August 4, 2021

Grilled Summer Corn Risotto

I love risotto, and I enjoy making seasonal variations on my basic recipe, like this Grilled Summer Corn Risotto. The grilled corn kernels add flecks of color and little bursts of sweetness in this creamy, savory rice dish. Pair it with additional grilled vegetables for a light yet hearty summer meal, or serve it as a side dish with your favorite grilled chicken, fish, or plant protein.

I figure if I’m out at the grill for the corn, I might as well load up the grill with other seasonal vegetables, so I like to put on thick slices of zucchini and skewers of cherry or grape tomatoes with the corn, and serve them up with this risotto. I also love the combination of sweet corn and savory basil pesto, so I like to serve this risotto and vegetables with basil pesto drizzled over everything. Put that all together, and this dish just screams summer in a bowl!

Just about the only things that could make this dish better are a chilled glass of wine and sharing it with friends! I highly recommend making this for a small late-summer dinner party, while corn, zucchini, and tomatoes are at their peaks. It’s a celebration of summer produce, and it’s sure to impress!

Ingredients assembled for Grilled Summer Corn Risotto
Assemble your ingredients.

Grilling corn on an outdoor grill, then finished grilled corn, zucchini, and tomatoes
Start by grilling your corn. I like to use an outdoor grill since it's summertime, and while I've got it fired up, I throw on more summer veggies like zucchini and tomatoes.

Removing kernels from the grilled corn and placing the stripped cobs in vegetable broth in a pot
Once the grilled corn is cool enough to handle, remove the kernels and set them aside. Place the stripped corn cobs in the vegetable broth to infuse it with even more corn flavor.

Stages of cooking the corn risotto
Make the risotto, and add the corn in the last few minutes to heat it back through.

Grilled Summer Corn Risotto served on a white plate with grilled grape tomatoes and zucchini
Serve the Grilled Summer Corn Risotto garnished with basil pesto and grilled tomatoes, and additional grilled veggies such as zucchini.

Original publication date: August 5, 2021

Grilled Summer Corn Risotto

The grilled corn kernels add flecks of color and little bursts of sweetness in this creamy, savory rice dish. Pair it with additional grilled vegetables for a light yet hearty summer meal, or serve it as a side with your favorite grilled protein.


Kira Freed - The Joyful Plateful











3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided

3 ears fresh corn, husks removed

1/2 large sweet onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups arborio rice (or short-grain rice)

1/2 cup white wine

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 cup water

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese


  1. Start by grilling the corn. Heat an outdoor grill (or indoor grill pan) to high heat. Brush the husked corn with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Grill over high heat 12-15 minutes, turning frequently, until the corn begins to develop grill marks on all sides. Remove from heat, and let cool until comfortable to handle. Remove the kernels from the corn cobs by running a sharp knife down the cob, which is standing upright in a large bowl to catch the kernels. After kernels are removed, set them aside.
  2. Place the stripped corn cobs into a large pot with the vegetable broth and water. Bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to low while you start the risotto. Steeping the cobs in the broth and water will infuse extra corn flavor into your risotto.
  3. In a large, heavy-bottom pot such as a Dutch oven, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat.
  4. Add onions to large pot with olive oil, and saute until beginning to soften, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add minced garlic and saute until fragrant, about 60 seconds.
  6. Add rice to the sautéed onions and garlic, and stir to coat rice evenly in the oil. Toast the rice, stirring frequently, about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add white wine to rice mixture, stirring to release bits from the bottom of the pot. (See note.) Stir until absorbed.
  8. Begin adding your heated vegetable broth mixture, 1 cup at a time, to the rice mixture. After each addition, stir frequently to avoid sticking to the pot, and to develop the starches that will make the risotto creamy. The rice mixture should be at a gentle simmer at this point. Once broth is mostly absorbed, add another cup, and continue stirring - repeat about every 4-5 minutes, until broth is gone and rice is cooked through.
  9. At 20 minutes, begin testing the rice for doneness. The grains should be tender all the way through, with no firm bite at the center. Add the reserved corn kernels to the risotto mixture to heat through.
  10. At 20-25 minutes, the rice should be fully cooked. Turn heat to low, season with the salt and pepper, add the parmesan cheese, and stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
  11. Serve risotto immediately, as this is when it is at its creamiest. Serve with additional grilled summer vegetables (such as zucchini and tomatoes) and garnish with a spoonful of basil pesto.


  • You can substitute 1/2 cup additional broth or water for the white wine. If you omit the wine, add 1 Tbsp. lemon juice with the broth or water, for acidity.
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May 24, 2022
I don't normally comment on recipes but this has got to be the best thing I've ever made. It came together pretty easy and made five meals - perfect for meal prep for the week. I already can't wait to make it again.
January 22, 2022
Sherry Ruiter
I love this section!!!!!