Asparagus Risotto

By Alexandra Caspero on March 28, 2023
The best risotto for spring.
Serves 4

Classic asparagus risotto just in time for Spring! Made with fresh asparagus, shallots, arborio rice, and fresh herbs. Vegetarian and easily vegan.

I know it’s only early March, but this asparagus risotto has definitive vibes of spring, which is a welcome sign after months of dreary winter weather.

Risotto is one of my favorite comfort food meals, and while my mushroom risotto recipe is a must during the fall, I wanted to create a fresh version using asparagus and plenty of fresh herbs. This one is reminiscent of my spring asparagus and pea gnocchi recipe, and if you love that one, you’ll love this vegan asparagus risotto recipe.

Close Up Of Asparagus Risotto

Why This Recipe Works

I made this recipe for my mom last month when she was visiting, and she couldn’t believe how bright and fresh this risotto tasted. It’s the perfect balance of creamy and rich, while still being light thanks to the generous amount of chives, parsley, and fresh asparagus. We love asparagus in my home, and I’m always looking for new, delicious ways to cook asparagus. This risotto is it!

To help cut through the richness, I highly recommend a generous squeeze of lemon juice at the end. This recipe is vegan as long as dairy-free parmesan cheese is used, but you can also use regular parmesan cheese if preferred.

Ingredient Substitution Notes and Variations

I love the flavor of shallots in this recipe, but finely chopped white or yellow onion will also work.

You’ll need short-grain rice for this risotto, but if you can’t find arborio rice, then sushi rice will also work. Or, even orzo pasta would work. You’ll prepare it the same way, stirring most of the time and adding the broth in increments until cooked through and creamy. Short-grain brown rice will also work.

Obviously, this recipe is an asparagus risotto recipe, but the same technique can also work with peas, zucchini, broccoli, or any other quick-cooking vegetable. If you use broccoli or zucchini, I’d recommend chopping them well before adding them so they cook quickly and uniformly.

You can even add peas along with the asparagus, as I do in my asparagus and pea gnocchi.

Lastly, I used fresh parsley for this recipe, but basil would also work. Tarragon would also be a great option for a fresh herb!

How to make this Asparagus Risotto Recipe

Cook the Shallots

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat, then add in the shallots along with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, taking care not to burn. Add in the garlic and cook more, again—taking care not to burn. Burnt garlic will ruin the entire dish.

Toast the rice

Add in the rice and cook for 1 minute or so, stirring often, until just toasted and lightly colored. Stir in the wine, then cook for another 2-3 minutes until the wine is reduced by half. Shallots And Rice Cooked

Add the broth

Ladle in the broth, ½ cup or so at a time to the rice. It will be better absorbed if the broth is at least room temperature, but I usually warm it in a saucepan over low heat. Stir often until all broth is absorbed, then sprinkle in a little grated parmesan cheese and stir until well combined.Asparagus Risotto

Repeat and Serve!

Repeat with the rest of the broth and a sprinkle of cheese until the rice is almost tender, then add in the asparagus with the last bit of broth. You may not need all the broth.
 
Stir repeatedly until the asparagus is cooked through. Add in the chives, parsley, lemon zest, and juice. Season to taste, adjust as needed, and serve. Asparagus Risotto

How to Store

I don’t think you’ll have leftover risotto as it’s so delicious– but place any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

I don’t think that risotto is as good as the day you make it, so if you don’t need as much as this recipe calls for then you can halve it.

Bowl Of Risotto With Asparagus

Tips for Success

The reason this recipe works is the layering of the cheese along with the broth. This helps to make sure the cheesy flavor is in every bite. For an extra creamy texture, I like to stir in a little unsalted butter at the end.

If you don’t drink wine or don’t want to cook with wine, you can omit it from the recipe. It adds in another layer of flavor but isn’t key to the success of this recipe.

The fresh herbs really make this asparagus risotto bright tasting—I don’t recommend skipping them in place of dried herbs.

Close Up Of Arborio Rice For Risotto And Asparagus

How to Trim Asparagus Quickly

All asparagus must be trimmed to remove the woody end. While you can snap the woody end off of each spear, I find it easiest to snap off one of the asparagus spears and then line it up with the rest of the asparagus.

Then, chop the rest of the asparagus at the same place and you’ll easily trim all of your asparagus in seconds.

Frequently Asked Questions

What pairs well with Asparagus Risotto?


Since risotto is so creamy and rich, I like to pair it with a simple green salad for balance.

What is the secret to a good risotto?


Good broth! Since the rice absorbs so much of the broth as it cooks, you’ll want to ensure that you like the taste of your broth.

What rice is best for risotto?


Arborio rice is traditional for risotto, which you can find in most grocery stores or online. Short-grain rice, like sushi rice, will also work if you can’t find it.

Asparagus Risotto

More Asparagus Recipes:

More Spring Pasta Recipes:

If you make this recipe, make sure to come back to leave a rating and a comment. Your feedback helps other readers and seeing you make my recipes makes my day.

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Bowl Of Classic Risotto With Asparagus

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Bowl Of Classic Risotto With Asparagus

Asparagus Risotto

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, risotto, healthy
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Classic asparagus risotto just in time for Spring! Made with fresh asparagus, shallots, arborio rice and fresh herbs. Vegetarian and easily vegan.


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, risotto, healthy
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Italian
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, risotto, healthy
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Italian
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 small shallots, diced
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, warmed
  • 1/3 cup parmesan or vegan parmesan cheese
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, tough ends removed, chopped into 1” pieces
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley or basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice + 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots along with the salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until softened. Stir in the garlic, taking care not to burn.
  2. Add in the rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring to just toast then add in the wine and cook another 2-3 minutes, until the wine is reduced by about half.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low, then add 1/2 cup of broth (about 1 ladle) to the rice mixture and stir continuously until all of the liquid is absorbed into the rice. Add in a generous sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and stir until completely incorporated into the rice. Continue with another 1/2 cup of broth, stirring until completely absorbed, and then a generous sprinkle of cheese, stirring until completely incorporated. You may not need all of the broth, I like my risotto very creamy but if you prefer yours more al dente, then you may only use 4- 4 1/2 cups.
  4. Continue with doing this until the rice is almost tender, then add in the asparagus (with the last ladle or two of both) and cook until the asparagus is tender and the rice is soft and creamy.
  5. If you have any leftover parmesan cheese, add it to the pot along with the chives, parsley, lemon juice, and zest. Stir to completely incorporate, and season to taste. Serve immediately.

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This asparagus risotto first appeared on Delish Knowledge.

Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Chef, and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Anita
      July 15, 2023 AT 3:14 pm

      This was so good. I used frozen asparagus for the first time and was very pleased with the taste and texture.Sometimes asparagus in the store just doesn’t taste fresh to me and almost has an “ off” taste. This way I can make this delicious dish any time of year. Also loved the addition of the lemon juice, which gave it a little sparkle !

      I’m now making, on average, a delish knowledge recipe almost daily. They’re THAT good.

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