This easy, baked Lemon Asparagus Risotto is full of fresh spring flavors! It’s perfect to serve as a side dish or vegetarian main dish.
At last, spring is here! Of course here in Colorado spring means plenty of snow, which we’re getting here today. I’m staying positive though and focusing on the warmer days ahead, the tulips popping up in my front yard and the return of one of my favorite spring vegetables, asparagus!
To celebrate the return of spring and asparagus I made this fantastic Lemon Asparagus Risotto. The flavors are bright and fresh and the method for making it couldn’t be easier!
What Do I Need to Make Risotto?
- Short grain brown rice, I use Lundberg organic brown short grain rice
- Vegetable broth or chicken broth
- White wine, optional, but I highly recommend using it
- Butter (optional)
- Parmesan cheese
Traditionally risotto is made on the stovetop. It takes about 30 minutes to cook, but the downside is you can’t leave it unattended. What makes stovetop risotto so creamy is the constant addition of liquid followed by stirring. It tastes amazing if done correctly, but can be tedious.
Last fall I tried making baked risotto for the first time when I created the recipe for this Baked Pumpkin Goat Cheese Risotto. I couldn’t believe how easy it was and there was no need to stand at the stove constantly stirring!
How to Make Baked Risotto
- Preheat the oven and heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed, oven safe pot. I use a Le Creuset dutch oven, but there are many other good quality and less expensive brands.
- Sauté the onion and garlic then add in the lemon zest and rice. Toast the rice for a minute and then add in the white wine and stir for another minute.
- Pour in the vegetable or chicken broth and bring it to a boil. Cover with the lid and put it in the oven.
- The risotto will bake for 60-70 minutes, which seems like a long time, but it’s hands off and requires no work on your end.
- Once the rice is tender and cooked, remove the pot from the oven and add in more broth. Stir vigorously for a couple minutes and then stir in the Parmesan cheese, butter and lemon juice. Stir in the peas and asparagus (which you’ll roast in the oven during the last 10 minutes of cooking time for the risotto).
Can I Make the Risotto with White Rice?
Yes. If you want to make this risotto using white arborio rice you’ll need to reduce the cooking time down to 40-45 minutes or until the rice is tender. The rest of the cooking process will remain the same.
What to Serve with Risotto
This Lemon Asparagus Risotto is an excellent vegetarian main dish or hearty side dish to have with any of the following recipes.
- Broccoli Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken
- Slow Cooker Broccoli Cauliflower Cheese Soup
- Lemon Butter Chicken
- Lemon Garlic Shrimp
More Spring Recipes
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- Zest of a lemon
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked short grain brown rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional, but recommended)
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 pound asparagus, woody ends cut off
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a sheet pan with foil and add the trimmed asparagus to it. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss together until coated and set aside.
- Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy bottomed oven safe pot (such as a dutch oven) over medium-high heat. When hot, add in the onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add in the garlic and lemon zest and sauté another 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the rice and stir everything together.
- Pour in the wine and stir for a minute until the alcohol has evaporated. Pour in 3 cups of vegetable broth and 1 cup of water. Stir and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then cover with the lid and place on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until the rice is tender and cooked through.
- During the last 8-10 minutes of baking (depending on the thickness of the asparagus) place the sheet pan with the asparagus in the oven. Roast until tender.
- Remove the risotto and the asparagus from the oven. Add in the reserved vegetable broth (start with a 1/2 cup and add more as needed), lemon juice, Parmesan cheese and butter. Stir vigorously for 2 minutes until the rice is thick and creamy. Cut the asparagus into bite sized pieces and add in along with the peas to the risotto. Season with more salt and pepper as needed, stir to combine, then taste for seasoning. Serve topped with extra Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley if desired.
Nutritional information based on 6 servings, side dish portion. 4 servings as a main dish.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 189Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 273mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 7g