On The Table

A collection of knowledge-based articles to inspire overall wellness.

Healthy Parmesan Shrimp Risotto Recipe

The short-grained arborio rice in this creamy, shrimp risotto is chockful of flavor and nutrients. In fact, just a single serving packs 30 grams of protein!

Healthy Parmesan Shrimp Risotto Recipe

A luscious bowl of creamy shrimp risotto is served at a quaint Italian restaurant as you hear beach waves gently roll up to the shore.

Okay, maybe it is the sound of the washing machine running rather than beach waves… 

While you might not actually be transported to a swank Italian restaurant, your tastebuds will feel as if you are.

So light a candle or two as we jump to the recipe that comes together quickly, healthily, and deliciously! 

Parmesan Shrimp Risotto Recipe

Yield: 6 servings 

Nutrition per serving: 350 calories, 8 g fat, 30 g protein, 39 g total carb, 2 g fiber

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes


• 4 cups chicken broth, low-sodium 
• 1, 8-oz bottle of clam juice
• 1 Tbsp butter, unsalted
• 1/2 cup shallots, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 1/4 cup Arborio rice, uncooked
• 1/4 tsp saffron
• 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
• 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
• 1.5 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined 
• 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
• 2 Tbsp heavy cream
• Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)


1. Simmer the chicken broth and clam juice in a medium saucepan.

2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the tablespoon of butter. Add shallots and cook for about 2 minutes then add garlic and cook for another minute.

3. Lower heat to medium-low, add the rice and saffron, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes. The rice should be just slightly toasted and translucent in color.

4. Add lemon juice and cook for 15 seconds. Stirring constantly, add the wine and cook until absorbed about 1 minute. (If not using wine, jump to step #5.) 

5. Add in about 1 cup of the warmed chicken broth and clam juice, stirring until the broth is absorbed before adding more. Repeat adding 3/4 to 1 cup at a time until all of the broth has been added and the rice is al dente. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes.

6. Add in the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute. Add and cook shrimp until they just turn pink, flipping each to ensure even cooking, about 3 minutes total.

7. Remove from heat and gently stir in the cream and parmesan cheese, adding more broth as needed if too thick. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and red pepper flakes as desired.

Risotto for Dietary Needs

While risotto may seem like a recipe without much leeway, changes can be made to suit a variety of dietary needs and preferences.

These include low-carb, gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan variations.

Low-Carb Risotto

Arborio rice has a natural starchiness that allows water to absorb without becoming mushy. This quality makes it a primary contender to prepare a creamy risotto! 

If watching carb content, though, you might be hoping for a low-carb alternative. Fortunately, we have options!

One way to do so is by simply watching portions and using the risotto as a side dish. Or, swap out the arborio rice entirely with cauliflower rice by following these steps: 

1. Melt butter then add and cook the chopped onion for about 5 minutes.

2. Add riced cauliflower and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add a splash of wine, clam juice, and chicken broth and allow to cook for about 5 minutes more, until liquid has reduced. (The non-starchy veggie will not absorb liquid the way starchy rice does, so it is important to not add too much.)

3. Stir in the parmesan cheese and salt to and pepper to taste. Allow to cauliflower and cheese to cook, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and the mixture is thick and creamy, about 5 minutes.

(By the way, this parmesan chicken risotto recipe also tastes great low-carb or not!)

Gluten-Free Risotto

While arborio rice is naturally gluten-free, risotto is not always a gluten-free recipe. Other ingredients used to prepare risotto, including the broth, may contain gluten.

So if needing or wanting a gluten-free recipe, always doublecheck labeling on purchased and used ingredients.

Dairy-Free Risotto

Prepare an entirely dairy-free recipe with these simple swaps:

• Butter for olive oil
• Parmesan cheese for nutritional yeast
• Heavy cream for cashew cream

Vegan Risotto

Similar principles apply to the vegan risotto as they do for the dairy-free. These include using olive oil, nutritional yeast, and cashew cream.

However, to make it truly vegan, swap the chicken stock with vegetable stock. Also, omit forms of seafood or animal proteins and replace them with a plant-based source and veggies as desired.