This vivid green pea and asparagus risotto is creamy, rich, and perfect for the spring. It’s made with seasonal vegetables like fresh asparagus and two kinds of peas.
Asparagus and pea risotto is a creamy and flavorful dish that combines the freshness of asparagus and peas with the rich and comforting texture of risotto.
This pea and asparagus risotto recipe offers a delicious combination of flavors and textures, making it a popular choice for springtime meals; it’s the perfect risotto to celebrate the asparagus season.
Check out another spring risotto recipe, this incredible Wild Garlic Risotto. You could also try our Salmon Risotto or the Creamy Zucchini Risotto. And when the fall comes, remember our Pumpkin Risotto, Chicken and Pumpkin Risotto, Gorgonzola Risotto, or Leftover Turkey Risotto.
- Asparagus: One bunch of asparagus, about 1 pound. Alternatively, you can use white asparagus. In this case, peel it and cook it a bit longer than you would cook green asparagus.
- Peas: Two types of peas: frozen or fresh peas and sugar snap peas. The snap peas can also be frozen and defrosted, but fresh ones are always nicer.
- Shallots: Two shallots or 1 small onion.
- White Wine: ½ cup of dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. This adds flavor to the dish, but you can omit it if you prefer.
- Vegetable broth: Use a good quality vegetable broth; it’s an essential ingredient when making risotto. You can use homemade or store-bought vegetable broth.
- You could also use chicken stock or chicken broth.
- Butter: 2 tablespoons of salted or unsalted butter (adjust the salt in the dish accordingly). It enhances the richness and creaminess of the risotto; I can’t even imagine cooking risotto without adding butter.
- You will need some for sauteing the onions and some for stirring into the finished dish.
- Olive Oil: 1 tablespoon of olive oil for sauteing the onions.
- Parmesan: Freshly grated Parmesan cheese. It adds a creamy and nutty flavor to the dish. Alternatively, use pecorino romano or vegetarian hard cheese.
- Fine sea salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- Dill: Fresh or frozen (not dried). Alternatively, you can add other chopped fresh herbs like parsley or basil.
How to make risotto?
- Peas: Remove the frozen peas from the freezer and let them thaw on the counter until needed. If using fresh snap peas, wash them and let them drain in a sieve until you need them.
- Asparagus: Wash it and remove its lower, tough ends. Cut each stalk into smaller pieces (3-4, depending on size). Keep the asparagus tips in a separate bowl (1).
- Cook it: Bring salted water to a boil in a large skillet and cook the chopped spears for 2-3 minutes (2). Add the tips and cook for another couple of minutes (3).
- The cooking time depends on the thickness of the asparagus, but the vegetables should still have a bite; they will continue cooking for an extra 5 minutes together with the rest of the dish. Drain and reserve some of the liquid.
- You can use the same pan to cook the asparagus and pea risotto; wipe it well before cooking.
Make the risotto:
- Pour the vegetable broth into a jug pan, place it on the stovetop on low heat, and keep it simmering all through the cooking process.
- Cook the finely chopped shallots in one tablespoon of butter and one of oil until translucent.
- Add the unwashed rice and stir well until it’s coated in oil and slightly translucent, about 2 minutes (4).
- Pour in the wine, stir well, and let it bubble shortly (5).
- Start adding the vegetable stock, about 1 cup at a time, stirring well with a wooden spoon after each addition and adding the next cup of broth when the previous has been completely absorbed (6).
- Don't let the food come to a boil but keep a steady simmer; reduce the heat if necessary.
- Continue cooking the pea and asparagus risotto on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, then add the cooked asparagus and both kinds of peas to the rice mixture and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until the risotto is done (7).
- Check the cooking time written on the risotto packet and add the veggies during the last 5 minutes of the cooking process. Add some reserved asparagus water if you're out of broth, but the risotto still needs to be finished.
- Add most of the grated Parmesan, butter, and most of the dill (8). Adjust the taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle the remaining dill on top.
- Let the asparagus and pea risotto stand covered for 5 minutes, and serve the risotto with asparagus and peas with the remaining Parmesan (9).
- You can also cook the asparagus and pea risotto with white asparagus.
- Wash and peel the asparagus spears.
- Place one spear on the working surface and peel it with a vegetable peeler starting underneath the head of the plant. Keeping the stalk lying on the working surface will prevent it from breaking.
- Next, remove the woody ends of the plant.
- Cook white asparagus longer than you would cook the green sort.
- Bring the water to a boil, add the chopped spears (but not the tips of the plants), and cook them for about 5 minutes.
- Add the tips and cook for another 2 minutes or until the pieces are al dente.
- Keep some of the asparagus cooking water, just in case you need more broth towards the end of the cooking process; you could use that instead.
- Theoretically, 5 cups of broth should be enough for 2 cups of risotto, but that can differ slightly depending on the size of the pan, the heat, and the type of rice.
- In some cases, you might not need all the broth, and in some cases, you might need a bit of extra liquid.
Don’t overcook the asparagus or the rice:
- The asparagus pieces should be cooked al dente, and the rice should still have a slight bite; both of them should not be too soft or become mushy.
- Most recipes recommend standing by the stovetop and stirring continuously. You can if you have the time and the patience, but I never do.
- I tried it a few times and decided that there isn’t a noticeable difference between “continuously stirred” and “regularly stirred” risotto.
- I stir often, but definitely not continuously, and my risottos always have the perfect creamy consistency and rich flavor.
An Italian rice dish made with short-grain rice. It is cooked slowly by gradually adding warm liquid, such as broth or stock, to the rice while stirring often or constantly. This technique allows the rice to release starches, creating a creamy and rich texture.
The so-called “risotto rice” is a type of short-grain rice. Carnaroli has a similar texture to Arborio and absorbs flavors well. Vialone Nano rice is commonly used in the Veneto region of Italy. It has shorter grains and higher starch content, creating a creamy and velvety texture.
The texture and creaminess of the dish may vary slightly with different rice varieties.
No, because it contains Parmesan which is made with animal rennet. To make the snap pea risotto recipe vegetarian, use vegetarian hard cheese.
How to store risotto?
- This asparagus and pea risotto is best served immediately.
- However, you can refrigerate the leftover risotto in an airtight container for up to 3 days. It will thicken as it cools, so you will have to add a bit more vegetable broth when reheating.
- Reheat on the stovetop, often stirring, or in the microwave.
- Rice dishes don’t freeze well.
What to serve with pea and asparagus risotto?
- Green salad with a light vinaigrette provides a refreshing contrast to the creamy risotto. Choose crisp greens like arugula, romaine, or iceberg salad, and add some cherry tomatoes or shaved Parmesan for extra flavor.
- Grilled or roasted meats like chicken, steak, or lamb can be served alongside risotto to add protein and create a more substantial meal.
- Crusty bread: A warm baguette or garlic bread can be especially delicious.
- Wine: Pair your asparagus and pea risotto with a glass of wine that complements the flavors.
More spring recipes
Pea and Asparagus Risotto
- High-sided skillet
- 1 lb asparagus 450 g
- 2 cups risotto rice 400 g/ 14 oz, Note 1
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter divided, Note 2
- 2 shallots finely chopped
- ½ cup dry white wine 125 ml
- 5 cups vegetable broth 1.2 liter
- 5.5 oz sugar snap peas 150 g
- 1 cup peas 150 g
- ½ cup Parmesan freshly grated, 50 g
- fine sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
- ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons dill
- Thaw peas: Remove the frozen peas from the freezer and let them thaw on the counter until needed. If using fresh snap peas, wash and drain them. 1 cup/ 150 g frozen peas + 5.5 oz/ 150 g sugar snap peas
- Asparagus: Wash it and remove its lower, woody parts. Cut each stalk into smaller pieces (3-4, depending on size). Keep the asparagus tips in a separate bowl. 1 lb/ 450 g
- Cook asparagus: Add water and salt to the skillet and bring it to a boil. Add only the chopped spears and cook them for 2-3 minutes. Then, add the tips and cook for another 2 minutes. The vegetables should still have a bite; they will cook for another 5 minutes in the risotto.
- Drain the asparagus and wipe the saucepan so you can use it to make the risotto.
Make the risotto:
- Pour the vegetable broth into a jug pan, place it on the stovetop on low heat, and keep it simmering all through the cooking process. 5 cups/ 1.2-liter vegetable broth
- Sauté: Melt the butter and oil in the skillet. Cook chopped shallots until translucent. Add the unwashed rice and stir well until it’s coated in oil and slightly translucent, about 2 minutes. 1 tablespoon butter + 1 tablespoon olive oil + 2 shallots + 2 cups/ 400 g risotto
- Pour in the wine, stir well, and let it bubble shortly. ½ cup/ 125 ml white wine
- Start adding the vegetable broth, about 1 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition and adding the next cup when the previous has been completely absorbed.
- Add vegetables: Continue for about 15 minutes, then add the asparagus and all the peas and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until the risotto is done; it should be tender but not mushy (Note 3).
- Add most of the grated Parmesan, butter, and most of the dill. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle the remaining dill on top. ½ cup/ 50 g Parmesan + 2 tablespoon butter + 3 tablespoon dill
- Let stand for 5 minutes and serve with the remaining Parmesan.
- Risotto: Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano are all great. The texture and creaminess of the dish may vary slightly with different rice varieties.
- Butter: You will need 1 tablespoon for sauteing the onions and 2 tablespoon for finishing the risotto. If using salted butter, adjust the salt in the dish accordingly.
- Cooking time: Check the cooking time written on the risotto packet and add the veggies during the last 5 minutes of the cooking process. Add some reserved asparagus water if you're out of broth, but the risotto still needs to be finished.