Main Course/ Recipes/ Seafood

Seafood Risotto

Friday afternoon I was driving from my house to Adam’s new house. I had a bag full of groceries in my car so I could make us this seafood risotto for dinner. So, I’m driving down the interstate, listening to Jason Aldean’s new album on Spotify when I pass In & Out Burger on the side of the road.

Suddenly, nothing in life sounded as good as a fast food hamburger…the type of thing I eat probably only once a year on a road trip. The type of thing that sits in your belly for what feels like days. I know you know exactly what I’m talking about, let’s be real.

I immediately pulled off at the next exit and made a whip around so I could get one, Jason blasting in the background. And let me tell you—it was every bit as delicious as I had imagined it to be in my mind. The key is the sauce!! The In & Out sauce is top notch people. And don’t tell me how it’s made—I don’t even want to know.

After chasing my burger with my yerba mate and destroying all evidence, I continued on to Adam’s house and made this risotto.

Don’t worry. I’m not pregnant—I’m just hungry.

That was weird.

I’ll just say that as delicious as that burger was, I semi-regretted it three hours later when I was a hot sweaty mess on the floor doing abs in yoga class.

Note to self: as a yoga teacher, I probably won’t encourage my students to eat fast food hamburgers three hours before coming to power yoga.

But then I went home and ate this risotto with a glass of Chardonnay and suddenly everything in life made sense again.

If you’ve ever ordered seafood risotto out at a fancy restaurant and wished it could be just that easy to make at home, well guess what? It totally can! Risotto is time consuming but not difficult. In fact, I find standing over a pot of risotto with a wooden spoon in hand, slowly stirring after each addition of stock almost meditative. When else can you completely zone out while cooking?

I used a combination of lump crab meat, bay scallops and shrimp in this, but feel free to omit one or the other if you desire.

I couldn’t resist this plump asparagus from the market the other day! We’ve had such a warm winter here in California that asparagus season is coming about a month early and I’m not complaining! Both the warm weather and the plump early asparagus are just fiiiiiiine with me.

I sliced these bad boys up, quickly blanched them, and then tossed them into the finished dish as well.

The final touch was a big squeeze of lemon, a handful of Parmesan cheese and some fresh minced parsley.

Next time you have a risotto craving…try this! And next time you have a fast food burger craving, try yoga! Amen.

Seafood Risotto

serves 4

Print this recipe!


1 cup arborio rice (risotto rice)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup dry white wine (like Chardonnay)

4 cups fish or seafood stock

1/2 6.5oz can lump crab meat

1/2 lb bay scallops

1/2 lb peeled and deveined shrimp, tails removed

1 small bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut on a diagonal into 1.5″ pieces

1 lemon

1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, minced

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and saute for about three minutes, until soft. Add the rice and toss to coat each kernel with oil.

Add the white wine to the pot and stir. Cook until all the wine has been absorbed—about three minutes.

Now, add the stock—a quarter cup at a time—stirring after each addition and not adding any more until the previous addition has been completely absorbed. It will take about 45 minutes to complete this step but don’t skip it! It will ensure you completely creamy, restuarant-style risotto.

Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for two minutes then drain and run over with cold water. Set aside.

After all the stock has been absorbed into the risotto, turn off the heat. Heat a teaspoon more oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat and add the scallops and shrimp. Quickly cook until the shrimp are pink and curled and the scallops are opaque in the center.

Add the shrimp, scallops and half a can of lump crab meat to the risotto, along with minced parsley, grated cheese and sliced asaparagus. Season with salt to taste. Serve each bowl of risotto with a big squeeze of lemon over top.


1.5 hours

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  • Jen
    February 27, 2012 at 3:31 am

    Great story! Is your yoga in San Fran or did you drive back home to get to it?

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    February 27, 2012 at 3:46 am

    From a burger to yerba mate, I love the story.

    I just bought some uber plump asparagus at the grocery store yesterday. It’s one of my faves.

    Great looking risotto, Jenna!

  • Joss
    February 27, 2012 at 3:50 am

    Amen to having that burger!

  • Vanessa @ Project Zen
    February 27, 2012 at 3:59 am

    I like thought of adding asparagus to a seafood risotto! Do you think pinot grigio would go great in risotto?

  • Cara Craves...
    February 27, 2012 at 4:37 am

    Looks divine!
    Can’t believe you have fresh asparagus this time of the year…I think I must wait another 4 months or so 🙁

  • Molly@RDexposed
    February 27, 2012 at 4:41 am

    My last In n Out burger never sat well with me. Maybe their magic wears off after your first experience?

  • Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten Free
    February 27, 2012 at 4:45 am

    As someone who is from the West Coast, In N Out is the best! The risotto looks delicious – my husband makes a similar seafood risotto with some fresh shrimp stock and seared scallops. So good!

  • Marnely Rodriguez
    February 27, 2012 at 4:55 am

    Love the addition of asparagus, looks fantastic!

  • Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau
    February 27, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Ugh, I know what you mean – I caved into McDonald’s yesterday and was best friends with the antacids yesterday evening.

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    February 27, 2012 at 5:03 am

    Haha don’t worry, if the In & Out Burger craving strikes when you’re a teacher, you don’t have to tell your students that you just you just ate one… well unless of course they see you there! This risotto sounds awesome! I’m trying calamari for the first time tomorrow (I know, I live a sheltered life!) and if I like it, I might use the rest to make this!

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
    February 27, 2012 at 5:36 am

    I never think to make risotto at home. It’s so easy but I think of it more as restaurant food. This looks awesome. Crab and scallops? Yes please!

  • claire!
    February 27, 2012 at 5:58 am

    Ahh, In and Out is the best. The. Best. It was our first stop when we vacationed in SF/wine country last summer. Also adding this seafood risotto to the recipe list….

  • jenna
    February 27, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Call me weird but I’m dying for this at 8 am!!!! This looks and sounds romantically perferect! Making this for dinner this week !

  • Urban Wife
    February 27, 2012 at 6:27 am

    This risotto sounds spectacular, even at 9:30am. Makes me wish I was standing over my stove right now, cooking it up. Have a great day!

  • Trey
    February 27, 2012 at 6:35 am

    This looks SO GOOD!! I can’t wait to make this. If there are two things I love, it’s shrimp and crab!! I’ve actually made seafood stock out of shrimp shells before. Can’t wait to make this!

  • Margarita
    February 27, 2012 at 6:37 am

    Love how real you are by giving in to burger temptation. This risotto looks delicious. I have never seen fish stock before, wonder if we have it in the frocerynstore here.

  • Margarita
    February 27, 2012 at 6:37 am

    Love how real you are by giving in to burger temptation. This risotto looks delicious. I have never seen fish stock before, wonder if we have it in the grocery stores in my area.

  • Caitlin @ Cake with Love
    February 27, 2012 at 7:03 am

    My mom always makes risotto using white wine it is so good!

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    February 27, 2012 at 7:04 am

    Haha…nothing like a good fast food burger craving…I’ve been having one as of late too! I’m still trying to decide which burger I want to sink my teeth into 😉

  • Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)
    February 27, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Fast food never sits well with me. When I was in high school I thought In-N-Out was the best, we’d always get it on our way back from Tahoe. I don’t think I’ve had it since 2009, and I’m pretty happy about that. 🙂

    Your risotto looks beautiful. Then again, what doesn’t that you make?

  • Bev Weidner
    February 27, 2012 at 7:24 am

    Yes please, yes please, yes please, yes please.

  • Cait's Plate
    February 27, 2012 at 7:34 am

    I don’t blame you at all for the In n Out burger pit stop. A meal totally worth regretting later while it’s sweating out your very pores during yoga. Haha.

    This dish looks fantastic – I’m always weary of risotto because I constantly hear how hard it is to get it right (cooked too long, it’s gummy, cooked too little it’s hard). But I agree, standing over the stove with only stirring to worry about for the most part doesn’t sound half bad to me!

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
    February 27, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Haha, this is such a real life post, love it! We all need a fast food burger every now and then. Especially when it’s followed by some awesome real food risotto 🙂

  • d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo
    February 27, 2012 at 8:04 am

    This looks wonderful! I was looking for a recipe like this when I had leftover fish stock that I made. I have a great recipe to make your own, super easy!

  • Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles
    February 27, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I have never had In N Out Burger, but I’ve heard tale… The wrong food before yoga can definitely be miserable later… Your risotto looks divine, however.

  • Jenny
    February 27, 2012 at 8:27 am

    If you’re ever in the Santa Barbara/Ventura area, you have to eat at The Habit I grew up in San Diego, and In N Out was a big deal, but now it’s the habit that I dream about. 🙂

  • Hilliary @Happily Ever Healthy
    February 27, 2012 at 9:02 am

    I am a huge fan of seafood and risotto! I need to make this!

  • Courtney@Translating Nutrition
    February 27, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I had a very similar In & Out experience yesterday. I couldn’t resist the pull of that burger from the highway. I’m in my native CA for a visit, and seriously the car just had a mind of its own 🙂 They are irresistible!

  • Amanda at the red table
    February 27, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Sometimes, a burger is the only thing that fits the bill! But sometimes, so is risotto. Looks fantastic!

  • Moni'sMeals
    February 27, 2012 at 10:13 am

    so funny! this looks so good..who would not love??

  • Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables
    February 27, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Seafood risotto is so so so good, can’t wait to try your version!

  • Jessica J
    February 27, 2012 at 10:40 am

    I love giving in to my craving for fast food burgers, but I hate how I feel later. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do though. That seafood risotto on the other hand? I wouldn’t feel an ounce of guilt for eating that! Yum!

  • joelle (on a pink typewriter)
    February 27, 2012 at 10:53 am

    There is NOTHING like In-N-Out (in terms of fast food burgers) – the best! Maybe you can feature a burger recipe on the blog sometime soon?

  • Deanna B.
    February 27, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I have an In n Out gift card that really wants to be used, but I’m saving it for when I have the craving that can not be denied. The risotto looks amazing.

  • Megan (Megan's Miles)
    February 27, 2012 at 11:47 am

    I don’t eat fast food, but I love In-N-Out and always go there when I visit my family in California. And this seafood risotto looks delicious! Definitely will try it soon!

  • Aylin @ Glow Kitchen
    February 27, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Great recipe! Looks so fresh and light. Thanks for sharing.

  • Maria
    February 27, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    You can’t go wrong with risotto!

  • Jules @ La Petite Maison Verte
    February 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    The risotto looks gorgeous but I’ll bet it tastes even better! I’m an east-coaster and don’t enjoy fast food in general BUT the last time I was in CA (about 3 years ago) I made it a point to stop at In & Out Burger and it didn’t disappoint! Wish we had them over here…or maybe it’s a good thing that the nearest one is in Dallas, TX- 1,163 miles away (yes, I Google-mapped it).

  • Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove
    February 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I’ve been trying to find the perfect risotto recipe and I think this is it! I can’t wait to try it (the photos look delicious!)!

  • meghan@ struggle muffins
    February 27, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Oh yum. Asparagus is so yummy in a risotto setting. So is seafood. Actually, every last bit of this sounds just magical. Loved your burger and yoga story – definitely been there before and wow – nothing can incentivize good eating habits like an impending power yoga class!

  • Mel @ Post Grad Mel
    February 27, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    I had In N Out for the first time in years this past week (I’m from Washington) while visiting NorCal! Holy yum…I got a grilled cheese though since I’m a vegetarian. It sounds like a lot of their ingredients are local and fresh- better then McDonalds any day!

  • Laurie {Simply Scratch}
    February 27, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    In-N-out? We don’t have those here… I’m so missing out… but I’ll take this risotto and the chardonnay!

  • Gillian
    February 28, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Sounds like the burger was worth the pain – I’ve never hit up an In-N-Out but only hear great things! And this risotto looks perfect for date night – I’ll have to make it soon!

  • Jacqueline@digintobooks
    February 28, 2012 at 7:01 am

    Hahaha, I love it! Anyone who can successfully cram yoga, a great burger, and seafood risotto into a day is a winner in my book. Looks delicious!

  • sushiqueen
    February 28, 2012 at 7:11 am

    I love Risotte, the only risotte I make is butternut squash and spinach rosotte. I would love to try this, looks fantastic, and crab meat in the tin is less expensive, and buying fresh crab and boiling and it’s so messy to get the crab meat out!

  • elizabeth @ chronic venture
    February 28, 2012 at 11:04 am

    i absolutely love cooking risotto, and seafood is one of my favorites!
    but every now and then, you do need that burger.

  • Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out
    February 28, 2012 at 11:48 am

    I also love making risotto because I, too, find it to be super meditative and almost therapuetic. Glad to know I’m not the only one!

    • Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out
      February 28, 2012 at 11:50 am

      (Also, risotto is the perfect “get a man” meal because it is so fancy and seems so difficult but really isn’t! I’m pretty sure I got my current boyfriend by making him risotto, haha)

  • Jess@recipesandrunning
    February 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Looks great! I remember a crab ravioli I love back home – this totally brought me some nostalgia!!

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
    February 28, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I have never been a fan of In and Out, but I can so relate! The risotto and Chardonay sound like the perfect way to end the day!

  • Laura @ She Eats Well
    February 28, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    That first photo is just gorgeous! I can smell it.

    Also, love love love the “I’m not pregnant” line. Ha!

  • Kristin @ thefreshfind
    February 28, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I love this post! Not only for the seafood risotto and the yoga… but Jason tops it off. He is my FAVORITE, I’ve seen him a couple times, and he never disappoints me!!! 🙂

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    THANK YOU! i just made this except instead of scallops a 1/4 lb of squid and I was unable to get fish broth so I used a vegetable broth / clam juice combination instead. Turned out amazing and you were right, incredibly relaxing to stir this for so long! Again, thanks for this awesome recipe it is not the last time I will use it!

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