Quinoa Risotto

This creamy quinoa risotto is just as delicious as traditional risotto, but it comes together with half the fuss! Top it with roasted veggies, and enjoy.

Quinoa risotto

This creamy quinoa risotto comes from The First Mess Cookbook. If you’re not already a fan of Laura’s blog, The First Mess, you should be! This quinoa risotto recipe exemplifies so much of what I love about her work. It appeals to the eyes as well as the appetite, it’s healthy and accessible, and it combines plant-based ingredients in a really unique way.

Traditional risotto is made with arborio rice, and it requires a lengthy amount of time standing over the stove stirring. This recipe is every bit as creamy and delicious as the classic Italian dish, but it streamlines the process and packs in some extra nutrients to boot! Instead of using butter, cream, or Parmesan cheese, Laura stirs a creamy white bean puree into the quinoa. The resulting risotto is quick and easy to make, packed with plant-based protein, and super cozy and comforting. I think you’ll love it!

Quinoa risotto recipe ingredients

Quinoa Risotto Ingredients & Method

Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy vegan risotto:

  • Quinoa! There’s so much to love about this little pseudo-grain. It’s gluten-free, it’s protein-rich, and it cooks in just 15 minutes.
  • White beans blend into a thick puree to give this risotto its creamy texture. You can use canned cannellini, Great Northern, or navy beans, or cook your own.
  • Garlic, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast add nutty, tangy, bright flavor to the creamy white bean puree.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil supplies necessary richness.
  • Shallots, thyme, and vegetable stock add savory, aromatic flavor to the cooked quinoa.
  • And fresh parsley leaves give the dish a final fresh touch.

Start by making the white bean puree with the beans, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and a splash of stock.

White beans and nutritional yeast in a blender

Then, sauté the shallots and thyme, and add the quinoa. Pour in the remaining stock and simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the white bean puree, season with salt and pepper, and add a handful of parsley. That’s it!

Find the full recipe and measurements below!

White bean puree, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts

Quinoa Risotto Serving Suggestions

You could serve this wholesome vegan risotto any number of ways. I topped it with roasted broccoli and Brussels sprouts, but other vegetables would be great here. Try using roasted butternut squash, asparagus, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, or sautéed mushrooms.

But your options don’t end there! Add dollops of pesto or marinara sauce, roasted chickpeas for crunch, or a generous sprinkle of vegan Parmesan cheese.

Let me know what variations you try!

The first mess cookbook

More Favorite Vegan Entrées

If you love this quinoa risotto recipe, try one of these delicious vegan entrées next:

Then, find 85+ delicious vegan dinner recipes here and more quinoa recipes here!

4.7 from 7 reviews

Quinoa Risotto

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe is from The First Mess Cookbook by Laura Wright and is reprinted with permission from the publisher. I used broccoli and Brussels sprouts here, but feel free to top this creamy quinoa risotto with your favorite roasted veggies.
Recipe type: Main dish
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • 3 to 4 cups roasted broccoli and/or Brussels sprouts
  • 2 cups cooked white beans
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves (my addition to Laura's recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (I used a bit more)
  • Pinch of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2½ cups vegetable stock, divided
  • 4 to 5 shallots, fine dice (2/3 cup total)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
  • Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, for serving (optional)
  1. Roast the broccoli and Brussels sprouts according to the instructions here and here. Set aside.
  2. In a blender, purée the white beans with the garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and ⅓ cup of the vegetable stock. As soon as you have a smooth and creamy purée, stop the blender. Set the bean purée aside.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a braiser or medium-sized soup pot over medium heat. Add the shallots, and sauté until transluscent, about 4 minutes. Add the fresh thyme and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the rinsed quinoa to the pot and stir to coat in the oil, herbs, and shallots. Then, add the remaining 2 cups of vegetable stock to the pot and stir. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the quinoa has absorbed almost all of the liquid, about 13 to 15 minutes.
  5. Scrape the white bean puree into the pot and stir to combine. The quinoa should have a creamy consistency without seeming dry. If it seems dry, add a good splash of vegetable stock.
  6. Season the risotto with salt and pepper. Add half of the parsley to the pot and stir to mix throughout. Divide the quinoa risotto among 4 bowls. Top all portions of risotto with the roasted vegetables and remaining parsley. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top if you like. Serve hot.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. RB from goosewillyfarm.com

    I am not a huge fan of quinoa but my wife loves it so I made it last night. I though I was eating cheesy rice, it was delicious. We tossed the broccoli with garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil and made the risotto as prescribed. We will make this again.

  2. Roxanne

    Do you have the nutritional info for the recipe?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m sorry, I don’t calculate nutritional info.

  3. maineiacka

    Wow, this was good!! of course I used what misc. veg. I had for the roasted veg part (butternut, brussels, blue potato, asparagus), but it could be anything… definitely try this!

  4. Dana

    I love this recipe and have made it twice. I recommend replacing some of the veggie broth with white wine or dry vermouth – extra good!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Dana, ooh, thanks for the tip, that sounds wonderful!

  5. Rebecca

    This looks amazing!! Right now broccoli is not working for me to eat. Is there another veggie that would work similarly, like cauliflower? Thanks!

  6. I have the book and love it. thank you for the reminder of this recipe.

  7. Pat Stevens

    Do you have the nutritional info (carbs mainly) for this recipe?

  8. ivette

    Delicious. Thanks!

  9. So yummy.. looks amazing, would definitely try and serve my customers… We are a href=”http://www.letsmeetcafe.com/why-cafe-lets-meet/”>best cafe in Jaipur.

  10. Laura’s book really sounds great, as does this recipe. I love the use of white bean puree. Such a clever trick to make it creamy. Beautiful images Jeanine. Pinned!

  11. Izzy from pinchofdelight.com

    This looks amazing!
    Izzy | Pinch of delight

  12. Lauren

    It looks like there is a step missing about pureeing the beans. I think it would be puree them with the garlic, lemon, and nutritional yeast?
    Looks delicious!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      thanks for pointing that out – just fixed it!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.