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Filled with crisp-tender pieces of asparagus, this asparagus risotto is easy to make and ready in 30 minutes. With parmesan cheese and lemon, it’s a delicious spring side or main.
My kids love risotto because it’s creamy and cheesy, so it’s a great base for adding other ingredients they aren’t as thrilled about.
You’ll love it too — the tender stalks of asparagus cook gently in the rice, and a bit of lemon brings out the flavor of this versatile spring dish.
Plus, risotto is easier to make at home than you might think! Grab a stirring spoon and let’s get started.
Ingredients for asparagus risotto
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this recipe.
Asparagus – I prefer using fresh asparagus for this dish. You’ll need 2 cups of diced asparagus, which is approximately 10 ounces.
Thin or thick asparagus spears is a matter of preference, so choose what you like! Keep in mind that thin asparagus will cook quickly, while thick asparagus needs more time.
Olive oil – To sauté the shallot and rice.
Vegetable stock – To keep this dish vegetarian, use vegetable stock. Don’t need it vegetarian? You can use chicken stock.
I like to have my homemade vegetable stock on hand for dishes like this.
Shallot – Sharper than onion but not as pungent as garlic, shallots are wonderful for risotto.
You can swap in diced white onion if desired.
White wine – Wine is used to add a bit of distinctive flavor as well as to deglaze the pan after sautéeing. Because you only need a small amount, choose a wine that you enjoy drinking and serve the rest of the bottle with dinner.
Arborio rice – A classic risotto rice, arborio is a short-grain rice originating from Italy.
Most grocery stores carry arborio rice now, but if you can’t find it, any other short-grain rice will do in a pinch.
Do not buy the boxes of risotto mix for this recipe. The rice in those mixes is parcooked and will not work.
Salt – Use to taste, as the salt content in vegetable stock can vary.
Lemon juice – Lemon is wonderful in risotto and pairs very will with asparagus, making the dish more vibrant. Both fresh lemon juice and bottled lemon juice will work.
Parmesan cheese – Use fresh grated parmesan cheese, not parmesan granules from a can. A wedge of parmesan will last for a long time in the refrigerator. (Save the rind for soup broth!)
Butter – To add a creamy finish to the dish, I stir in a little butter at the end of cooking.
Black pepper – Added to taste.
How to make this recipe
To make this dish, first prep the asparagus.
Trim off the woody ends by snapping the spears; they’ll break off at the natural division between the tender and woody parts.
Cut the asparagus into small pieces and set aside.
Pour the vegetable stock into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Keep warm while you continue the recipe.
In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium. Once the oil is shimmering, add the shallot and sauté for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.
Add the rice and stir well. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often, until rice is lightly toasted. The edges of the rice grains should start to look more translucent, while the centers will still be opaque.
Pour in the wine and stir well to deglaze the pan. Most of the wine will cook off quickly.
Pour in 2 cups of the warmed stock and stir. Cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid is absorbed. You should be able to see the bottom of the pan for a moment when you stir through the rice.
Add in ½ cup stock and continue cooking and stirring. Add more stock as the rice continues to absorb it, making sure to stir often.
Once the rice has cooked for about 15 minutes, add the asparagus. Keep adding more vegetable stock and stirring to prevent sticking.
When you’ve used nearly all of the stock, taste the rice for doneness. It should be tender but not mushy, creamy with just a slight amount of chew.
Once the rice is done cooking, remove from heat and stir in the butter and lemon juice, then mix in half of the grated parmesan cheese and black pepper to taste.
Serve immediately, with the rest of the parmesan cheese for garnish.
For more lemon flavor, add lemon zest in addition to the juice.
Add other spring vegetables! Green peas or diced carrots are wonderful options.
Give it a kick of spice with crushed red chile pepper.
Do I need to use wine in risotto?
If you are avoiding alcohol or don’t have white wine on hand, no problem! While the alcohol cooks off in risotto, some choose to not use it.
You can simply leave out the wine. In its place, use ¼ cup of broth to deglaze the pan.
Can I use frozen asparagus?
If asparagus is out of season where you live, swap in frozen asparagus!
Make sure it is completely thawed and drained.
Because frozen asparagus usually comes in whole spears, you will need to cut it before adding it to the risotto.
Frozen asparagus is partially cooked, so add it toward the end of the recipe. Let it warm through and cook until tender before finishing the dish.
How long does asparagus risotto last in the fridge?
Risotto is best eaten immediately. This is because the rice will continue to soak up any liquid.
However, if you have leftovers, you can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
To regain as much of the original consistency, reheat it in a saucepan with a small amount of broth or stock. Stir as you warm it, to loosen up the rice again.
Can I freeze asparagus risotto?
Asparagus risotto can be frozen. However, you will lose much of the original texture.
Portion it into individual containers and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw in the refrigerator, then warm gently with extra liquid.
Other asparagus recipes to enjoy
You’ll likely have some leftover asparagus after making this recipe, so why not try some of my other recipes?
Make some steamed asparagus to add to your favorite main dishes, soups, or salads.
Add savory, salty flavor with bacon wrapped asparagus, a delicious starter.
You’ll love this creamy asparagus risotto as a wonderful dish to celebrate asparagus season!
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below! It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced shallot, or onion
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 10 ounces asparagus, diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan, divided use
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer.
- Heat another medium-size saucepan over medium low. Add oil and shallot and cook until translucent and tender.
- Turn up the heat to medium, add the rice, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2-4 minutes or until the grains are mostly translucent and only white in the center. Pour in the wine and stir to deglaze the pan, cooking another minute until most of the liquid is evaporated.
- Add about 2 cups of the broth and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Make sure the rice isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add more liquid ½ cup at a time as the rice absorbs it, and stir. The less liquid you have in the pot, the more you have to stir, but resist the temptation to pour in all the liquid.
- After about 15 minutes of cooking, add the asparagus and continue adding broth and stirring so the rice doesn’t stick. Taste every few minutes and turn off the heat when the rice is tender but not mushy and the asparagus is vibrant.
- Add more broth or hot water if risotto looks stiff. Stir in the butter, lemon juice, half the cheese, and black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve with the remaining cheese sprinkled on top.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.
I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…