Lemon Basil Risotto- Gluten, Dairy and Egg Free

Risotto has become one of our favorite meals.  It isn’t the usual pasta or rice side dish which honestly, we were all getting sick of. And I do not like rice, it’s too boring for me. I was always led to believe that Risotto is a complicated dish to make, but it isn’t at all!  It takes a little time because of the slow cooking method, but it’s so easy my 9 year old daughter is the designated Risotto maker of our house! From start to finish, this recipe takes about 1/2 hour. Risotto is a gluten free meal or side dish that isn’t pasta, it is arborio rice so it is naturally gluten free.  The high starch content in arborio rice, when cooked slowly, is what creates a velvety, creamy comfort food that mimics a dairy and/or egg based sauce. It is absolutely delicious on its own, or as an out of the ordinary side dish for grilled meats or vegetables.

I have made every possible variation of risotto, but this lemon basil risotto is our family’s all time favorites.   Risotto is slowly cooked to develop a creamy sauce of its own, then infused with fresh lemon rind and juice and finished with ribbons of fresh basil. Then, top it all off with a clean tomato and green onion mixture that has been marinated in olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar.  The flavors of this combination are out of this world!  I double the amount of tomato topping and use it on bruschetta or just as a cold side salad of its own, it’s so delicious. My husband loves this for leftovers the next day and has even had it for breakfast with a poached egg on top! (he can eat eggs).  And it is delicious and beautiful enough for company which is always a bonus for me.  Try it out, I bet this becomes one of your spring/summer staples!

Creamy Lemon Basil Risotto – Gluten, Dairy and Egg Free

Category: Dinner, Recipes

Servings:  6-8

Creamy Lemon Basil Risotto – Gluten, Dairy and Egg Free


  • TOMATO TOPPING -Make this first so it can marinate while the risotto is cooking:
  • 1 1/2 c. halved grape tomatoes
  • 3 Tblsp. chopped green onions
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tblsp. Olive Oil (or grapeseed or avocado oil)
  • 1 c. chopped onions
  • 1 Tblsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 c. dry white wine
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 -3/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. fresh ground pepper
  • Lemon rind from one lemon
  • 2 Tblsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil


  1. For the tomato topping:
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and let sit for flavors to marinate. Add a dash of sugar if it is bitter at all.
  3. Risotto:
  4. Pour broth into medium saucepan and heat on low. Do not boil.
  5. On another burner, heat olive oil in large saucepan. Saute onions on medium high until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add Arborio rice and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in wine and cook until wine is completely absorbed, stirring frequently. (about 1 minute).
  6. Add warmed broth to rice, one ladle at a time, allowing each to completely absorb until adding the next. Stir frequently. Continue this until all broth is absorbed. This is a slow process which creates the creaminess of the risotto.
  7. Add lemon rind, lemon juice, salt and pepper and stir for 1 minute. Fold in chopped basil.
  8. Top with marinated tomato mixture and enjoy!


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