Asparagus Risotto – A Couple of Chefs

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Written By Omph impha

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That Asparagus risotto transforms simple ingredients into a creamy, luxurious dish! Roasted asparagus, zesty lemon, and shaved parmesan make a satisfying meal perfect any night of the week.

Creamy, tasty, crunchy and spicy: this asparagus risotto is truly sublime. Alex and I are craving fresh flavors around here, and this sophisticated yet simple dinner is the perfect antidote: the perfect dinner spring recipe!

Roasted asparagus with lemon while preparing a creamy risotto on the stove. Then toss the tender, bright green asparagus into the risotto, along with the lemon. You’ll wish the pot never ran out – we certainly did!

  • “We made the asparagus risotto tonight and it was SO SO good! I was surprised by how much lemon flavor there was when roasting the lemons with the asparagus. We had to avoid eating everything in one dinner! -Connie
  • “It was so delicious. It was creamy and spicy and the asparagus was perfect! -Karen

Main ingredients in asparagus risotto

You’ll need a few simple ingredients for this asparagus risotto. The flavors are crisp and pure. Here’s what you need:

  • White arboreal rice: Arborio rice is an Italian short-grain variety that releases its starches gradually during cooking, creating risotto’s signature creamy texture. You should be able to find it in most grocery stores. Avoid substituting any other variety of rice in this recipe.
  • Asparagus: Look for thin to medium spears that have a mild, sweet flavor.
  • Broth and dry white wine: White wine is essential for nuanced flavor. If you prefer, you can substitute more broth for the wine.
  • Lemon: Fresh lemon infuses a hint of citrus.
  • Parmesan cheese: The cheese gives the dish tasty notes.
  • Roasted pine nuts: This Italian-style garnish enhances the flavor; here it is how to toast pine nuts. Olive oil, butter, onion and garlic powder round out the flavors of this dish.
Asparagus risotto in a pan with lemon slices.

How to make risotto: step by step

Making risotto is very simple! It’s just a matter of slowly cooking the short-grain rice with broth until it’s extraordinarily creamy. When we first started cooking, we thought risotto was something that came out of a box marked “risotto.” Turns out it’s just a special way of cooking arborio rice. Here are the basic steps (for exact steps and amounts, go to the complete recipe below).

Roasted asparagus

Step 1: Cut the asparagusand mix with olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Place it on a baking sheet lined with lemon slices and bake at 425°F for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender.

Risotto recipe

Step 2: Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic powder and rice and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the liquid is completely absorbed.

Asparagus risotto

Step 3: Add 2 ladles of heated broth and cook, stirring until the liquid is absorbed, then add 2 more ladles. Continue cooking and adding broth in the same way for about 12 minutes until creamy but still al dente. Reduce the heat, add 2 more ladles of broth, the Parmesan cheese and stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes.

Once you have a thick and creamy risotto, add the asparagus and toasted lemon slices and serve immediately.

Asparagus risotto on plate with pan in the background.

What to serve with risotto

Sometimes it’s difficult to decide how to turn risotto into a complete meal, especially if it’s vegetarian. Accompanying with salad gives a filling vegetarian dinner. Here are some ideas for what to serve with risotto:

Storing Leftovers

This asparagus risotto is best the day it is made. You can store leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 days, but the color of the asparagus will fade. Gently reheat on the stove before serving.

Tip: If you love risotto, be sure to try our Classic Risotto, Pumpkin risotto, Mushroom risottoIt is Creamy Shrimp Risotto.

A few more asparagus recipes

Want more ways to use this healthy green stalk? Here are some asparagus recipes to add to your repertoire:

Dietary Notes

This asparagus risotto recipe is vegetarian (with vegetarian parmesan cheese) and gluten-free.

What if I don’t have arborio rice?

Arborio rice is ideal for its creamy texture. Wait until you have time to access this variety before making risotto.

Is white wine essential?

White wine adds acidity and depth of flavor, but you can omit it for a non-alcoholic version. Just replace the wine with vegetable broth.

My risotto seems very dry. What can I do?

Risotto consists of gradually adding broth. If your risotto seems dry, simply add a little more hot stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly, until it reaches the desired creamy consistency.

How can I add more protein to my risotto?

For a tastier meal, mix sautéed shrimp or diced pancetta with asparagus.

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Description

This asparagus risotto transforms simple ingredients into a creamy, luxurious dish! Roasted asparagus, zesty lemon, and shaved parmesan make a satisfying meal perfect any night of the week.


  • 1 liter vegetable broth
  • 1 liter water
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher saltDivided
  • 1 pound of asparagus
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 lemon (zest of half, plus 4 slices of the other half)
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups white arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional embellishment: Roasted pine nuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Heat the broth: Combine broth, water and 1 tsp kosher salt in a pan and place over low heat. (You will use this heated broth to mix with the risotto).
  3. Cut the vegetables: Chop the onionplace in a bowl and set aside. Cut off the tough bottom ends of the asparagus and then cut it into five centimeter pieces.
  4. Prepare the asparagus: Add the asparagus stalks to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and a few grains of black pepper. Add the zest of ½ lemon and mix with your hands. Thinly slice 2 lemon slices, cut each in half and place directly on the tray.
  5. Start the risotto: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic powder and rice and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, until the rice begins to brown. Add the wine and cook until the liquid is completely absorbed.
  6. Roast the asparagus: Place the tray with asparagus in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until bright green and soft when pierced with a fork in the thickest part. The time will depend on the thickness of the asparagus spears. (You will remove it from the oven while cooking the risotto in the next step.)
  7. Meanwhile, prepare the risotto: Add two ladles of the hot broth to the risotto. Cook, stirring occasionally until the liquid is fully absorbed, then add two more ladles of stock. Cook in the same way for about 12 minutes, adding two ladles and stirring. After 12 minutes, try a grain of rice. If it’s creamy but still al dente in the center, you’re ready for the final step! If not, continue cooking and add the broth for a few more minutes.
  8. Finish the risotto: When the rice is al dente, reduce the heat to low. Add two more ladles of broth, the Parmesan cheese and a few grains of black pepper. Stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes until you have a thick, creamy risotto. Then mix in the asparagus and toasted lemon slices and serve immediately. Store refrigerated in a closed container for 3 days, although the color of the asparagus will disappear (reheat before serving).

  • Category: Main course
  • Method: Stove
  • Kitchen: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Key words: Asparagus risotto

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