Risotto with Grilled Corn

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Buon giorno!

I love all types of risotto! But—if I could share only one risotto recipe with you this year it would be RISOTTO WITH GRILLED CORN. This is the one, folks!

Why? This risotto just hits all the marks with me. It is easy. You can grill your corn ahead, if you want to. It is the creamiest risotto I have had, and for some unknown reason, it is fun to make. The flavor is mild, smooth, and sweet with the natural sugars in the corn breaking through when charred. It is just a beautiful risotto in every way – one that is different and unexpected. We LOVE it at our house!

Serving: It is great on its own as a meal in itself. Even so, it provides a great platform for things like roasted or grilled shrimp – which might be my personal favorite way to serve it. Pan seared sea scallops are delicious with it as well.

Rules are made to be broken—well sometimes: With this risotto, I break my cardinal rule of “no cream in risotto”. I make an exception for this one, and there is a reason. I don’t really cook the cream into it. Risotto should be creamy on its own, and usually needs no further assistance. I add the cream at the end – just 1/2 cup for the entire dish – in this case, 4 servings. You can omit it, if you want to, but it really adds something. It has to do with the corn itself. The corn and its sweetness is enhanced by the addition almost giving the dish a creamed corn favor. The combination of the  cream with the sweet natural sugars, the smoky char on the corn kernels, coming together with the butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano that just seems logical and almost necessary to round out the dish and taking it from “just risotto” to something very special.

Thus, I make the rules here – so I guess I can break them, and I think you’ll be glad I did!

This risotto is just too good to wait for – so let’s go!


Makes: 4 servings

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes


4 Large fresh ears of corn OR 5 small ears

Olive Oil for brushing corn

Salt and Pepper

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

3 Tbsp. Butter

1 Medium Onion – chopped

2 C. Arborio Rice

About 7 C. Chicken or Vegetable Broth – warm

3 Tbsp. Fresh Chopped Sage

3/4 C. Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese + extra to serve with the finished dish

3 Tbsp. Butter

1/2 C. Warm Cream

Extra Fresh Sage for garnish


Remove the husks from your corn ears and clean off the corn silk. Brush each ear with olive oil and sprinkle each with salt and pepper.

Grill the corn, turning the ears as they char. You want the corn to get the dark grill marks. The process takes about 10-15 minutes.

Corn 6

Then let the ears cool until they can be handled easily.

Corn 7

When the corn is cool, stand each ear on end on a cutting surface and scrape the kernels off the ears with a sharp knife cutting or sawing from the top of the ear downward. Turn the ear and repeat until all of the kernels have been removed. Do this for each ear of corn. Discard the empty ears. You can do this ahead, if you like and refrigerate. Just make sure the corn is room temperature to add to the risotto.

Corn 8

Begin your risotto by melting the butter in a wide surface pan or pot along with the olive oil. At a medium high heat, add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring about 5 minutes.

Corn 1

Add your Arborio Rice and stir well, cooking for another 5 minutes.

Corn 2

How begin the process of ladling in the warm broth beginning with about a cup. After you add some broth, continue to cook and stir. The idea is to get the rice to slowly absorb the warm liquid. Let each addition of broth be absorbed before adding the next. Do not let the mixture become dry. Continue to do this until all the broth is used and absorbed – takes 20-25 minutes approximately.

Corn 3

During the last 10 minutes of adding the broth – when you have about 2 cups left to go, add your grilled corn kernels and sage. Stir in well and finish adding the broth.

Corn 4

When risotto is just tender and broth is gone – turn off the heat. Add the grated cheese and butter. Mix well, melting the butter.

Then pour in the warm cream and incorporate. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Corn 5

Garnish with fresh sage and serve immediately with extra grated cheese.

Serve this gorgeous RISOTTO WITH GRILLED CORN as a meal – mono piatto – with a lovely Langhe Arneisor with roasted/grilled shrimp or seared scallops and a crisp Falanghina.


Comments are welcome in the “Speak Your Mind Area” beneath this post online.



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  1. I am going to make this on Friday, yummy! Love risotto & your recipes 🙂

    • Allison – Happy to hear you are trying this. It is easy with such a lovely result – creamy, mild and comforting.

  2. Dying to try this! We no longer have a grill–is there another way we could prepare the corn?

    • Laura – Great question! I should think it would not be a problem at all to prepare the ears of corn as you would for the grill but instead place them on a foil covered pan and put them under your broiler. Just as you would turn them on the grill, you would need to rotate them as they char to get all sides exposed!

  3. this was very good! Roasted the corn in the oven because I did not feel like lighting the grill, but I think the grilled flavor would have added to what was a very yummy dish. I did not put all the corn in at once. I added 3/4 of it and then tasted it, and decided I had enough. The corn we had was very very sweet. Thank you for this recipe. It’s a keeper!

    • So glad you enjoyed it, Deb. We especially like to smoke the corn a little on the grill by adding some wood. It really adds flavor.