Asparagus Risotto

Side DishGluten-FreeVegetarianRisotto

Classic asparagus risotto made with arborio rice, shallots, stock, fresh asparagus, and Parmesan cheese.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

In California winter can transition to spring in a flash. It seems like yesterday we were beset by chilly storms while the forecast for this week is all sunny and 70s.

Daffodils are blooming, as are cherry trees, and the truest test of spring, asparagus in the market can be found for less than $2 a pound.

Asparagus Risotto

I just couldn’t resist these at the market today, and cooked them up into a creamy risotto. This recipe is a classic asparagus risotto recipe.

You can easily dress it up with some lemon zest, lump crab meat, green onions, truffle salt, fresh thyme or chopped mint.

This risotto we’ve made on the loose side, which is why we are serving it in a bowl. When making risotto you get to decide how loose you want it. Just stop adding liquid when the risotto gets to the consistency you like!

trim and chop the asparagus for asparagus risotto

Asparagus Risotto Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2-3 as a main course, or 4 as a side

If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, use vegetable stock or water instead of the chicken stock.

Ingredients

  • About 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (or 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 3 Tbsp water)
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed, tips cut off, tough skins of the spears peeled (if working with thick apparatus spears), and the spears cut into thin disks
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Method

1 Heat the stock: Heat the stock in a small saucepan until it comes to a low simmer.

2 Cook shallots in butter to soften, then add rice: In a separate 3 or 4 quart saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon butter on medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for a minute or two, until translucent. Add the arborio rice and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring until nicely coated.

3 Add the white wine: Add the white wine. Slowly stir, allowing the rice to absorb the wine.

4 Add the stock, 1/2 cup at a time, adding only after the previous addition has been absorbed by the rice: Once the wine is almost completely absorbed, add 1/2 cup of hot stock to the rice. Continue to stir until the liquid is almost completely absorbed, adding more stock in 1/2 cup increments. Stir often to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Continue cooking and stirring rice, adding a little bit of broth at a time, cooking and stirring until it is absorbed, until the rice is tender, but still firm to the bite, about 20-25 minutes.

5 Add the asparagus: With the last ladle of stock, add the asparagus. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes, until the risotto has absorbed the stock, but is still loose, and the asparagus are just cooked through.

Note the stock amount given is approximate. You may need a little more or less. If you end up needing more stock and you find yourself without, just use water.

6 Stir in the Parmesan, remaining butter, add salt, pepper: Turn off the heat. Gently stir in the Parmesan cheese and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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63 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. ClareBee

    This is a really good risotto recipe. What I love is how well cooked the asparagus is after only a few minutes; it’s very smart to cut the stems into small pieces. I knew it was a proper risotto recipe because it says to keep the stock hot, use wine (although we always use dry vermouth) and stir continuously. I sometimes get annoyed when people adapt recipes but I did adjust this one by using slightly less liquid and adding some leftover roast chicken. Really good, thank you for posting!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Simplyafan

    This recipe is a DREAM! The proportions were perfect. Every recipe I have tried from this site is spot on. Thank you for being a consistent resource for excellent food!

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Manisha Mertia

    Oh my god, the best Asparagus Risotto!!! My family loved it. Made it few days ago, AND making it again today… Yummy:-))
    Thank you so much for this wonderful full proof recipe;-))

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Diane

    Haven’t made this since my first harvest lat year…looked up recipe ’cause it was soo good..can be a side or a whole meal..PS..nothing worse to palate than overcooked asparagus…so I disagree with the blanching. someone did….al dente is fine..raw asparagus is good…anyway…this is a great recipe…I use homemade chicken stock..

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Jags Krishnamurthy

    Thanks for the recipe. Enjoyed making it for the family. I was not convinced that the asparagus will cook when added at the end. I blanched asparagus for 2 mins in the same stock that I was adding to the rice. It tasted wonderful

    xxxxxyyyyy

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