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This Creamy Vegan Risotto recipe is the ultimate rich and creamy comfort dish. Finish with extra vegan parmesan, fresh lemon zest, and crisp asparagus spears for a pop of spring color and flavor.

bowl of creamy risotto with asparagus topped with a vegan parmesan

Rice-based dishes are some of our favorite simple meals to make with pantry staples. With just a few fresh ingredients, you can make them rich, creamy, and restaurant-worthy.

This Creamy Vegan Risotto with Asparagus is exactly that! Creamy risotto that’s made entirely with vegan ingredients, yet tastes almost exactly as decadent as traditional risotto. It’s a great recipe to make for an at-home date nights, or when you’re craving something a bit more elevated than Vegan Egg Fried RiceSpanish Rice, or Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole

Now pour yourself your favorite glass of chilled white wine, and let’s get cooking this delicious one-pot meal!

arborio rice, onion, white wine, asparagus, garlic, lemon, vegan parmesan, vegan butter, black pepper, salt, broth

Ingredients You’ll Need 

  • Vegan butter: Butter is used to sauté the aromatics and toast the arborio rice. This adds richness and depth of flavor to the final risotto. If you are out of vegan butter, use a quality olive oil for a similar flavor.
  • Aromatics: You’ll need a white onion, 4 cloves of fresh garlic, and salt to taste. 
  • Arborio rice (risotto rice): This short-grain rice is the traditional ingredient in Italian risotto and other Italian-style soups. It can also be used to make rice pudding and as a sticky rice replacement in Tofu Musubi
  • Dry white wine: Wine is a traditional ingredient in risotto recipes, where it is used for its depth of flavor, subtle acidity, and sweetness. If you prefer to cook without oil, substitute an equal amount of vegan chicken broth. 
  • Broth: We used vegan chicken broth as it is more flavorful than vegetable broth, but your favorite vegetable broth will do. If you use vegetable stock, you must add salt to taste. 
  • Asparagus: Mushrooms are a popular, classic choice in risotto for their rich, umami flavor and chewy, meaty texture (check out our vegan mushroom risotto recipe here!). Today, we’re using fresh asparagus spears for their light, fresh flavor, perfect for spring. 
  • Vegan parmesan: This recipe works well with store-bought and homemade vegan parmesan cheese from cashews and nutritional yeast. Use your favorite.
  • Lemon: Fresh lemon juice and zest balance the rich and heavy flavors in the dish and add a lovely brightness that helps the flavor pop.  
a white bowl of risotto topped parm

Equipment Needed

How to Make Vegan Risotto

  1. Prep the asparagus. Trim and discard the tough ends of the asparagus spears. Then, diagonally cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces and set aside. 
  2. Heat the broth. Add the broth to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low. 
  3. Cook the onions. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of vegan butter. Once melted, add the diced onion and salt. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Toast the rice. Add in the garlic and arborio rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until the rice is lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. 
  5. Deglaze the pan. Add the white wine to help deglaze the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until the wine is absorbed and the alcohol is thoroughly cooked off, about 2 minutes. 
  6. Add the broth 3/4 cup at a time. Once the alcohol has cooked off, add the broth to the rice 3/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly between additions until the rice mostly absorbs the broth. When you can drag the spatula down the middle of the skillet and have it leave a trail for a second before flooding back, you know you can add the next addition of broth. 
  7. Add the asparagus. When adding the fourth addition of broth, add the asparagus spears. 
  8. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Once the broth has been absorbed and the risotto is creamy, add 2 tablespoons of vegan butter, cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Stir until well combined. 
  9. Serve. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, then enjoy immediately while warm! 
a pot of risotto with asparagus

Serving Suggestions 

Finish the risotto with fresh lemon zest and additional vegan parmesan cheese to taste. Enjoy a decadent main dish as is or with an additional side dish such as: 

spoonful of creamy risotto with asparagus on a black background

Recipe FAQs

​Is white wine vegan?

Not all wines are vegan, but many of them are. To quickly determine if a brand of wine is made without animal products, use the website Barnivore.com. It is a vegan beer, wine, and liquor guide that has evaluated most brands! 

How do I know when the risotto is ready?

The best way to test the doneness of risotto is to check its texture. When ready, the risotto should be creamy and consistent, like thick porridge or oatmeal. Like al dente pasta, the rice should be fully cooked yet still firm and chewy. 

Can I make this risotto with another short-grain rice?

We do not recommend swapping in another kind of rice. Although other grains, such as white rice, are high in starch, arborio rice is particularly high in a starch called amylopectin. This unique starch is released during the slow cooking process and is essential for creating the traditional creamy texture.

Can I make this risotto in the Instant Pot?

We have not tested a pressure cooker version of this easy vegan risotto recipe. Instead, you might be interested in our rice cooker risotto recipe

a pan filled with asparagus risotto

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Once cooled to room temperature, leftover risotto can be transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated for 3-4 days. 

Note that the risotto will thicken upon refrigeration. To make it nice and creamy again, reheat in a saucepan on the stovetop or in the microwave with an additional splash of vegetable broth to loosen up and taste fresh. 

Our Best Risotto Tips

After perfecting our Mushroom Risotto and Rice Cooker Risotto, we’ve learned a few tricks for making the best homemade risotto. 

  • Use the right rice: ​Arborio rice is important to use instead of similar rice grains. Its unique texture makes all the difference! 
  • Don’t skip warming the broth. ​Adding cold liquid to the rice will make the process take longer. Warm broth speeds up the absorption process and makes the final recipe as creamy as possible. 
  • Avoid adding too much liquid at a time. Although it can be tempting, slowly adding the broth over time helps the rice release the starches properly and ensures the rice cooks evenly. Slow and steady wins the race! 
a bowl of risotto with asparagus with a lemon on the side and another bowl peaking in

More Vegan Rice Dishes You May Enjoy:

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you make this recipe. We love to see your photos! 

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a white bowl of risotto topped parm

Creamy Vegan Risotto with Asparagus Recipe


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Creamy Vegan Risotto recipe is the ultimate rich and creamy comfort food. Finish with extra vegan parmesan, fresh lemon zest, and crisp asparagus spears for a pop of color and flavor.


Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter, divided
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 4½ cups vegan chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • ½ cup vegan parmesan
  • 1/2 lemon, zest and juice
  • Black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Prep the asparagus. Trim and discard the tough ends of the asparagus spears. Then, diagonally cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
  2. Heat the broth. Add the broth to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low. 
  3. Cook the onions. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of vegan butter. Once melted, add the diced onion and salt. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Toast the rice. Add in the garlic and arborio rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until the rice is lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. 
  5. Deglaze the pan. Add the white wine to help deglaze the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until the wine is absorbed and the alcohol is thoroughly cooked off, about 2 minutes. 
  6. Add the broth 3/4 cup at a time. Once the alcohol has cooked off, add the broth to the rice 3/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly between additions until the rice mostly absorbs the broth. When you can drag the spatula down the middle of the skillet and have it leave a trail for a second before flooding back, you know you can add the subsequent addition of broth. 
  7. Add the asparagus. When adding the fourth addition of broth, add the asparagus spears. 
  8. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Once the broth has been absorbed and the risotto is creamy, add 2 tablespoons of vegan butter, cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Stir until well combined. 
  9. Serve. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, then enjoy immediately while warm!

Notes

  • Storage: Once cooled to room temperature, leftover risotto can be transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated for 3-4 days.
  • Reheating: Note that the risotto will thicken upon refrigeration. To make it nice and creamy again, reheat in a saucepan on the stovetop or in the microwave with an additional splash of vegetable broth to loosen up and taste fresh.
  • Wine: Not all wines are vegan, but many of them are. To quickly determine if a brand of wine is made without animal products, use the website Barnivore.com. It is a vegan beer, wine, and liquor guide that has evaluated most brands! 
  • Arborio Rice: We do not recommend swapping in another kind of rice. Although other grains, such as white rice, are high in starch, arborio rice is exceptionally high in a starch called amylopectin. This unique starch is released during the slow cooking process and is essential for creating the traditional creamy texture.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top

Meet The Bloggers

hey there! we’re jasmine & chris.

Hi, we’re Jasmine and Chris! We share fresh and fun recipes to show you that vegan cooking is easy, approachable and delicious. When we’re not blogging, you will probably find us enjoying live music, tending to our backyard garden or playing with our dogs Berry and Louie

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