Difference Between Rice and Risotto (With Table)

Rice is a plain, boiled food item, and risotto is made with a specific kind of rice grain. Both are prepared with rice, but even though they have the same main ingredient, they differ from each other a lot. Their preparation process and recipe are poles apart. They do not share any similarities apart from the same grain, the rice.

Rice vs Risotto

The difference between rice and risotto is that rice is a grain that gets boiled to be cooked, and risotto is a type of dish that is made with rice. Rice requires other veg or non-veg dishes as it is plain and can not be eaten without another dish. But risotto contains many components that make it very tasty.

Rice is the most eaten food in the whole world. Boiled rice is the simplest and basic dish made from rice grain, and it can be converted to other dishes by adding a host of ingredients. Rice needs other side dishes to eat with.

Risotto is a rice-based Italian dish that has a proper recipe containing the use of several ingredients. This dish is supposed to be creamy, and so one should not rinse the rice before cooking as that starch of the rice will get washed away.

Comparison Table Between Rice and Risotto

Parameters of ComparisonRiceRisotto
Cooking method Rice is made by boiling in water.Risotto is prepared with sauteed veggies and stock.
Used rice typeAny kind of rice can be simply cooked by boiling.Risotto is traditionally made with Arborio rice.
ProcessRice grains just need to be boiled to make steamed rice.Risotto has a long recipe with several ingredients.
BrothThe broth is not required to make rice.The broth is one of the main ingredients of risotto.
Complemented bySteamed rice needs other sides to be eaten with.Risotto is a complete dish on its own.

What is Rice?

Rice is harvested as an annual plant. It is a grain that can be used to prepare varied types of dishes. Boiled rice is a type of food times that gets called rice too. Any kind of rice can be used to make boiled or steamed rice. Only water is needed to cook rice, and it can be enjoyed with any other side dish, veg or non-veg. It can be consumed as a main course.

Rice is a staple food for the whole world. It is very healthy and keeps you in shape. It is a great source of zinc and manganese. Its nutritious values are useful, and humans are recommended to consume 170g to 200g per day.

To cook rice, first, you need to rinse it and soaked it. It is generally believed that water should be double the amount of rice. Steamed rice does not need other ingredients, but other ingredients get mixed with it and prepare a new dish.

What is Risotto?

Risotto is an infamous rice dish. This special food item has had its origin in northern Italy. It is prepared with sauteed veggies and broth. Overall the dish is a creamy consistency. The broth used in risotto can be made from meat, fish, or even vegetables if you want to keep the dish vegetarian.

You can also add butter, onion, parmesan cheese, and white wine if you like. The original recipe also includes saffron in the ingredients for its traditional yellow colour. This dish is open for experiments, and one can also try to add mushrooms and get further creative with the ingredients. Risotto is a very common way to cook rice, and it is served before the main course.

Short grained rice types are best suited for this dish. Long rice grains do not get sticky, and thus they are not the best fit for risotto. Many types of rice grains can be used to cook this, but Arborio is the most used and common rice type for risotto. Some other kinds of rice that can be used are Roma, Carnaroli, Baldo and Maratelli.

Main Differences Between Rice and Risotto

  1. Rice can be easily made by just boiling it with water. However, risotto is a complicated dish that needs much more ingredients to be made traditionally.
  2. Streamed rice can be prepared effortlessly with any kind of rice grain, whereas risotto is specially made with a specific kind of rice named, Arborio.
  3. Rice is a simple dish that needs no additional ingredients. Steamed rice is cooked just by using boiled water. Additional ingredients can be used, such as peas or cumin etc., to give it an enhanced taste. But generally, as a part of a daily meal, it does not retain any other ingredient. But risotto, on the other hand, needs several ingredients to be prepared according to its recipe. It is not a simple dish. It is a dish that can not be made without any additional hazards. Risotto needs sauteed veggies and stock as its main ingredient. One can use chicken as well in order to make it more exotic, with various flavours joining hands together to treat your taste buds.
  4. Rice is eaten worldwide, and every country eats rice in their meals. But risotto is a distinct Italian dish. It is not world-famous, and not many people are aware of this dish and its recipe.
  5. The broth is not one of the ingredients of rice as it does not require any sort of ingredients, whereas risotto needs broth to enrich its taste.
  6. Boiled rice needs other dishes to eat with, while on the other hand, risotto does not need any side dish as it acquires a very rich taste due to its varied ingredients.


Rice and risotto both are dishes made with rice. The preparation method and ingredients differ from each other, and the ingredients are the factor that makes these two rice dishes distinct. Rice is a basic dish that can be made in few minutes and can be enjoyed with other spicy dishes. But risotto takes a longer time and attention to be cooked, unlike boiled rice. Rice can be eaten every day, but risotto can not be consumed on a daily basis. This Italian dish can be enjoyed on a special occasion, but boiled rice, being a basic food item, should be a part of our daily diet.


  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2054270414562986
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814615006019
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