Shrimp and Zucchini Risotto

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If you are looking for a tasty, simple risotto recipe that will amaze your guests, Shrimp and Zucchini Risotto is the one!

Shrimp and Zucchini Risotto is a very creamy risotto made without butter and Parmigiano! In fact, zucchini, together with the rice starch, make the risotto already creamy. No necessary adding other ingredients.

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Shrimp and zucchini is a classic, tasty combination that perfectly combines the flavors of vegetables with those of the sea.

The sweet, delicate flavor of the shrimps blends perfectly with some vegetables, such as zucchini, pumpkin (read: Pumpkin Cream Soup With Shrimp) and asparagus.

The best Italian risotto is traditionally made with Arborio or Carnaroli rice, two varieties that make the risotto creamier. For much more information and tips you can read How To Cook Risotto. 10 Tips for a Perfect Risotto.

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So use a good quality rice, fresh shrimps and organic zucchini to make a great Shrimp and Zucchini Risotto Recipe! You can use frozen shrimps for sure, but your risotto will be less tasty and the shrimps less tender.

So now follow our step by step recipe for a creamy Shrimp and Zucchini Risotto Recipe!

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Shrimp and Zucchini Risotto Recipe

  • Prep Time: 15 Min
  • Cook Time: 20 Min
  • Servings: 6


  • 450 g (1 Pound) of medium shrimp (shells removed and deveined)
  • 1.5 liters (6 cups) of vegetable broth
  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 1 red medium onion
  • 100 ml (1/2 cup) of dry white wine
  • 450 g (3 cups) of Carnaroli or Arborio rice
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 
  • a pinch of black pepper (optional)
  • a pinch of fine salt

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Kitchen Tools and Equipment

Use a non stick stainless steel large pan or aluminum frying pan to cook risotto, with one or two handles and a 6-8 cm (2-3 inch) high edge.

Use wooden spoons to mix the risotto, which are safer for non-stick cookware. We recommend this beechwood risotto spoon by Cuisinart or this handmade risotto spoon, made from one piece of solid cherry hardwood.

This last one in particular can be an original gift idea for friends who love to cook!


shrimp and zucchini risotto step 1 (1)

Step 1) – First, make a vegetable broth: you need it to cook risotto. You can make it the day before and store in the refrigerator. Reheat when needed.
Simmer slowly to keep it always hot while cooking the risotto. For more informations and tips, read our recipe how to Make Vegetable broth.

TIP: If your shrimps are fresh, add 2 or 3 shrimp shells and heads to make your broth even tastier!

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Step 2) – Now you have to clean the shrimps. So remove the head and discard shells and inner intestine and set aside.

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Step 3) – Now wash the zucchini and remove the ends. Cut them into round, thin slices. Set aside.

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Step 4) – In a large pan, sauté the chopped onion with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil for 1-2 minutes. As soon as the onion is golden, add the zucchini. Cook over low heat for about 5 minute, until they are soft.

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Step 5) – Then add the rice and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring from time to time, until it becomes shiny and transparent.

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Step 6) – Turn up the heat and add the white wine. Keep the heat high and let it evaporate. Then add 2 or 3 ladles of hot broth and mix. Add a little salt and ground black pepper. Cook for about 12 minutes WITHOUT the lid on, stirring occasionally.

The rice must remain covered with broth. So, when you see that the risotto is drying out, add 1 or 2 ladles of broth.

If you are using Carnaroli rice, it cooks in 18 minutes. If you are using another type of rice, read the cooking times on the package and adjust accordingly

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Step 7) – At the end of 12 minutes, add the shrimp. Stir and cook for 5-6 minutes, letting the broth evaporate as much as possible.

IMPORTANT: shrimp don’t need long cooking times. If you are using medium/large shrimp, they cook in 5/6 minutes. You need 3 or 4 minutes for smaller shrimps. If you let shrimp overcook, they harden so pay attention.

shrimp and zucchini risotto step 8 (1)

Step 8) – Once the risotto is cooked, taste it and season with salt if necessary. Add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and mix. Wait 2 or 3 minutes before serving.

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You can keep shrimp and zucchini risotto stored in the fridge for maximum two days, closed in an airtight food container. Before serving, re-heat in a pan adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of broth.

How to Make the Best Shrimp Risotto with Zucchini: Some Tips

Do you want to amaze your guests with this shrimp and zucchini risotto recipe? Then follow our tips carefully!

For the success of this recipe, better to use FRESH SHRIMPS and make sure they are of good quality. Shrimp meat must be firm; its shell must be without spots and of a bright color.

Alternatively, you can use frozen shrimps (always of excellent quality!)

The important thing is to add them to the risotto a few minutes before finishing cooking, so they will preserve flavor and texture.

If you use fresh shrimp and they are whole, still to be cleaned, you can boil the shrimp scraps, shells and heads, in the broth together with the vegetables (read step 1). You will get a sort of fish broth with which to cook your risotto!

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Shrimp and Zucchini Risotto: Some Variants

At the end of cooking, you can flavor shrimp and zucchini risotto with a sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley or with a little grated lemon zest.

For a particular taste, you can blend the risotto with Brandy instead of white wine.

You can give color and flavor to your shrimp and zucchini risotto adding a pinch of saffron or turmeric: dissolve it in a ladle of boiling broth while the risotto is cooking.

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