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Creamy Vegetable Risotto Recipe (gluten free, dairy free, vegan)

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Risotto is a classic Italian dish that has become a staple at my home. This creamy vegetable risotto recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.

Yet, it’s packed with flavor from fresh summer vegetables and herbs.

This risotto is perfect for those who need to eat gluten free due to celiac disease or gluten intolerance.  Plus, since it’s dairy-free and vegan, it’s perfect for those who cannot consume milk as well. 

Keep reading for everything you need to know to make this perfect vegan risotto dish including ingredient substitutions and trouble shooting tips, or use the jump to recipe button below to go right to the printable recipe.


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Why you’ll love this creamy vegetable risotto recipe:

  • This is a simple and easy vegan risotto recipe which honestly makes a complete meal on its own.
  • Since this risotto omits butter and cheese, it’s definitely a healthy vegetarian risotto option with way less saturated fat without sacrificing flavor!
  • It also makes a great side dish for meat lovers.

What is risotto?

Risotto is a traditional Italian dish made from rice, stock, and different types of vegetables.  In Italy, risotto is typically served at room temperature and is often eaten as a first course.

Risotto is a great dish for someone with celiac disease or gluten intolerance because it relies on rice which is naturally gluten free.

However, when ordering it at a restaurant or looking for a pre-made risotto or risotto kit in store, there is always a risk that gluten-containing ingredients may be added.  

This post here lists not only some really yummy gluten-free (and vegan) risotto boxed mixes and frozen pre-made risotto options, but also includes tips for ordering risotto safely at restaurants.

Can you make risotto without cheese?

While many risotto dishes use parmesan cheese (or something similar), traditional risotto does not actually rely on cheese to make it creamy.  

The starches from the Arborio rice accomplishes that on its own!

Because of that, this recipe will not even use vegan cheese to get this creamy texture. 

What vegetables go into risotto?

Honestly, almost any vegetables would taste great in risotto!

Traditionally, risotto may contain peas, artichokes, spinach, mushrooms, or tomatoes.

In this creamy vegan risotto recipe we’re using tomatoes and zucchini for a delicious combination of summer vegetables.

Ingredients for this gluten free risotto recipe

Most of these ingredients can be found at your local grocery store, but you’ll find great deals on Arborio rice, olive oil, gluten-free spices and even wine at Thrive Market.

Click here to learn more about Thrive Market and a promotional link to receive up to $20 in free product on your first order!

Ingredients for zucchini and tomato risotto

To make this risotto without cheese you’ll need:

Optionally, you may also want some toppings for your risotto such as some pine nuts to roast, extra herbs, or some vegan parmesan cheese.

For oil-free vegan risotto, omit the olive oil and sauté the rice and vegetables in a bit of water or vegetable broth.

How to make vegetarian risotto

The term “risotto” comes from the Italian verb “riso”, meaning “to boil”. This refers to the cooking method used to make risotto, which involves boiling the rice in water, along with other ingredients.

In this recipe, we’re boiling this rice with some delicious seasonings and veggies.

First, prepare your vegetables by mincing the garlic, dicing the sweet onion, slicing the zucchini into half-moons, halving the tomatoes, and cutting the basil into thin ribbons.

cut zucchini and tomatoes

In a large pot, heat half of the olive oil on medium heat, adding the onions and garlic and cooking until softened.

Add the rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring, until the rice begins to turn translucent.

onion garlic and rice in pot with wooden spoon

Add the white wine and stir to be sure no rice is sticking to the bottom of the pot.  Cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add just over half of the broth, oregano, salt, and pepper.

adding broth to the risotto rice

Turn down the heat to medium-low and cook until the liquid is absorbed stirring regularly.  This should take just over 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low, add the remaining broth, and cook for 2-3 more minutes stirring regularly.  Remove from the heat and set your pan aside while you prepare the vegetables.

creamy vegan risotto in pot with wooden spoon

Heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over high heat.  Add the zucchini and sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened and some brown spots appear.  Remove the zucchini from pan and leave the oil.

Add the halved tomatoes and cook for 30 seconds to a minute until they start to soften.  Remove from the pan. 

Stir about 3/4 of the vegetables and basil right into the risotto.  Serve immediately and top with the remaining vegetables and basil.

creamy no cheese risotto in pot with zucchinni tomatoes and basil

If needed, season with salt and pepper to taste.

How to serve your creamy vegetable risotto

Serve your risotto rice topped with fresh chopped herbs like more basil or fresh parsley and some fresh-ground black pepper.

You can also top this gluten free risotto recipe with roasted pine nuts for an even more complex texture.

If you really crave that cheesy taste, sprinkle a bit of vegan parmesan cheese! Either way, it will taste delicious!

plated gluten free vegan risotto with salt basil and tomatoes

How to store leftover risotto

This risotto will stay good in the fridge stored in an airtight container for about 3-4 days. 

Freezing your risotto will likely change your leftover risotto too much to retain the perfect risotto texture.

plated gluten free vegan risotto with salt basil and tomatoes

Creamy Vegetable Risotto

This gluten free vegan risotto recipe is one of the most easy risotto recipes featuring spring and summer vegetables that you will love!  This will become your go-to creamy vegetable risotto recipe that's totally dairy-free!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 376 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 skillet
  • 1 heavy bottom pot

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable broth or water + bouillon
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine or more vegetable broth
  • 4 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves ribbon cut

Instructions
 

  • Prepare your vegetables by mincing the garlic, dicing the onion, slicing the zucchini in semi-circles (1/4 in thick), halving the tomatoes, and stacking the basil lives and slicing into thin ribbons.
  • In a large, heavy bottom pot, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until softened.
  • Add the rice and cook for 1 more minute, stirring frequently, until the rice begins to be translucent on the edges.
  • Immediately add the white wine and stir to ensure no rice sticks. Cook for 1-2 minutes and add in 1 3/4 cups of the broth and the oregano, salt, and pepper.
  • Reduce heat slightly and cook for 12-14 minutes until the liquid is absorbed, stirring regularly.
  • Turn the heat to low and stir in the remaining broth. Cook for another 2-3 minutes stirring regularly. Remove from the burner and set aside.
  • Heat the remaining olive oil in a large pan over high heat. Add the sliced zucchini and cook for 1-2 minutes before flipping and cook for an additional minute until just cooked. Remove zucchini from pan but leave the oil.
  • With the pan still on high heat, add the sliced tomatoes. Cook for 30 seconds to a minute until starting to soften. Remove from pan.
  • Stir cooked zucchini, tomatoes, and 3/4 of the basil gently into the risotto.
  • Serve immediately and top with remaining basil.

Notes

note: nutrition information is provided as a courtesy, but may not accurately reflect the final nutrition composition of your final dish depending on ingredients, substitutions, and serving size.
see the full blog post above post for:
  • ingredient and equipment suggestions & substitutions,
  • tips for modifying the recipe, and
  • frequently asked questions
Keyword dairy-free, gluten free dairy free, gluten free meal, gluten free vegan, risotto, tomato, vegan, vegetarian, zucchini

Did you love this easy creamy vegetable risotto recipe?

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Other gluten free vegetarian meals you’ll love:

bowl of creamy vegetable risotto pin with text zucchini and tomato risotto

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Recipe Rating




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Liv

Sunday 25th of September 2022

I've never made a risotto before but I love the fact that this recipe is gluten free! It means I can cook for more friends!

Sharon McCaskill

Sunday 25th of September 2022

Great! hope you love it!

crystal Dufresne

Friday 22nd of July 2022

thank you so much for this recipe, the fact that is creamy and diary free was great. my son whom can be picky at times asks for seconds and the kids ate most of what was serve. Everyone in my household enjoyed it. Am always looking for something new to try and this was the best. Thank you again.

Sharon McCaskill

Friday 22nd of July 2022

I am SOOO happy to hear this! Thank you for letting me know :)

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