Chocolate Risotto - @SavorySimple #recipe

Looking for a last minute Valentine’s Day dessert? I’ve got a suggestion for you: velvety chocolate risotto with a hint of red wine, topped with toasted sliced almonds. It’s like rice pudding on chocolate steroids. How does that sound? I’m not going to lie- this is a very rich dessert. It’s meant to be served in small portions. A few bites of decadence is all you need.

Chocolate Risotto - @SavorySimple #recipe

I’ve always loved making risotto but this is the first time I’ve attempted a dessert version. It follows the same preparation as standard risotto with a few additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Cream will reduce more quickly than stock so keep the temperature very low on both the saucepan and the risotto pan. I kept a close watch on both pans and moved them on and off the heat as needed to maintain a consistant temperature. You want a barely bubbling simmer.  Also, the cream takes longer to absorb into the rice so if the heat is too high on either pan you’ll run out of liquid before the risotto is finished.
  • I’ve never believed in constantly stirring risotto but in this case I do recommend stirring for the entire cooking process. Burnt cream does not make for a romantic dessert.
  • I made this twice and the first time I had a near disaster. The cream separated at the very end, causing an oily residue to appear around the finished product. To avoid this, keep the temperatures low, do not add cold cream at any time during the process and remove the risotto from the heat after adding the chocolate. However, should this happen to you do not panic! It’s very easy to fix. Simply place the risotto in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Allow the separated liquid to drain and then place the risotto in a clean bowl. Stir in some additional half and half to compensate for the lost liquid before serving. No one will know and it will still taste delicious!

If you’ve successfully prepared risotto in the past this will be a breeze. A tasty tasty breeze. I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!


Chocolate Risotto
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 2½ cups half and half, plus more as needed
  • 1½ tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • pinch of salt
  • 2½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted, for garnish
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring cream, half and half, vanilla and salt to a low simmer. Keep the heat on low and watch the mixture to avoid boiling.
  2. While the liquid is heating up, add butter to a dutch oven. Once the butter has melted, add the rice and stir. Allow it to toast for a few minutes, stirring, then add red wine to deglaze the pan.
  3. Once the wine has cooked into the risotto and not a lot of liquid remains in the pan, add a ladle of cream. Stir frequently, allowing the cream to slowly absorb into the rice. Adjust the temperature as needed, alternating between low and medium low. You don't want to the heat too high or the liquid will be gone before the risotto is fully cooked. Keep an eye on the saucepan with the cream as well. You want it barely simmering to prevent reducing.
  4. Repeat the process of adding cream and stirring until all of the liquid has been used, approximately 30 minutes. Test the risotto for doneness. It should be soft but slightly toothsome. If necessary, continue cooking and stirring on low heat until the rice has finished cooking.
  5. Stir in the chocolate and remove the pan from the heat. Continue stirring until the chocolate is fully incorporated.
  6. The risotto will thicken as it sits. Stir in additional half and half if desired to create a thinner consistency (start with ½ cup). Garnish with toasted sliced almonds before serving.
Tip: if you run out of liquid but feel the rice still has a long way to go, you can heat up some more half and half and continue ladling it into the rice.


More risotto recipes

Savory Simple – Mushroom Risotto
Savory Simple – Butter Poached Lobster with Steel Cut Oat Risotto
Savory Simple – Toasted Orzo Risotto with Sweet Corn and Thyme
London Bakes – Leek and Pancetta Risotto
Mother Thyme – Pumpkin Risotto
Cook Republic – Asian Risotto Balls with Sticky Mango Chili Sauce

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    Comfort food with an elegant twist! I’m curious as to how the red wine plays with the chocolate here.

    • Jennifer Farley

      Honestly, you can’t taste it as much as I had hoped (I originally wanted to call it “Chocolate Red Wine Risotto.” The first time I made the recipe I used twice as much red wine and it still wasn’t a strong flavor. I’ve been wondering if maybe reducing the wine first would work better. Or using a rich port wine. The chocolate just overpowers. But I like to think it gives the risotto a more complex flavor :)

  • Maggie @ A Bitchin’ Kitchen

    This is brilliant! I’ve never heard of dessert risotto before, but as a rice pudding lover, I know I’d really enjoy this.

    • Jennifer Farley

      Thanks Maggie!

  • Rochelle @

    Wow, this looks great! I have some leftover arborio rice that I don’t have a recipe for. This looks perfect. Thanks!

    • Jennifer Farley

      Thanks so much, Rochelle!

  • Paula @ Vintage Kitchen

    I´ve been wanting to make a dessert risotto for a while, since I´m mad about rice pudding, but this combo of flavors is way better than I imagined. Red wine with chocolate? Simply perfect

  • Little Kitchie

    Such an awesome, creative recipe!! I love, love the look of this! I have our dessert for tonight already made, but I’m definitely going to bookmark this to try. My husband will FLIP over this.

  • Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

    Ohhhh mah gah you are a genius. A chocolate genius.

    • Jennifer Farley

      You’re making me blush!

  • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers

    I have never made risotto, it’s on my foodie bucket list this year, but now you have given me a great excuse to make it! Chocolate Risotto is pure genius!

    • Jennifer Farley

      Thanks Jennifer! I actually recommend starting with a regular risotto first. It’s not usually difficult but I found this to be slightly more advanced because of the temperature monitoring. I don’t want to be the one to scare you away from risotto :}

  • Roger Stowell

    Beautiful pics. I’m afraid chocolate risotto is a bridge too far for me. I’ve been thinking about making a risotto for this evening, but I don’t think it will be a dessert:)

  • Jennifer @ Mother Thyme

    Oh my goodness Jen, this is stunning! Not only are the photos gorgeous but what a brilliant recipe! My hubby and I love risotto. I have all these ingredients on hand so I think I might make this tonight after we put the kiddos to bed for a little couples dessert. Thanks for mentioning my Pumpkin Risotto too. You’re the best! :)

    • Jennifer Farley

      Thanks, Jennifer! Your pumpkin risotto looks fabulous.

  • Deanna Segrave-Daly (@tspbasil)

    Oh my! This is brilliant! I love both chocolate (duh) and risotto – so clever to pair them.

    • Jennifer Farley

      Thank you so much, Deanna!

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress)

    Ok so I’ve never had risotto (I know, insanity) or rice pudding before. But somehow I know I would LOVE LOVE LOVE this!

  • Heidi @foodiecrush

    Whoa. Just hold the horses. This is so right up my alley with my obsession with rice pudding and chocolate. You are a genius.

    • Jennifer Farley

      Thanks, Heidi :) Coming from you that is a huge compliment!

  • mjskit

    What a unique way to get a chocolate fix! I love it!

  • Jenn and Seth

    this is such a unique dish! i’m in love!

  • Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    This. Is. AWESOME. And genius. And beautiful. And delicious. The end.

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    What a decadent dessert!

  • Bev @ Bev Cooks

    Shut. Your. Face.

  • Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet

    Red wine and chocolate – the ultimate food pairing for V-Day! Stunning pic, Jen! Love the warm chocolate feel :)

  • Jackie @ Domestic Fits

    You are brilliant! I love risotto, but I’ve never though to dessertify it. Beautiful :)

  • Valerie

    Risotto + chocolate!! Already in love. :D

  • natalie @ wee eats

    you beautiful, evil, genius. CHOCOLATE risotto? it’s like rice pudding on crack.

    • Jennifer Farley

      Thanks Natalie :)

  • Susan

    The red wine sounds like such a lovely touch to the chocolate!

    • Jennifer Farley

      Thanks Susan!

  • Carol | a cup of mascarpone

    At first I wasn’t too sure about a chocolate risotto, until I came to your blog to read your post and the recipe. Now – I’m in love! Happy Valentine’s Day, Jen!

  • sally @ sallys baking addiction

    Jen, this is incredible. Simply amazing. I’m so in awe of a chocolate risotto recipe! I never would have thought this one up. That’s why I love visiting here. :) I’m in love! Happy Valentine’s Day Jen!!

  • Mallory @ Total Noms

    Hahhahaha WHAT. This is insanity. Risotto is no joke one of my favorite foods, and chocolate comes in at a close #2. I saw this post on the G+ food photography community, and felt compelled to see what this was- gorgeous shots, need to make TONIGHT!

  • Lillian @ My Recipe Journey


  • Kathryn

    Last time I tried to make a dessert risotto it was a complete disaster but this looks perfect. I love the idea and can’t wait to give it a try!

    • Jennifer Farley

      Ack, what happened?

  • Laura Dembowski

    I have never had risotto before. Dessert risotto sounds so amazing. This looks petfect!

  • Natalie

    Dessert risotto sounds so GREAT! What a creative recipe!

  • Denise & Laura @ Bakingwithbite

    I’ve never heard of chocolate risotto but it looks so delicious!

  • Ella-Home Cooking Adventure

    Wouldn’t have thought of risotto with chocolate. Brilliant!!

  • Kate@Diethood

    I am lovin’ this!! And those almonds on top… brilliant!
    Seems like we’re on the same wavelength! Me with my chocolate rice pudding and you with chocolate risotto! Risotto can be a bi*&ch to prepare :-), but once you get the hang of it, you always want to make it.

  • JulieD

    Wow is all I can say! Beautiful!!

  • Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    Wowza, this is the epitome of decadence! What a great recipe!

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    Dude, chocolate risotto? You are a genius!

  • Debra

    Oh my! That’s all I have to say!

  • Karen

    Intriguing and beautiful – this looks like an intense rice pudding, only 100 times sexier with the chocolate and red wine. Perfect choice for a Valentine’s dessert!

  • Laura

    I am not a huge rice dessert fan but this has me super intrigued!

  • Jenny @ BAKE

    gorgeous photos of a delicious recipe!

  • Jennie @themessybakerblog

    After seeing this chocolate pudding, I don’t think I can live without it. Mmm!

  • Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama

    Kinda freaking out over this one a bit. I think I need to make this for dessert tonight… hubs loves rice pudding so I’m sure this will be a hit too!

  • Shanna@ pineapple and coconut

    I don’t know what’s more stunning, your photos or the recipe itself!

  • Food Lover

    Nom nom sounds so delicious, can’t wait to try it!

  • Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

    I could eat a whole bowl of this :) I once saw a chopped episode where a chef made white chocolate risotto and the judges were going wild over it!

  • DB-The Foodie Stuntman

    How did I miss this?! What a unique spin on risotto!

  • Anne

    Rice pudding is my spouse’s favorite dessert, yet he doesn’t quite seem satisfied with any of the versions I’ve tried. I think your dessert risotto might be just what I need to fix that! Thanks so much for this creative recipe.

  • Tobi @ brag&butter

    Oh yummy, I just saw the link on Facebook and it SO fits my mood right now. Just today I was out getting some carnaroli rice for a vanilla & garlic risotto tomorrow. Sounds weird – is divine. And great with fish. And friends. I will make your chocolate risotto for a breakfast on a really grey day some time. Thanks!

  • Jennifer Stewart

    I am in love with risotto and I think I feel even more in love with it after seeing this recipe! I’m going to make for Valentine’s Day!!!