Can you cook Arborio rice like regular rice? (3 Cooking Techniques)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can you cook Arborio rice like regular rice? We will discuss the attributes of Arborio rice and some methods to cook.

Can you cook Arborio rice like regular rice?

You can cook arborio rice like regular rice. To cook arborio rice, you need to boil 2 cups of salted  water and then add the arborio rice. Then, add a tablespoon of olive oil and a cup of arborio rice. Put the lid over the pan and let the Arborio rice cook for 20 minutes on medium flame. 

Arborio rice is primarily used to make risotto. Arborio rice is short-grain starchy rice that gives a creamy texture and is palatable in some dishes. If you would like to get rid of the starch, then rinse the Arborio rice.

Rice varieties are divided between Japonica and Indica. Indica is primarily produced in Asia (China and India are the main producers followed by Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand), and it is the predominant variety in the international markets. Japonica, on the other hand, is region-specific and mainly produced in Europe. Italy is the main producer of Japonica, representing about 1% of total world rice production (1).

What is Arborio rice and what makes it stand out from other varieties of rice?

Arborio rice is short-grain rice that is plump and comes with a high amount of starch. Arborio rice is native to Italy but is being grown in parts of the US including Arkansas, California, Texas, and Missouri. Arborio rice is also sold as brown rice but the dominant variety on the market is refined white rice.

Arborio is seldom used as a side dish but is made into a specialty dish that would benefit from its creamy texture such as risotto and pudding. There is a vast variety of risotto recipes to try including Mushroom risotto, and saffron risotto.

The dominant starch in Arborio rice is called amylopectin that gelatinizes when the rice is cooked. On cooking, the rice changes its structure owing to the presence of natural starch. Arborio rice adopts a texture that is creamy and silky and goes well with high starch dishes (2). Arborio rice can be substituted with other kinds of rice to make risotto including Carnaroli, Vialone Nano, sushi rice, Farro, and pearled barley oats. Arborio rice is a good source of proteins, fiber and potassium, and vitamin E, when consumed in its whole grain form (2). Proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals are present in greater quantities in the germ and outer layer than in the starchy  endosperm, the removal of the protecting pericarp also facilitates the extraction of the soluble substances from the aleurone layer during washing immediately before cooking the grain (3). Moreover, the fat content of Arborio rice is remarkably low. 

How to cook Arborio Rice?

Either of the three cooking techniques would help you to cook Arborio rice; stove, instant pot, or the oven.

To cook arborio rice on a stove, the following instructions would help you:

  1. If you intend to make risotto, then boil 8 cups of vegetable or chicken broth in a pan.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in another pan.
  3. Add chopped shallot, a pinch of kosher salt, and let it simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Now add 2 cups of Arborio rice to the pan and mix to coat the rice with butter.
  5. Stir and let it cook for another two minutes, that is until the edges of Arborio rice become translucent. 
  6. Then add half a cup of white wine and stir constantly for 3 minutes.
  7. Add the broth to the Arborio rice until the rice becomes al dente. 
  8. Cook for 20 minutes until the risotto develops a porridge-like consistency.
  9. Add some grated parmesan cheese.

To cook arborio rice in an instant pot, the following instructions would help you:

  1. Heat 4 cups of either vegetable broth or chicken broth on a stove.
  2. Turn the pressure cooker on with the setting on saute and add 2 tablespoons of butter.
  3. Chop a large shallot and let it cook for two minutes.
  4. Then add four cups of Arborio rice, and mix it with butter.
  5. Turn off the saute option on the pressure cooker and add half a cup of white wine.
  6. Mix and stir to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  7. Add the broth and let it cook on high pressure for around five minutes. 
  8. Opt for quick release pressure then add half a cup of parmesan cheese.

To cook arborio rice in the oven, the following instructions would help you:

  1. After you preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit with the oven rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Take a saucepan and add 5 cups of either vegetable or chicken broth. 
  3. Cook chopped pancetta or bacon in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Saute some sliced onions in a pan.
  5. Add two cups of Arborio rice and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Turn up the flame and add a cup of white wine.
  7. Add the broth and let the rice boil for a couple of minutes.
  8. Cover the risotto and pop it in the oven to let it bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. Take the pan out of the oven and sprinkle on some parmesan cheese.

Some other recipes that make use of Arborio rice are rice pudding, Spanish Paella, Arancini, and Frittata di Riso.

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can you cook Arborio rice like regular rice? We discussed the attributes of Arborio rice and some methods to cook them.

Other FAQs about Rice that you may be interested in.

How much water for half a cup of rice?

How to cook rice in the microwave for a single serving?

How to preserve rice

Can you leave rice out?


  1. Barboza, Gustavo, et al. A contribution to the empirics of food price behavior: the case of rice price dynamics in Italy. Brit Food J, 2020.
  2. Rice. The Nutrition Source. University of Harvard.  
  3. Abbas, Aadil, et al. Effect of processing on nutritional value of rice (Oryza sativa). World J Med Sci, 2011, 6, 68-73.