Tomato risotto recipe

(688 ratings)

This tomato risotto is great if you're on a budget as it's super cheap to make and really quick to rustle up too

Tomato risotto garnished with a little basil
(Image credit: Getty / Daniela Baumann)
Preparation Time5 mins
Cooking Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Cost RangeCheap

Make this budget tomato risotto if you're strapped for cash, time or inspiration - it's quick, easy, cheap and tasty. 

This recipe is one of our best value cheap family meals. Our mummy blogger Anneliese, says: 'This tomato risotto is my children's favourite meal. My four year old son is rather fussy when it comes to food but always scrapes his plate clean when I serve up this favoured dish! I used to make risotto with expensive risotto rice, believing that there was no alternative. However, I have since discovered that basic white rice works just as well, thanks to Jack Monroe! It really has to be tried to be believed. I now use affordable basic white rice in place of risotto rice and no one can tell the difference; it works perfectly.'


  • 300g basic white rice
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 30g butter
  • 300ml water
  • 500ml passata
  • 250g salad tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
  • 75g -100g mature cheddar cheese




  1. First of all, place the rice, diced onion and butter into your large bowl, cover the bowl with cling film and place into your microwave. Cook on high for 3 minutes.
  2. Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave and peel off the cling film. It's a good idea to use oven gloves as you do this as the steam is very, very hot!
  3. Stir in the passata and water, and then place the bowl back into the microwave and cook for a further 10 minutes, this time uncovered.
  4. Meanwhile, chop your tomatoes and thinly slice the cheese; I am too lazy to grate the cheese but it's up to you!
  5. Add the tomatoes and cheese to the bowl and give the mixture a good old stir. You will see that the cheese will start to melt immediately.
  6. Place the bowl back into the microwave one final time and continue to cook for another 8 minutes; by then the rice and tomatoes should be cooked through.
  7. Give the risotto a stir before serving, to avoid any rice sticking to the bowl. You can sprinkle over a little grated cheese, if you have any spare!

Top tip for making tomato risotto

There is no need to stand over a hot stove, continuously stirring your risotto. It is made in the microwave so you can put your feet up while it cooks.

Anneliese Giggins
Freelance food writer

Author, writer and Mum of three, Anneliese Giggins has been creating recipes for for the past 9 years. She has also created food-related content for household names such as Daily Mail, Daily Express and Her most successful to date was how to feed a family of 4 on £20 a week