Homemade mac and cheese may get all the credit for being the ideal comfort food, but for the ultimate in always elegant satisfaction, let us turn our attention to an Italian classic: risotto. No matter the time of year — or time of day for that matter — you’ll find the perfect risotto recipe here to appease the strongest of creamy, carb-y cravings.

Short on time or don’t feel like a whole lot of stirring? Consider making one of our 10-minute microwave hack risotto recipes or picking up the Breville Risotto Plus. No one trick pony, the Risotto Plus is an impressive all-in-one kitchen gadget — a slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker AND risotto maker — with a caramelize mode that allows for extra flavor without an extra dirty dish (win-win!).

Leek Risotto

1. Leek Risotto: A basic risotto recipe that’s anything but. Leeks lend a soft onion flavor to this creamy, restaurant-worthy rice dish. (via Food52)

2. Lavender-Honey Risotto with Vanilla-Roasted Stone Fruit: Such a thoughtful balance of flavors and textures, this is an ideal risotto to serve as dessert, a snack or even breakfast! (via What’s For Lunch Honey?)

Chantarelle Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions

3. Chantarelle Mushroom and Caramelized Shallot Risotto: A terrific risotto recipe for fall — includes a how-to guide for foraging chantarelles in the Northwest. (via Adventures in Cooking)

Pumpkin Pumpkin Beer Risotto with Coffee Chocolate Stout-glazed Short Ribs

4. Pumpkin-Pumpkin Beer Risotto with Coffee and Chocolate Stout-glazed Short Ribs: An awesome combination of flavors abounds in this hearty dish. Beer, pumpkin, and beef short ribs make this risotto the epitome of cold weather comfort food. (via The Devil Wears Parsley)

Slow Cooker Barley Risotto

5. Slow Cooker Barley and Chickpea Risotto: No time to sit over a pot stirring? You’re in luck. This barley risotto is cooked in a crockpot, and is chock full of veggies and protein — courtesy of garbanzo beans — making it an straightforward one-pot meal for busy nights. (via Foxes Love Lemons)

Maple-Spice Ginger Cookie Breakfast Risotto

6. Maple-Spice Ginger Cookie Breakfast Risotto (Vegan, Gluten-free): Just as easy to prepare as oatmeal, this breakfast risotto is packed with flavors that call to mind a warm ginger cookie. For staying power, it’s topped with banana, almond butter, fiber-packed seeds and nuts just before serving. (via Healthy. Happy. Life.)

7. Beet Risotto: Red beets — along with their greens, which practically disappear — add a stunning ruby color and wonderful earthy flavor to risotto. A fantastic dish for borscht fans. (via Bella Eats)

Gorgonzola and Sausage Stuffed Peppers

8. Gorgonzola and Sausage Risotto Stuffed Peppers: A delicious twist on the usual stuffed pepper, this recipe is Italian-inspired through and through. (via The Brooklyn Ragazza)

Pumpkin Arancini with Blue Cheese Port Fondue Sauce

9. Pumpkin Arancini with Blue Cheese Fondue and Port Wine Sauce: This recipe for arancini di riso has so much good stuff going on. Pumpkin risotto is formed into balls, battered and fried, then served with not one, but two types of sauce. A fantastic, elegant appetizer idea. (via Tyler Florence)

Lamb with Fava Beans and Minted Risotto

10. Roasted Lamb Chops with Fava Beans and Minted Risotto: What a clever spin on the usual lamb with mint. Roasted lamb is set atop a bed of fava beans and creamy, minted risotto — a perfect spring meal! (Much better than lamb with mint jelly, no?) (via Joy of Kosher)

Corn Risotto

11. Shrimp and Corn Risotto: Reminiscent of a few different American chowders — seafood and corn — this bacon-boosted, summery risotto is sure to be a hit! (via A Thought for Food)

Champagne Risotto

12. Champagne Risotto: Topped with a poached egg, this easy risotto would be terrific served as a New Year’s Day brunch made with leftover bubbly — whether flat or still fizzy — from festivities the night before. (via Le Fork)

13. Tuna Risotto Pie: Move over tuna noodle casserole, there’s a new simple-to-make, one-pot meal in town! Tuna, tomatoes and kale are combined to create this terrific, fish on Friday-appropriate dish. (via Chew Town)


14. Low Carb Risotto (Vegan): We’ve shared this recipe before, but this low carb risotto bears repeating. Not a single grain of rice is found here — instead, grated cauliflower florets mimic the grain to create a light and fluffy dish. (via Vegangela)

Prosciutto-wrapped Lobster Tail over Fennel Risotto

15. Prosciuttto-wrapped Lobster Tail over Fennel Risotto: Talk about an indulgent combination. Fresh fennel lends a lovely, soft licorice flavor to an extra creamy, mascarpone-enhanced risotto. (via Mogwai Soup)

Beer and Artichoke Risotto with Goat Cheese and Cured Ham

16. Beer and Artichoke Risotto with Crumbled Goat Cheese and Cured Ham: This is some classy, pub-inspired fare right here — beer replaces the usual wine in this risotto recipe! (via Juls’ Kitchen)

Creamy Pasta Risotto

17. Creamy Pasta Risotto: Across between pasta, risotto and mac-n-cheese, this creamy pasta risotto definitely earns the title of ultimate comfort food. (via Some the Wiser)

Risotto al nero di seppia

18. Risotto al Nero di Seppia: Topped with sautéed calamari, this black risotto — the inky hue courtesy of, well, squid ink — would make a satisfying Valentine’s day dish, despite its initial, somewhat macabre appearance. (via From Buenos Aires to Paris)

Tell us about the best risotto you’ve ever tasted! Or if you’ve yet to experience its wonderfully comforting creaminess, which of these recipes are you most looking forward to trying first?