Asparagus and Pea Risotto
The perfect veggie side to any meal, this Asparagus and Pea Risotto is rich in flavor and texture. This vegetarian recipe is a great way to add vegetables to any meal and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Recipe development and testing done in collaboration with Heather Staller
Why you need to make this risotto recipe…
- It’s thick and loaded with incredible flavors like parmesan cheese, broth, and butter.
- A delicious way to get more veggies into your life since this risotto recipe is packed with asparagus and peas.
- This asparagus and pea risotto is super easy to make! I feel like a lot of people are intimidate by risotto recipes, but it is actually quite simple. It does take some patience as you stir and wait for the broth to absorb into the rice, but your patience will be rewarded with the creamiest, tastiest veggie side dish!
- This recipe sounds fancy, but it is made with very simple ingredients. I live in a little town in the middle of no-where Vermont and was able to easily find all of the ingredients for this risotto at my local grocery store.
- Risotto makes for great leftovers! Make this veggie-loaded dish and enjoy it for days to come. Totally worth the effort.
- It is adaptable. Like almost all of my recipes, you can see the Suggested Adaptations section below for how to tweak this risotto recipe to fit your life and needs.
Looking for ways to have your produce to last longer? Check out How to Store Asparagus (so it stays fresh!) for my tried-and-true tips and tricks.
Make it dairy-free. You can leave out the cheese to make asparagus and pea risotto dish completely dairy free. Be sure to taste the rice at the end of cooking to add enough salt.
Make it vegan by subbing the butter with vegan butter and the cheese with 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast.
Up the veggies in this risotto recipe. Sautéed mushrooms and/or spinach would also be a lovely addition! Also, add more peas or asparagus than what the recipe calls for to make this extra veggie-loaded.
Leave out the peas or asparagus to fit your personal taste preference.
Use frozen asparagus. Just thaw it out before adding so that it cooks evenly.
Use white wine instead of vinegar. Traditionally risotto is made with white wine, but I never have white wine on hand and I know some people prefer to not cook with alcohol. So, while I use vinegar in this recipes, you can absolutely use white wine in its place if you prefer. Add a ¼ cup of dry white wine to deglaze the pan instead of the vinegar and continue with the recipe as written.
Kitchen gear used when making this recipe
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Other veggie-loaded sides to keep dinner interesting
- Corn and Black Bean Salad
- Pesto Veggie Pasta Salad
- Easy Roasted Radishes
- Roasted Carrots and Potatoes
- Easy Veggie Fried Rice (vegetarian)
- Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
- Cheesy Cauliflower Nuggets
Did you try this veggie-loaded risotto recipe and now you’re hungry for more?
Asparagus and Pea Risotto
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , or additional oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion or shallot
- 1¼ teaspoon salt, divided
- 3-4 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice , or other short grain white rice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
- 4 cups unsalted vegetable broth
- 1-2 cups water
- 10 ounces fresh asparagus, tough ends discarded, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup frozen peas
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- pepper, to taste
- Heat oil and butter in a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add onions/shallot and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallot has softened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add rice and stir for 1 minute to gently toast.
- Add vinegar and a splash of broth then scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Stir in 2 cups of vegetable broth and about 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring pot up to a simmer. Stir every few minutes until most of the broth has been absorbed. Repeat this process with the remaining 2 cups of broth. This will take about 20-25 minutes
- Stir in 1 cup of water and cook until more of the liquid has been absorbed. Taste a few grains of rice. If rice is still very hard in the center (it’s ok if the rice isn’t completely cooked since it will continue to cook for a few more minutes), stir in the additional cup of water and cook for a few more minutes. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally, until asparagus is tender, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the peas, lemon zest, lemon juice, and Parmesan. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with extra Parmesan to sprinkle on top, if desired.