Tomato Risotto Recipe

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
June 22, 2022 | Updated on March 28, 2024

This tomato risotto recipe is my love letter to summer. Made with fresh heirloom tomatoes, 3 types of cheese, thyme, basil, and kissed with a few grinds of fresh black pepper. If you’re looking for a creamy risotto recipe that guarantees comforting goodness, look no further!

If you are looking for more recipes with tomatoes, then check out my Tomato Salad with Cilantro-Mint Dressing, Tomato Toast with Pimentón Mayo, Tuna Confit and Tomato Salad, BAT Sandwich, and Sungold Tomato Jam recipes, next!

tomato-risotto-recipe

Tomato Risotto Recipe

A big reason why I look forward to summer is because of this tomato risotto recipe. It’s fresh, creamy, decadent, indulgent and comforting all in one.

Also, out of all the types of risotto recipes that exist, this has to be my absolute favorite. I started gardening about two years ago, really focusing on growing tomatoes.

This year, I have tomatoes aplenty, so eating cheesy and tomato risotto on repeat is a no-brainer in our home.

And if the thought of making risotto makes you want to look the other direction, don’t fret! I’ll share tips and tricks to guarantee the best risotto results, every time.

tomato-risotto-in-bowl

What is Risotto?

Risotto is an Italian dish made with arborio rice and simmered in broth until it reaches a creamy consistency.

There are many iterations of risotto, most of which contain oil, butter, alliums, white wine, broth, parmigiano-reggiano. Other iterations call for the use of herbs, vegetables, pecorino and mascarpone cheese.

Risotto can be a standalone dish or accompanied with pan fried scallops, chicken, shrimp, beef or any protein of your choosing.

Some find making risotto intimidating due to the technique of constantly stirring and gradually adding broth to achieve the perfect consistency, but trust, the true secret to making great risotto is patience. Okay, yes, lots of stirring is part of process, but patience is key!

tomato-risotto-cooked

What Type of Rice Should You Use for Risotto

Arborio rice is typically used risotto. This specific type of rice is a short grain, which contains more starch and making it ideal for making risotto. Other suitable options includes Vialone Nano and Carnaroli.

As you continuously stir, starch releases from the rice, lending risotto its signature creamy texture.

heirloom-tomatoes

What Types of Tomatoes Should You Use

If you can get your hands on heirloom tomatoes, use them! Otherwise, roma or cherry tomatoes are a great choice.

Ingredients to Make This Easy Tomato Risotto

  • Tomatoes – I use fresh tomatoes (from my garden!) and tomato paste.
  • Fresh herbs – Thyme is added just before the broth and basil is stirred in at the end for that freshness pep with each bite.
  • Alliums – Onion and garlic, and lots of it!
  • Broth – I use chicken broth (low sodium) and if you want to make this tomato risotto vegetarian, swap chicken for vegetable broth.
  • White wine – This will add a little more acidity–along with the tomatoes. Use dry white wine (I go for sauvignon blanc).
  • Cheese – Parmigiano-reggiano, pecorino romano, and mascarpone, lend this tomato risotto that creamy finish that is just amazing.
  • Butter – Added for a creamy mouthfeel that marries well with the cheese.
  • Salt and pepper – to taste
creamy-tomato-risotto

How to Make Creamy Tomato Risotto

  1. Add broth to a saucepan. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Keep a ladle nearby.
  2. Add oil to a heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Season generously with salt and mix well.
  4. Add tomato paste, keeping a consistent stir for 2 minutes. Next, add arborio rice and stir until some grains are translucent, 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add diced tomatoes and thyme, and cook until tomatoes break down into the rice. Then add white wine and cook and stir until liquid reduces by about half.
  6. Add one ladle of broth, keeping a consistent stir until broth is absorbed. Repeat this step for 30 minutes, until risotto is firm and most of the broth is absorbed.
  7. Add parmesan, pecorino, mascarpone, and butter. Stir until completely mixed. Add chopped basil and a few grinds of pepper and stir. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt and black pepper if necessary.
  8. Serve immediately in a low bowl and with more fresh parmesan (optional).
tomato-risotto-recipe-closeup

How to Store Risotto

Store leftover tomato risotto in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Keep in mind the consistency may not the same upon reheating, but it will still taste delicious!

Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t cut corners on the rice – Be sure to use arborio rice. Some many try to substitute with other grains of rice, but arborio is specifically used for making risotto. You also don’t want to use a long grain rice which is not a starchy grain.
  • Consistency is key – For best results, keep a consistent stir of the rice for 25-30 minutes, taste testing the texture at the 25 minute mark. The texture should be firm with a slight bite.
  • Incrementally add broth – Add broth, one ladle at a time. Rice should be barely covered with broth. Once absorbed, repeat until risotto is cooked. A general rule of thumb is to use 4-6 cups of broth for 1 cup of arborio. This recipe calls for using 5 cups, which I find to be the “sweet spot”.
  • Consistent stirring – Give the mixture a consistent and vigorous stir with each edition of broth as this will help release more starch, thus a creamier risotto.
  • Keep the broth warm – Cold stock will work against cooking the rice, so best to keep it warm in a saucepan.
  • Proper heating – Keep the heat at a medium simmer.
  • Don’t use pre-shredded cheese – Go for the block wrapped in saran wrap when choosing parmesan and pecorino. Pre-shredded cheese contains anti-caking agents that will affect the consistency and melting of the cheese.
tomato-risotto-closeup

More Good Eats You’ll Love

Loving This Fresh Tomato Risotto?

We can’t get enough of it, either! Leave a comment below and share your love for this recipe on Instagram and Pinterest. We love to see you get down in the kitchen. Happy eating!

tomato-risotto-recipe

Tomato Risotto Recipe

5 from 2 votes
This tomato risotto recipe is my love letter to summer. Made with fresh heirloom tomatoes, 3 types of cheese, thyme, basil, and kissed with a few grinds of fresh black pepper. If you're looking for a creamy risotto recipe that guarantees comforting goodness, look no further!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian

Equipment

  • saucepan
  • Ladle
  • Heavy bottom pot

Ingredients

  • tablespoons olive oil
  • cups white onion, diced
  • 6 cloved garlic, minced
  • teaspoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine, I use Sauvignon Blanc
  • 5 cups chicken broth, low sodium
  • ½ cup parmigiano-reggiano, freshly grated
  • ¼ cupe pecorino romano, freshly grated
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup mascarpone
  • tablsepoons fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Add broth to a saucepan. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Keep a ladle nearby.
  • Add oil to a heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Season generously with salt and mix well.
  • Add tomato paste, keeping a consistent stir for 2 minutes. Next, add arborio rice and stir until some grains are translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add diced tomatoes and thyme, and cook until tomatoes break down into the rice. Add white wine and cook and stir until liquid reduces by about half.
  • Next, add one ladle of broth, keeping a consistent stir until broth is absorbed. Repeat this step for 30 minutes, until risotto is firm and most of the broth is absorbed.
  • Add parmesan, pecorino, mascarpone, and butter. Stir until completely mixed. Next, add chopped basil and a few grinds of pepper and stir. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt and black pepper if necessary.
  • Serve immediately in a low bowl and with more fresh parmesan (optional).
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @whisperofyum on Instagram and hashtag it #whisperofyum!
tomato-risotto-recipe

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4 Comments

  1. Karissa says...

    5 stars
    This was excellent! Loved the flavor from the three types of cheeses. Creamy and so so delicious. Definitely gonna make it again and again.

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jeri-mobley

Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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