Creamy Garlic Basil Risotto with Shrimp and Blistered Cherry Tomatoes

I don’t care who you are— if you whip up some homemade risotto with fresh herbs, you will automatically seem like an elevated home cook who’s got their sh*t together. Risotto is known for being time consuming and difficult to make, but I have a really fun secret to tell you!!! It’s not hard. At all. And it’s a myth that you have to stand and stir every 2 minutes for 30 minutes in order to make risotto. I mean, yes, that is a traditional way to make risotto and you can do it that way, which will yield a great final product. However, it’s not 100% necessary to do that in order to achieve peak risotto deliciousness. That’s all I’m here to tell you. I’m also here to tell you that you can do it!!!! I used to refrain from making risotto for such a long time because I was so intimidated by it. The first time I made it, I was taken aback by my emotions. 1) I was shocked at how great it was and how easy it was to make 2) I was angry that so many people scared me away from making it on my own for so many years. Remember, I grew up in a household where I ate cereal and frozen dinners. My mom knew how to make pasta and that’s it,. Anything else, we ordered in. It was awesome, but it did impact my view of cooking until I was an adult. So, that being said, you can trust me when I say something is easy to make.

creamy basil garlic risotto with shrimp and tomatoes

If you’re nervous about making risotto, I actually have a tutorial on YouTube on how to make my creamy artichoke and kale risotto (kind of similar to this recipe and worth checking out.) After watching this video, I think you’ll feel a teensy more confident in whipping this up! And, if you want to see how to make risotto in live time, I am making this exact dish on Amazon LIVE


creamy basil garlic risotto with shrimp and tomatoes

Creamy Garlic Basil Risotto with Shrimp and Blistered Cherry Tomatoes

This risotto is easy to make, creamy and flavorful with notes of basil, garlic and parmesan cheese. It's topped with a simple spin on shrimp scampi and some blistered tomatoes. Great for groups. Enjoy!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4 people


For the risotto

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 bunch basil finely chopped, reserve about 2-3 tbsp whole leaves for topping
  • 1 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • Salt to taste, if needed

For the shrimp and tomatoes

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • Pinch of salt for seasoning shrimp, to taste
  • 1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter


For the risotto:

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot medium-high heat.
  • Add onion, season with salt and sauté until fragrant and slightly golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add garlic and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add rice, cook and toast it for 2 minutes
  • Add wine and deglaze the pan, stir and cook to evaporate.
  • Add all of the chicken broth, mixing every 3-4 minutes as the rice begins to soak in the broth. Continue cooking until the rice is al dente and the liquid as mostly evaporated. During this cooking process, work on the tomatoes and shrimp (instructions below.)
  • Add the half-and-half and remove the pot from heat.
  • Add Parmesan cheese and butter, and mix until combined and the butter is melted. Then, add the basil and season with salt and pepper. Mix until fully incorporated and taste. If you think the risotto needs more salt, sprinkle a little in, then mix and taste. Continue to do this until you're satisfied with salt levels. Everyone is different, so I love to leave the salting part up to your interpretation! The parmesan already has a lot of salt, so that's why this is optional. Trust your taste buds!
  • Top with the shrimp and blistered tomatoes and more basil.

For the tomatoes and shrimp:

  • Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over high. 
  • Just before oil starts to smoke, add tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly charred. 
  • Dry the shrimp with a paper towel and sprinkle salt on both sides. Set aside.
  • Lower heat, add shrimp and garlic season with salt, and cook for 1-2 minutes. 
  • Add wine, bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes, until the shrimp is pink and cooked through. 
  • Remove from heat, add butter and parsley, and swirl to melt butter and create pan sauce. Serve over risotto. 


If you’re vegetarian, feel free to skip the shrimp and top with a vegetable of your choice. 
Keyword arborio rice, basil, butter, cherry tomatoes, chicken broth, dried parsley, garlic, half and half, onion, Parmesan, seared shrimp, white wine
creamy basil garlic risotto with shrimp and tomatoes


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