Cacio e Pepe Risotto

I remember when I first made risotto years ago (before I really knew how to cook) and it was a disaster to say the least. It was overcooked, bland and really just bad. But, I love risotto, so I tried again and again and now, it's one of my favourite recipes to cook. I love the somewhat monotonous stirring that takes your attention. It forces you to focus on what you're doing and pay attention and for me, that's the enjoyable part. I've tried lots of different versions of risotto over the years, but when I keep it fairly simple, like in this cacio e pepe risotto it really produces the best results. I hope you love this risotto cacio e pepe version as much as I do.

cacio e pepe risotto


  • Arborio rice
  • Chicken broth (or vegetable broth to keep it vegetarian)
  • Dry white wine (optional, if you don't have it or don't want to use it, just use more broth)
  • Shallot
  • Garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Butter
  • Mascarpone (or cream cheese, or crème fraîche)
  • Parmesan (freshly grated is best)
  • Fresh ground black pepper
ingredients laid out

How to Make cacio e pepe risotto

Making any risotto is fairly easy, you really just have to pay attention., and don't overcook the rice. After about 15 minutes, you should be checking it to see if it's done, it shouldn't take longer than 20 minutes to cook.

Start by setting aside a small pot of chicken broth on the stove over medium-low heat to keep it warm. Although I've heard it doesn't matter if you add chicken broth from the fridge, it's still a habit for me to warm it up - it's your call.

Next, heat up a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Then cook your shallot for a few minutes and then add the garlic. Toss in the rice and toast it for a few minutes and then deglaze with the wine (if using) or use broth.

Now is the fun part, add in the chicken broth 1/2 cup at a time and keep stirring. Stir until the broth has been soaked up by the rice and then add more, until the rice is cooked through.

Fold in the parmesan, butter and mascarpone (off the heat) and stir to combine. Season with salt and add lots of fresh ground pepper.

parmesan added to risotto

Divide into bowls and serve with lemon wedges and a drizzle more of olive oil. Enjoy immediately!

cacio e pepe risotto


  • Keep stirring! It's important that you don't let the risotto sit for too long without stirring, otherwise you risk burning it.
  • Add broth as needed. Once the broth has been absorbed, add another 1/2 cup at a time until cooked through. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't go too long without adding more liquid.
  • Taste test along the way. Risotto doesn't take too long to cook and I find I used to overcook it and then it was mushy. Start tasting it around the 15 minute mark to see when it's done.
  • Remove the risotto once it's done cooking. It will continue cooking in the pot, so it's best to move it to a large bowl to stop it from cooking anymore.
cacio e pepe risotto


  • Arborio rice: although I suggest using arborio as it's easy to find, you can also make this with carnaroli or Vialone Nano. I have also used farro as well which is not gluten-free, but is a delicious option - check out my farro risotto with mushrooms here!
  • Dairy-free: you can omit the butter, mascarpone and parmesan if you need to. I would replace the parmesan with nutritional yeast or a vegan parmesan cheese that you like. As for the butter, replace with a vegan butter. You can omit the mascarpone, or use a dairy-free cream cheese if you'd like.
  • No wine: omit the white wine and just use more broth.
  • Chicken broth: feel free to keep it vegetarian and use vegetable broth instead.
cacio e pepe risotto

More Dinner Recipes

If you love this cacio e pepe risotto, check out these dinner recipes too!

I hope you enjoy this easy, flavour packed cacio e pepe risotto as much as I do.

If you make this cacio e pepe risotto please share with me, by tagging me on Instagram or leave a comment and/or review below. I truly love seeing and hearing form you!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only share products and services I have personally used and love. Disclosure here.

Cacio e Pepe Risotto

One of my favourite recipes to cook has to be risotto. And I love this cacio e pepe risotto version because let's face it - what could be better than creamy rice, lots of parm and black pepper.



  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 medium sized shallot, finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup finely grated fresh parmesan, plus extra shaved for topping
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone
  • 2 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (to taste, but you want a lot!)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  1. Set a small pot on the stove over low heat and pour in the chicken broth to keep warm.
  2. Heat a large dutch oven over medium-low heat and drizzle in the olive oil. Once warm, add the shallot and sauté for two minutes, stirring often until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Pour in the rice and toast, stirring often for two to three minutes. Season with a good pinch of kosher salt.
  4. Deglaze the pot with white wine and cook, stirring often until the wine is absorbed and cooked off, about two to three minutes.
  5. Start pouring in the chicken broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently until the rice absorbs the liquid and then continue adding more until the rice is cooked through, about 18 to 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the dutch oven from the heat and add in the parmesan, mascarpone and butter and stir to incorporate. Add the black pepper and stir.
  7. Divide into bowls and top with more shaved parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil and lemon wedges. Season with salt to taste.


Let's be friends...

Comment Below

Did you love this? Let us know!

Thanks for contributing to our community! Your comment will appear shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Be the first to comment on this recipe