Risotto Cakes with Pesto


Total Time:

40 minutes

I have a love affair with risotto. It’s so creamy and comforting and you can practially add any kind of flavoring to it! I make it all the time for my clients with Chantrelle Mushrooms, or Zucchini Ribbons or Asparagus and Parmesan… I mean the possibilities are endless!  The only problem with Risotto is that when you have leftovers and you heat it up – it never gets to be that super creamy consistency. But – not to fear – I’ve solved this problem, because honestly, we can’t let Risotto go to waste!! Risotto cakes are the perfect solution. All you do is that the leftover risotto, or a freshly made risotto that you chill, form it into little cakes, send it through the breading process and sear them up in a skillet. Serve it with your favorite pesto sauce and call it a day!! They are to die for – and the perfect little munchie at any time of the day.

Risotto Cakes with Pesto

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 40 mins


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots diced (or 1 medium onion)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp Sun Dried Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup Arborio Rice
  • 1/2 cup dry White Wine
  • 2 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Mascarpone Cheese
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp Grapeseed oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs


  • In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute more. Add the Arborio rice to the skillet, making sure to stir it around in the olive oil so that each granule is coated with it, and toast it for about 3 minutes. Next add the white wine and stir the rice. Wait until all the wine has been absorbed and then start adding the chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time, making sure not to add more until the previous addition has been absorbed. Once the rice is just tender, add the Parmesan and Mascarpone cheese and combine. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight.
  • Once chilled, form little risotto cakes with 1/3 cup of the cooked risotto. Whisk the egg into a small bowl. In another small bowl, add the bread crumbs. Dip each risotto cake into the egg mixture, followed by the bread crumbs.
  • Add the Grapeseed oil to a skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add 3 risotto cakes at a time, careful not to crowd the pan. Sear for 2 minutes on each side until the breadcrumbs are just golden brown. Remove from skillet and place on a paper towel to let some of the oil drip off. Serve while warm with a side of your favorite pesto!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Blog is the New Black

    Looks great! I made these once and was impressed with the result, although I am not so great at the risotto…

  2. Jenny Flake

    Those look to die for Gaby! I’d have a whole plate for breakfast if I could! Have a great Monday!!

  3. Shaina

    “I have a love affair with risotto.” You and me both. I am drooling at the idea of a lightly fried rice cake, sort of like arancini, but so much easier to cook.

  4. monika

    I never thought of this as a way to use leftover risotto. What a great idea and they look delicious to boot!

  5. Nadia

    I cant not wait to try this! Looks so good. I am a vegetarian, so I am going to use vegetable stock. Check out my site for vegetarian recipes!

  6. marla

    Gaby, I love this idea!! You are a genius (but we all ready knew that right 😉 Risotto cakes sound amazing & we must try them over here. xo

  7. Amanda

    The flavor combinations sounds wonderful… and you are right, it seems like the perfect way to use leftovers!! Great job!!

  8. Amanda @ Something Savory

    I recently tried risotto cakes and they are delicious! One tip though, add a poached egg! It is absolutely amazing!

  9. Kelly

    It’s always fun to repurpose things that just don’t heat up as well the second day. Risotto cakes or arancini are always a fave.

  10. Kenni

    I’ve made something like these before! I love these more than regular risotto.

  11. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    Love these, especially with the sun-dried tomatoes mixed in! I like the pesto as dipping sauce too instead of the usual tomato based sauce.

  12. Brooke (Baking with Basil)

    Great appetizer idea! These remind me of Risotto Balls I had a recent happy hour. Yours look and sound much better though!!

    I don’t know how I am just now coming across your blog but I love it!! Your photos are amazing!

  13. Cheater Risotto Cakes with Smoked Turkey & Mushrooms

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