Tomato and Parmesan Risotto

tomato risotto with Parmesan cheese

Tomato and Parmesan Risotto is an easy pantry friendly meal that accommodates all sorts of variations. As is, it’s a healthy, comforting vegetarian meal.

tomato risotto in a bowl

Tomato risotto is simple but not boring!

Sometimes the simplest flavors are the best, and this tomato risotto is a prime example. Tomato puree, a little white wine, a few garlic cloves, and some flavorful vegetable or chicken stock are all really elemental flavors that come together into a dish that’s simple but definitely not boring.

a bowl of tomato risotto

Cooking risotto on the stovetop is relaxing~

I take a laid back approach to cooking risotto on the stovetop. Here’s how I do it broken down into a few easy steps ~

  • First, heat a small saucepan of water and/or stock. For 2 cups of dry arborio rice, you’ll want somewhere around 8-10 cups of liquid, but don’t stress about it too much because you can always add more if you need it at the end. I usually use roughly half water and half stock, depending on what I have. You want to keep your liquid hot but not boiling.
  • Sautée your arborio rice in a little butter or olive oil, and then if you’re adding an ingredient like wine, add that first so the rice can absorb all that flavor and the alcohol can cook off. Stir it frequently so that the rice doesn’t stick or burn.
  • When your wine is mostly absorbed, add a couple of ladles of your liquid and stir it into the rice. Continue stirring somewhat frequently until it’s mostly absorbed. Keep adding liquid and stirring the rice until it’s nice and creamy and fully cooked. Taste it when you think it’s getting close, you can decide whether you want it super soft and well done, or still with a little bit of an al dente bite.
  • This process shouldn’t take all that long, it usually takes me about 30 minutes. I always add one last ladlel or so of liquid at the end, because the rice will continue to absorb liquid as it sits there waiting to be served. This is especially important if you’re adding something like grated cheese at the very end, which will absorb some of the liquid, too.

a bowl of tomato risotto with pan, plate, and forks

This risotto is lovely as is, but there are lots of ways you can add to it depending on what you have around…

  • Add a protein like Italian sausage or pancetta
  • Kids would love mini meatballs
  • Add chopped fresh tomatoes towards the end of cooking for a bright dose of acidity and extra tomato flavor
  • Top with fresh herbs like basil or thyme
  • Use another cheese like crumbled feta or creamy goat cheese

Love risotto? Me too!

tomato risotto with Parmesan cheese
5 from 3 votes

Tomato and Parmesan Risotto

Course Main Course
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Yield 6 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup canned tomato puree (or use fresh if you have it!)
  • 1/2 cup shaved or shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  • Heat the stock and water in a saucepan and keep it warm or just barely simmering while you start the risotto.
  • Melt the butter in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium/low heat.
  • Add the minced garlic and sautee for a minute or two until fragrant.
  • Add the rice, and stir together well.
  • Add the white wine, stir, and allow the mixture to come to a simmer for a minute or two (keep stirring) until the liquid is mostly absorbed.
  • Add the tomato puree, and stir again until mostly absorbed.
  • Then start adding the stock/water mixture, a couple ladle-fuls at a time, stirring frequently. Add more liquid when the rice has mostly absorbed what's in the pot.
  • When the risotto is fully cooked (it should be soft but not super mushy), and the liquid has been mostly absorbed (you may or may not need to use all of the liquid you heated up in your saucepan), take it off the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese, along with salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Serve with more parmesan cheese.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    5 stars
    Sue, I’d like to make this for a dinner, but one of the guests cannot have any alcohol. Can something be substituted for the white wine and still retain the same flavor?

    • Reply
      September 24, 2020 at 3:24 pm

      There’s really no flavor substitute for wine, but you might add a touch of red or white wine vinegar ~ not nearly 1/2 cup, just a bit, a tablespoon at most, to brighten up the flavor. Otherwise your best bet is to add more stock. And in the absence of wine, use a good stock for best flavor.

      • Reply
        September 24, 2020 at 3:26 pm

        One more note: wine vinegars do contain a minimal amount of alcohol, so if this is a problem, use something like cider vinegar.

  • Reply
    September 24, 2020 at 7:24 am

    I was wondering could I adapt the cooking method for your 6 Minute Instant Pot Lobster Risotto? and cook this in the Instant Pot…I absolutely love that other recipe. I have made it with not only Lobster but shrimp…scallops…and with just asparagus. It is one of my faves!

    • Reply
      September 24, 2020 at 10:15 am

      This would definitely work in the instant pot, I’d check my Instant Pot Cheddar and sage for details, but use tomato/stock for the liquid, and stir in the Parm at the end. It will be yummy.

  • Reply
    September 24, 2020 at 7:02 am

    Sounds yummy! Could you substitute orzo for the rice (my husband dislikes rice)?

    • Reply
      September 24, 2020 at 10:13 am

      You can, but it would be a different sort of recipe, since orzo is pasta. I’d make the orzo, and then blend with the tomato and parm.

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