Nothing says comfort meal like a big bowl of Creamy Vegan Tomato Risotto. This easy vegan risotto recipe is simple, super healthy, and mouthwateringly delicious! Top your rich tomato risotto with homemade vegan pesto, slivered almonds or pistachios, and enjoy this filling and indulgent dish as the main dish on your plate or as a wonderfully tasty side!
Vegan Tomato Risotto Ingredients
- Olive Oil or Avocado Oil : Since this is a vegan risotto recipe, we use oil instead of butter. You may use extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil in this cream vegan tomato risotto recipe.
- Yellow Onion: Slice the yellow onion into thin slices.
- Garlic Cloves: Chop the fresh garlic as finely as you can. If you're in a pinch, you can use minced garlic - but the flavor of fresh garlic is really wonderful in this dish.
- Cherry Tomatoes: If you don't have cherry tomatoes, 1-2 sliced whole Roma tomatoes will work.
- Arborio Rice: Arborio rice is essential if you're going to be making any kind of risotto.
- Vegetable Broth: I've made this vegan risotto several times using low sodium vegetable broth. This time, I didn't have vegetable broth on hand so I used a mixture of 1 ½ cups of water and 1 teaspoon of vegan Worcester sauce - this is a little trick I used when in a pinch and you can't taste the difference!
- Red Wine Vinegar: The red wine vinegar gives a complex flavor to this vegan risotto dish.
- Salt: Enhances flavor.
- Almonds: I used slivered almonds but you can also use shelled, roasted, salted, and chopped pistachios.
Vegan Basil Pesto Ingredients
- Fresh Basil
- Raw Unsalted Cashews
- Nutritional Yeast
- Lemon Juice
- Olive Oil or Avocado Oil
How To Make This Creamy Vegan Tomato Risotto
Step 1: Bring a skillet with olive oil or avocado oil to medium heat. Once warm add the onions and cook for about 2 minutes until translucent.
Step 2: Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden - about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook stirring until they are tender - about 5 minutes. Warm the vegetable broth in the microwave and set aside.
Step 3: Add the Arborio rice, red wine vinegar, salt, and about ¼ cup of the warm vegetable broth to the saucepan. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Then, add more vegetable broth and continue stirring and cooking until the liquid is absorbed by the arborio rice.
Step 4: Continue this process, adding vegetable broth little by little until you've used it all and the rice has completely absorbed it. If the rice is still not tender, start adding warm water, little by little, stirring, until the rice is creamy and tender.
Step 5: Top the vegan tomato risotto with the basil pesto (instructions for making this are below) and slivered almonds. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes absolutely! Chopped or sliced zucchini, yellow squash, or mushrooms would be delicious in this. Add the chopped veggies to the pan along with the garlic (before adding the rice, vinegar, salt, and veggie broth) and follow the remaining steps. This will make your veggies tender and flavorful.
Absolutely! You can serve this balanced dish on its own because it is filling, satisfying, and nutritious and healthy on its own thanks to the cashew pesto, tomatoes, olive oil, and fresh basil. This dish also makes a wonderful side to almost any protein.
Risotto is not traditionally vegan because most recipes use butter and parmesan. Thankfully, this delicious vegan risotto recipe is every bit as flavorful, creamy, and rich without the need of any dairy or animal products!
Creamy Vegan Tomato Risotto
- medium to large skillet
- blender to make pesto
- cutting board and knife
- wooden spoon
- small or medium saucepan for boiling cashews
For The Risotto
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- ¾ small yellow onion
- 3 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ½ cup Arborio rice
- 1 ½ cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 4 tablespoon slivered almonds for topping
- a pinch of salt
For The Vegan Basil Pesto
- 1 cup raw and unsalted cashews
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- a pinch of salt
Vegan Basil Pesto Instructions
- Begin by boiling the cashews in your small or medium saucepan. You'll want to add the cashews and 1 cup of water to the pot and bring to medium heat. Once the water boils, reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook until the cashews are tender (about 20 minutes).
- Add the cashews and the water they boiled in to a blender along with the nutritional yeast, garlic cloves, basil, olive oil, and lemon juice. Add a pinch of salt if you desire. Blend until creamy and then set aside or refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. If the pesto is too thick to drizzle over the risotto, add 2-4 tablespoon of water and blend until creamy.
Creamy Vegan Tomato Risotto Instructions
- Begin by heating a skillet with olive oil to medium heat. Once the oil is warm, add the sliced onions and cook, stirring, until translucent (about 2 minutes). Add the chopped garlic and cook for another 2 minutes until lightly golden.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and cook them until they are soft and tender (about 5-7 minutes). Use the wooden spoon to press down on the tomatoes gently to release their juices. Add a splash of red wine vinegar to the skillet. Add the Arborio rice, a generous pinch of salt, and stir.
- Heat the vegetable broth in the microwave until warm. Slowly add the broth to the rice, about ¼ cup at a time. Stirring constantly. Every few minutes, add a little more vegetable broth. Continue this until all of the broth is used. The rice should become soft and tender. Keep stirring.
- If the rice is still not soft and tender once you're out of vegetable broth, warm another 1 cup of water and continue adding liquid to the risotto. Keep stirring. Do this until the risotto is creamy and tender. You may or may not need to use the entire cup of water.
- Once the risotto is creamy and tender, remove it from the heat. Serve each bowl topped with vegan pesto and either slivered almonds or pistachios.
The recipes on Peanut Butter and Jilly can easily be adapted to fit a vegan lifestyle, a gluten-free lifestyle, or both depending on the ingredients you use. Please review the ingredients lists carefully and refer to our recommendations in the Notes of the recipe card to make this recipe compatible with your needs. Nutrition information provided is an estimate, and will vary based on specific brands of ingredients used and cooking methods.