Traditionally, a proper risotto is a labor of love that takes time and careful attention. For that very reason, a lot of us don’t get to enjoy this delicious dish nearly as often as we should. We simply don’t have the time on busy weekday nights to dedicate a full half-hour to making what should be an incredibly simple meal. Luckily, we have a solution that comes in the form of a delicious and easy baked vegan risotto recipe!

No matter what your day looks like, the period between finishing work or school and sitting down to enjoy dinner is usually pretty hectic. While you’re snacking away on tasty after school treats and helping your kids study for their (surprisingly challenging!) math test, there is one question that will continue to nag at you: what am I making for dinner tonight???

Weeknight meals need to be delicious for everyone (especially the little ones) and easy to make in a pinch. It’s not hard to get stuck in a bit of a rut: we often find a few recipes that meet both these needs and make them over and over again. There’s no time like the present for putting a new recipe on the menu that will save you time and make your family happy!

We’re a big fan of Darn Good Veggie’s latest recipe: Vegan Risotto. Not only is it tasty, healthy and meatless, it’s incredibly easy to prepare. We know how much busy parents need a recipe like this in their culinary arsenal, so we got the scoop from our friend Laurel at Darn Good Veggies.

package of RedRoyals with vegan risotto

First of all, you should know that this risotto is different from that traditional recipe you’re thinking of. To save you 30 minutes of standing at the oven, stirring and stirring (and stirring!) until the rice softens and the flavors meld together, Laurel uses a fool proof “set it and forget it” method that gives you the chance to spend more quality time with family or relaxing by yourself.

Trust us when we say that this simple trick is a lifesaver on busy school days. It’s not quite the same as a traditional risotto, but it still has the same unmistakable, creamy flavor that adds a touch of gourmet to your menu.

Start by preheating the oven to 350°F. While your oven is warming up, dice a shallot or small onion and sauté it with a tablespoon of olive oil. You’ll want to use some sort of pot that can be moved into the oven, like an enamelled cast iron dutch oven. If you don’t have a large enough pot, you can always transfer from a frying pan to a casserole dish when it comes time to bake it.

When the shallots begin to become translucent, stir in arborio rice. This is one case where there can be no substitutions – without arborio rice, you’ll miss out on the creamy texture and buttery flavor you’re going for.

At the same time, you can prepare to roast the succulent topping that will add that savory, sweet splash of flavor the whole family loves: RedRoyals™ Sweet Cherry Tomatoes on-the-Vine.

RedRoyals™ have a delightful, vibrant crunch when eaten fresh, making them the perfect snack to enjoy while preparing this recipe. When roasted, the natural sugar that gives these unique cherry tomatoes their distinct sweetness is caramelized for a rich, truly majestic flavor. They’re the perfect accent to enrich such a simple but elegant dish.

On a baking sheet, drizzle the cherry tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Keep the tomatoes on the vine for now; there is a uniquely fresh, earthy aroma when you roast them on the vine that adds to the dinner experience.

close up view inside vegan risotto dish

Once your rice is completely covered in olive oil, add 1 ½ cups of hot water and 1 cup of vegetable broth to the pot. Stir it all well and add a pinch of salt and pepper.

Place your oven-safe pot and baking sheet with tomatoes in the oven. Set a timer for twenty minutes and get back to the rest of your evening. You have plenty of time until it’s ready, so you can help your kids with their homework or kick your feet up and watch TV.

When the timer rings, check to make sure the rice has absorbed all the water and remove it from the oven. Stir in some butter and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Spoon some risotto into individually portioned bowls and top with the roasted tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.

All that’s left to do is call everyone to the table and dig in!

To view, download or print the full recipe, click here.