How to Freeze Risotto and Reheat to Perfection

The unmistakable deliciousness of northern Italian cuisine, combined with that unforgettable creamy savouriness, and the soft delicately textured rice, risotto is a mouth-watering dish that is enjoyed by many.

Although it is a staple in Italian households, it is enjoyed as a luxurious meal in various kitchens throughout the globe. With its promising looks and rich cheesy aroma, to waste even a single drop of this deliciousness would be a tragedy. 

So, the question is, can you actually reheat risotto?

Here are the sought after questions and answers to best enjoy this mouthful.

What Is Risotto?

Think soft delicately cooked rice, meets savoury cheesy stock, in a slow flowing stream, risotto is the mother of all rice dishes in Italian cuisine.

Risotto can be prepared with meat or vegetable stock and emits an equal amount of savoury goodness either way. The rice is slow cooked together with the broth, and a preferred cheese, until it is thick and creamy. 

There are many different variations of risotto, and there are a variety of ingredients that can be added to enrich the risotto dish to a preferred taste, making the recipe quiet flexible. 

Add in a little saffron to get that soft yellow colour, and you have yourself a flavourful signature dish.

Can You Freeze Risotto?

Surprisingly risotto can be frozen, but there are a few things to consider before freezing. 

In order to get the best out of your frozen risotto, keep in mind to first make sure that the prepared risotto is completely cooled before packaging for the freezer.

Cooling before freezing will ensure that extra moisture is evaporated. Make sure to freeze in an airtight, freezer safe container.

These easy steps will prevent you from having an overly sticky risotto when you reheat it.

You can also freeze them in batches and reheat according to the amount that is needed. The frozen risotto will last in your freezer for up to 3 months. Keep in mind not to refreeze once thawed.

Can You Reheat Risotto?

Yes, risotto can be reheated and enjoyed. If it was stored in the fridge, then reheat on low heat and stir in a little broth to reach the right consistency.

If you wish to reheat frozen risotto, then make sure to completely thaw it before reheating. Thawing it in the fridge will ensure an even cool temperature throughout.

Just be sure to add in a little broth when reheating. This will prevent a dry crumbly texture and restore the creaminess.

How to Store Risotto?

Risotto can be stored as a whole or in batches, in the fridge or the freezer, depending on when you would want to eat it. If you plan to reheat it all at once, then storing the whole batch in an airtight container would be wise.

It should last for up to 3 days in the fridge. If you wish to store them in the freezer, then you can store them in batches, in airtight freezer safe containers. It should be good for at least 3 months. Just make sure that you cool them completely before storing.

Can Reheating Rice Cause Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning comes in many shapes and forms, hidden from view but causing havoc to our tummies.

For rice to cause food poisoning it would have had to be neglected on the kitchen counter, or laying for too long in the fridge. If that was the case, then the rice has had the opportunity to become acquainted with the nasty bacteria that were comfortably floating around. With their tiny white coats and sometimes polka dot blazers, they have the nasty old act of camouflage, making them unrecognizable in rice. Their protective coats shield them in the reheating process, gaining them access into out tummies, causing food poisoning. So the answer is an unfortunate yes, reheating rice that has had the opportunity to acquaint itself with unwanted bacteria can cause food poisoning.

How Does Reheated Rice Cause Food Poisoning?

Bacteria, the sly old bacillus cereus, is a nasty spore forming bacterium that thrives on foods like rice, and weans its way into our kitchens with the intention of causing trouble in our tummies. Withstanding the reheating process, this bacterium can actively remain in rice even during the cooking and reheating process, as its spores are quiet guarded. If rice is reheated and then left to cool on the kitchen counter, the bacterial spores use this opportunity to multiply. This is what causes food poisoning in reheated rice.

Tips on Serving Rice Safely

To completely avoid food poisoning from rice, cook smaller quantities to avoid any leftovers, however, if you do have leftovers, here are a few safety tips to ensure that you serve bacteria free rice.

  • Serve rice immediately after cooking.
  • Speed cool rice.
  • Refrigerate leftover rice in an airtight container immediately after cooling.
  • Do not keep rice longer than 1 day in the fridge.

These few simple tips will safeguard you from rice related food poisoning if followed correctly.

What Are The Best Methods to Reheat Risotto?

Here are a few easy methods to follow to reheat and enjoy your left over risotto.

Stove Top Method:

  • Place the left over risotto in a skillet and add a little stock or water.
  • Heat risotto on a low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring after every minute.

A little extra butter or cheese can be added if a creamier taste is desired.

 Oven Method:

  • Preheat oven at 360 F / 180 C
  • Make sure that risotto is thawed out completely
  • Grease an oven safe dish with butter
  • Spread out risotto in the oven dish
  • Add in a little stock or water
  • Bake for 10 minutes

Additionally you could put in some extra cheese, but that is optional.

Microwave Method:

  • Place risotto in a microwave safe dish, sprinkle with a little water or stock.
  • Lightly cover the dish and microwave for 2 to 4 minutes, stirring at 30 second intervals.

You could add more cheese or butter to enhance the richness but that is optional.

Steamer basket method:

  • Fill a heavy bottomed pot with water. At least 1/3 full and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to medium once boiling.
  • Place steamer basket into the pot, making sure that it is above the water.
  • Put risotto into a ceramic or steam proof bowl, and place it inside the steamer basket.
  • Close the pot, and allow it to steam for 10 minutes, stirring at the 5 minute mark.

Butter and cheese can be added for extra flavour and creaminess but that is optional.

Delicious, reheated risotto is ready to devour. Remember to safely thaw out your frozen risotto before reheating.