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Garlic Risotto

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This Garlic Risotto is the ultimate creamy delicious dinner—and it’s vegan! This garlic herb risotto takes 25 minutes and is flavor packed!


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter or olive oil (see note 1 to make oil-free)
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and minced
  • 8 cloves garlic (or less to taste), minced (see note 2)
  • 1 + 1/2 cups arborio rice (see note 3)
  • 4 - 5 cups vegan chicken broth (see note 4)
  • 1/3 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, basil, and chives (see note 5)
  • 1/3 cup jarred sun dried tomatoes, chopped, optional (see note 6)
  • 1/3 cup grated vegan parmesan, optional


  1. NOTE: For risotto, use a wide heavy bottomed pot to ensure your garlic herb risotto cooks evenly. I like to cook with my All Clad Nonstick pot but any good quality pot you feel comfortable with will work. If cooking oil-free, it is imperative to use a nonstick pot.
  2. Heat broth: In a different pot (medium sized and deep is good), heat the broth over medium low heat. I recommend keeping it covered to keep it from evaporating too much. Let simmer covered while you cook the garlic risotto.
  3. First melt the vegan butter in your risotto pot over medium heat. If you are cooking without oil, move to the next step and add a splash of broth whenever things start to stick.
  4. Add the shallot and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Now add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds more.
  6. Add the rice and toast for 30 - 60 seconds, stirring constantly.
  7. Cook slowly: Add ⅓ - ½ cup of the broth (about a ladleful) just 1 ladleful at a time, then let that broth absorb, and add another ladleful. Repeat this process for about 20-25 minutes until the rice is softer, but still somewhat al dente--or a little chewy. Babysitting the pot is key to a super creamy and delicious garlic risotto.
  8. Taste the rice and see if it needs any salt or pepper. I usually end up adding a bit of pepper but find that it doesn’t need any salt (due to the brand of vegan chicken broth I use). You can add an extra tablespoon of vegan butter if you’d like to up the creaminess and richness of the risotto.
  9. Add the chopped fresh herb, sundried tomatoes, and, if you'd like, the grated vegan parmesan cheese. Stir through and remove from heat.
  10. Serve and enjoy! You can sprinkle on a little vegan parmesan cheese (we love Violife vegan parmesan block) if you’d like, but I kind of love the super delicious flavors of this garlic herb risotto.
  11. Store: Refrigerate leftovers up to 3-5 days in an airtight container or freeze for up to 3 months in a freezer safe container. I think rice freezes well--I like to add a tablespoon or two of broth or water (or vegan butter) to my rice when reheating.


  • Note 1: While you can make this dish oil-free if you’d like, I think it tastes better and gets creamier if you start with a bit of vegan butter. If you prefer to cook oil-free, saute your shallots in a bit of broth in a good large nonstick pot.
  • Note 2: It wouldn’t be garlic risotto without a prominent amount of garlic in it! If 8 cloves sounds like too much, you’re welcome to reduce it, but keep in mind that may get you risotto with less garlic flavor. I also don’t recommend jarred garlic as it has a very different flavor than fresh minced garlic.
  • Note 3: You must use arborio rice (the easiest to find), or even better: carnaroli rice or vialone nano campanini rice which are shorter and starchier, providing an even better risotto texture. I can find arborio rice (I typically buy Rice Select brand) at every grocery store near me and easily online. If you use any other rice, it will just be vegan garlic rice and I cannot guarantee it will be creamy, cohesive, or anything like risotto. Substitute at your own risk, hah.
  • Note 4: While you can definitely substitute vegetable broth, I really love the flavor of vegan chicken broth in this recipe. My go-to vegan chicken broth is Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base because it tastes SO GOOD. Other bouillon products (such as Orrington Farms vegan chicken bouillon) will work, as will prepared vegan chicken broth (like Imagine vegetarian chicken broth, though it does need added salt in my opinion).
  • Note 5: You can use whatever herbs you like but I prefer softer and fresher herbs like the ones I listed. If you only have dried herbs, use a ½ teaspoon of each I listed, but add them after sauteing the garlic, before you add the rice.
  • Note 6: This add-in is not necessary, but I really love it in this dish. Give them a good chop so you don’t have huge chunks. I recommend using jarred sun dried tomatoes that come packed in oil, but the drier ones will work--I recommend rehydrating these in extra virgin olive oil OR hot water while your risotto cooks, then add them at the end.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Risotto, dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan Risotto, vegan garlic risotto, vegan garlic rice, easy vegan meals, yummy vegan food