Tomato Zucchini Risotto

Tomato Zucchini Risotto is a delicious dinner or side dish to serve with chicken, pork chops or steak. The summer veggies add color and nutrients to creamy risotto, and it comes together in just 30 minutes.

Gray bowl with vegetable risotto on top of a blue linen napkin.

One of my favorite impromptu meals to make is risotto.

At first, risotto may be intimidating because of the steps involved but I promise you, it's almost foolproof! Learning how to cook risotto is totally worth it.

Vegetable risotto is perfect because you can customize it to use the veggies you have around the kitchen. (Or add your favorite protein, as I did with this shrimp risotto.)

Tomato zucchini risotto recipe

That's how I ended up with this recipe for Tomato and Zucchini Risotto. It's creamy, it's packed with veggies and it's totally delicious.

You can serve it as a side dish but you can easily make it a main dish too. Add chicken or shrimp to this dish as well if you'd like some protein added.

I love love love to add these Pan Seared Chicken Thighs because I can make them while the risotto is cooking.

Gray bowl with vegetable risotto on top of a blue linen napkin.

Tips for making risotto

Don't rush

If you want to make risotto, you should plan some time to make it. Don't rush risotto.

Be prepared to make this recipe on an evening when you have time. So probably not after a long day at work or when your kids have had one of those days, okay?)

If you're in a pinch, you can cook the veggies and proteins while you make risotto in the instant pot. However, I promise that you can do it on the stove too.

Cook toppings and mix-ins separately

Risotto needs to cook together without interruptions from other ingredients so that the grains stick together and become creamy.

In other words, you don't want to be trying to time things to cook at the same time in the main pot.

Cook any vegetables or proteins separately from the risotto and gently toss them in as the risotto is finished cooking or serve them on top. 

Then top with any shredded cheese or other toppings that you want to use. 

Always use warm stock for risotto

Always use WARM stock. Cold stock will "shock" the risotto, so we need to keep the temperature on the warm side.

If you use room temperature stock, that is okay. But the best risotto is made when you warm the stock in a small saucepan, then ladle it into the risotto as it cooks.

As a result, your risotto will cook faster because the warm stock will keep the entire pot warm instead of shocking it with cold liquid over and over again as you add it.

prep bowls of tomatoes, garlic, shallot, risotto, broth, wine and zucchini

Ingredients

Here is what you need to make this easy recipe for tomato and zucchini risotto.

  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 zucchini
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • fresh garlic cloves or minced garlic
  • arborio rice
  • dry white wine (such as pinot grigio or chardonnay)
  • vegetable broth (chicken broth or beef broth are okay!)

You can also mix in other summer veggies and herbs as well, such as corn kernels, squash, basil or mushrooms. Or use any vegetables you have on hand!

Don't be afraid to customize your recipes! Often I find two to three recipes that I combine to make my own version.

That's how this recipe was born, I learned how to make a basic risotto and then started to add different ingredients that I liked. Are you a strict recipe follower (my husband is)? Or do you just wing it?

risotto and broth in a pot

How to make tomato zucchini risotto

This tomato zucchini risotto may seem tricky at first because there are a lot of steps.

But I promise you that you can do it! If you get discouraged, I encourage you to try again.

Here's how to make it:

  1. In a small sauce pan, pour in the vegetable broth and set to low heat. 
  2. Cut off ends of zucchini and then quarter and slice about ½ inch thick. Set aside to cook in step 8.
  3. Slice grape tomatoes in half vertically and set aside, these will be tossed into the warm risotto after cooking. 
  4. Dice onion and mince garlic. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a sauce pan on medium heat, sauté onions and garlic until almost translucent, about 2 minutes. 
  5. Add arborio rice to pan and stir with wooden spoon until the edges are translucent, another 2 minutes. 
  6. Pour in wine and let the wine absorb almost fully, about 5 minutes, stirring halfway through. 
  7. Use a ladle to pour about ½ cup of broth into the risotto. Allow risotto to almost fully absorb broth before adding another ladle. Stir risotto occasionally, between ladling in broth.
  8. While the risotto is cooking, sauté zucchini in frying pan in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until zucchini is fork tender. 
  9. When there is about a ½ cup of broth left to add to the risotto, take a spoonful to test. Risotto typically is served "al dente" but you can cook it to your personal preference. When resting, the risotto will continue to cook so be sure to not overcook it during this process.
  10. If needed, add the rest of the broth or more to cook to the right consistency for your preference.
  11. Add zucchini and tomatoes into risotto and stir together. Serve immediately.

Got leftovers? Here's how to reheat risotto perfectly every time.

Gray bowl with vegetable risotto on top of a blue linen napkin.

What to serve with risotto

This tomato and zucchini risotto is delicious on its own, but you can also add on lots of proteins.

These Cast Iron Skillet Grilled Steaks are one of my favorites to make with risotto for a fancier meal.

But on a weeknight I might make these Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs — they are so easy!

I also love to cook up these Marinated Italian Pork Chops. Such a good Italian dinner.

If you like seafood, you can try blackened shrimp or oven-baked scallops.

The best part of risotto is that it is so customizable, so make this recipe and tweak it to your liking! I hope you fall in love with risotto.

Stainless steel pot of creamy risotto with zucchini and tomatoes.

Tomato Zucchini Risotto

This easy Tomato and Zucchini Risotto is the perfect summer dish. Serve it on the side or as a meal.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Madison | A Joyfully Mad Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 2 medium zucchini quartered and sliced ½ inch thick
  • ½ cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ cups arborio rice
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 32 oz vegetable broth

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan, pour in vegetable broth and set to low heat. 
  • Cut off ends of zucchini and then quarter and slice about ½ inch thick. Set aside to cook in step 8.
  • Slice grape tomatoes in half vertically and set aside, these will be tossed into the warm risotto after cooking. 
  • Dice onion and mince garlic. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a saucepan on medium heat, sauté onions and garlic until almost translucent, about 2 minutes. 
  • Add arborio rice to pan and stir with wooden spoon until the edges are translucent another 2 minutes. 
  • Pour in wine and let the wine absorb almost fully, about 5 minutes, stirring halfway through. 
  • Use a ladle to pour about ½ cup of broth into the risotto. Allow risotto to almost fully absorb broth before adding another ladlefull. Stir risotto occasionally, between ladling in broth.
  • While the risotto is cooking, sauté zucchini in frying pan in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until zucchini is fork-tender. 
  • When there is about a ½ cup of broth left to add to the risotto, take a spoonful to test. Risotto typically is served "al dente" but you can cook it to your personal preference. When resting, the risotto will continue to cook so be sure to not overcook it during this process.
  • If needed, add the rest of the broth or more to cook to the right consistency for your preference.
  • Add zucchini and tomatoes into the risotto and stir together. Serve immediately.

Notes

Always use at least lukewarm stock - never cold.
Use vegetable broth to make this risotto vegan.
Instead of using wine, squeeze in lemon juice at some point during the cooking process or at the very end for a punch of lemon flavor.
To reheat risotto, microwave individual portions or add a splash of cooking broth and bake until heated through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 621mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g

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9 Comments

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  4. Yummmmm! When I'm making something for the first time, I follow it precisely. When I get more comfortable making it, I wing it. 🙂

  5. Yummmmm! When I'm making something for the first time, I follow it precisely. When I get more comfortable making it, I wing it. 🙂