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Simple caprese risotto uses fresh, gluten free, heart healthy ingredients to create a warm creamy dish with all the best of a caprese salad melted right in!
I am loving that February is declared Heart Health Month by the American Heart Association, so what better time to start celebrating than on Feb 1st?!?
Eating a heart-healthy diet became a huge deal to my family after my dad a massive heart attack and a fancy quadruple bypass surgery a few years ago.
I remember visiting him in the hospital after his surgery. He was wrapped in bandages, plastic tubes, and beeping machines and yet asked to see a menu because he was hungry.
When his nurse handed him a menu and told him he could order anything off the menu that was heart-healthy with a red heart on it, he gave everyone a sad look.
In his medicated state, he immediately asked for a red Sharpie and made his own red hearts around the fried chicken and chocolate cake on the menu.
After the nurse stopped laughing and caught her breath she had a real deep conversation with my woozie father.
That talk didn’t stick. I partly blame the drugs… partly.
Once Dad left the hospital there was a big move to making more heart-healthy choices.
We looked more closely at ingredient labels and nutrition information. Why is salt added to everything?
Okay, so back to today’s recipe….
I don’t think I need to explain this situation very much. This dish is a soft melty risotto that combined forces with the freshness and flavor of a caprese salad.
I keep it really simple and take out all the ingredients and steps that aren’t extremely necessary and replace some ingredients with heart-healthy choices and fresh produce.
I feel that a lot of people are scared to make risotto for fear of those rumors that it’s hard to make.
It’s not hard to make y’all, but it is a dish that you have to have patience with. No high heat!
Repeat with me…. “low and slow”….. “low and slow”…..
Here are some of the healthy changes I made to your basic risotto recipe:
- This recipe uses some fresh ingredients
- Heart-healthy Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes (no salt added) make this recipe a breeze. No chopping required!
- No salt added
- No white wine
- Low sodium vegetable broth is used instead of chicken broth for a vegetarian twist!
- It’s gluten free deliciousness
I feel like all of these simple caprese risotto pictures deserve a scribbled red Sharpie heart on them 🙂
Simple caprese risotto tips:
- I can’t stress this enough! Cook it low and slow. Patience is a virtue! If you cook the rice over anything higher than med-low heat your rice won’t cook properly.
- Stir the risotto frequently, every minute or so. Don’t get caught up in Facebook or Instagram or you will be sorry.
- Make sure your vegetable stock is added in warm.
- If you are short on time or want to make this recipe uber convenient, use Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes (no salt added). The recipe calls for 1/2 a can, but tossing in the whole can will only lead to more deliciousness. Mmmmmk?
Simple Caprese Risotto
Simple caprese risotto uses fresh and heart healthy ingredients to create a warm creamy dish with all the best of a caprese salad melted right in!
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 3 TBSP dried chopped onion
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 14.5 oz can Hunt's Diced Tomatoes drained
- 1/3 cup torn basil leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cubed
- pepper to taste
In a small saucepan heat the broth over medium-low heat and set aside. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the onion and minced garlic and allow to become brown and fragrant (about 1-2 minutes).
Turn the skillet down to medium-low and add the rice to the browned garlic and stir to coat the rice in the oil. Add in 1/2 cup of warmed broth at a time to the rice, stirring every minute or so. Once the broth has almost completely evaporated add in the next 1/2 cup of broth.
When the last 1/2 cup of broth is being added to the rice, add in all other ingredients. Stir frequently until the cheese is completely melted. Serve while still warm!
Grab your Hunt’s Tomatoes at Walmart this February and help Hunt’s support the American Heart Foundation which they are donating $50,000 to!
Go ahead and grab this Ibotta offer promoting a Buy 4 Get $1 Off Hunt’s rebate while you’re at it too!
Thanks for stopping in friends!
I partnered with Hunt’s, a brand I personally recommend to friends and family for this post. Thank you for continuing to support me, BHHY, and the brands that help make this site possible.