3 Best Substitutes for White Wine in Risotto


Risotto is one of the best Italian foods that we can now enjoy in the comfort of our own homes. We don’t have to visit a restaurant or even go to Italy to try this creamy and comforting risotto. As long as you have the right ingredients, you can create your own homemade risotto in no time.

Risotto recipes call for white wine, in order to achieve that authentic Italian flavor. But what if you run out of white wine? It’s good to know that you can substitute white wine with chicken stock. There are other substitutes too, such as vegetable stock and red wine.

Best White Wine Substitutes for Risotto

We’ll show you why these suggestions are great substitutes for white wine in risottos.

1. Chicken Stock

If you prefer your risotto to not have any traces of alcohol, chicken stock is the way to go. You can make homemade chicken stock and store it in the freezer for future use.

There are lots of recipes for chicken stock online.

If you don’t have time to make chicken stock from scratch, there are lots of ready-made chicken stock products available in grocery stores. For a healthier option, go for the organic ones or the ones with a lower sodium content.

How To Substitute

Risotto’s key flavors involve a bit of acidity, creaminess, and richness. To replicate the acidity, simply add a squeeze of lime juice into a cup of chicken stock.

Substitute the regular water required for risotto with chicken stock (with a bit of added lime or lemon juice). You don’t have to match the same volumes, since alcohol evaporates when cooked and only leaves its flavor behind. You’re pretty much just replacing the regular water with chicken stock instead.

2. Vegetable Stock

If you’re following a vegan or vegetarian diet, don’t worry because we have another alternative for you. Vegan stock can be used as a substitute for white wine in creamy risottos.

Again, you can opt for making your own vegetable stock (and save it for future use), or you can buy a packet as it’s readily available in grocery stores.

Vegetable stock is healthier than chicken stock, since it has more nutritional value and less sodium – this makes it perfect for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

How To Substitute

To substitute vegetable stock for wine in a risotto, just follow the same instructions as for chicken stock. Just remember to add a squeeze of juice from any citrus fruit to provide that hint of acidity (such as lemon, lime, or even an unripe orange). A squeeze per cup of vegetable stock is enough.

Be careful not to add to much citrus juice as it may overwhelm the flavor. Just add a little at first, and if you need more acidity then just add another squeeze.

3. Red Wine

Red Wine

Red wine in risotto has the same effect as white wine. It’s just that red wine has a more powerful taste, aroma, and color. So, expect that you will have a darker but richer risotto.

What you need from the flavor is still achieved, including the natural acidity, so you don’t need to add any citrus fruit juice.

How To Substitute

It’s a simple substitution, just follow the ratio of 1:1 to perfectly achieve the authenticity of its flavor. You can also reduce the amount of red wine if you don’t want your risotto to be too dark.

Maybe pick a red wine that is lighter in color, and then you can stick with the 1:1 ratio for substitution.

The type of red wine doesn’t really matter – just use whatever you have in your kitchen.

How About No Substitution?

If you’re not a purist, you don’t need to add white wine (or even any of the suggested replacements) to risotto.

You can still achieve a creamy, yummy risotto without it. So, if you are trying to avoid alcohol or just don’t want it in your food, you can simply do away with it.

Here’s a risotto recipe that has no alcohol.

Wine-Free Risotto Recipe


  • 350 grams of risotto rice
  • 1.3 liters of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 4 large portobello mushrooms
  • 12 grams of dried portobello mushrooms
  • 25g of butter
  • 3 tbsp of parsley
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish


  1. In a large pan, sauté the onions in olive oil for about 5 minutes over a low heat. Sauté until translucent, then add the garlic and butter and cook for another minute or two.
  2. Then add the chopped portobello mushrooms and sauté. Increase the heat to medium and let them cook for about 4-5 minutes or until tender.
  3. In a separate large pot, heat up your stock over medium heat and add the dried mushrooms. Stir the mushrooms well until they are rehydrated.
  4. Once the dried mushrooms are cooked well, add in the risotto rice, salt, and pepper and mix well.
  5. Turn down the heat before covering with a lid. Cook the risotto until it has absorbed most of the stock (about 25 minutes). Give it an occasional stir to incorporate the stock.
  6. Then add the sautéed mushrooms. Garnish with chopped parsley and parmesan cheese.


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