Creamy Tomato Risotto Recipe

A quintessential Italian dish, risotto, is an all-time favorite. Although Italy has the Arabs to thank for introducing rice into their cuisine in the Middle Ages, according to Via Verdi Miami, the resulting dishes have grown and evolved into unique recipes with so much flavor. If you're in the mood for a hearty dish centered around your choice of stock, risotto is a perfect option that will leave you more than satisfied.

Recipe developer Kristen Carli is a private practice registered dietitian and owner of Camelback Nutrition & Wellness who has a take on risotto that is the perfect way to dive into making this dish — whether it's your first time or your fifth. With a preparation time of three minutes and a cook time of 50 minutes, you and your family or guests can enjoy this tasty risotto in under an hour. If you're ready to take the leap, let's get started with the first and most important step: gathering ingredients.

Gather the ingredients to prepare creamy tomato risotto

For this creamy tomato risotto recipe, you'll need olive oil, garlic (minced), arborio rice, vegetable broth, and tomato sauce. In addition, pull together some fresh tomatoes (diced), unsalted butter, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese (grated). If you want a bit of a meaty kick, Carli says you can swap the vegetable broth with chicken broth — but you shouldn't experiment any more than that. "I would not use beef broth as the flavor will be a bit strong and the color would darken that gorgeous orange," she says.

Now is also the time to grab any additional ingredients you'll need for the very end of this recipe, including chiffonaded basil, Parmesan cheese (grated), and roasted vegetables.

Create the rice and broth base

Once all of your ingredients are together, you'll start making this dish by adding the tomato sauce and broth into a small saucepan over medium heat. Let the mixture warm for about 10 minutes. Once it's nice and warm, add the olive oil and garlic into a large stock pot on medium heat. Keep the mixture heating for about one minute, at which point the garlic should be fragrant. 

From here, add the rice to the large stock pot, as well as 1 cup of your broth mixture. Stir the ingredients together until the liquid broth mixture is completely absorbed into the rice.

Add the remaining rice and ingredients

The rest of the process involves adding the remaining rice into the broth mixture. Always add the combination 1 cup at a time, and stir the mixture thoroughly after each addition until all of the liquid is absorbed into the rice. The process will likely take about 40 minutes in total, and by the end, your risotto should be plump with no liquid remaining in the pot. Your kitchen will also start to smell pretty spectacular.

You also need to add the butter, cream, and Parmesan into the risotto. "Feel free to substitute other cheeses, but make sure they are good melting cheese such as mozzarella or gouda," Carli notes. Be sure to stir the risotto to melt the new additions to your dish until they are evenly combined.

Serve your risotto

Once your risotto is looking nice and tasty, the final step (and best part of all) is serving it. When it comes to garnishes, you have a lot of options to choose from, so feel free to experiment until you have the perfect risotto to suit your taste buds. "Possible garnishes could be chiffonaded basil, grated Parmesan cheese, or even roasted vegetables like mushrooms," Carli says. "I love mushrooms on risotto."

Carli recommends pairing this dish with some grilled chicken or a caprese chicken bake. You can easily serve your risotto buffet style so everyone can scoop out their own, or you can plate it individually for each family member or guest. The bright color of this dish is so picture-worthy.

As for leftovers, they store best in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. (That is, if there's anything left!)

Creamy Tomato Risotto Recipe
5 from 32 ratings
If you're in the mood for a hearty dish centered around your choice of stock, creamy tomato risotto is a perfect option that will leave you more than satisfied.
Prep Time
Cook Time
bowl of tomato risotto
Total time: 53 minutes
  • 1 (15-ounce can) tomato sauce
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Optional Ingredients
  • chiffonaded basil, for serving
  • grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • roasted vegetables, for serving
  1. Add the tomato sauce and broth to a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat the mixture until it's warmed, which should take about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the olive oil and minced garlic to a large stockpot over medium heat. Heat the mixture for about 1 minute, until the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add the rice to the large stockpot along with 1 cup of the warmed tomato sauce and broth mixture. Stir the rice combination until the liquid is absorbed into it.
  4. Repeat the previous pattern until all of the liquid is incorporated into the rice, which should take about 40 minutes.
  5. Add the butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese into the risotto. Stir the mixture to melt the additions and combine them into the dish.
  6. Serve your creamy tomato risotto with chiffonaded basil and extra Parmesan cheese.
Calories per Serving 308
Total Fat 17.1 g
Saturated Fat 9.4 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 45.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 31.2 g
Dietary Fiber 2.7 g
Total Sugars 3.1 g
Sodium 307.1 mg
Protein 7.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe