This creamy tomato risotto recipe is a delicious take on a classic Italian recipe. Follow these simple steps to create the creamiest risotto with rich tomato flavor. This recipe is a perfect way to showcase your cooking skills with little effort!
Creamy Tomato Risotto Recipe
Risotto is such a wonderful Italian dish that I love. It’s the ideal recipe with tons of flavor but still super creamy and ultimately comforting. In recent years, I have discovered that risotto is one of my go-to recipes when I just need something warm and comforting. I love that there are so many easy ways to make a simple rice dish and elevate it with incredible flavor.
This step by step guide shows you just how to make a great risotto. It has long been that one dish that many won’t attempt out of fear of it not turning out well. In my opinion, it is actually one of the easiest special recipes you can conquer.
How do You Keep Risotto Creamy?
The key to creamy risotto is to slowly add the broth or liquid to the mixture. As you slowly incorporate your broth and cream, it allows the rice to absorb the liquid and the liquid to thicken with the starch of the rice. Thus, you have a wonderful creaminess that provides that comfort that everyone loves in risotto.
You don’t need cream or butter to make it creamy. The creaminess actually comes from the slow cooking method and the combination of the starch from the rice and your chosen liquid.
Should Risotto Rice be Washed?
No! While most recipes using rice will tell you to wash it before cooking, this is one case where you don’t want to rinse your rice first. Rinsing rise removes the starches which help create that desired creaminess in risotto.
If you are told to rinse the rice before cooking, it is to help keep your rice fluffy and separated. For this recipe, you want the opposite. You want it somewhat sticky, but mostly want to retain that starch element.
What Herbs Compliment Tomato Risotto?
For this simple recipe, I only included parsley, garlic, and onion for flavor. I have found, however, that risotto can take on any number of herbs and really create a whole new flavor profile.
If you want to switch things up a bit, you can use basil, thyme, marjoram, sage, or rosemary. You can even create a slightly brighter choice by adding in some cilantro as a finishing herb before serving. There really is no true right or wrong if you like an herb. Just add and taste!
What Should I Serve with Risotto?
Risotto is often served as a side to portions of meats and vegetables. It can be an entire meal on its own, but you will usually want to add some roasted vegetables, a nice garden salad, or grilled meat.
For this combination of flavors, I love serving alongside this baked stuffed chicken with lemon and garlic. It’s a great compliment to that flavor. Of course, I am also a huge fan of this alongside fish. One recipe my family really enjoys is this honey garlic baked salmon recipe.
You can serve this with any of your favorite roasted or steamed vegetables, and any lean protein. Since it is a heavier side, it pairs best with a lighter protein. Grilled and broiled are the best options for this tomato risotto. Chicken, shrimp, fish of all kinds, pork, and lean beef all pair great for a meal that is full of flavor.
- Arborio rice
- Vegetable stock
- Heavy cream
- Tomato sauce
- Lemon juice
- Tomato paste
- Olive oil
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Lemon zest
- Garlic powder
How to Make Tomato Risotto
In a medium stockpot, add the chicken or vegetable stock, tomato sauce and tomato paste and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Once boiling, lower the heat to the low setting, and allow it to simmer for 5-7 minutes stirring it occasionally;
In a separate large skillet or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat and then saute the onion until translucent, around 5 minutes.
Add in the Arborio rice and stir for 1 minute.
Reduce the heat to low, and then add in 1/2-1 cup of the tomato broth mixture stirring well to combine. Continue stirring the rice tomato mixture for 4-5 minutes before adding in another 1/2-1 cup of the tomato mixture.
Continue this process of adding the liquid tomato mixture to the rice mixture stirring for 4-5 minutes between each addition. This process should take around 20-25 minutes to complete.
At this point, the rice mixture should be creamy with the rice soft on the outside but slightly al dente on the inside.
Add in the parmesan, heavy cream, ad then season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from the heat.
Top with additional parmesan or Pangrattato as desired.
How to Make a Pangrattato
In a small skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and add in breadcrumbs frying until just golden while stirring continually. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, and additional parmesan cheese.
If you want to try more rice dishes, check out this creamy pumpkin risotto recipe. An equally easy and delicious risotto option. A bit more comfort food classic is this cheesy zucchini rice recipe. Of course, if you have extra rice leftover, make some of this delicious homemade rice pudding recipe as a nice dessert treat.
For recipes like this, I can’t say enough about using a good quality dutch oven. In fact, a dutch oven is one of my all-time favorite kitchen tools. It’s ideal for making risotto, soups, baking chicken in the oven, or even making a stove top slow cooked pot roast recipe.
- 5 oz Arborio rice
- 2 1/4 cups vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 10 oz tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup parmesan
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 tbsp parmesan
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 2 tbsp olive oil, for frying
How to Make Tomato Risotto
- Bring chicken stock, tomato sauce, and tomato paste to a boil over medium heat in a medium saucepan;
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer the tomato mixture for 5-7 minutes stirring it occasionally;
- In a dutch oven, heat olive oil and onion over medium heat cooking for 5 minutes until translucent;
- Add in the Arborio rice and stir for 1 minute;
- Reduce the heat to low, and begin adding in the tomato broth mixture in 1/2-1 cup measurements stirring into the rice slowly between each addition of tomato mixture, this process should take between 20-25 minutes and the rice should be soft on the outside but still slightly al dente;
- Mix in the cream, parmesan, and then season with salt and pepper to taste as desired;
- Remove from heat and top with additional parmesan or Pangrattato as desired when serving.
How to Make a Pangrattato
- In a small skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and add in breadcrumbs frying until just golden while stirring continually. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, and additional parmesan cheese.
Pangrattato is a traditional addition for texture and flavor but is not necessary for a delicious risotto.
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- McCormick Italian Herb Panko Bread Crumbs, 21 oz
- 100% Italian Carnaroli Rice Vacuumed Packed 2.2 Lb | Perfect Rice For Risotto | Recipe Included For Easy Preparation | Chef Selection
- OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Ladle
- Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven With Stainless Steel Knob and Loop Handles, 6 Quart, Red
- AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven, 4.3-Quart, Green
- Cuisinart 622-30G Chef's Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Skillet with Glass Cover, Black
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 540Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 2056mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 6gSugar: 13gProtein: 14g