9 Excellent Arborio Rice Substitutes for the Perfect Risotto

Arborio rice is a short-grain rice that is widely used in risotto recipes. When cooked, this product has a broader, somewhat more oval form than conventional rice with a creamy texture.

If you don’t have this sort of white rice at home, don’t hurry to the shop right away; instead, look in your pantry for these Arborio rice replacements.

The best substitutes for Arborio rice are

  1. Sushi rice
  2. Basmati rice
  3. Pearl Barley
  4. Brown rice
  5. Carnaroli
  6. Farro
  7. Quinoa
  8. Bulgur
  9. Couscous

These rices have diverse properties, so be sure to read all the way to the end to learn about their applications and recipes.

9 Best Arborio Rice Substitute

Sushi Rice

This Japanese rice is probably the most similar to Arborio rice and makes an excellent alternative. Sushi rice is a kind of short-grain rice with a high starch content that delivers the same creaminess and thickness that is required in every risotto recipe.

Because of its propensity to adhere and create a shape, sushi rice is most typically used in the manufacture of various varieties of sushi, sushi bowls, or rice pudding. Sushi rice originated in Japan, but in recent years it has been grown in many areas throughout the United areas.

Tips For The Perfect Rissoto With Sushi Rice

  • Do not wash your rice-In any sushi preparation, the rice must be washed many times with water to remove the starchiness. If you’re cooking risotto, the starch in this rice really contributes to the creamy risotto we see in advertisements and high-end restaurants.
  • Always stir-fry your rice before cooking it-Before boiling your rice, chop up some onions and sauté them until they are clear as glass. If the onions are burning quickly, add half a cup of water to soften them. Add the rice to the same skillet as the onions, coat with oil, and stir continually until the rice becomes transparent.
  • Cook it differently than ordinary rice-This kind of rice requires a different method of preparation, so be sure to read all of your directions before beginning. If you overcook the sushi rice, it will become extremely mushy, and your risotto will likely become a heated mess. My advise is to cook it until it is al dente (a few minutes before the cooking time).

How To Always Make The Perfect Sushi Rice

I was frightened of the outcomes when I first attempted producing sticky sushi rice since I had been told that it was very tough and hard to get the correct structure and stickiness.

It turns out that if you educate yourself enough, it is not at all difficult. Here are some pointers to help you achieve the ideal sushi rice.

  • yellow.First and first, clean your rice. This is critical when cooking rice for sushi or poke bowls. like I previously said, this is an excellent alternative for Arborio since it has a significant level of starch and makes any risotto dish creamy, like it should be. However, no starchiness is required for sushi cooking. Place the sushi rice in a mesh strainer and rinse it in cold water until the water comes out clear and not brownish.
  • Measure the water proportion–use the same quantity of water for each cup of rice. For example, two glasses of water for two cups of rice.
  • Boiling the rice-Boil the rice according to the package directions. Sushi rice normally takes around 20 minutes to cook, but every label is different.
  • white vinegar to your cooked rice-Originally, this sort of rice is prepared using a special type of vinegar created from rice, but white vinegar may always be used (albeit the flavor will be somewhat different). After the rice has finished cooking, add a vinegar, sugar, and salt combination. Make careful to coat the rice completely with this mixture. Allow the pot to cool for 5 minutes before covering with a cold towel.Always include rice vinegar.
  • Cool the rice-Before beginning any dish that calls for this sort of rice, ensure that it has completely cooled. If not, this starchy, short-grain rice will not be sticky and will not keep its form.
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Basmati Rice

Basmati rice is a long-grain Indian rice with a fragrant aroma, chewy texture, and nutty taste. While not the best option for risotto, Basmati is the healthiest of all white rice varieties since it is gluten-free (low carbohydrate content) and contains 8 amino acids, including the important amino acid methionine.

This nutritious substitute is ideal for fried rice, paella, rice pudding, and pilaf. When shopping for this product, make sure you obtain the genuine Basmati rice, since there are many imitations that are not the real thing.

How To Always Cook The Perfect Basmati Rice

The most essential thing I learnt when cooking with my family’s top traditional cooks is to always prepare your ingredients before beginning any recipes or meals.

This manner, all of your components will be in front of you, and you will never forget anything that is required for the recipe or meal.

  • Put your rice in a dish of cold water and wash it with your hand to remove any extra starch. Repeat this procedure until the water is no longer murky and brown.
  • It takes 15 minutes. Your rice will be light and fluffy, ready to use in any recipe.Bring the broth to a boil, then remove from the heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with an airtight lid, and let it to simmer for 10 minutes.Put your rice in cold water–The most frequent error I’ve seen people do is putting their rice in boiling water, pumpkin soup, or chicken broth. Place the rice in cold water.
  • Season your Basmati rice–Because this rice has a bland flavor, I like to add some butter and saffron to the boiling pot for a rich flavor. If you wish to enhance the nutty flavor of the Basmati rice, sprinkle a little amount of nutmeg on top.

Pearl Barley

Pearled barley is a grain with a nutty flavor and a solid texture. Because of its creamy smoothness when cooked, this may be an ideal rice alternative, particularly for risotto rice.

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Pearled barley is a polished grain that has been treated. Because barley loses its natural fiber and bran layer during processing and polishing, it is less nutritious and is not regarded a full bran.

When replacing rice with this grain, be sure you purchase pearled barley. Other varieties of barley will not work since they have not been treated and hence retain their bran layers, making it difficult to achieve the creamy texture of risotto.

Pearl Barley Recipes

  • Dish of pearl barley risotto This Italian rice dish may simply be converted into a barley dish. All you have to do is replace the Arborio (rice for risotto) with barley. The remainder of the recipe is almost same.
  • Fresh barley salad-Add a cup of cooked pearl barley to any salad to make it more filling. Make it more special by topping it with white cheese and fresh green peppers. Barley has a moderate flavor that will not overpower the taste of the veggies.
  • Roast chicken with barley-If you’re tired of the traditional roast chicken and rice, try mixing in some barley with fresh herbs and a splash of lemon juice.
  • Rice with barley and herbs from the province- Boil your rice and

Brown Rice

Brown rice is made from entire grains. This indicates that the rice has not been processed and hence retains its high nutritional content, fibers, vitamins, minerals, and bran layer. As a result, brown rice is the best rice in the world. Of course, every whole-grain product has a little inconvenient preparation procedure.

How To Prepare Brown Rice

  • Rinse the rice-This will remove the starch from the rice and make it less sticky and mushy.
  • Double the quantity of water–use two cups of water for every cup of rice.
  • Boil the rice-Bring your brown rice to a boil in a combination of water and oil. When the water begins to boil, turn the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid for approximately an hour.
  • Allow it to rest-After an hour, remove the pot from the heat and leave the rice to rest while still covered with the lid.
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Carnaroli Rice

Carnaroli rice is grown in France’s Lombardy and Piedmont regions and is quite similar to Arborio rice.

Carnaroli rice is a short-grain rice that is renowned as the caviar of rice because it enhances the flavor of delicious risotto dishes.


Farro refers to three ancient wheat varieties: farro piccolo (einkorn wheat), farro medium (emmer), and farro grande (spelt). They may all be used as substitutes for this rice.


Quinoa is a well-known superfood in today’s globe. This is a high-protein grain with 8 necessary amino acids.

I often promote Quinoa as a rice alternative, not because of the similarities between the two, but because of its nutritional richness and many health advantages.

[Related Article: Buying Guide For The 5 Best Stainless Steel Rice Cookers]

Bulgur Wheat

Bulgur is a whole wheat grain that is used to make pilafs, soups, casseroles, meatloaf, or you may cook it with some cumin and have a nutritious and healthy supper for your family.

Bulgur requires little cooking since it has already been parboiled or steamed. Cooking time for this nutritious grain is less than 20 minutes.


Is a spherical granule composed of semolina and wheat flour. The nicest part about couscous is that it is simple to cook.

I make an excellent Tabouleh salad by simply heating a cup of water, adding a cup of couscous to the water, and leaving it to rest for 5 minutes with a cover on a turned-off burner, until all the water is absorbed.

To obtain that zesty flavor, I add my favorite vegetables like tomato, cucumber, and peppers, followed by raisins, fresh mint, and, of course, lemon juice.

Related Questions

What Can Be Substituted For Arborio Rice

Arborio rice may be substituted with sushi rice, barley, brown rice, or Basmati rice.

Do You Need A Special Rice For Risotto

Yes, the original risotto recipe calls for Arborio rice, but if you don’t have any, you may substitute any sort of rice or an Italian rice variety.

Is Risotto Rice The Same As Pudding Rice

Although they are not the same kind, they are quite close. They both have a high starch content, which permits them to be sticky and creamy. Arborio rice works well in rice pudding recipes.

Can I Make Risotto Without Wine

Yes. You may prepare risotto without wine, but it will be less fragrant and savory than with wine. You may replace the wine with a blend of vodka and some type of acid if you want.

Can I Use Sushi Rice For Risotto

Yes. This Japanese type works well in any risotto dish.


What is the best rice to replace risotto rice?

Farro, on the other hand, is prized by contemporary cooks for its nutty flavor, which gives a typical risotto a flavor boost. If you like a creamier texture, use pearled farro instead of Arborio rice.

Can you use regular rice instead of Arborio rice for risotto?

Purists who only use arborio rice may be surprised, but conventional long-grain rice works great in this risotto. In this recipe, you may use as little as 4 cups or as much as 6 cups broth. If you don’t want your risotto runny, use a lower quantity. If you like your risotto to be soupier, add extra stock.

What makes a perfect risotto?

5 Risotto Cooking Tips
Make use of high-quality ingredients. Good outcomes begin with high-quality components.
Use the appropriate rice in the appropriate pan.
Warm stock should be used.
Stir, stir, and stir some more.
Don’t skimp on the butter or Parmesan.

What rice not to use for risotto?

Certain varieties of rice simply cannot be used to make risotto. Avoid basmati, jasmine, and any other long-grain rice varieties. Long-grain rice, unlike the kinds described above, does not have enough starch to form the trademark risotto cream.

What is the best rice for Italian risotto?

Carnaroli rice, often known as “king” or “caviar” rice, is reputed to yield the creamiest risotto. It is the favored rice in the majority of Italian areas. Vialone Nano is a renowned cultivar native to the Veneto.

Is basmati rice OK for risotto?

Is basmati rice suitable for risotto? Yes, basmati rice may be used to make risotto. Because of its lower glycemic index, the texture will be less creamy and starchy than arborio rice, but it’s a terrific healthier choice.

What if I don’t have Arborio rice for risotto?

Farro, quinoa, couscous, oats—as long as it becomes creamy after a few minutes on the burner, it may be a good alternative for risotto. That’s fantastic news if, like me, you live someplace where arborio is difficult to obtain at the grocery.

Why is it necessary to use Arborio rice to make risotto?

Arborio rice, named after the municipality of Arborio in the northern Italian province of Piedmont, is rich in amylopectin starch, which gives risotto its creamy texture.

What is the ratio of rice to water for risotto?

Servings: When it comes to risotto, a decent rule of thumb is a 3:1 ratio. That is 3 cups liquid for 1 cup rice. If you follow this guideline, your risotto will be flawless every time since the rice is done when all of the liquid has been absorbed. What exactly is this?

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