Bowl of creamy tomato risotto topped with crispy crumbs and parsley

Creamy Tomato Risotto with Crispy Garlic Crumbs

A deliciously moreish Creamy Tomato Risotto topped with crispy garlic breadcrumbs -  made with mainly store cupboard ingredients.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword meat free, rice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 3 people
Author Nicky Corbishley



  • 14 oz (400g) tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup (240ml) vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree/paste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic peeled and minced
  • 3/4 cup (150g) Arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) white wine optional, replace with stock if you'd prefer
  • 3 tbsp double (heavy) cream
  • 4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese (or vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese if you want it vegetarian)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Good pinch of salt and black pepper

Crispy Garlic Crumbs:

  • 3/4 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp Maldon salt or just a good pinch of normal salt
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 4 tbsp (30g/1 oz) panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 3 tbsp (20g) parmesan (or vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese if you want it vegetarian)


  • First make your tomato based stock. Place the tin of chopped tomatoes into a large jug. Add in the vegetable stock and tomato puree and stir. Heat this stock in a small pan or in the microwave until almost boiling, then turn off the heat.
  • Heat oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion starts to go translucent, add in the garlic, stir and cook for a further minute.
  • Add in the rice and stir until the oil has coated the rice. Add in the wine and stir.
  • Wait for the wine to almost fully absorb (stirring regularly) and then add the tomato stock a ladle at a time, ensuring each ladle has almost fully absorbed before adding the next. Ensure you stir regularly.
  • After about 15-20 minutes you should have used up all of the stock. Have a taste of the rice. It should be softer, but still have a bit of a bite to it (it will soften up further when you add the cream). If the rice is still far too hard, you can add in a ladle or so of water. Turn the heat down to very low.
  • Next make your crispy garlic crumbs. Heat the butter in a small frying pan until it starts to foam slightly.
  • Add the salt and the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.
  • Add in the breadcrumbs and stir to ensure the butter covers all of he breadcrumbs. Allow to cook until the breadcrumbs start to brown a little, stirring often. Keep a close eye on them as they burn very easily. When ready, turn off the heat and add in the parsley, lemon zest and parmesan.
  • Now go back to your risotto. Add in the cream, parmesan, lemon juice and salt & pepper. Give everything a good stir, whilst on the heat, and then serve topped with the crispy breadcrumbs.


Can I make it ahead?

Risotto does taste best when serving right away, however you can make it ahead if you like.
Make the risotto, then cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat in a pan over a low heat. Add in a good splash of stock to loosen it up when reheating.
The garlic crumbs can be made ahead too. Once cooked, then cool, cover and refrigerate. You can bring them to room temperature before sprinkling on top of the risotto, or you can reheat them for 30 seconds or so in a hot pan.

Can I freeze it?

I prefer risotto made and eaten right away, but you can freeze it if you have leftovers.
Quickly cool, then cover and freeze any leftovers (keeping the risotto and crispy crumbs separate). Defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat the risotto in a pan over a low heat. Add in a good splash of stock to loosen it up when reheating.
The garlic crumbs can be defrosted in the refrigerator, then reheat them for 30 seconds or so in a hot pan to crisp them back up again before sprinkling on top of the risotto.

Can I make it gluten free?

Yes, use gluten free stock and make sure your tomato puree/paste is gluten free (it often is, but it's best to check).
Make breadcrumbs from gluten free bread by grating or whizzing them up in a food processor (or use gluten free panko).

Can I make it vegetarian?

Yes, simply replace the parmesan with vegetarian parmesan (or vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese).

Nutritional information is per serving.

Nutritional Information

Serving: 460g | Calories: 488kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 1010mg | Potassium: 548mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 883IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 224mg | Iron: 5mg
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