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.
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.
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.
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!
Creamy Vegetable Risotto (30 minutes!)
- 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.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with water (not oil).
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