Creamy Vegetable Risotto (30 Minutes!)

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Two hearty servings of Creamy Vegetable Risotto in dinner bowls with a side of vegan parmesan

When we traveled to Portugal last year, we ate so much good food.

One of the dishes was a vegetable risotto the restaurant was able to make vegan-friendly by omitting the cheese and butter. Perhaps a cardinal sin in making risotto, but they obliged. One bite in and recipe inspiration was born.

Wood serving platter displaying broccolini, shallots, parsley, red bell pepper, arborio rice, asparagus, vegetable broth, and vegan parmesan for making Creamy Vegetable Risotto

History of Risotto

Risotto is a rice-based dish that is believed to have originated in Milan, Italy. The first version was called Risotto alla Milanese and was traditionally made with butter, onion, white wine, stock, salt, saffron, and Parmesan. Since then, many flavor variations have been created.

Our plant-based version is not traditional, but is dairy-free and equally delicious!

This vegan, gluten-free, oil-free risotto is made with 8 ingredients in 30 minutes from start to finish!

It starts with fresh vegetables sautéed until just tender. We went with bell pepper, broccolini, and asparagus, but go with whatever is available and in season for you.

Using a wooden spoon to stir together arborio rice and vegetable broth for this vegan Creamy Vegetable Risotto

Next, start cooking the risotto by sautéing shallot and then adding arborio rice and white wine for flavor.

Once the wine cooks down, add warmed vegetable broth one ladle at a time and stir as it cooks until “al dente.” Then just add your vegan parmesan cheese and the sautéed vegetables and you’re good to go! It’s that easy.

A few things to keep in mind with risotto:

  • Always use warmed vegetable broth so it doesn’t halt the cooking when added to the rice.
  • Stir frequently as the rice cooks to prevent sticking.
  • Cook the rice at a simmer instead of a boil so the rice can cook slowly and evenly.
  • Cook until just “al dente” to avoid gummy risotto.
Saute pan filled with Creamy Vegetable Risotto

We hope you all LOVE this dish. It’s:

Loaded with fresh vegetables
Easy to make
& So delicious

This would make the perfect weeknight meal when you need something that’s incredibly satisfying and comforting in a hurry. It would make a delicious entrée or side dish, and it would also work well for dinner parties, as it’s a versatile side dish that complements just about any main.

If you’re into rice dishes, also be sure to check out our Vegan Fried Rice, Mushroom & Leek Risotto, 30-Minute Cauliflower “Rice” Stir Fry, Cheesy Cauliflower Rice & Broccoli Bake, and Veggie Brown Rice Sushi.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Two serving bowls filled with Creamy Vegetable Risotto for an easy plant-based dinner

Creamy Vegetable Risotto (30 minutes!)

A healthier take on risotto without oil or butter, replacing cheese with vegan parmesan cheese. Includes plenty of fresh vegetables for fiber and nutrients. An easy 30-minute, 8-ingredient recipe perfect as an entrée or a side.
Author Minimalist Baker
Two plates of Creamy Vegetable Risotto beside a small bowl of vegan parmesan cheese
4.90 from 84 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Course Entrée, Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Italian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days



  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups vegetable broth (warmed on the stovetop // store-bought)
  • 2 Tbsp water (or oil), divided
  • 1 small bundle asparagus (ends trimmed or 1 small bundle broccolini, stalks trimmed (we used both))
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (seeds + stem removed, thinly sliced)
  • ~1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced shallot
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (or sub more vegetable broth)
  • 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)

FOR SERVING optional

  • Fresh chopped parsley


  • In a medium saucepan, heat vegetable broth over medium heat. Once simmering, reduce heat to low to keep warm.
  • In the meantime, heat a large pan over medium heat. Once hot, add half of the water (or oil) and the asparagus (and/or broccolini) and the red bell pepper. Season with a pinch each salt and pepper and sauté until just tender and slightly browned – 3-4 minutes – stirring frequently. Cover to steam and speed cooking time. Remove from pan, uncover, and set aside.
  • Heat another large rimmed pan over medium heat. Once hot, add remaining water (or oil) and shallot. Sauté for 1-2 minutes or until softened and very slightly browned.
  • Add arborio rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Then add dry white wine (or more vegetable broth) and stir gently. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
  • Using a ladle, add warmed vegetable broth 1/2 cup (120 ml) at a time, stirring almost constantly, giving the risotto little breaks to come back to a simmer. The heat should be medium, and there should always be a slight simmer. You want the mixture to be cooking but not boiling or it will get gummy and cook too fast.
  • Continue to add vegetable broth 1 ladle at a time, stirring to incorporate, until the rice is “al dente” – cooked through but not mushy. This whole process should only take 15-20 minutes (may take longer if making a larger batch).
  • Once the rice is cooked through and al dente, remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Also add vegan parmesan cheese and most of the cooked vegetables, reserving a few for serving. Stir to coat (see photo).
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding a pinch of salt and pepper to taste or more vegan parmesan to enhance the cheesiness.
  • To serve, divide between serving bowls and top with remaining vegetables, additional vegan parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of parsley (optional).
  • Best when fresh, though leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. We haven’t tried freezing this recipe.



*Recipe adapted from Food Network.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with water (not oil).

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 257 Carbohydrates: 50 g Protein: 5.7 g Fat: 2.2 g Saturated Fat: 0.4 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 423 mg Fiber: 2.7 g Sugar: 3.4 g

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My Rating:

  1. Susan says

    The risotto was dinner last night. Outstanding!!! It amazes me how with so few ingredients an amazing dish can result! Thanks so much for this recipe. I’ll definitely be making this again.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed the risotto and will be making it again, Susan. Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  2. Leslie Wallace says

    This is a great recipe- I made for a dinner party and everyone loved it. The leftovers were delicious as well. I used fall veggies- butternut squash, tomatoes, leeks, carrots and red/orange peppers. I roasted all the veggies instead of sautéing them.
    I’ll make this again.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Y’all have consistently great recipes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for your kind words and lovely review, Leslie! We’re so glad it was a hit at the dinner party and we love your fall veggie twist! xo

  3. Brenda Skan says

    First I must admit I am a carnivore but I have a friend who is vegan. I am happy to cook for her, after all it is only different ingredients and I enjoy cooking. I made this last night. I used a vegetable Oxo and couldn’t get Vegan Parmesan. I used Tescos Plant Chef grated hard cheese instead. We were both very impressed! In fact the Tescos own cheese was very similar to Parmesan. I used the same vegetables as shown here and I will cook this again. Loved it.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you both enjoyed it, Brenda! Thank you for sharing your experience!

  4. Rusty S. says

    Really Great!
    This was my first risotto ever and it turned out fantastic. The recipe is a bit unclear on how to proceed from the scallions to cooking the rice. Also, there needs to be enough liquid in the fully cooked rice to go with the parmesan otherwise this dish will get really thick and chunky.
    I also cut the asparagus in thirds and added salt and pepper early in the cooking process. Towards the end I added some garlic. All of the modifications had the desired outcome of increasing complexity and tast.
    All thumbs up!!

  5. CathleenC says

    this was good! Our first time enjoying a vegan risotto. While it was different without the traditional cheese and butter it still was a fine dish that we all enjoyed.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry to hear that, Caitlin! Did you add the vegetable broth a little at a time? You may not need all of it.

  6. Lynn says

    I absolutely love this recipe. My meat eating boyfriend can’t get enough, we love it! I usually add a little bit more vegan Parmesan cheese and I also add nutritional yeast and it’s makes it even more delicious. Definitely a go-to meal!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! We’re so glad you both enjoy it, Lynn! Thanks so much for the lovely review! Next time, would you mind leaving a star rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  7. Marie says

    I made this recipe to a T (minus the fresh parsley) & I really appreciated the directions on cooking the risotto! My only comment is that I added a LOT of nutritional yeast for a more ‘cheesy’ flavor. I definitely don’t think adding some daiya / vegan butter would hurt either :,)

  8. Michelle says

    Had a go at making this tonight, went really well. I added some vegan butter at the end and used nutritional yeast instead of vegan parm… lovely! Will definitely be making it again :)

  9. Caitlin A says

    Made this with with real parm and used more than 1/4 cup and it was delicious! It was my first time making risotto and I was a little worried there wouldn’t be enough flavor, but it was so delicious!

  10. Lindsay says

    Delicious. Made it for a non-vegan crowd (used a tiny bit of real parm), and it was a huge hit. They called it a “five-star dinner.” I’ll be making this again for vegan friends.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad everyone enjoyed it. Thank you for the lovely review, Lindsay! xo

    • Eva Brenner says

      This was sooo yummy!! I’ve never made risotto before so I was nervous but it turned out great. It will be a staple dinner for sure. I served it with smoked tofu and steamed greens.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        That sounds like a delicious meal! We’re so glad you enjoyed the risotto. Thank you for sharing! xo

  11. Karen Laskoski says

    This is absolutely amazing! My daughter is vegan and she always makes a vegan recipe when we get together, this was last weeks recipe and I’m making it again today for the 2nd time since! Will definitely be making it many times in the future! Thanks for the outstanding recipe!

  12. Polina says

    Hello, I just wanted to check that you should only use arborio rice for risotto. Would any other rice work? Thank you very much! Always enjoy all your recipes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Polina, In our experience, arborio rice has the best texture for risotto, but short grain brown rice would also work!

  13. Julia says

    Do you think I could do steps 3-6 in the Instant Pot?
    Thanks for your recipes. They’re a lifesaver during these days when I’m sick of cooking!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Julia, adding the broth in a little at a time helps prevent the rice from being mushy. So you could definitely use the sauté function on the Instant Pot, but we’re not sure about pressure cooking. Let us know if you give it a try!

  14. Danielle says

    What brand of rice do u use? Where do u buy it at? I want to make this. Nit sure I have seen that rice in stores where I’m at.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Danielle, we typically use Lundberg arborio rice. It should be available at most stores, especially health food stores or perhaps the international aisle at a more standard grocer. Hope that helps!

  15. Sophia says

    Do you think that I substitute some nutritional yeast for vegan parmesan? There is a cashew allergy at my house.

  16. alexa says

    I was confused about where to add the rice. maybe a revision would be helpful?? I added the right into the pot with vegetable broth but now I realize that might not be correct, as it says to use a ladle

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Alexa, sorry for any confusion. The rice is added in step 4 in the same pan as the sautéed shallot. The warmed vegetable broth is then added to that in the next step. Hope that helps!

  17. Anita Barnes says

    I can’t believe how delicious this dish was. I only had zucchini, a small amount of kale, mushrooms and a red peppers and it was still so good. Easy to make, and no way was there any leftovers. I’ll have to double next time. Thank you!

  18. Mehgan says

    One of my favorites!! I’ve made this several times. I love that the recipe goes well with different kinds of veggies in case I choose to make it without having “grocery shopped” ahead of time for the ingredients on the list.

  19. Mary says

    So delicious! This was my first time making risotto and it turned out great. It took me about 25 minutes to cook, and I used green beans, bell peppers, and some cherry tomatoes. I agree with some of the other comments that the “serves 4” is definitely as a side portion. It made about two full size dinner portions for me. Thank you for the wonderful recipe! Will definitely be making again.

  20. Cathy says

    This recipe was a winner! I had mushrooms, green beans and some yellow pepper. The only bad part, I ate the whole thing in one sitting.