Dover Sole with Lemon Risotto

Pan seared dover sole with lemon risotto
Pan-seared Dover Sole with Lemon Risotto

On our last trip to Italy, we had a risotto dish in Lago di Como with local lake perch that was one of our favorite food experiences on our journey. Since perch isn’t readily available, we have been looking for a very small, delicately flavored fish that we could use in this recipe. We finally decided that, although different from the dish we had in Italy, using Dover Sole was the best choice. The fish is delicate in both texture and flavor, but it is so delicious and works perfectly with this lemon risotto! We know you will love this recipe for Dover Sole with Lemon Risotto!

Lemon Risotto

Risotto is one of our favorite things to make and we have several different versions on our blog. If you love risotto too, you should check out our Cherry Tomato Garlic Basil Risotto, our Parmesan Risotto and Mushroom Ragù Phyllo Cup Bites, or our fall flavored Pumpkin Rosemary Risotto with Taleggio Cheese.

The lemon risotto in this recipe is a piece of cake to make, and it’s got just enough seafood and lemon flavor to pair with the fish, without overpowering it. This creamy dish is finished off with just a bit of fresh lemon juice and zest, parsley, and chile oil.

Dover Sole with Lemon Risotto
The Dover Sole is delicate, flaky and slightly sweet making it perfect for this dish!

Looking for more risotto recipes? Check out our cookbook, Mangiamo, that has 4 more risotto recipes!

Dover Sole 

Dover Sole is a flat fish that is found in the Northern Atlantic and Mediterranean. It is a delicate, mild, and slightly sweet flaky fish that is really delicious!

Dover Sole should be available in most places, but if not, a thin, flaky, white-fleshed fish can be substituted. Dover Sole can be a bit on the pricey side sometimes, but it is a special fish that has a unique flavor compared to other white fish. The whole dish is delicately flavored and would not work nearly as well with a fatty or bold-tasting fish, like salmon or swordfish. 


We hope you enjoy this recipe for Dover Sole with Lemon Risotto! If you give it a try, leave us a comment below or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!

Dover Sole with Lemon Risotto
Dover Sole with Lemon Risotto

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Dover Sole with Lemon Risotto

5 from 3 votes
Course: DinnerCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • For the Risotto
  • 3 3 -4 cups (700-950ml) unsalted fish or seafood stock

  • 3 3 -4 cups (700-950ml) water

  • 2 cups 2 (360g) risotto rice (Carnaroli or Arborio)

  • 2 Tbsp 2 (30-40 ml) olive oil

  • 1 large 1 shallot (about 65g), chopped fine

  • 4 Tbsp 4 (56g) unsalted butter, divided

  • ½ (118ml) cup dry white wine (Pinot Grigio or similar)

  • 1 tsp 1 kosher salt

  • ¼ tsp white pepper

  • 1 1 lemon – zest and juice

  • For the Dover Sole
  • 16 oz 16 (450g) Dover sole fillets

  • 3 tsp 3 kosher salt

  • 1 tsp 1 white pepper

  • 3 Tbsp 3 (42g) butter

  • Garnish
  • Fresh lemon juice

  • Finely chopped fresh parsley

  • Chile oil

  • Lemon zest


  • Prepare the Sole
  • Dry the fish thoroughly and evenly apply the salt and pepper on both sides of the sole. Put the sole on a rack over a sheet tray and let sit in the refrigerator, uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • Prepare the Risotto
  • Warm the stock and water together in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Keep it at a hot temperature but not boiling.
  • Heat a large, deep skillet or pan over medium heat until hot, then add the rice. Toast the rice for about two minutes, shaking the pan and stirring often. Remove the rice to a bowl and set aside.
  • Return the pan to the heat and add the olive oil. Add the shallot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Sauté until the shallot is translucent without becoming browned. Add two Tbsp of butter until melted, then add the toasted rice back to the pan. Coat the rice grains with the butter and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Add the wine and cook until it is almost completely absorbed, stirring often so the rice doesn’t stick. After the wine is absorbed (about 2-3 minutes), start adding the hot stock/water mixture one ladle at a time (about ½ – ¾ cup ladles), stirring often. Continue adding the stock as it gets absorbed by the rice, one ladle at a time. Adjust the heat lower during this process if your liquid absorbs too quickly and/or your rice begins to stick or brown.
  • After about 2/3 of the stock has been added and absorbed – around 18-20 minutes of cooking – taste the rice for doneness. The texture should be firm but done and not crunchy or mushy. You may not need all the stock and if you run out just use hot water to finish the dish.
  • Once the rice is done, remove from the heat and stir in the remaining, salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice.
  • Cook the Sole
  • Remove the fish from the refrigerator and heat a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add the butter and gently pan-sauté the fish, flipping once, until done. The fish is done when it is flaky and will take about 2 minutes on the first side and 90 seconds on the second. Be careful when flipping the fish as it is delicate.
  • Remove and serve over the risotto with a squirt of fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, the chopped parsley, and a few drops of chile oil as garnish.

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