Difference Between Paella and Risotto

Paella vs Risotto

Paella and Risotto are names of delicious rice dishes that are similar in taste and looks. While Risotto is Italian, Paella is a Spanish rice dish. They are not to be confused with being varieties of rice themselves though they do make use of different kinds of rice grains. There are many differences between paella and Risotto despite similarities. This article takes a closer look at these differences.


This rice dish from Spain that originated in Valencia has today become very popular and served in restaurants, in many different parts of the world. In fact, the origins of Paella lie in the fields of Valencia where it was made for the peasants making use of whatever ingredients they could lay their hands upon. This included vegetables, snails, and even rabbits at times. Even today, paella is being made with different ingredients in all parts of Spain. Paella can be all seafood in rice, or it can be all meat in rice. Even vegetarians have their own paella. Tomatoes and peas are common ingredients in all paella. Interestingly, the pan in which all the vegetables and meats are thrown along with rice to be cooked is also called paella. The meats and vegetables are not fried but sautéed in oil. Water and rice are added later, and all of them are heated, stirring the ingredients occasionally for some time.


This is a traditional creamy rice dish from Italy that is very popular in many parts of the world. It is so delicious that many people use it as the main course though it is mainly used as a side dish in any meal. There are many variations of risotto, and it can be made using different ingredients so that the flavors and aromas are never the same in risotto made in different places. Risotto originated in northern Italy that had an abundance of short grained rice varieties.

To make risotto, rice has to be fried along with herbs and spices and onions until the ingredients have all mixed up and covered with a coating. Wine is added and then broth is added every few minutes while continuing to stir the ingredients. Once rice has cooked, it is taken off the heat, and grated cheese is added to it. Sometimes, butter is added to make risotto even creamier.

What is the difference between Paella and Risotto?

• Paella is of Spanish origin, whereas Risotto is of Italian origin.

• Risotto is creamier than Paella.

• You need to stay close to the cooking pot when making Risotto to prevent sticking to the pot.

• Paella has a bottom coat called soccarat that is allowed to stick to the pot and treasured by people.

• Risotto has a uniform texture from top to bottom, whereas Paella is soft from inside but dry at the top.

• Paella is drier than Risotto that is sticky.