Spring vegetable risotto

Spring vegetable risotto

A bowlful of spring

Spring vegetable risotto is a vegan Italian-inspired rice dish that is packed full of green spring vegetables and topped with hazelnutslemon zest.

Ideal for a light dinner or weekend lunch. This risotto would also be great as a starter for an Italian-themed meal.

Delectable dairy-free risotto

Classic Italian risotto can be laced with butter, cream and Parmesan to make it indulgently creamy. My version is a much lighter option and is vegan-friendly and dairy-free.
You can achieve a cream-like consistency in this recipe by regularly stirring the rice while it is cooking to release the starch.

Spring onions, celery, leeks and Arborio rice make up the base of the risotto. Seasonal vegetables – zucchini, sugar snap peas and asparagus make the risotto sing with the flavours of spring. Oven-roasted hazelnuts add crunch to the dish and lemon zest makes the risotto come to life with its hit of citrus.

You should make spring vegetable risotto because it is:

  • Seasonal: spring onions, sugar snap peas and asparagus are now in season (spring).
  • Dairy-free: no butter, cream or cheese is needed in this fresh tasting risotto.
  • Versatile: use any leftover risotto in various different dishes.

Spring vegetable risotto’s main ingredients:

  • Hazelnuts
  • Spring onions, celery, leek
  • Arborio rice
  • Zucchini, sugar snap peas
  • Asparagus
  • Lemon

Tips for busy cooks

You can buy pre-roasted hazelnuts instead of roasting them yourself if you would like to save a bit of time.

Whole sugar snap peas can be substituted with frozen baby peas if you like.

Serving suggestions:

  1. Starter: halve the portions per person to serve as a light starter.
  2. Weekend lunch: eat some of this risotto at an alfresco lunch with friends.
  3. Dinner: enjoy a bowl of this risotto with a glass of white wine.
  4. Arancini: roll any leftover risotto into balls, coat in breadcrumbs and bake.
  5. Stuffed vegetables: use leftover risotto to stuff vegetables like eggplant and then bake them in the oven.

What does spring taste like?

Make this spring vegetable risotto to find out. Bursting with spring veggies this rice dish is vibrant and full of flavour.

Did you eat spring vegetable risotto for lunch or dinner?

Let me know by leaving a comment and a recipe rating below – I’d love to hear from you.

Love vegan food? Try this recipe next: vegan tacos with avocado lime cream

Spring vegetable risotto

Spring vegetable risotto is a vegan Italian-inspired rice dish packed full of green spring veggies. It is ideal for a light dinner or weekend lunch.

Meal Type Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Starter
Cuisine Italian-Inspired
Keyword Dairy-Free, Spring vegetable risotto, Vegan, Vegetarian
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 People
Author Veg Coast Cook


  • 40 g raw hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 spring onions 60 g approx., finely chopped (outer layer and ends removed first)
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 celery stalks 100 g approx., finely chopped
  • 1 leek 150 g approx., finely chopped (outer layer and ends removed first)
  • 280 g Arborio rice
  • 120 ml vegan dry white wine
  • 1.2 litres vegan vegetable stock
  • 1 zucchini 150 g approx., sliced into rounds then into halves
  • 120 g sugar snap peas cut in half
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 asparagus spears woody ends cut off, and halved length ways
  • 1 lemon zest only
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C fan.
  2. Dry roast hazelnuts on a baking tray in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Rub in a clean tea towel to remove some of the skin. Slice into halves. Put in a bowl to use later.
  3. Put the olive oil in a large stockpot and heat on a medium heat. Add spring onions, garlic, celery and leek. Stir and cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

  4. Add Arborio rice to the stockpot, stir and cook for 1 minute. Add wine, stir and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add vegetable stock to rice one ladle at a time, stirring constantly until the majority of the liquid has been adsorbed by the rice. Add more water if the rice isn’t cooked after you have used all the stock.
  6. In a dry griddle pan, lightly chargrill zucchini and sugar snap peas over a medium heat. Add chargrilled zucchini and sugar snap peas and parsley to the risotto, season with salt and pepper and stir.

  7. In the griddle pan lightly chargrill asparagus until tender and slightly charred on the outside.
  8. To serve: portion hot risotto into four shallow bowls, top with three asparagus halves per person and garnish with roasted hazelnuts, chopped chives and lemon zest.

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