Vegan Asparagus Risotto
Recipe type: Main Dish, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
A creamy, lemony dairy-free asparagus risotto that is healthy and perfect for spring.
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced (about ¼ cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) arborio rice
  • ¾ to 1 cup white wine
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8-9 cups unsalted or low sodium vegetable broth or stock
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Pour broth or stock into a pan and bring just to a simmer.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat for 30-60 seconds until shimmering. Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
  3. Next add the rice. Cook, stirring constantly for about a minute then add the wine. Stir and cook while the wine absorbs into the rice. Add the bay leaf, lemon zest and juice.
  4. Ladle about 1 cup of broth into the pan. Cook, stirring constantly and letting the liquid be completely absorbed. The heat should be on medium to medium-low. Not too hot that it burns on the bottom. You want to cook it slowly so the starch from the rice is released and it turns creamy.
  5. Add another cup of hot stock and keep cooking and stirring. Repeat until rice is creamy and cooked through. It should not be mushy or crunchy, but al dente (to the tooth).
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the asparagus. Season well with salt and black pepper. Serve hot. Garnish with extra lemon zest, if desired.
-The recipe is great as written, but if you want to add a creamy, cheesy factor to it, I tried adding extra virgin coconut oil, a little unsweetened almond milk, and nutritional yeast to some of the risotto. It was amazing how well that worked! It had a rich mouth feel and it tasted really good. It did have a very light coconut flavor, but not enough to be off-putting. If you go that route, add 1 Tablespoon solid coconut oil, and stir it in over low-heat. I added the almond milk after that and cooked for a few more minutes, then added a spoonful of nutritional yeast. All of that is after I added in the asparagus.
-Al dente means the rice is not crunchy or mushy. It's right in the middle. If you do decide to add the optional ingredients listed above, start adding them in when the rice is still a little undercooked so the extra cooking time doesn't make the rice mushy.
-If you're not dairy-free and want to make a more traditional risotto, add 1-2 Tablespoons of butter and ½-3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano right before you add the asparagus.
Recipe by Cafe Johnsonia at