Chorizo Risotto with Seared Scallops or Prawns

This Chorizo Risotto is my trump recipe card when I haven’t had time to go shopping yet need a quick recipe that delivers the goods! It’s perhaps in my Top 20 dishes that you can make in no time – as long as there is some chorizo in the fridge.

As chorizo keeps for a long time, it’s a handy ingredient to have in stock – that pun is totally intended!

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chorizo risotto prawns seared scallops

This recipe was first published as Chorizo Risotto with Prawns on 7 October 2016. This post has now been updated to include a printable recipe card, updated text & photos. However, as it was previously using a template, I have lost all lovely comments and recipe reviews – so please give this recipe some new love!

Chorizo Risotto with Scallops, Prawns, Fish or Chicken

Not only is it so simple and great on its own, but it’s even more delicious served with seared scallops, fried prawns (shrimp), with fish, with chicken, or just with a few greens.

Chorizo risotto is a handy and versatile recipe for a quick and rewarding family dinner – or for when friends pop in at the last minute, as the ingredients are usually always at hand in the fridge or in our cupboards – and I love to keep some scallops or prawns in the freezer.

chorizo risotto

Chorizo Risotto – French Restaurant Inspiration

I remember having a much more sophisticated version of this chorizo risotto a few years ago in a chic restaurant in the Champagne region – and it was unforgettable, served with a Premier Cru Champagne. Bliss together on a special occasion! The dish was so elegant, served with a filet of the most buttery, flaky fish on top, and the sauce was served apart, which was quite a revelation to me for serving a risotto!

This sauce was so mousse-like that I’m sure it was prepared using a Siphon. The chorizo sausage was blitzed so there were no bits in it. Personally, over time, I love also having bits of chorizo in it – it adds to the textures. But it’s your call – try both and see.

chorizo shrimp spicy risotto

While the flavour combinations played in my mind, I couldn’t resist playing with food back home and trying out a simpler take on it, serving the chorizo sauce around the risotto and topping with seared scallops or prawns/shrimps.

Gradually, I’ve tried it with wine – great! But try it instead with a splash of French Pastis (Ricard or Casanis – all makes of aniseed liqueur).  It adds that je ne sais quoi! Try it.

how to make chorizo risotto pastis

After experimenting happily on the family over the years, here it is – et voilà ! So chic yet so easy.

chorizo risotto scallops

Top with edible herb flowers for a special occasion or scatter with a few toasted sesame seeds.

More Seafood or Fish Recipes

Prawn, Lemon & Asparagus Spaghetti

Smoked Haddock Fish Cakes with Homemade Tartare Sauce

Herb & Parmesan Crusted John Dory (à la Viennoise)

Cullen Skink Scottish Smoked Haddock Chowder

Salmon with Smoked Tea Beurre Blanc

French Monkfish Stew: Lotte à L’Armoricaine

Salmon Fish Cakes from Christina’s Cucina

Cioppino Italian-American Seafood Stew from Christina’s Cucina

chorizo risotto scallops


5 from 1 vote
Chorizo Risotto with Leeks & Scallops
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French, Italian
Keyword: chorizo recipes, leek risotto
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 431 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Chorizo Sauce
  • 110 g (4oz) chorizo sausage medium or strong, according to taste
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 1 litre (1.75pints) chicken stock (or vegetable or fish, depending on accompaniment)
  • 150 ml (5fl oz) single cream (15% reduced fat or 30% full cream)
  • 1 leek or onion (medium), finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 250 g (9oz) risotto rice (Arborio or Carnaroli)
  • 3 tbsp Pastis (Anis liqueur) or white wine a good splash
  • 25 g (1oz) butter salted (or unsalted and add salt)
  • 25 g (1oz) parmesan grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped (or other herbs or choice)
  • 12 fresh scallops (defrosted if frozen)
  • 2 pinches salt & pepper to your taste
  1. First make the chorizo sauce: In a small saucepan, dry fry half of the chopped shallot with the chopped chorizo until the shallots are translucent, chorizo-coloured and there’s no fat left in the pan. Add about a quarter (250ml/9fl oz) of the stock, boil then leave to simmer until the sauce reduces by a half.

  2. Make the risotto: Heat the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the chopped leek (or onion) until translucent. Add the risotto rice and toss in the oil and leek until also translucent then add a good splash of Pastis/Ricard (or wine).

  3. As soon as the Aniseed liqueur (or wine) is absorbed, add a large ladle at a time of the HOT stock and stir until the stock is well absorbed by the rice. Repeat this for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked.  

  4. Add the butter, parmesan, seasoning and chopped parsley. Add the cream to the chorizo sauce 5 minutes before the risotto is ready and continue to simmer. Blitz the sauce with a hand-blender if you like it smooth, otherwise keep the chorizo pieces in. Keep the sauce warm until ready to serve.

  5. In a small frying pan, heat the butter just until it browns slightly and smells nutty.  Sear the scallops or prawns (3 per person) until they are just cooked.

Recipe Notes

Serve the chorizo risotto in bowls (I like to push the risotto into large inox rings or cookie cutters to mould it into shape quickly), top with the scallops or prawns and drizzle around the chorizo sauce. Top with herb flowers or scatter over some toasted sesame seeds.

Choose either mild or strong chorizo, depending how spicy you like it.

Matching wines: Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc or Champagne.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: 431 calories per portion; 19g protein; 36g lipids.

Jill Colonna




4 replies
  1. Christina Conte
    Christina Conte says:

    5 stars
    Well no wonder you wanted to re-make this dish at home! Looks fabulous, and I do adore scallops especially when they’re wonderfully fresh! Just made risotto last night, so we’re doing that freaky think as usual! haha! Thanks for this gorgeous recipe, Jill! Can’t wait to try it!

    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Thanks Christina – love a good risotto and can imagine yours being so good! I love this because the sauce is served separately and it ends up being a bit ‘bistro’!

  2. Alison T
    Alison T says:

    5 stars
    Remember seeing this post and I’ve made it a few times
    Jill it’s a winner: that sauce is to die for!
    Also loved the kick to it

    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Thanks so much for coming in to say so, Alison. Glad you enjoy the recipe! Yes, I love that the sauce is served separately – and it makes it all the more easy – yet Chefy spectacular too.



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