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Pot of asparagus risotto

Vegan Asparagus Risotto

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Creamy, bright, and delicious, this easy Vegan Asparagus Risotto is packed with delicious spring flavors like lemon and asparagus.


Units Scale
  • 1 small yellow or sweet onion (or 2 small shallots), diced finely
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound (about 2 1/2 cups) arborio rice (see note 2)
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herbs blend
  • 1/2 cup white wine or broth (see note 3)
  • 5-6 cups vegan chicken broth (see note 4)
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2” or 1” pieces
  • Half batch vegan parmesan or 1/2 cup store-bought vegan parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1 large or two small lemons


  1. Tip: I find it most helpful (especially with risotto) to prep all my ingredients beforehand so I don’t stress about burning anything. It just requires a little bit more attention than my typical meals of “just chuck everything in a big pot.”
  2. Saute onions: In a large nonstick pot (I love the All Clad Non Stick because it’s healthy, non-chip, and cooks reeeeally nicely), saute your onions over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes, until translucent. If you use oil you’re certainly welcome to use that here (I’d use a neutral like avocado oil). I definitely would use oil if you do not have a nonstick pot since risotto uses very little liquid at a time. 
  3. If sauteing without oil: Since I use nonstick cookware and don’t cook with oil I’ll just tell you how I do the onions. I get the pan hot for about a minute or two, throw in my finely diced onions and spread them out with a silicone or wooden spatula. Once they start to stick a slight bit, I add a splash (like a tablespoon) of water to deglaze the pan and stir it well. I do that for about 3 minutes until the onions are translucent. You can also use broth instead.
  4. Add garlic: Add the garlic and saute for another minute, stirring frequently.
  5. Toast rice and add herbs: Now add your arborio rice and stir constantly for one minute, toasting the rice (still over medium high heat). Add the dried herbs and toast for 30 seconds more.
  6. Cook rice: Next, add either the wine or a half cup of the broth. Stir frequently for a few minutes, letting most of the liquid absorb. Continue to do this with the rest of the broth until the rice is ALMOST fully cooked, about 15-20 minutes. The rice should be somewhat chewy but not crunchy.
  7. Cooking asparagus separately? Note that if you’d rather roast or steam the asparagus separately, you’re perfectly welcome to do so and add it at the end.
  8. Or cook together and finish cooking rice: Add the asparagus now and stir it in well. Cover the pot for 3-4 minutes, then stir, add another ½ cup of broth, and continue this process until the rice is fully cooked, and very creamy. The asparagus should be cooked now as well.
  9. Add vegan parmesan and lemon: Now stir in the majority of your vegan parmesan, leaving a little bit to top individual portions with. Stir in the lemon juice as well. If it’s gotten too thick, add a splash of broth or non-dairy milk. Coconut milk would be yummy in this too. I just used the last little bit of broth I had, though.
  10. Serve: Serve, garnished with extra vegan parmesan and/or parsley. Enjoy! This goes fantastically along with my vegan portobello mushroom steaks, and cooks in about the same amount of time, too!
  11. Store: Refrigerate leftover risotto in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months in a freezer safe container.


Note 1: Depending on your pot, stove, and how well you pay attention to this dish, it can take anywhere from 25 to 35 minutes to make. If you have a power burner, then by all means use it, but dial the heat down a notch so you don’t burn the rice.

Note 2: Arborio rice is an Italian short grain rice, named after the town of Arborio in Italy. If you’ve never tried it, I HIGHLY recommend it over any other rice for this recipe. It gets SO creamy and delicious, it truly is incredible. It can be found in most grocery stores, but if you can’t find it and buying it online isn’t an option, I’d recommend substituting it with another short grain rice. Brown rice will work, but may require a little bit longer to cook.

Note 3: White wine is completely optional. If you do add it, use a half cup (reduce broth by a half cup). Barnivore is a great resource for finding vegan alcohol. But I didn’t use it this time and I didn’t really miss it.

Note 4: I used Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base which is a delicious vegan chicken broth and it’s SO delicious in this with the asparagus and vegan parmesan. You could use another product like prepared vegan chicken broth or vegan chicken bouillon cubes. You could also use vegetable broth instead (it’ll be a little darker in color but still delish). I’d recommend a flavorful broth over a plain stock.

  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan Risotto, Vegan Asparagus Risotto