Sweet apple cider and flavorful caramelized onions add the perfect fall twist to this hearty apple cider risotto that’s quick to make and goes well with any meal.
Time to get a fall-flavored risotto up in here! To absolutely no one’s surprise, apple cider and caramelized onions do the job to utter perfection.
This definitely isn’t the prettiest meal we’ve ever made colors-wise here, but trust me, this risotto is the real deal. We’ve got deeply flavorful caramelized onions, rich Parmesan, sweet apple cider, and a heavy hand of fresh thyme taking care of the flavors and it is bomb.
Definitely one of those side dishes you’ll find yourself eating straight from the pan with a spoon, whoops.
If you’ve never tried your hand at homemade risotto before, this is such an easy and classic recipe to start with! We’re sharing all the keys to success in the blog post so keep reading!
This Risotto features…
- Sweet apple cider and caramelized onions
- Creamy Arborio rice
- Fresh thyme and nutty Parmesan
- Ready in under an hour in one pan
Making the Risotto
(scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Olive oil
- Unsalted butter
- Sweet onion
- Arborio rice
- Apple cider
- Chicken broth
- Parmesan cheese
How To Caramelize Onions
You will need 1 large sweet Vidalia onion cut into thin slices to make the caramelized onions for this risotto.
The most important part about caramelizing is cooking the onions very slowly so you’re going to want to cook them over medium-low heat for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are a deep golden brown.
These onions store very well, so you can easily make them ahead of time and store in the fridge for recipes.
Tips for Perfect Risotto
- Toast rice – toasting the rice with the garlic adds lots of flavor. Deglaze the pan with apple cider and you’re good to go!
- Use warm broth – this helps keep the temperature of the risotto consistent which will make for even cooking.
- Add broth in small increments – adding too much broth will boil the rice, which we don’t want. Add broth in small amounts at a time and wait until all the broth is evaporated before adding more.
- Cook risotto on medium-low – the trick to a perfectly creamy risotto is cooking it low and slow. Don’t be tempted to bump up the heat!
Try these ideas for a different twist on this risotto.
- Add meat – fold seared sausage slices or diced chicken into risotto for a meaty kick.
- Try a different cheese – try asiago, sharp cheddar, or gouda in place of the Parmesan.
- Make it extra-rich – once risotto is done, fold in 2 oz cream cheese until melted or 1/4 cup heavy cream for an extra-creamy touch.
What To Serve with Risotto
This risotto goes well with a variety of dishes! We love it alongside a steak, roast chicken, this stuffed chicken, or serve it meat-free alongside a green salad and your favorite bread.
This risotto just ticks ALL the fall boxes! It’s creamy and comforting with just a slight subtle sweetness from the rich apple cider and lots of golden caramelized onions.
If you were looking for a go-to side dish for this fall, trust me, this is it!
Save this recipe using the ‘save to recipe box’ button below. If you make it, please let us know! Leave a comment + star rating below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram with #wholeandheavenlyoven.
More risotto recipes to try next!
Caramelized Onion Apple Cider Risotto
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 large sweet Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1-1/2 cups arborio rice
- 3/4 cup apple cider
- 3 cups warmed chicken broth
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh minced thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter, swirling pan to evenly coat. Add onion and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until onions are a deep golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Melt remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add garlic and arborio rice to pan and let cook 2-3 minutes until rice is lightly toasted. Pour apple cider into pan and let cook until reduced in half, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and begin adding chicken broth to rice, a little bit at a time, waiting until liquid is evaporated before adding more broth.
- Continue adding broth in small amounts 20-25 minutes until rice is tender and creamy. Stir caramelized onions, Parmesan and thyme into risotto and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve risotto warm and enjoy!