This sun-dried tomato risotto recipe is the perfect easy weeknight vegetarian dinner. Risotto is easier to make than most people realize and much faster. A savory vegetarian dinner recipe ready in about 30 minutes. Sign me up!
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We love this recipe because it is both easy to customize and turn it into a variety of meals. But also, risotto is naturally gluten-free. Which means we don't need a bunch of strange ingredients to make it taste like a regular dish.
The fact that is a plant based meal is a bonus!
- Arborio Rice- Sorry no there are no substitutes for arborio rice in risotto. Luckily it is available in most grocery stores.
- Vegetable Broth- The rice will need between 3 and 4 cups. For extra flavor add a veggie bouillon cube to your broth.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes- This recipe assumes your tomatoes are NOT packed in oil. To use oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, skip adding them to the broth. And use that good oil instead of the olive oil.
- Onion- White or yellow onions are what I normally use but sub leeks or shallots if you like.
- Fresh Garlic
- White Wine- a dry white wine to deglaze the pan. You can sub more vegetable broth if you like.
- Parmesan Cheese- While we typically eat dairy-free but risotto is typically an exception for us.
- Fresh Herbs- For this recipe, I typically use a mix of basil and parsley but oregano or even chive work as well.
- Olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper
Risotto is a quick plant-based weeknight meal, but it is hands-on. It is also a great dinner recipe for new cooks because even if you mess it up a bit it is still a great dish.
Risotto is best cooked in a large high sided saucepan. You want a wide bottom pan versus a stockpot.
To start, place your pan over medium-low heat. Soften the onion, stirring often.
While the onions are softening bring the broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, cook for 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to remove the tomatoes and set them aside. Turn the broth down to warm.
Add the garlic to the onions, cook for 1 minute. Add the rice to toast, stirring until each grain is coated with oil. About one minute.
Next, stir in the sun-dried tomatoes. Smash them a bit with the back of your spoon to break them up. Add the wine and cook until it evaporates.
Start adding the vegetable broth a ½ cup at a time. Stir constantly for the first ½ cup. Once the liquid is absorbed add another ½ cup and reduce the frequency of your stirring. Let each portion of the broth be absorbed before adding the next
Continue until the rice is tender but still al dente. Between 15 and 20 minutes.
Stir in the Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle the risotto with the herbs.
- Unlike many rice recipes, it is important to not rinse the rice. The creaminess of risotto comes from the starch on the grains and we don't want to rinse that away.
- Don't over toast the rice. It should be slightly translucent and each grain covered in oil. This takes about one minute.
- Make sure your broth is hot. Cold broth stops the cooking process resulting in gummy rice.
- Don't constantly stir. Yes, risotto is a hands-on dish, but it only needs a stir every 30 to 60 seconds.
- Don't overcook your risotto. Like pasta, the risotto should be served al dente.
- Any additional vegetables you might want to add should be added at the end of cooking.
💭 Recipe Variations
The best recipes are the ones we can use again and again. Here are few ways to change up our sun-dried tomato risotto.
- Vegan- Skip the cheese and add a shake of nutritional yeast. Other than that the recipe is vegan as-is.
- Three Tomato- Want over the top tomato flavor? At the end stir in 1 tablespoon tomato paste and 1 cup chopped fresh tomato.
- Greek- Stir in 1 cup of sliced artichoke hearts. Garnish with feta and sliced kalamata olives.
- Spring Vegetable- Swap leeks for the onion, and add 1 cup of spinach and 8 thin stalks of asparagus, cut in 1 ½ inch pieces, at the end of the cooking.
We hope you love this easy risotto recipe enough to try one of our other favorite vegetarian dinner recipes. Here are just a few of our favorites.
Sun Dried Tomato Risotto
- In a large saucepan cook the onion in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, about 6 minutes.
- While the onions are softening bring the broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add the tomatoes, cook for 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to remove the tomatoes, set aside. Turn the broth down to warm.
- Add the garlic to the onions, cook for 1 minute. Add the rice, stirring until each grain is coated with oil, and stir in the tomatoes. Add the wine and cook until it evaporates, stirring as needed.
- Add ½ cup of the simmering liquid and cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the liquid, ½ cup at a time, stirring every 30 seconds and letting each portion be absorbed before adding the next until the rice is tender but still al dente. Between 15 and 20 minutes.
- Stir in the Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle the risotto with the parsley.
- This recipe makes 3 to 4 servings as a main course or serves 6 as a side dish.
- Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Risotto is an excellent dish for meal prep lunches.