We love risotto and have made many recipes with a variety of proteins and preparations. However, most of these stick to the roots of the dish when it comes to flavor profiles, which is Italian cuisine. But this distinctive rice preparation is just too versatile and delicious to leave it entrenched in just one, albeit exceptional, cuisine. This Southwestern Shrimp and Jalapeño Risotto adds a fun southern and spicy American twist to risotto!
As an Italian American living in the south, we brought risotto to our neck of the woods with this Southwestern Shrimp and Jalapeño Risotto. And it is well worth trying! The spice level is quite mild, but the flavors are unmistakably from the southwest part of the United States. Here, chiles of some sort are commonplace in our foods and a little spice (or a lot of spice) permeates many dishes. We decided to spruce up the widely available and inexpensive jalapeño pepper by using it in a beautiful risotto.
Our homemade Southwestern seasoning has a great mild-spicy flavor so give it a try. The recipe makes more than enough, but you’ll have extra seasoning that will last for 6 months or more in a sealed container to spice up any dish. This seasoning marinates the shrimp and adds a flavor enhancement to the risotto. You can certainly add a bit more (or less), depending on your preference, but the rice really does welcome the addition.
How Spicy is This Dish?
Jalapeno peppers have a great, semi-sweet and spicy pepper flavor that works well in a risotto. However, we need to point out that jalapeños have a variable spiciness range and can be disappointingly mild, even to the point of an Anaheim pepper or bell pepper! Or on the other hand, they can be quite spicy!
Taste a little bit of the raw jalapeño and if it isn’t spicy enough for you, we certainly would suggest using serrano peppers instead (about half as many as the jalapeños in this recipe), as serranos are more predictable and always spicier than jalapeños.
The jalapeño flavor in this risotto recipe goes so well with the Southwestern spiced shrimp! It makes a great main course, or side dish!
What rice is best for risotto?
Risotto is so special because of the way the cooking process and rice starch result in a creamy risotto consistency without the addition of cream. This is because of the type of rice used. Do not use any old white rice! You will be highly disappointed.
Carnaroli is by far our favorite to use for risotto, but Vialone Nano, and Arborio rice work well for making risotto as well. Arborio is readily available in the US, but we go out of our way to find Carnaroli. It produces a creamier texture and has a better overall mouthfeel.
Looking for more risotto recipes?
We have several risotto recipes on the blog. Check out our Cherry Tomato Garlic Basil Risotto for a bright and vibrant risotto. If you love fish, our Dover Sole with Lemon Risotto is for you! And for fall, we absolutely love this Pumpkin Rosemary Risotto with Taleggio Cheese!
We also have more traditional risotto recipes in our cookbook Mangiamo, such as parmesan risotto and mushroom risotto, along with 60 delicious Italian recipes! If you are an Italian food and pasta lover, this cookbook needs to be in your life!
We hope that you enjoy this recipe for Southwestern Shrimp and Jalapeño Risotto! If you give it a try and like it, leave us a 5-star rating and comment below!
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