Croatian Black Risotto Recipe (Crni Rižot)

Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

Croatian Black Risotto Recipe (Crni Rižot)

This black risotto recipe known as crni rižot in Croatian is fantastic if you like seafood. This dish has an intense seafood flavor and smell. It’s certainly not for those who don’t absolutely love seafood! Influenced by our Italian neighbors (and rulers for many years), this dish is best made al-dente! 

How To Make Croatian Crni Rizot - Black Risotto

This black, almost-scary looking dish can be found all over Croatia, but it traditionally comes from the coastal areas of Croatia. In my opinion, nobody prepares crni rižot better than your typical Dalmatian Konoba – a small family-run restaurant or in my mother-in-law’s kitchen.

My mother-in-law makes this risotto so black. So fishy, with huge chunks of cuttlefish, way more than is needed. Here is her abbreviated recipe for you to enjoy.




How To Make Croatian Crni Rizot - Black Risotto

Black Risotto Recipe (Crni Rižot)

This black risotto recipe from our Croatian kitchen is not for the faint-hearted. You must love seafood, seafood, and more seafood!


  • 1.2 kilograms of cuttlefish & calamari - the more cuttlefish, the better! (2lbs)
  • 3 liters water (you may need more) (13 cups)
  • 60 grams of unpeeled prawns (1/4 cup)
  • 1.5 large onions diced
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, diced small
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups of white rice (carnaroli is best)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons Vegeta
  • 50 g butter (3 1/2 tbsp)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. Remove and save the sack of ink from one calamari without breaking it
  2. Clean the calamari and cuttlefish and cut into small pieces
  3. Place the calamari, cuttlefish, and prawns (leave them in their shells) into a saucepan, pour water over them and bring to the boil
  4. Drain the seafood and keep warm. DO NOT DISCARD THE STOCK. Peel the prawns
  5. Fry onions in olive oil until transparent
  6. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute
  7. Add the wine and half of the stock and allow to boil
  8. Add rice
  9. Season with salt, pepper, and Vegeta, cook for 10 minutes on medium heat stirring from time to time
  10. Add the rest of the stock, prawns, ink, calamari, and cuttlefish
  11. Cook for 10-15 minutes on low heat or until the rice is cooked
  12. Add more water if needed
  13. Be sure not to overcook the rice. It should remain firm and not gooey
  14. Mix in the butter and sprinkle with parsley and serve


I also like to grate on fresh parmesan cheese

What do you think? Will you give this black risotto recipe a try?

Want To Try Some More Tasty Croatian Recipes:

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Comments (7)

  1. Hi,

    I just discovered your website and read some blogs and I can’t stop myself from contacting you and giving you a big Thumbs Up for the quality work that you’ve been doing.

    I am also writing about (FRESH TRUFFLES, PASTA & RISOTTO ) these days and I’ve written an article on the topics

    I’ll be very honored If you post my article on your blog.
    Please let me know what you think, I can send the article today.

    Best Regards,

  2. I come from Croatia and i absolutely love it, ty for translating the recipe i gave it to my friends in USA :)

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