Creamy Tomato Risotto with Pan Fried Barramundi Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Creamy Tomato Risotto with Pan Fried Barramundi

7 reviews / 4.9 average

If there were a time for an official, adoring goodbye to summer flavors, I think this would be it.

Bjork spent last weekend doing the official Fall Clean Up in preparation for winter, and I’ve been spending more and more time inside, working on my Fall Sweater Bod with new fall and winter soups, breads, and other cozy things. The days are still oscillating between WAS THAT A SNOWFLAKE? to WHY DID I PUT MY T-SHIRTS AWAY?, and even though it’s getting dark earlier and earlier, there are moments where you could step outside and almost feel like it’s June.

Creamy Tomato Risotto with Pan Fried Barramundi in a bowl

But the fall-to-winter switch is really happening, and all of this gives me the image of us collective food lovers standing on the edge of a huge ship, waving to our summer favorites – the tomatoes, zucchini, herbs, green beans, and corn – as we set sail for winter. It’s been real, friends! Thank you for the fresh flavors and juicy bites! We’ll be in touch!

Not to say that we can’t break out the canned tomato sauce and ice-cube pesto stores in the freezer once the snow starts falling – I will be sad and disappointed in us if we don’t – but I think this recipe may be my last bittersweet goodbye to recipes involving fresh tomatoes and fresh herbs. It’s time.

Creamy Tomato Risotto with Pan Fried Barramundi with a wooden spoon

After the last Barramundi recipe I posted, the skillet with the fresh tomatoes and butter and garlic and white beans and such and the one that you all raved about in the comments ♡ and that had me licking my bowl with zero percent shame, I am feeling like we might be onto something with the white-fish-tomato-herb-garlic thing. So what else to do but carry on the torch with this amazing food and flavor combination to see what other magic we can create? Soul sister flavors, similar vibe, NEW FORM.

New form is looking like a few different things.

  1. Still using Barramundi, but this time: fried crispy and golden brown and perfect, with the skin. Okay, hoooooold on. It’s okay to feel your feelings about this. Sometimes it helps to know what you are and what you aren’t in life – and I will be the first to say, I am just straight up NOT the kind of person who is high-class enough to fry a whole skin-on, head-and-eyeballs fish for dinner. I’m more of a freezer shrimp poppers kinda girl // proud // represent. So let me tell you how this skin-on fish situation works for me. Our pals at Whole Foods, being attentive like it is to things like sustainable seafood, not only carry Barramundi but actually offer a skin-on version if you go and ask at the seafood counter. And if you’re not digging the skin situation just yet, it’s okay – you can also get the wonderful regular Barramundi filets and enjoy yourself some melt-in-the-mouth awesomeness just as easily.
  2. Speaking of melt-in-your-mouth perfection, how about a slow-simmered tomato risotto that has the most delicate kiss of fresh tomato-thyme flavor and sings little love notes of Parmesan and garlic to serve as a perfect little bed for your fried, crispy, golden, fish? MORE YASSS.
Pan Fried Barramundi with a fork

I know a lot of us are looking to make sustainable seafood choices but don’t really know where to start. I’M IN THAT CLUB. And I’m telling you – here’s an easy way to do it: buy Barramundi. It’s a basic white fish that tastes similar to sea bass (the stuff you get a great restaurants? yes. that.) and it cooks as easily as the frozen tilapia that everyone is familiar with. But the bonus is that it has Monterrey Bay Aquarium’s highest rating for sustainability, plus it’s totally clean, mercury-free, and delicious.

See, told you. 👇🏼

Creamy Tomato Risotto with Pan Fried Barramundi on a plate with a fork

Even better, October is National Seafood Month! 🎉 If you want to celebrate and try Barramundi – either the skin-on OR skinless filets – be sure to use this coupon! Awyeah.

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Barrumundi fish with tomato risotto on a plate.

Creamy Tomato Risotto with Pan Fried Barramundi


Creamy Tomato Risotto with Pan Fried Barramundi! Slow-simmered tomato parmesan risotto paired with crispy fish. YUM!



Creamy Tomato Risotto

  • 67 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • a few cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, minced (adjust to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 4 tomatoes, grated or pulsed through a food processor
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • 3 large filets of Barramundi (skin on)
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • lemon juice


  1. Heat the chicken broth in a saucepan and keep it warm.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme. Stir until softened. Add the arborio rice and stir until coated with the butter.
  3. Add 1 cup of warm broth and stir until absorbed. Repeat with 1/2 cup of pulsed tomatoes. Repeat again, alternating between broth and tomatoes, stirring after each addition until all liquid is absorbed. Repeat this process until the risotto is cooked. This will take 20-30 minutes. Add a handful of Parmesan, the remaining chopped tomatoes, and salt to taste and stir to combine.
  4. Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Add a generous swish of olive oil. Pat fish filets with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (I also cut them in half since they were so big! Eyeball it based on the number of people you’re serving.) Add dry filets to the pan, skin side down, and fry for several minutes on each side. It will be hot and it might splatter, so watch out. When the fish is cooked and golden brown/crispy, remove from the pan.
  5. Serve the fish with the risotto and an extra sprinkle of Parmesan.
  6. For a quick pan sauce, toss some butter in the pan that you fried the fish along with a pinch of thyme and lemon juice. Whisk until combined and serve over the fish.
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: Italian-Inspired

Keywords: tomato risotto, risotto recipe, barramundi recipe, parmesan risotto, seafood recipe

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This post was sponsored by Australis Barramundi. We love love love this delicious, sustainable fish! 

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Recipe rating


  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’ve never even heard of barramundi before this post ~ intriguing. And I didn’t know October was National Seafood Month. But this looks delicious and healthy and honestly, I’m ready for Fall flavors. Fall cleanup, not so much. I’m trying to nag Tom to get the outdoor chores done so I can do less but that hasn’t been happening. I try not to nag but it is pretty effective at times. But if he cooked me this dinner, then I’d be happy to take on fall cleanup like gutter patrol.

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This made me realize that I have never fried (or otherwise cooked) a skin-on fish before at home! Since it’s apparently National Seafood Month, this is something I should get on. As a pregnant lady, the mercury-freeness of the barramundi is appealing!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks absolutely fantastic! Seriously, you make the barramundi look sooooooo good. Can’t wait to curl up with a good oyster book and nosh on this dish.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Made this tonight because the pictures were everything I needed and wanted on a cold drizzly day. Absolutely delicious – my 9 year old ate 3 helpings of risotto. Thanks for yet another winning recipe!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    The barramundi and the risotto are two things I absolutely love! I love how your method for cooking the barramundi is nice and simple, the best way to cook fish in my opinion (:

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I was so excited to see this recipe because I loved the last barramundi recipe over the summer and this was just as good! Love the risotto. Very excited about my leftovers.

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I was just wondering if you’re ever going to list nutrition content anymore? That was one of the main reasons I loved your blog so much!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Make this recipe and you will not regret it! This was my first time making risotto at home and I’m pleasantly surprised how creamy it is with only using a couple tablespoons of butter and no cream. This risotto was hearty and super tasty!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Made this tonight and loved it! However the risotto took over an hour to cook. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Definitely going to make it again in the future but a shorter cooking time would be awesome

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    That looks so good! I love risotto! Love, love, love. You used to see it more frequently on menus but the timing issue is probably challenging for restaurants.

    Also, great choice of fish. It’s firm enough yet at the same time, light enough.

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Made this tonight. Came out great. Used one cup of risotto and a can of fire roasted tomatoes. Hubby loved it. You have great recipes!!