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Asparagus risotto with peas in a violet bowl.
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Lemony asparagus risotto with green peas

This creamy asparagus risotto is a light and delicious spring dish. It has crunchy asparagus and sweet peas, it's seasoned with thyme, parmesan cheese and finished with a squeeze of lemon and lemon zest. It's so easy and tasty.
Course dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine international, Italian
Keyword asparagus risotto recipe, lemon asparagus risotto
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 324kcal
Author Aleksandra


  • 1 tablespoon frying oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 teaspoons thyme fresh or dried
  • 1 cup (190g) risotto rice
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) dry white wine
  • 2 3/4 cups (660ml) broth, vegetable or chicken
  • 9 oz (250g) asparagus
  • 1 cup (150g) peas
  • 3 tablespoons (25g) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Cut the onions into small cubes, finely chop the garlic. Trim the wooden ends of the asparagus then cut it into 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces.
  • Warm up the broth until it's hot, keep the pot with the broth on the stove over the lowest setting, it should stay hot while the risotto is cooking.
  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, add the onions and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until soft.
  • Add the garlic and thyme, cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the rice, cook for a couple of minutes, stirring from time to time until all the grains are covered in oil and translucent at the edges.
  • Add the wine and cook until it's evaporated.
  • Add the broth, about 1/2 cup at a time. Add the first half of a cup of broth, push the rice grains with a spoon, so that all the rice is submerged under the broth. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the rice has absorbed the broth that was above the rice. Now stir the rice with a spatula and cook, stirring until there's no broth in the pot and the rice starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. Add another 1/2 cup of broth and cook as described before.
  • After about 25 minutes add the asparagus, and cook (adding broth as described above) for about 5-10 minutes until it's tender but still crunchy. The rice should be cooked al dente at this point (it should be soft but still have a little bit of bite to it), if it's not soft, cook it a little bit longer.
  • Add the peas, parmesan cheese, cream, lemon zest and juice, cook for a minute.
  • Season the risotto with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve sprinkled with more parmesan cheese and thyme leaves.
  • Enjoy!


  • How to trim asparagus: cut off the woody ends where the green color starts to fade to white, so sometimes you have to cut off a lot, and sometimes almost nothing. The ‘snap method’ is wasteful, the asparagus can break in each section of their length – try it yourself. Cut off only the really woody ends, that are white / very pale green.
  • Buying great asparagus is crucial for this recipe. Woody, tough, stringy asparagus will ruin this risotto. If you don't have great asparagus, you can peel 2/3 of the bottom of the spears or just make this asparagus soup
  • Instead of parmesan cheese, you can also use pecorino or gorgonzola cheese for more flavor.
  • Keep your broth hot all the time while the risotto is cooking. Adding cold broth to the pot will result in a longer cooking time, as the broth will need to be brought to a boil all the time.
  • The amount of broth suggested in the recipe is only an estimate, your risotto may need more broth if, for example, you're cooking it on a higher heat than I did (liquid evaporates more quickly). It's good to have more broth on hand and add it if necessary.
  • Serve your risotto on warm plates. The best risotto should flow off the spoon like a wave, when it gets cold, it loses this consistency. It’s best to serve it straight from the pot and transfer it to warm plates. You can warm your plates in the oven – just keep them a few minutes in the oven preheated to 210°F/100°C (you will see the difference!).
  • Stir the risotto often, but not too oft (it will cool the rice), and make sure it won’t stick to the pot.
  • Storage: Risotto reheats very well but the asparagus and peas will lose their vibrant green color and be dull green the next day. The risotto will be thicker so add a splash of water to dilute it then reheat in a pot until warm and creamy. Keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • Calories = 1 serving (1/4 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!


Calories: 324kcal