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Risotto with Asparagus and Peas is a simple and flavorful recipe to elevate any springtime meal. The tender and creamy risotto is packed with fresh asparagus and plump peas, making it easy to pair with your favorite protein. Serve it as a side dish, starter, or even a vegetarian main dish!
about this risotto with asparagus and peas
A couple of years ago, I decided I was going to make a risotto for every season.
Well, I have one for summer, fall, and winter, but somehow I forgot to make one for spring?
I have a feeling that life got away from me, or perhaps I simply couldn’t narrow down all my ideas to make it happen. There are a lot of spring vegetables, so it wouldn’t be too crazy to think that I got a bit overwhelmed with my options…
Regardless, I FINALLY have gotten around to creating a light and bright springtime risotto, just in time for the first day of spring tomorrow!
Risotto is a comforting meal that I always lean into whenever I’m feeling a little… off. It’s one of those recipes that forces you to slow down and pay attention in the kitchen. You have to slow down and stay close so the rice is stirred often, so it’s a lovely way to just enjoy the process of cooking.
It’s also been a really fun way to introduce our Babycakes to cooking, because stirring is something he can do pretty well at this point.
This spring risotto is fabulous as a base for so many meals, but it’s also super easy to adapt! You can add in your favorite vegetables like zucchini and mushrooms (or swap them in for asparagus if you can’t find it/don’t feel like it!). Throw in some fresh herbs from the garden. You’re going to end up making this recipe a lot, so make it your own!
I’ve never made risotto before… Is it hard?
The funny thing about risotto is that it actually isn’t hard to make at all! What it requires is time. This is not a recipe to rush through, and while it will be done in less than an hour, you need to be a bit more patient with it. There’s no magic trick to speeding up the process (like increasing the heat) without comprising the end result.
If you’ve never made risotto before, I highly recommend checking out my how to make risotto guide. Here is where I will walk you through all the basics of making the best risotto! Once you master the simple technique, you’ll find yourself cranking out seasonal risotto recipes throughout the year.
stock. I like to use chicken stock for this recipe, but if you would like to make it vegetarian, you can also use chicken stock.
oil. All you need is extra-virgin olive oil for this recipe.
asparagus. Fresh asparagus is best here! Be sure to trim off the ends before cutting it into 1-inch pieces.
peas. I use frozen peas, unless I can find them fresh. If you can find fresh peas, simply add them in at the very end of cooking instead of with the asparagus.
butter. Use unsalted or salted butter for this recipe. Be sure to season the recipe with salt along the way, to get the salt level you prefer.
aromatics. Using both shallots and garlic in this recipe really elevates the flavor of the risotto!
rice. Arborio rice is best to use for a risotto. Technically you could use long grain rice, but this recipe has not been tested with it.
wine. I use a dry white wine in this recipe, like a sauvignon blanc. You can also use chardonnay (just not one that’s super buttery), pinot grigio, or pinot gris.
cheese. Freshly grated parmesan is much better than the store bought grated options out there. I recommend getting a block to have fresh parmesan at all times – and don’t throw out the rind because those are excellent to put in soup bases!
this recipe’s must haves
To prep the asparagus, you’ll need a chef’s knife and cutting board.
I cook all my risottos in this risotto skillet! It has tall sides and is the perfect size. You can even double this spring risotto recipe and it will fit well!
Be sure to have a wooden spoon to stir everything together – you’ll be stirring for a bit!
I also have a small saucepan to keep the chicken broth warm throughout cooking.
here’s how to make asparagus and pea risotto
Be sure to have a small saucepan with chicken stock (or vegetable stock, if using) on the stove! Cover and keep simmering over low heat.
In a large skillet (I like to use my risotto skillet here), heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Once hot, add asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, until tender-crisp. Cooking time will depend on how thick your asparagus spears are.
Add peas and cook for another minutes, until the peas are defrosted. Transfer vegetables to a plate or bowl and set aside.
In the same skillet, melt a couple tablespoons unsalted butter over medium heat. Add shallot, cooking until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for one more minute until fragrant.
Add rice and toast, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes.
cook and stir
Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated. Pour in approximately 1 cup of the hot stock. Cook, stirring constantly, until the stock has been absorbed.
Repeat this process, adding 1 cup of stock at a time and stirring until the rice is tender. You may not need all the stock so test the rice between each addition. It should take approximately 25 to 35 minutes total.
Stir in grated parmesan cheese and butter until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in asparagus and peas. Keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.
Serve topped with shaved parmesan.
tips for success
add in some citrus. Want to brighten up the dish? Add a squeeze of lemon juice at the end of cooking to give it a bright punch of acid.
taste test. Don’t forget to taste, taste, taste. You should be seasoning the vegetables with salt and freshly ground black pepper, as well as the final risotto when everything is incorporated!
don’t leave the stove. Be sure to stay close to the stove when you are cooking this recipe. It does require constant stirring, so don’t stray!
More tasty risotto recipes to explore: Winter Roasted Vegetable Risotto | Bacon Butternut Squash Risotto | Summer Corn Risotto
does the stock need to be warm?
Yes! Keeping the stock warm on the stove is one of the more important steps. Don’t skip it! It actually helps speed up the cooking process and you end up with a creamier risotto.
what kind of rice should I use for risotto?
This recipe calls for arborio rice, as most risotto recipes do! Long grain rice can technically be used for risotto, but it requires a different liquid ratio so do not use it in this recipe. It’s also harder to get the creamy texture with long grain rice, so I always recommend using arborio.
how do I make this vegetarian?
All you have to do is use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock in the recipe. This will make the recipe vegetarian to serve as a main or perhaps alongside some crispy tofu pieces.
do I have to use white wine?
I love the flavor that white wine imparts to this recipe. If you are worried about the alcohol content, rest-assured the alcohol is cooked off during the cooking process. However, if you prefer to skip it, you can use vegetable or chicken stock instead of white wine.
can I make this ahead of time?
Generally, risotto is best when you first make it, so I don’t recommend making it ahead of time if you can avoid it.
However, the risotto will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. You can reheat it in the microwave (detailed instructions below, just above the recipe card) as desired.
Need more inspiration for spring recipes? Check out my spring recipes page!
what to serve with risotto with asparagus and peas
This asparagus and pea risotto is fantastic on its own as a vegetarian main (assuming you use vegetable stock) or as a side to any of your favorite proteins. Since this is a lighter spring version of risotto, I recommend pairing it with seafood, chicken, lamb or pork. However it also works really well with steak!
Want to take it to the next level? Considering topping it with pieces of crispy bacon or prosciutto in addition to shaved parmesan. SO good.
Need some ideas for mains to pair with this risotto?
- Roasted chicken with white wine and fresh herbs is an easy addition that bakes in the oven in the time it takes to make this risotto.
- Bust out the air fryer for these scallops with chive lemon butter. They are ready in minutes and work really when when served over a bowl of this spring risotto.
- Air fryer bacon wrapped pork loin is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside!
- If you really want to impress, make this risotto as a side for my herb crusted rack of lamb. Perfect for any spring dinner party you have planned!
how to store and reheat
Store. Cool any leftovers completely before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The risotto will last for 2 days.
Reheat. Add 1 Tbsp unsalted butter and a splash of white wine or chicken/vegetable stock to the risotto. Microwave for 3 minutes, stir and check the temperature. Microwave longer if needed, adding more liquid as needed so the risotto isn’t dry.
Freeze. Do not freeze risotto. Please. It never turns out right after its been frozen!
Finally, if you make this risotto with asparagus and peas recipe, please be sure to give this recipe a rating or leave a comment! I love to hear when you all make recipes, and I do take the time to respond to every single comment. Feel free to drop questions below too, if you have them!
Oh and be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make the recipe! I love being able to see these recipes come to life in your homes – it’s my favorite thing to look through those photos. It really means the world to me!
Risotto with Asparagus and Peas
Creamy and bright, this spring risotto is fantastic as a vegetarian main, side dish, or appetizer!
- 2 to 3 (closer to 3) cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch asparagus, preferably thin, trimmed and cut into 1-in pieces
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter - separated
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 1 cup white wine (I used a chardonnay)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- In a small saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a simmer; cover and keep warm over low heat.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Once hot, add asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until asparagus is crisp-tender, about 2 to 4 minutes (depending on the thickness of your asaparagus spears). Add peas and continue to cook for about 1 minute, until the peas are defrosted. Transfer vegetables to a bowl or plate, set aside.
- In the same pan, heat 2 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add shallot cooking until softened, Add the garlic and cook until browned, about 1 minute. Stir in the rice and toast for 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated. Pour in approximately 1 cup of the hot stock. Cook, stirring constantly, until the stock has been absorbed. Repeat this process, adding 1 cup of stock at a time and stirring until the rice is tender. You may not need all the stock so test the rice between each addition. It should take approximately 25 to 35 minutes total.
- Stir in vegetables, cheese, and 1 Tbsp butter until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.
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