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Creamy Tomato Risotto Recipe With Parmesan

This tomato risotto recipe is one of my favorite go-to dishes. 

With just a handful of ingredients, you will be amazed at how easy it is to create a dish full of Italian flavors.

creamy tomato risotto


What is risotto?

Risotto is a rice-based dish that originated in Northern Italy. 

What sets risotto apart from other rice dishes is the way the rice is cooked and the types of rice used. 

The cooking method involves slowly adding liquid to the rice while stirring continuously, allowing the starch to release during cooking and create a creamy texture.

Why You Will Love This tomato risotto 

These are the reasons why I love this tomato risotto so much, and I’m sure they will be yours as well.

So much flavor – A classic Italian comfort food for me! Super creamy with an incredible flavor.

Easy to make: While risotto may seem intimidating, this tomato risotto recipe is beginner-friendly.

With a few simple steps to follow, you can create a restaurant-quality dish.

Children love it: The creamy rice and tomato flavor make it family-friendly.

Perfect for dinner party: A super fancy-looking meal, in my opinion, that you can prepare for dinners with your friends to surprise them.


Olive oil: This is used to sauté the onion and garlic. Use extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.

Onion: Add a sweet base note to the risotto. Use yellow or white onion.

Garlic: I use roasted garlic because it has less strong flavor. But you can also use chopped fresh garlic.

Risotto rice: Use short-grain rice like Arborio, Carnaroli rice, or Vialone Nano.

Tomato passata: I use pureed tomatoes. I personally love the rich tomato flavor that the passata gives to the risotto. 

You can also use fresh tomatoes or fresh cherry tomatoes, especially in summer when they are in season.

Broth: Use the broth of your choice, I used homemade vegetable broth.

Butter and parmesan cheese: For the preparation of a perfect risotto, they should never be missing.

It is used for mantecatura.

Salt and black pepper: To taste.

Fresh herbs: I use Fresh basil leaves, a herb that goes great with tomato, but parsley also fits in well with the tomato risotto.

What type of rice you should use for risotto

It’s important to use the right type of rice to end up with properly creamy risotto.

Arborio rice is the traditional choice. The Italian short grain rice variety has a high starch content that creates a distinctive creamy texture as it cooks.

Other options such as carnaroli or vialone nano work as well.

Stay away from long grain or brown rice – the texture and flavor will not be the same.

How To Make This Creamy Tomato Risotto Recipe – Step by Step

Step 1

In a pot, set the broth to heat, and keep the flame low the whole time so as to keep the broth hot. 

Step 2

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the chopped onion and the garlic, sautéing until they become translucent.

 Step 3

Add the risotto rice to the pan and stir it well in a medium-high heat. Toast the rice for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.

toast the rice

Step 4

Put down the heat and pour in the tomato passata. Stir it into the rice, allowing it to be absorbed.

add the tomato passata

Begin the risotto cooking process by gradually adding warm broth, one ladleful at a time.

Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition absorb before adding more liquid. This process should take about 20-25 minutes.

add the broth

Step 5

Remove the rice from the heat. Stir in the butter and grated Parmesan cheese, allowing them to melt. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

manteca the risotto with butter and chees4

 Let the risotto rest for a couple of minutes before serving.

creamy texture


Best Tips For A Good Risotto

  • Use the Right Rice.
  • Always use hot broth to add to the rice. You want to maintain a constant temperature while cooking, using cold broth would give a temperature swing that could affect the cooking of the rice
  • Consistent stirring: Stir the risotto continuously as you add the broth. This releases the starch gradually, creating a creamy consistency.
  • Taste frequently towards the end for doneness and to avoid overcooking.

Variations On Risotto Al Pomodoro

Feel free to get creative with your tomato risotto!

 Here are a few variations you can try: 

  • Add protein, Add cooked shrimp, or grilled chicken.
  •  Incorporate your favorite vegetables such as roasted bell peppers, zucchini, or broccoli.
  • This recipe can be turned vegan/vegetarian easily, use vegetable broth and swap the cheese for vegan parmesan cheese. 

What Do You Serve Risotto With? 

Creamy risotto is often enjoyed as a main course in Italy. 

However, if you want to serve as a side dish, crispy chicken thighs, grilled sausage or chicken cutlet pairs perfectly with the tomato flavors. 

risotto al pomodoro

Storing and Reheating

Leftover tomato risotto can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to three days.

To reheat the risotto, place the risotto in a saucepan with a splash of broth or water and gently heat it over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally until it is heated through.

I don’t recommend freezing it.

What to do with leftover risotto

Here are a couple of ideas to repurpose your leftovers:

Arancini, also known as Italian rice balls: Shape the cold risotto into small balls, coat them in breadcrumbs, and deep-fry or bake them until golden brown. 

Risotto Cakes: Press the cold risotto into patties and pan-fry them until crispy on both sides.

Use it to stuff vegetables: Stuff your veggies such as peppers, tomato or zucchini, and finish the cook in the oven.

Risotto Bake:  Bake in a casserole dish, adding some bacon and mozzarella cheese.


Do you cover risotto while cooking?

No, it is best to leave the risotto uncovered while cooking to allow the liquid to evaporate.

How healthy is risotto?

Risotto can be a nutritious dish, especially when made with wholesome ingredients

Is Basmati rice good for risotto?

Basmati rice, with its long grains and distinct aroma, is not the ideal choice for risotto. 

How long does risotto take to cook?

Plan for 20-25 minutes of active cooking time once the rice is added. How quickly it comes together depends on the rice variety.

Does risotto need to be stirred constantly?

Near-constant stirring is key to developing the creaminess as the rice releases starch. 

Creamy Tomato Risotto Recipe

tomato risotto recipe pintarest


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Yield: 2 portion

Tomato risotto recipe

tomato risotto recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 whole onion, diced
  • 2 roasted cloves garlic
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 cup tomato passata (tomato purée)
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Start by heating the broth in a large pot, and keep it hot over low heat.
  2. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add finely diced onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until softened.
  3. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Stir in the risotto rice and toast for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Pour in tomato passata and simmer for 3 minutes.
  6. Begin adding warmed broth, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly and allowing liquid to absorb before adding more.
  7. Cook for 20-25 minutes total, adding broth as needed, until rice is plump and tender but still chewy in the center.
  8. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and grated Parmesan cheese. (mantecatura)
  9. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. 
  10.  Let the risotto rest for a couple of minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 734Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 1429mgCarbohydrates: 88gFiber: 18gSugar: 16gProtein: 22g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

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Thursday 26th of October 2023

This turned out so good! Simple, elegant, but so delicious. I’ll be making it again the next time we have company!


Thursday 26th of October 2023

I'm so glad to hear it turned out well! Simple classics like this one are always a crowd pleaser.


Monday 9th of October 2023

Yum, yum, yum! I made this last night, doubling the recipe so we'd have leftovers, but my husband and I ate the entire pan anyway. It was super easy to make and hit the spot! This will be on regular rotation at our house.


Monday 9th of October 2023

Happy you like it! It's one of my fav risotto recipes :)

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