Meyer Lemon Risotto

Meyer Lemon Risotto ~ it’s light, bright, unexpected, and naturally gluten free. The sweet tart Meyer lemon gives this risotto a vibrant boost.

Meyer lemon Risotto in a white bowl

It’s the height of Meyer Lemon season right now, so if you’re ever going to find them, now’s the time. The variety is a cross between a lemon and either a mandarin or navel orange; the exact origin is still a mystery. The reason you don’t see them very often in supermarkets is because they have a fine, thin skin that doesn’t ship well. All the more reason to grab them if you see them. They are a little sweeter, a little more orange colored, and a lot more juicy than regular lemons. They have a fantastic, complex floral flavor.

The key to making an easy breezy risotto is prepping all your ingredients beforehand. Grate your cheese, measure out your wine and lemon juice, heat your stock in a pan right next to your risotto pot. The rice should be kept at a low simmer the entire time it’s cooking, this way the stock will absorb at the proper rate. A silicone spatula works well for stirring and keeping the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

I almost always engineer my risottos as main dishes. I figure if you’re gong to stand over the stove and stir a pot for 30 minutes you might as well get dinner out of the deal. But in this case I don’t want any other ingredients to distract you from the pure delight of Meyer Lemons. So this could be a light lunch, or a side dish to go with just about anything.

Other risotto recipes to try ~

  • Instant Pot Rosé Risottos

  • Spring Green Risotto

  • Cheddar Cheese and Fresh Sage Risotto

    5 from 4 votes

    Meyer Lemon Risotto

    Course dinner, pasta
    Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
    Author Sue Moran


    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 2 shallots peeled and minced
    • 1 cup arborio rice
    • 1/3 cup dry white wine or sherry
    • 1/3 cup fresh Meyer Lemon juice about 3-4 lemons
    • 4 cups chicken stock plus 2 cups water
    • 1 1/2 oz finely grated Parmesan cheese about 1 cup
    • 3 oz Marscapone cheese about 1/3 of an 8 oz container
    • salt and fresh cracked black pepper
    • garnish:
    • lemon zest
    • parsley


    • Heat the chicken stock and water in a saucepan on the stove. It should be hot but not boiling.
    • Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot. Sauce the shallots on low to medium heat for about 5 minutes. Do not let them brown.
    • Add the rice to the pot and stir to coat. Toast the rice for a minute, stirring constantly.
    • Turn the heat to medium and add in the wine or Sherry and let it sizzle down, stirring constantly.
    • Add in the lemon juice, and when it has been incorporated add in the first ladle of hot stock. If your ladle is small, add two ladles at a time. Stir until each addition of stock has been absorbed into the rice, and the sauce is thick, before you add another. The risotto should be at a constant low simmer.
    • Keep adding the stock and stirring. You may not need all the stock. Taste the rice after about 20 to 25 minutes of cooking. When the rice is tender, stop adding stock, you may not need all of it.
    • Turn off the heat and add the cheeses. Mix well to melt and combine the cheese into the risotto.
    • Add salt and pepper to your taste.
    • Serve with a garnish of lemon zest and parsley
    The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Meyer Lemon Risotto ~ it's light, bright, unexpected, and naturally gluten free.  The sweet tart Meyer lemon gives the risotto a vibrant boost. #risotto #rice #glutenfree #vegetarian #lemon #recipe #easy #Italian #authentic #mediterranean #dinner #sidedish

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  • Reply
    Ansh| Spiceroots
    February 14, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    I can eat that bowl of Risotto and not look up even once ! Looks incredinly delicious! So glad to have found your blog~

  • Reply
    Adam J. Holland
    February 15, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Excellent dish! Meyer Lemons (Citrus limon X C. sinensis) is a natural cross between a sour lemon and sweet orange. The fruit likely originated in China, where it was discovered about 100 years ago by Frank Meyer, an agricultural explorer on assignment for the U.S. government. Meyer also discovered (and brought back) Centipede grass, which is very common in southern landscapes.

  • Reply
    shannon weber
    February 5, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    i’ve never made a Meyer lemon version, but i have a regular lemon version similar to this (except with veggies) that is probably my favorite risotto ever; i think about it and always end up making it because it won’t leave my mind. yours is so pretty (and now i need to go grab some Meyer lemons!)

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    February 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    what a delightful beautiful and refreshing meal all in itself! Yes i could see it as a side but I also love it so much I would eat it all by itself

  • Reply
    Mary Younkin
    February 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    You can make a risotto look better than anyone else! This sounds delicious. Absolutely main dish worthy to me!

  • Reply
    From Beyond My Kitchen Window
    February 5, 2013 at 2:06 am

    I can almost taste this. It looks so creamy and delicious. The Meyer lemons must be a little easier to find in California.

  • Reply
    belleau kitchen
    February 4, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    and I just realised we must have been writing on each others blogs at the same time just now…. freaaaaaaky!

  • Reply
    belleau kitchen
    February 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    you know I bet a dash of pernod would work well here too… this is stunning, I love how creamy it is and I never realised what a Meyer Lemon was… it sounds divine, we don’t really get them here in the UK. Fab post x

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    February 4, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Oh wow, Sue, so creamy and I bet the sherry/wine, the lemons, the creamy cheese – that is all is just so perfect together!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ saving room for dessert
    February 4, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    I can never find Meyer Lemons 🙁 and have tried for years. I have asked in our stores, etc. But ask me for lunch and I’ll come! Risotto is also something I’ve never made. Which one of your fabulous recipes will I make first?

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