Skip to Content

Lemon and Prawn Risotto with Chilli

Lemon and prawn risotto cooked traditionally with lots of succulent shrimp topped with sautéed prawns cooked in butter, parsley & chilli.

Cooking risotto is easy, but it can’t be rushed, take your time and this wonderfully creamy dish is ready to serve in around 45 minutes (including prep).

Lemon and prawn risotto with chilli and parsley.

Zingy Lemon and Shrimp Risotto

My love of risotto is hardly hidden under a bushel here on my site. Likewise, my enjoyment of seafood is well-represented.

As a result, the only surprise is that it took this long for a prawn risotto recipe to appear here.

This one contains the same classic flavours that I use in my squid ink pasta with shrimp recipe. Some things do not need to be messed with!

Just like my salmon risotto, leek and mushroom risotto, smoked haddock risotto and roasted butternut squash risotto, this recipe uses classic risotto-making techniques. Even my left-field versions like this black pudding risotto use the same technique!

I’ll not labour over my thoughts but other than to say that the “best” risotto comes from using the following methodology.

  • Fry Rice.
  • Add a little wine and stir
  • Add a little stock and stir.
  • Sip wine.
  • Repeat until rich and luscious, both you and the rice!
Close-up overhead lemon and prawn risotto with chilli and parsley.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between prawns and shrimp?

Scientifically there is a difference, however in culinary terms they are used interchangeably in most instances.

Shrimp often gets used in the US and Canada whereas in English-speaking Europe and Australia, they will be referred to as prawns.

What size prawns do you use?

This recipe uses prawns sized 16-20, which refers to the average number of prawns per pound.

You refer to using the shell and head of the prawns, what does this do?

This adds lots more flavour to the stock, it is a bonus, if you have shelled prawns don’t worry about it.

Can I use frozen prawns?

Yes absolutely, I almost exclusively use frozen prawns.

I never bother defrosting them the night before either. I place them in a sieve or colander and run them under cold water for 5-7 minutes whilst I am preparing the vegetables.

Do you remove the “vein” from the prawns?

Sometimes, it depends on how large and visible they are. Some people are “icky” about them, but there are no health hazards in eating the vein and in larger prawns, they can be gritty.

I don’t like butterflying prawns, as a result, if I am removing the vein I will use a pin, slide it under the vein, pull it out a little and then remove it with tweezers.

Overhead lemon and prawn risotto with chilli and parsley.

Serving Suggestions

I think that risotto is the perfect one-bowl meal and this spicy prawn number is no different.

Having said that I have a weakness for adding a bit of bread on the side.

I personally prefer a little bit of focaccia, I’ve been making this soft potato focaccia a lot recently and it works a treat.

However, my wife usually asks for garlic bread, and who am I to argue?

Close-up lemon and prawn risotto with chilli and parsley.

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But, if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Hob or stovetop.
  • 17-18cm or 7″ saucepan for stock.
  • 28cm or 11″ frying pan.
  • 20cm or 8″ saucepan for sautéeing prawns.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Weighing scales and or a combination of measuring jug, cups and spoons.
  • Ladle.
  • Stirring and serving spoons.
Spicy lemon and prawn risotto topped with sautéed shrimp with parsley and chilli.
Yield: 2 Servings

Spicy Lemon and Prawn Risotto Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

A classic prawn risotto is the comfort food that dreams are made of for me, this one is light and zingy with chilli and lemon!


  • 350g (12 oz) Prawns
  • 125g (⅔ Cup) Risotto Rice
  • 35g (⅓ Cup) Celery
  • 1 Small (35g) Banana Shallot
  • 1 Medium Hot Red Chilli Pepper
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Lemon
  • 500-650ml (2-2½ Cups) Fish Stock
  • 125ml (½ Cup) White Wine
  • Salt to Taste
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 35g (2 Tbsp + 1 Tsp) Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Parsley


  1. If your prawns have the head and shell on remove them and place them in a small 17cm (7") saucepan with the fish stock, if not don't worry and gently heat it over a low-medium heat whilst you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  2. Have a taste of the stock and season with salt as needed.
  3. Roughly chop all but 6 of the prawns, we will use these as garnish later.
  4. Dice the celery as finely as you can.
  5. Cut the shallot in half, peel it then dice it as finely as you can.
  6. Peel and dice the garlic cloves as small as you can.
  7. Remove the stem and seeds from the chilli pepper and dice it as small as you can.
  8. Zest the lemon and cut it in half.
  9. Heat a wide-based 28cm or 11" frying pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the celery and shallots and cook without colouring for 4-5 minutes.
  10. Add the garlic and half of the chilli, stir for 30 seconds, then add the rice. Stir continuously for 2-3 minutes, the edges of the rice should become opaque.
  11. Add the white wine and stir until almost all of the wine has evaporated or absorbed. You should end up with an almost milky residue in the base of the pan.
  12. Add a ladle of the hot fish stock (strained of the shells if you used them) and stir again until almost all of the stock has been absorbed and you have a similar white starchy residue in the base of the pan.
  13. Repeat this process until the rice is very nearly cooked, and when you have just 1 ladle of the stock to go in add the chopped prawns and squeeze in the lemon juice. Again stir continuously whilst this last bit of stock cooks out and you have a nice wet risotto.
  14. Remove the pan from the heat and cover it with a lid or some foil and allow it to sit for 3-4 minutes.
  15. Whilst the risotto is resting heat a small 20cm or 8" frying pan over a medium high heat and add the butter.
  16. When the butter begins to foam add the prawns, lemon zest, the remaining chilli, parsley and a pinch of salt and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  17. Serve the risotto in the bowl, add the prawns and drizzle of the butter mix.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 659Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 410mgSodium: 2584mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 51g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Skip to Recipe