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Risotto Cakes with Tomato Compote



Risotto Cakes are the best way to use up risotto leftovers, but there are a lot of people who like to make risotto and keep in the fridge for the next day just to make these delicious patties! They are also versatile: serve as an appetizer, or as a side for steak, fish, chicken, veal or pork. My recipe is topped with an easy, tangy Tomato Compote, for extra moist. Tomato Compote is also quite versatile and can be served as a topping for chicken and fish too. I hope you enjoy!

Makes 20


  • 3 cups day-old risotto (see Cook's Notes)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups Panko bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


Place eggs in a small bowl. Lightly beat with a fork. Set aside.

Spread Panko in a different bowl. Set aside next to beaten eggs.

Form balls of risotto using an ice-cream scoop or a large spoon. Pat balls into patties of approximately ¾ -inch of thickness. Dip risotto patty into egg; then coat both sides into the panko. Set aside in a large plate. Repeat process for remaining risotto.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, until shimmering. Place patties in the hot oil and cook, turning once, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Continue cooking in batches, until all cakes are done. Add more olive oil to skillet, if necessary. Serve immediately, topped with Tomato Compote (recipe below).


Tomato Compote

Makes 1 ¾ cups


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (see Cook's Notes)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft; 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and orange zest; cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to swell and burst open a bit, about 5 minutes. Gently stir in sugar and cook for an additional minute. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Cook's Notes:

Risotto cakes are the best way (maybe the only way) to use up risotto leftover. Risotto is supposed to be a very creamy dish but after it has been chilled, the starchy Arborio rice becomes really sticky and, therefore, perfect to be shaped into cakes.  

Any risotto recipe should be outstanding for risotto cakes. In these pictures, I used leftover Herbs Risotto with chives, dill and basil, finished with mascarpone and Parmigiano-Reggiano.  If the risotto you are using for cakes has large pieces of vegetables or protein (shrimp, for example) slice it thinner before making the patties.

Below are the links to some of my favorite risotto recipes that work especially well for risotto cakes:

Four Cheese Risotto

Creamy Saffron Risotto with Mixed Mushrooms (slice large pieces of mushrooms before making the patties)

Fig and Prosciutto Risotto

I happened to have available approximately 3 cups of risotto leftovers; which was enough for 20 cakes. Adjust ingredients accordingly if you have more or less than that amount.

Risotto cakes can be a great appetizer for large parties. To keep them warm until guests arrive, place fried cakes on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and keep in the oven for up to 30 minutes. Arrange on a serving platter when ready to serve.

Tomato Compote is a simple topping that compliments a variety of dishes extremely well. It is great with baked or broiled fish, chicken, bread and, obviously, risotto cakes.
I used yellow and red cherry tomatoes in this Compote recipe. Yellow cherry tomatoes are usually slightly firmer and tarter then red cherry tomatoes. It made for an interesting combination, but for a sweeter compote stick to red cherry tomatoes only.


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