as Arborio, Carnaroli, and Vialone Nano, known for their high starch content and ability to absorb flavors while maintaining a creamy texture.

Q: Can I use regular long-grain rice or Basmati for risotto?

A: While you can make a risotto-like dish using long-grain rice or Basmati, the result may not have the classic creamy texture of traditional risotto. These varieties have lower starch content and tend to be fluffier and less sticky when cooked.

Q: What makes Carnaroli rice the “king of risotto rice”?

A: Carnaroli rice is often hailed as the “king of risotto rice” because it has a higher starch content and a firmer texture compared to other varieties. It is less likely to become overcooked and delivers a consistently creamy yet al dente risotto.

Q: Is Arborio rice the same as risotto rice?

A: While Arborio is a type of risotto rice and is commonly used to prepare risotto, it is just one of several varieties suitable for the dish. Others include Carnaroli, Vialone Nano, and sometimes even sushi rice.

Q: Can I use brown rice to make risotto?

A: Brown rice can be used to make a healthier version of risotto, but it will have a different texture and flavor compared to traditional risotto. Brown rice has the outer bran layer intact, which increases the cooking time and yields a chewier, nuttier result.

Q: Why do some recipes recommend rinsing the rice before making risotto?

A: While rinsing rice is common in many recipes to remove excess starch, it is typically not recommended for risotto. The starch is crucial for achieving the creamy texture characteristic of risotto. Rinsing would wash away some of this starch and potentially alter the dish’s consistency.

Q: How do I know when my risotto is cooked perfectly?

A: Perfectly cooked risotto should have a creamy consistency, with rice grains that are tender yet still slightly al dente, or firm to the bite. It should be neither too soupy nor too dry, and the flavors should be well-absorbed into the grains.

By understanding these aspects of selecting and cooking with risotto rice, both amateur cooks and seasoned chefs can ensure a dish that is both authentic and delicious.


In conclusion, the journey to crafting the perfect risotto begins with selecting the right rice. From the traditional Arborio and Carnaroli to the versatile Vialone Nano, each variety brings its unique qualities to the table, contributing to the delectable creaminess and texture that define this classic Italian dish. Each type of rice, with its unique properties and nuanced flavors, provides home cooks and chefs alike the opportunity to create risottos that are not only authentic but also deeply satisfying.

RiceSelect’s Arborio Rice, Riso Carnaroli Melotti, and Riso Scotti’s Vialone “Nano” Rice, among others, showcase the diversity in the world of risotto rice. While Arborio is widely accessible and a safe choice for creamy dishes, Carnaroli stands out for its ability to retain shape and Vialone Nano is celebrated for its absorbent properties.

The choice of rice invariably depends on individual preferences, availability, and the specific nuances one desires in their risotto. Considering factors such as grain type, starch content, packaging, and versatility can greatly enhance the cooking and dining experience.

Ultimately, the best rice for risotto is one that aligns with your culinary goals and palate preferences. Whether you’re an experimental home cook or a traditionalist seeking authentic flavors, selecting the right rice is the first step to mastering this beloved Italian delicacy. Happy cooking!

Final Recommendation:

Navigating through the myriad options of rice for risotto can be a delightful culinary journey. For those seeking a perfect balance between quality, flavor, and versatility, we recommend the Riso Carnaroli Melotti. Known as the “king of risotto rice,” Carnaroli boasts a high starch content that imparts a creamy texture to the risotto while maintaining an al dente bite.

Riso Carnaroli Melotti brings authenticity and quality, thanks to its Italian origins and meticulous processing. It’s not just a favorite among professional chefs but also a practical and satisfying option for home cooks. The rice is forgiving to cook with and delivers consistently excellent results.

Of course, individual preferences play a role, and experimenting with different varieties like Arborio and Vialone Nano can also yield delightful dishes. But for a reliable, flavorful, and exceptional risotto experience, Riso Carnaroli Melotti is a top contender that is likely to elevate your culinary creations.

Photo of author

Macaria Valerie

About the author

With over 15 years of experience in the culinary world, Macaria Valerie has developed a unique niche expertise in the art and science of rice cooking. Born in Taipei and raised in San Francisco, Macaria's passion for perfectly cooked rice is a blend of her Taiwanese roots and modern culinary techniques. She has traveled across Asia, gathering traditional rice recipes and cooking methodologies. Macaria is not just about plain rice. She's explored the depths of risotto in Italy, paella in Spain, biryani in India, and sushi in Japan. Yet, she believes that the core of these dishes lies in mastering the basic foundation - the rice. In her popular blog, "Expert Reviews Best Rice Cooker", Macaria shares not only her favorite rice recipes but also reviews the latest in rice cooker technology. She's been a consultant for major kitchen appliance brands, aiding in the development and testing of their rice cooker lines. In her spare time, Macaria conducts workshops and classes, ensuring that the art of cooking perfect rice is accessible to everyone. Whether you're aiming for a simple bowl of fluffy white rice or venturing into the intricate world of flavored rice dishes, Macaria Valerie is your go-to guide in the rice cooker niche.

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