Gluten Free Vegan Asparagus Risotto Recipe

Arborio rice, soup stock, asparagus, garlic, parsley, mint, peas, lemon

Asparagus Risotto

Our asparagus risotto recipe is a simplified vegan low fat version of a rice recipe from Cooks Illustrated, and is made the same as a regular risotto, on the stovetop, with much stirring involved.

Ground cashews and nutritional yeast, along with lemon zest and lemon juice makes for scrumptious flavor and creamy texture.

You won't miss the parmesan, but feel free to use that instead if you'd rather.

Total Prep & Cook Time: 60 min.

8 Servings

Nutrition Data, 295g serving: 225 cal, 40g carbs, 4g fat, 344mg sodium, 3g fiber, 6g protein, 4g Sugars, low Cholesterol, Saturated Fat, good source Vit. K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin and Vitamin B6. Estimated glycemic load 24.


  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh mint
  • 1 lb asparagus spears
  • 5 cups unsalted vegetable stock
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, stemmed and minced
  • 1 1/2 cups dry Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white cooking wine
  • 2 Tbsp ground cashews (use a spice or coffee grinder to grind a handful)
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste
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  1. Using a fine grater, such as a microplane grater, grate 1 Tbsp lemon zest and set aside
  2. Squeeze the lemon and set aside 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  3. Remove leaves from parsley and mint, mince and set aside approx. 2 Tbsp each
  4. Wash asparagus and chop off the tough bottom 1/3 of the stalks
  5. Chop the remaining asparagus into 1 inch pieces
  6. Heat vegetable stock on medium, adding the asparagus trimmings, and the stems of the parsley and mint
  7. Steam asparagus until tender|crisp, remove from pan and set aside
  8. Peel, stem and mince the garlic cloves
  9. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a sauté pan on medium low
  10. Add the minced garlic and stir fry until transparent
  11. Bring heat up to medium, add the 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice, and stir for 2 - 3 minutes until the grains become transparent around the edges
  12. Add the 1 cup of white wine and stir until it is absorbed by the rice (about 5 minutes)
  13. Remove the stems from the hot vegetable stock with a slotted spoon
  14. Increase heat under the rice to med|high. Add 3 cups vegetable stock to the rice, and stir until the stock is absorbed (about 12 minutes)
  15. Add 1/2 cup stock at a time and continue to stir until that is absorbed. Do that 3 times (about 15 minutes total).
  16. Stir in nutritional yeast and ground cashews (OR 1/4 cup dairy or soy Parmesan cheese)
  17. Stir in salt as needed to taste, pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, mint, frozen peas
  18. Add more stock to the rice as needed for a creamy consistency
  19. Fold in the steamed asparagus and serve immediately
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Recipe Tips:

Be sure that you have plenty of time on your hands to make risotto, as the stirring takes about 40 minutes total.

You'll need a large heavy flat bottomed pan (such as a sauté pan or dutch oven) for this recipe.

The Cooks Illustrated recipe called for a total of 1/2 cup butter!! I didn't think it was necessary to use anything close to an equal amount of olive oil. 1 Tbsp seemed like plenty to me, but use more oil if you like.

If you're lucky enough to have fresh instead of frozen peas, steam them with the asparagus instead of adding them at the end.

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Recipe Comments:

There are some lovely ideas here which I am very much looking forward to trying out. My one suggestion here would be to leave out the garlic in this recipe. Asparagus has a delightfully delicate flavor and I think that it would be overwhelmed by the garlic - Olivia S.

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