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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?
- 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!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 4 people
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 600
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.