Spring Vegetable Risotto

5 from 2 votes
45 minutes
Jump To Recipe

This lovely Spring Vegetable Risotto has spring written all over it with artichokes, asparagus, peas, and a touch of lemon! Best of all, you don’t need to stand at the stove stirring because it bakes in the oven while doing other things. Serve as an elegant side, or with a few tweaks, a lovely vegetarian main dish!

One bowl of Easy Risotto Recipe with Spring Vegetables garnished with asparagus spears and lemon wedge.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper!

Why stand at the stove stirring risotto when all you need to do is bake it?

That’s right! The standard method of making risotto requires slow additions of hot broth, stirring, more hot broth, etc. This painstaking method is necessary to get all the rice grains cooked evenly.

This easy risotto recipe starts on the stovetop and goes into your oven to finish cooking. The even heat of the oven cooks the rice perfectly!

This Spring Vegetable Risotto is:

  • Perfect for that first al fresco dinner on the patio in the spring!
  • Beyond easy because it’s baked!
  • Low-labor!
  • High flavor!
  • Versatile! Once you master this easy oven method for risotto, you can adapt it to any vegetable or any ingredient. Serve as an elegant side, or with a few tweaks, a lovely vegetarian main dish!

Let’s make it!

One bowl of Easy Risotto Recipe with Spring Vegetables with asparagus spears on the top and lemon wedge.

What is risotto?

Risotto is a traditional Italian rice dish that’s generally made with short-grain arborio rice, which is very starchy. Because it’s made with just a few ingredients, the technique is essential: slowly adding warm stock to the rice, stirring until the stock is absorbed, ladling in some more stock and repeating. This cooking method can also be applied to other small grains or pasta, such as barley, farro and orzo.

How to Make Spring Vegetable Risotto:

Recipe Ingredients:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this easy risotto recipe, along with how to prep. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.

Ingredients for Easy Risotto Recipe with Spring Vegetables in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Chicken Broth: A good, rich stock or broth is essential for risotto. The best one is the one you make yourself. When I can’t make my own, I use Swanson Natural Goodness which is widely available and it has reduced sodium. You can also use vegetable broth to make this easy risotto recipe vegetarian (along with rennet-free Parmesan cheese).
  • Lemon: You’ll need the whole lemon–zest and juice.
  • Dry White Wine: Use a dry white wine you enjoy drinking. NON-ALCOHOLIC SUBSTITUTION: Use broth instead and add a bit more lemon juice if desired.
  • Arborio Rice: Arborio rice is a type of short-grain rice used primarily in making risotto. Named after the area in Italy where it was initially cultivated, arborio is now grown in the United States. The grains are short, fat, and slightly oval-shaped with a pearly white exterior. Because of the milling process, arborio retains much of its natural starch content that helps produce the signature creaminess of the risotto. It’s higher priced than conventional white rice.
  • Artichoke Hearts: If possible, opt for frozen artichoke hearts. Canned or jarred hearts tend not to be as flavorful.
  • Parmesan Cheese: As mentioned above, this recipe can be made vegetarian by using rennet-free Parmesan cheese.
  • Mascarpone: Mascarpone (pronounced mahs-car-POH-nay), is an Italian double or triple-cream cream cheese originating in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy. It’s an essential ingredient in tiramisu, the classic Italian coffee and chocolate dessert. Because of the high-fat content, mascarpone adds richness to savory dishes, too, like this easy risotto recipe.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Gather and prep all the ingredients.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Trim the tough ends off the asparagus. Cut the asparagus into 1 1/2-inch pieces, leaving the tips approximately 3 inches long.
  • Place the broth in a saucepan and gently warm it up. (It doesn’t have to be simmering, just not cold or room temperature). Alternatively, heat it in a microwave-safe container in the microwave.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon butter in a large oven-safe skillet or shallow Dutch oven over medium-high heat on the stovetop.
  • Add the asparagus and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until bright green, keeping the tips separate from the rest of the stalk pieces as much as possible.
  • Transfer to a plate to cool, keeping the tips and stems separated.
Asparagus tips and stems in white enamel cast iron skillet.
  • Add the remaining oil and butter to the oven-safe skillet, keeping the heat at medium-high.
  • Add the onion, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 4-5 minutes or until beginning to soften.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 10-15 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Add the rice and coat it with the fat. Cook, frequently stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until most of the grains are translucent.
  • Add the dry white wine. Bring to a boil and cook until most of the wine has evaporated.
Wine added to rice, onions and garlic in white enamel cast iron skillet.
  • Add 4 cups of the warmed broth, lemon juice and zest. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, stir, cover and place in the oven.
Chicken broth added to rice, onions, garlic and wine in white enamel cast iron skillet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. (The rice should be slightly underdone or “al dente.”)
  • Give it a stir. It will look a little “tight,” but the final addition of broth will loosen it up and make it creamy.
Cooked risotto in white enamel cast iron skillet.
  • Return the pot to the stove on low heat.
  • Stir in 1 cup of the remaining broth or more as needed, mascarpone cheese and Parmesan cheese.
  • Add the artichoke hearts…
Parmesan cheese, mascarpone and artichokes added to cooked risotto in white enamel cast iron skillet.
  • …Peas and asparagus stems.
  • Top with the asparagus tips.
  • Serve immediately with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.
Finished risotto with asparagus tips in white enamel cast iron skillet garnished with lemon wedges.
  • That’s it! An easy risotto recipe with spring vegetables! You’ll never stand at the stove stirring risotto ever again!

Enjoy!

Finished risotto with asparagus tips in white enamel cast iron skillet garnished with lemon wedges.

Chef Tips and Tricks:

  • To determine how much to trim asparagus, bend one of the stalks near the bottom until it breaks. It breaks where you should cut the remainder, as they’re all typically the same size in the bunch and were probably growing next to each other.
  • Although you should measure the amount of broth that initially goes into the risotto, it’s a consistency you’re after, which is loose and creamy, so you’ll need to judge how much to add at the end.
  • Serve risotto in heated bowls so it stays warm and creamy longer.
Two bowls of Easy Risotto Recipe with Spring Vegetables garnished with asparagus spears and lemon wedge.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can you make risotto ahead of time?

Yes, it actually can be done using a restaurant trick, but not if you’re doing it in the oven as in this risotto recipe. If you do it on the stovetop, place a rimmed sheet pan in your freezer to get it good and cold. When the rice is about 75% cooked, still has a chalky raw center, and you haven’t added all the broth or any cheese, butter, or cream, remove it from the heat and spread it onto the super cold sheet pan. Let it cool completely and refrigerate it. When you’re ready to serve, place it back into the pan and resume cooking with hot broth.

Can you freeze risotto?

If you plan to freeze it, undercook it by 20 to 25% so it still has plenty of “bite” left. You can expedite the cooling process by spreading it evenly on a chilled baking tray. Then, divide the risotto into portions and transfer each into an airtight container or freezer bag. It’s recommended to eliminate as much air as possible from the freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.

How do you reheat leftover risotto?

Fair warning: The texture of the rice won’t be the same as freshly made. To reheat leftover risotto, add a small amount of water or broth to “loosen” it. Reheat in the microwave in short bursts, stirring in between, adding additional broth if needed. You can also reheat it on the stovetop in a small saucepan, adding broth as needed.

One bowl of Easy Risotto Recipe with Spring Vegetables with asparagus spears on the top and lemon wedge on whitewashed cutting board.

Storage:

  • Store any leftover risotto in the refrigerator.
  • Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

What to serve with risotto:

More great risotto recipes you’ll love!

Get all my Bean, Grain and Rice Side Dishes at Side Dishes – Beans, Grain and Rice – From A Chef’s Kitchen

Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email and I’ll send it to your inbox. Plus, get great new recipes from me every week!
Save Recipe
* By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails.
Logo for From A Chef's Kitchen with gray oval border and green knife.
One bowl of Easy Risotto Recipe with Spring Vegetables with asparagus spears on the top and lemon wedge on whitewashed cutting board.

Spring Vegetable Risotto

5 from 2 votes

Click to Rate!

By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
This lovely, easy risotto recipe has spring written all over it with artichokes, asparagus, peas and a touch of lemon! Best of all, you don't need to stand at the stove stirring it because it bakes in the oven while you do other things. Serve as an elegant side, or with a few tweaks, a lovely vegetarian main dish!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Side Dishes – Beans Rice and Grains
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 482 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 5-6 cups vegetable or chicken broth - or as needed
  • 1 bunch asparagus - (approximately 1 pound) tough ends trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil - divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter - divided
  • 1 small onion - finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large lemon - zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese - divided, plus more for serving
  • 1 box (10-ounce) frozen artichoke hearts - thawed, patted dry and halved widthwise
  • 1 cup frozen green peas - thawed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley - divided

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cut the asparagus into 1 1/2-inch pieces, leaving the tips approximately 3 inches long.
  • Place the broth in a saucepan and gently warm it up. (It doesn't have to be simmering, just not cold or room temperature). Alternatively, heat it in a microwave-safe container in the microwave.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon butter in a large oven-safe skillet or shallow Dutch oven over medium-high heat on the stovetop.
  • Add the asparagus and cook for 1-2 minutes or until bright green, keeping the tips separate from the rest of the stalk pieces as much as possible. Transfer to a plate to cool, keeping the tips and stems separated.
  • Add the remaining oil and butter to the oven-safe skillet, keeping the heat at medium-high. Add the onion, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 4-5 minutes or until beginning to soften.
  • Add the garlic and cook 10-15 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Add the rice and coat with the fat. Cook, frequently stirring for 2-3 minutes or until most of the grains are translucent.
  • Add the dry white wine. Bring to a boil and cook until most of the wine has evaporated.
  • Add 4 cups of the warmed broth, lemon juice and zest. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, stir, cover and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. (The rice should be slightly underdone.)
  • Stir the risotto. It will look a little "tight," but the final addition of broth will loosen it up and make it creamy.
  • Return the pot to the stove on low heat. Stir in 1 cup of the remaining broth more or as needed, mascarpone cheese, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese and half the parsley. Add the artichoke hearts, peas and asparagus stems.
  • Top with the asparagus tips and remaining Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Notes

Although you should measure the amount of broth that initially goes into the risotto, it’s a consistency you’re after, which is loose and creamy, so you’ll need to judge how much to add at the end.
Serve in heated bowls so that it stays warm and creamy longer.
 
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 482kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 348mg | Potassium: 441mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1087IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 269mg | Iron: 4mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment, star rating or post your photo on Instagram and tag @fromachefskitchen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating