This asparagus risotto recipe is a fresh, satisfying vegetarian dinner. Serve it with a simple salad and a glass of white wine for a perfect spring meal!
If your spring dinner rotation needs a refresh, add this asparagus risotto to the mix! I’ve made it a few times over the last couple of weeks, and every time, Jack and I have both gone back for more. Like any good risotto, it’s soft and creamy, with rich depth of flavor from olive oil and white wine. But at the same time, this asparagus risotto is bright and fresh. Sweet, oniony leeks melt into the tender rice, asparagus adds crunch, and lots of fresh herbs take it over the top. Serve it with a glass of white wine and a simple salad, and you’ve got the perfect spring meal.
Asparagus Risotto Recipe Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this asparagus risotto recipe:
- Asparagus, of course! Look for a bunch with relatively thin spears. They’ll meld more seamlessly with the risotto than thicker ones will.
- Arborio rice – This Italian short-grain rice gives the risotto a perfect creamy texture.
- Leeks and garlic – For savory depth of flavor.
- Extra-virgin olive oil – For richness.
- Dry white wine – A risotto essential! It adds necessary acidity.
- Vegetable broth – Use store-bought, or make your own.
- Fresh lemon juice – Added at the end of the cooking process, it gives the risotto a nice bright finish. Save some zest for garnish, too!
- Fresh herbs – Almost any soft herb works well here. Chives, parsley, tarragon, basil, and dill are my favorites.
- Pecorino cheese – For serving. Skip it to make this asparagus risotto vegan, or top the risotto with my vegan Parmesan cheese instead.
- And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
How to Make Asparagus Risotto
This asparagus risotto isn’t super quick to make (spoiler: it involves a lot of stirring!), but it is fairly simple. Once you prep the ingredients, it comes together with these easy steps:
First, sauté the leeks. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet or pot over medium heat (I like to use a Dutch oven), and add the leeks. Cook until they soften. Then, stir in the garlic.
Next, toast the rice. This steps helps the rice maintain its structure in the creamy risotto later on. Stir it into the pot and let it cook for 1 minute. Then, add the wine, and let it cook down for a couple more minutes.
At this point, you’re ready to start adding broth. Pour in 3/4 cup, stirring constantly to ensure that the rice cooks evenly. When the rice absorbs the broth, pour in another 3/4 cup. Continue with this process – adding 3/4 cup broth, stirring until the rice absorbs it, and then adding more broth – until the rice is al dente and the risotto is thick and creamy. Add the asparagus with the last addition of broth. The entire process should take around 20 minutes.
Finally, season and serve. Stir in the lemon juice and herbs, and season to taste with more salt and pepper. Garnish with lemon zest, more herbs, and cheese, if you like. Then, dig in!
Asparagus Risotto Serving Suggestions
When I make this asparagus risotto for dinner, I like to round out the menu with a fresh veggie side dish. It pairs nicely with roasted carrots, sautéed mushrooms, steamed and roasted artichokes, and all sorts of salads. It’d go especially well with one of these:
- Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
- Bright Spring Salad
- Simple Green Salad
- Strawberry Salad with Balsamic
If you have wine leftover from cooking, pour yourself a glass to enjoy with the meal. Bon appétit!
More Favorite Asparagus Recipes
If you love this asparagus risotto, try one of these fresh asparagus recipes next:
- Tagliatelle with Asparagus and Peas
- Creamy Asparagus Soup
- Spring Veggie Frittata
- Baked Eggs
- Pickled Asparagus
- Roasted Asparagus
- Asparagus Salad
- Bright Spring Salad
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups chopped leeks
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice, rinsed
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 4 cups vegetable broth, at room temperature
- 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends trimmed, stalks chopped into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- ¼ cup fresh herbs, parsley, basil, tarragon, and/or dill, plus more for garnish
- Lemon zest, for garnish
- Grated pecorino cheese, optional
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or medium Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and season with the salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and stir to incorporate. Stir in the rice and let it cook for 1 minute. Stir in the wine and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the wine cooks down.
- Add the broth, ¾ cup at a time, stirring continuously between each addition. Allow each addition of broth to be absorbed by the rice before adding the next. Add the asparagus with the last addition of the broth. Cook until the rice is al dente. The risotto should be soft and creamy.
- Add the lemon juice, chives, and mixed herbs and season to taste. Garnish with the lemon zest and more herbs. Serve with grated cheese, if desired.