Asparagus Risotto

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

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


  • 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

If cooking gluten-free, use gluten-free stock.


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.

asparagus-risotto-method-1 asparagus-risotto-method-2

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.

asparagus-risotto-method-3 asparagus-risotto-method-4

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.

asparagus-risotto-method-5 asparagus-risotto-method-6

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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  • Liz

    Loved it! (perfect as written)


  • Danielle

    I wanted to make this tonight but realized we are out of Parmesan. Has anyone tried with a different cheese? We’ve made the original recipe and loved it!

  • Lisa

    Amazing and easy. We love risotto. This one is now in our favorite list. Rice was perfect. Asparagus just cooked right.


  • Wendy

    I wish I had blanched the asparagus because it was undercooked, even the tips. Should I have waited until the height of the asparagus season? I added the asparagus halfway into the cooking process. If I had not, the asparagus would have been undercooked as to be inedible. No other reviewer commented on this. I’ve made asparagus risotto a dozen plus times. Maybe my asparagus was not fresh? It looked lovely.


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Wendy, did you thinly slice the asparagus? It could be that you had some tough asparagus that just needed more cooking time. It should’t take more than a few minutes to cook the thinly sliced asparagus and the tender tips. In any case, thank you for your feedback! I’ve adjusted the recipe a little to make it more clear that the asparagus should be thinly sliced and that they should be cooked through by the end of cooking the risotto.

    • Everett

      Hi, this was my first shot at Risotto and I was quite pleased. I added the asparagus in early as Wendy mentioned… when I had about 1.5 cups of broth left. It turned out just how I wanted it with just a bit of crunch. I would have to admit that my asparagus was probably twice as thick as in the picture of step 5 however. I also added extra parm (didn’t measure it out though). Thanks for the recipe.

  • B

    I made this last night and it was really good!!! Slight adjustment I added three cloves of garlic finely diced in with the shallots, and a full cup of Parmesan instead of 1/2… awesome meal. Brought the leftovers in for lunch today and got lots of compliments on how good it smells!

  • Adam Paul

    Thank you for this – I made it last night and it turned out great! Should work well as a master risotto recipe for many things, so I’m happy to have it in my pocket.

  • Cs p

    I really didnt think it was going to be delicious but it was actually so good!!! Thanks for sharing recipe!!

  • Maura

    Excellent with the addition of grated lemon zest from the first lemon I’ve ever picked off my very young lemon tree!!!!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Maura, isn’t it wonderful having a lemon tree? The zest brightens so many dishes.

  • Kathleen

    Do you need to Blanche asparagus first? Won’t it be tough?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Kathleen, if you are using thick asparagus spears, you may want to blanch them first. If you are using tender young spears you shouldn’t need to pre-cook. They’ll cook in the heat of the risotto.

  • Valerie

    “I didn’t think that I was going to like it, but it was good”, said my youngest food critic.


  • Maureen

    Excellent. Followed the recipe with no variations. Really good and easy, will make it again for company this weekend!

  • Gail

    Hi Elise! I noticed you changed this recipe from your original, which surprises me because the original is so perfect. I will try it this way, though, so I can compare.

  • Judy Peeples

    First time I have posted about a recipe. This was so fabulous. Thank you Simply Recipes for your delicious and wonderful recipes. The flavors in this risotto were divine. FIRST TIME I MADE RISOTTO. :)





  • Anna

    This risotto was absolutely amazing! I had never made risotto before and this turned out just fabulously. My roommate was shocked it was my first time. Thanks for the step by step directions!


  • Leslie

    Thanks for the recipe! I made this last night and my husband said I could make it again anytime. So delicious!


  • rokorox

    Another nice recipe! Super-easy, fool-proof, delicious. Tossed in some fresh green peas at the end. Thank you Elise.


  • Heather

    Wow, this is a great recipe. I bought some asparagus this weekend with no particular plans for it, so I searched your site for asparagus recipes and thought this sounded good. I used pearl rice instead of arborio, and it worked like a dream. I also dry-sautéed some sliced portabello mushrooms (on high heat – something I think I learned about in another one of your recipes) to add in with the asparagus just because I wanted to add something a little “meaty” to the dish. Very delicious. Thanks for a real winner!


  • Sarah

    Oh my goodness this dish is so delicious! I just tried it and I am definitely a novice chef so if I didn’t screw it up, you know it can’t be that difficult to master. Soo soo good, thanks for the recipe.


  • June

    I’ve made this recipe twice now, both times to rave reviews. The flavor is spot on. The only addition I made was to add bay scallops — delicious! I love this fail-proof risotto recipe!

  • JadenKale

    I made this tonight to compliment my pecan-crusted pork dish. I changed it a bit, since I have a roommate who isn’t a fan of asparagus. I used a little less than half the amount of asparagus (approximately 6 oz. I searched high and low to procure a bundle of the tiniest spears I could find. For anyone who’s never prepared or had asparagus, the tip is to find young spears no larger in diameter than your pinky finger. Any larger, and they tend to be tough, fibrous, and have a stronger flavor.), and after I put the rice into the pot, I added about 4-6 oz of baby bella mushrooms. I was also out of white wine and was planning to use the lemon addition, when I remembered I had some cooking sherry available and used it instead.

    I think the next time I make this, I may mince a couple cloves of garlic (since I plan to make this again, without the asparagus, for the roommate) and add them just after I cook down the shallots.

    This came out exceptionally well and I can’t wait to make it sans asparagus, as well as with the asparagus again.

    Daddy taught me well… Always eat your asparagus! :D

  • Anonymous in Colorado

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. It is my GO to risotto recipe and instructions. I have made it several times and it has come out fabulous each time. I just made the asparagus risotto and put an egg on top! It was fantastic! Thank you for taking the fear out of risotto. People say it is so hard??? I am very pleased.

  • Braddy Boy

    Was looking for something different to go with broiled salmon. This was perfect and it tasted excellent….When we had left overs, I mixed the salmon in with the risotto, heated it up, and it was just as good the second time.

  • Kelsey

    Hey! So I have been on your website so many times but have never commented and decided it was about time. My family and I have NEVER been disappointed with your recipes…unique, simple, delicious, so fresh! And I just finished eating this recipe and… oh my! SO delicious! Followed it exactly as is besides throwing in some sauteed mushrooms and scallops and it was beyond amazing. So anyways, thank you for sharing your gift with us all! You make me look good in the kitchen to my brand new husband :)


  • pattiq

    Wow! My first time making risotto from scratch. I don’t eat onions of any kind so I skipped the shallots and I roasted the asparagus before adding. It was perfectly delicious! Thanks! Beautiful site!

  • Lizzy

    I tried this tonight, first time making risotto, and it was delicious!! What a great recipe and easy to follow.

  • Sarah

    Fantastic! This is a staple at our home now and the recipe serves as a great foundation for other risottos. Thank you for sharing this excellent dish!

  • Krystle

    Soooooo good -another great recipe, thank you! I think this ties with the apple cobbler for being my favorite recipe on this site so far. This was one of the few things my picky five-year-old will eat! It stores and reheats well, so we had it for days, and it actually just got better and better. I had kept my shallots for a little too long, so I had to improvise and use two cloves of garlic instead. Turned out fine! Thanks! I’ll definitely make this again.

  • mrfreeze

    I tried this recipe for my first attempt at risotto. In a word, FANTASTIC! Aside from the ingredients listed here, I added a few cloves of garlic, more so to add the aroma to the house than anything else. It was a nice touch. Thanks for this recipe, it will live on in our home for a long time.

  • Chanel

    This was so delicious! Thanks again for yet another wonderful recipe! =)

  • Jen

    Excellent recipe! So simple and delicious! I sauteed 1 carton of sliced crimini mushrooms in butter, salt & pepper, while stirring the rice. Just let them reduce, then set aside until the risotto was done. They added a nice savory taste to the recipe that was an excellent compliment to the crunchy asparagus and fresh Parmesan!

  • Kirsten

    I made this last night for my husband with a couple of personal variations (like adding garlic and mushrooms). The recipe was super easy to follow and it turned out perfectly! I was a bit nervous, it is risotto after all. He thought it was the best thing I have ever made! Thanks!

  • Rene

    Elise, I just made this for dinner — my husband had never had risotto before. He was skeptical: He’s a meat-and-potatoes kinda guy. Long story made longer: I served it up, he took one bite and said — and I quote — “This is magic.” I will definitely make this recipe again.

  • ginny

    This risotto was truly “heaven in a bowl”. Asparagus is my favorite veggie, and in the Big Apple we are fortunate enough to have asparagus all year round now, so I will be making and enjoying this dish frequently. I never get tired of true comfort food in the winter, and it has been mighty cold this year. This will surely warm you up!


  • Melissa

    I made this delicious dish last night-my first homemade risotto. I had to entertain my tired & cranky 2 year old while stirring, stirring, and more stirring, but it was SO worth it! I was “Mmmmming” with pleasure the whole time I was eating. Thanks for posting this Elise!

  • judi0044

    Wonderful recipe – though I was late in finding it. Just bought a beautiful bunch of asparagus and this was such a perfect way to use it. My husband really enjoyed it.

  • Jennifer

    I just wanted to thank you for posting this wonderful recipe. For years I have been looking for a good Asparagus Risotto recipe and after having this last night, I found it.

  • Sam Levy

    Note that on Step 5, In Italy, Risotto is finished by “mounting” it with the butter as it melts in and the parmesan cheese. This mounting is a vigourous, all-but-whipping motion done with a wooden spoon. By no stretch of the imagiantion should this be done gently. It is the final rough release of the starch into the property amount of (what was previously almost soup-stewy) liquid that creates what is considered the perfect risotto consistency, “al onda” or “like a wave” (albeit an extremely slow moving, nearly frozen in time wave)

  • Darla

    Is the addition of cheese necessary?

  • Amanda

    Question: In step 3 you say: “While the shallots are cooking, bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan.” And then in the next step you say to add the wine.
    I just wanted to clarify…you heat up the stock in a separate pan, but you directly add the wine to the rice, correct?
    After reading the directions a couple times, I’m assuming this is the correct way…but I want to make sure!
    I’m in Washington State where beautiful asparagus can almost always be found, but I love finding new ways to use it. Thanks!

    Yes, add the wine to the shallots and rice. ~Elise

  • Christina

    This was great!! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!


  • Marta

    Lovely recipe. I made risotto primavera this weekend using asparagus, carrot, peas, yellow squash and basil (see Epicurious “Spring in a Bowl”. Daffodils are not blooming yet here in the Pacific Northwest but the crocus are blooming and promising Spring will not be far.

    Risotto primavera, what a great idea! I could really see this with spring peas, asparagus, mint, and a little Meyer lemon. ~Elise

  • Linda


    Substitutes for wine can be grape juice, white or red, apple juice, vegetable stock/broth or chicken stock/broth and water. If the recipe calls for just a little bit of wine for example to deglaze a pan for the sauce, water can be used instead.

    Linda in Washington State

  • Taiyyaba Qureshi

    Thanks for offering a substitute for wine in this recipe. I’m Muslim, so I don’t use any alcohol at all, and I’m often at a loss for ideas of alcohol substitutes!
    – Taiyyaba

  • Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    I often add saffron to the risotto, for the flavor but also for the wonderful color contrast between the green asparagus and the gold of the rice.