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Seafood Risotto Recipe From A Masterchef Competitor

Seafood Risotto with Shrimp, Scallops, and Roasted Tomatoes – creamy, flavorful classic risotto enriched with rich seafood stock, topped with succulent pan-fried seafood and roasted tomatoes!

Hi guys! I’m Jennifer, and I’ll be posting a new recipe every week to Our New Monarch – the recipes will be a mix of sweet and savory, with lots of restaurant-quality dishes that you can make at home!

Today, we’re getting fancy.

For this Seafood Risotto dish, I combined some of my absolute favorite things – classic creamy risotto (perfected with a Thomas Keller recipe), pan-fried seafood, and juicy roasted tomatoes, which you can sub out for any tasty veg!

Something to add about this risotto - it got me through auditions on Masterchef…twice. The first round of Masterchef auditions is the tasting portions, and chefs taste your food to see if you qualify for the next round; I gave the judge this risotto, and he tasted it and immediately told me how far I could go in the competition. If that’s not a reason to make this, I don’t know what is!

Seafood Risotto with Scallops, Shrimp, and Roasted Tomatoes


For the risotto –

  • 2 cups seafood stock* (see notes below recipe for extra-flavored seafood stock)

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1/4 cup finely minced onion

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 3/4 cup Arborio rice

  • 1/2 cup white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc – if you don’t have wine, sub in extra ½ cup stock)

  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed

  • 1 ounce (30 grams) Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ cup heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks*

  • For the seafood –

  • ¼ pound shrimp, peeled and de-veined, shells saved (21-25 count)

  • ¼ pound scallops (6-7 count)

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

  • For the roasted tomatoes –

  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved

  • Olive oil, salt, and pepper

  • To serve:

  • Splash of lemon

  • Chopped basil


  1. Start by making the broth – add the seafood stock, tomatoes, shells, and thyme to a saucepan over medium heat. Lower to a simmer, and simmer for 25-30 minutes (note: you can just use seafood stock and move on with the recipe to save on time).

  2. To roast the tomatoes – Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until slightly shriveled, about 15 minutes.

  3. To make the risotto - Heat a medium sized skillet over medium-low heat, and add in the canola oil. Add the onion and the 1 teaspoon salt. Slowly cook the onions (don’t brown them), until they’re completely soft, reducing the heat if necessary.

  4. Add the rice and continue cooking the mixture, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Pour in the white wine and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the wine is absorbed by the rice and you can no longer smell the alcohol.

  5. Ladle enough of the hot seafood stock over the rice to barely cover it. Continue to cook, stirring, until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Continue this process – ladling, stirring, ladling, stirring – until most of the stock is absorbed and the rice is cooked but the center is still al dente (You might not need all of the stock, so taste the risotto occasionally to test the doneness of the rice).

  6. Once the rice is al dente, add the butter and vigorously whisk it until it is emulsified into the risotto. Add in the Parmesan cheese and stir until thoroughly combined. Taste for seasoning, and add more stock if necessary, so that the rice is creamy and its surface naturally flattens out. Stir in whipped cream.

  7. To make the seafood – Sprinkle the shrimp and scallops with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, and lower to medium heat. Add the shrimp in a single layer, and cook for 60-90 seconds per side. Remove the shrimp, and add the scallops in a single layer; cook for 90 seconds-2 minutes per side. Set aside until ready to plate.

  8. To plate – spoon the risotto into a large bowl. Top with the seafood and the roasted tomatoes. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the top and sprinkle with chopped basil. Serve immediately.


Here’s some insight:

  1. If you’ve never made risotto before, or even if you have, something might look a little strange to you – unsweetened whipped cream. Don’t be alarmed! Stirring the heavy cream into the risotto takes the flavor and the texture to a higher level; don’t skip it!

  2. To make the extra-flavored seafood stock – take 2 cups store-bought seafood stock and add ¼ cup chopped tomatoes, ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, and some roasted shrimp shells (just use the shells you have left over from the shrimp, and roast at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes). Simmer all of the ingredients together for 25-30 minutes, strain, and use.

Check out the step-by-step video here!

Risotto recipe adapted from Thomas Keller

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