This asparagus risotto is an easy, savory and satisfying meatless main dish! The asparagus stays crisp tender and the rice becomes rich and creamy. A little lemon zest and parmesan cheese add to the wow factor in this recipe!
It’s spring and that means it’s asparagus season.
Yes, you can get asparagus year round (and I have been known to buy it out of season,) but when I can start getting local asparagus, it makes me very, very happy!
I love to use it in a quick pickled asparagus and it’s great with this roasted cod recipe or even this crispy parmesan roasted asparagus. As I was looking through some of recipes trying to decide what to do with a lovely bunch of asparagus, I realized that I hadn’t made an asparagus risotto.
Looking through some recipes for ideas, I saw that a lot of people pureed some of the asparagus, resulting in a risotto that was green. That wasn’t really what I was looking for.
Then I found the idea of heating up the stock with the broken off ends of the asparagus! That was genius. It allows for more asparagus flavor, without making the whole risotto green!
Ingredients for this spring risotto.
- Parmesan Cheese – fresh grated.
- Lemon – since you are using the zest, this is a good time to buy organic if you can.
- Arborio rice – I have a confession. I only had half the amount of arborio rice that I needed, so I used half long grain white rice. It still came out amazing!
- Chicken Stock – I used Homemade Instant Pot Chicken Stock.
- Butter – unsalted so that you can control the amount of salt, but if all you have is salted that’s fine, just taste before salting the risotto.
- White wine – use a wine that you would drink, not the “cooking wine” that you find in the grocery store aisle. I like to keep a box of white wine in the fridge for cooking and sipping while cooking!
- Asparagus – since asparagus usually doesn’t contain that many pesticides this is one that you don’t have to buy organic.
- Onion – onions are also low on pesticides, so you don’t have to buy organic.
Step by step directions.
Begin by snapping off the tough ends of the asparagus.
EXPERT TIP – If you hold the asparagus with your left hand about half way up the stalk and you right hand at the thick end and bend it, the asparagus will naturally snap at the perfect place.
In a sauce pan, combine the chicken stock, water and asparagus ends. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce the heat, partially cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
While the stock is simmering, slice the asparagus on the bias at about 1/2 to 1 inch lengths. Dice the onions and zest the lemon.
Drain the stock, removing the solids. Return the broth to the pan and keep it on low.
Over medium heat, melt the butter. You want to use a large saucepan, preferably about 4 quarts. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook the onion for about 9 minutes or until softened.
Add the rice and stir, cooking until the outer edges of the rice become transparent. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
Add the wine and cook stirring until it has been absorbed (about 2 minutes.).
Add 3 cups of the warm asparagus infused stock. Stir frequently until the stock has been absorbed (about 10-12 minutes.)
Continue adding stock about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring. As the rice absorbs the stock add another 1/2 cup.
Add the asparagus to the risotto. Continue adding the stock, 1/2 cup at a time. The asparagus should cook about 5 to 7 minutes.
Total time for the risotto should be about 25-30 minutes.
Stir in the parmesan cheese and lemon zest.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
This asparagus risotto is so good and so easy!! It’s our favorite meatless, plant based meals. I like to serve it with a salad and a glass of white wine. It’s elegant, light and delicious!
More Risotto Recipes to Try
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- 1 pound asparagus
- 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 onion finely diced
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese finely grated
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- lemon wedges for serving
- Snap off tough ends of asparagus and cut the spears into inch segments.
- In a saucepan combine the ends of the asparagus, the chicken stock and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Lower the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Strain out the solids and keep the broth warm on low heat.
- In a 4 quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the onion is softened and translucent – about 9 minutes.
- Add the rice and cooking stirring until the edges become transparent – about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the wine and cooking stirring until it evaporates. Add 3 cups of the stock and cook, stirring. Simmer until it's absorbed – about 10-12 minutes.
- Continue to add 1/2 cup of stock at a time when the liquid is absorbed, stirring. When the rice starts taking longer to absorb the liquid, add the asparagus.
- Continue adding 1/2 cup of stock at a time, cooking until the asparagus is crisp tender about 5 – 7 minutes.
- Stir in the parmesan cheese and lemon zest. Taste and add salt and pepper.
- Serve with lemon wedges.