Lobster Risotto


A small pinch of saffron goes a long way in imparting a vibrant golden hue and floral fragrance to this creamy, indulgent lobster risotto. Precooked lobster and bottled clam juice deliver robust layers of flavor with a minimum amount of effort, making this a perfect weeknight supper. Pair it with a bottle of white Bordeaux, recommends sommelier Tonya Pitts, of Les Dames D'Escoffier International, San Francisco. "I love white Bordeaux with this easy dish. It highlights the lobster and creaminess of the risotto, ultimately becoming intertwined with the flavor and textures."

Lobster Risotto
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 3 cups bottled clam juice (such as Bar Harbor)

  • 3 cups water

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

  • ½ cup cubed (1/8-inch pieces) carrot

  • ½ cup cubed (1/8-inch pieces) celery

  • 1 ½ cups uncooked Arborio rice

  • Pinch of best-quality saffron threads (such as Diaspora Co.)

  • ½ cup (4 ounce) dry white wine

  • 1 pound cooked lobster meat (such as Luke's Lobster) (about 3 cups)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup)

  • Sliced fresh chives, for garnish


  1. Cook clam juice and 3 cups water in a medium saucepan over medium-low, undisturbed, until steaming, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and keep warm.

  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add onion, carrot, and celery; cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add rice and saffron; cook, stirring constantly, until rice is toasted, about 1 minute. Add wine; cook, stirring often, until almost absorbed, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium.

  3. Add 1 cup hot clam juice mixture to rice mixture; cook, stirring often, until almost absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Continue adding clam juice mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until clam juice mixture is almost absorbed after each addition, until rice is al dente and mixture is creamy, 15 to 20 minutes.

  4. Remove rice mixture from heat; gently stir in lobster, salt, and pepper. Gradually stir in Parmesan. Stir in additional clam juice mixture, a splash at a time, to loosen risotto, if needed. Discard remaining clam juice mixture. Divide risotto evenly among 4 bowls; garnish with chives.

Suggested Pairing

Citrusy, supple white Bordeaux: Château de Fieuzal

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