Zucchini-Topped Tomato Risotto

One night, I was thinking about a nice, creamy mushroom risotto and it made me realize that beyond mushroom risotto, I haven’t seen many recipes for other vegetarian risottos. So I put my thinking cap on, and this was the result; a tomato risotto. The rich risotto is well complemented by the roasted zucchini that provide a juicy, light balance to your bite. 

Now I will warn you, this is a classic risotto that will require you to spend twenty minutes standing over your hot stove, but the result is well worth it. We will be roasting the squash to get a nice crunchy texture on one side. You may have to juggle taking the squash out while the risotto cooks, so making this recipe with your partner or a friend could be a good idea. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I enjoyed trying to get the proportions just right over the past few weeks!

Active time: 40 minutes


  • 3 zucchinis
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter, separated
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 8 cups hot vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 oz Parmesan, grated
  • Salt 
  • Freshly cracked pepper 


  1. Preheat the oven to 425. Quarter the zucchinis lengthwise and coat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and them in the oven for 30 minutes. Once ready, simply take out and set aside. 
  2. Get your risotto station prepared. Have the remaining ingredients prepped and within arm reach as once we begin it is hard to leave the stove. 
  3. Heat a large straight sided pan or Dutch oven on medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and toss the shallots and garlic in with a pinch of salt. After 2-3 minutes, when the shallots have started to sweat, add the tomatoes and the thyme.
  4. After another 3-4 minutes, push all your tomatoes and shallots to one side of the pan and add another tablespoon of butter to the open side of the pan. Then add the rice to the side without the tomatoes and toast the rice until it is translucent. Don’t worry if some of the tomatoes mix in, it’s ok.
  5. Once the rice is translucent, add the wine to the rice side, and cook it off while integrating the tomato back in. Once the wine has cooked off, add the broth in, a ladle at a time. We want to add roughly a half cup or broth at a time. The key is to never stop stirring. Add another ladle of broth when you are able to pull your rubber spatula through the risotto and the void isn’t immediately filled with the rice mixture. Continue to do this, adding more broth for at least 12 minutes. At 12 minutes, begin tasting the rice every couple of minutes. The risotto is ready when the rice is cooked al dente. 
  6. Add in the tomato paste and Parmesan and integrate thoroughly. Taste for salt and pepper, and adjust to your discretion. Spoon into bowls and top with 2-3 zucchini spears, best enjoyed right away!

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