In this quick and easy risotto recipe I show you step by step how to make the popular Italian rice dish with simple vegan ingredients and Mediterranean vegetables! It is not only wonderfully creamy, healthy and delicious, but also vegan, vegetarian, naturally gluten-free and always a hit!
The Best Basic Risotto Recipe
You ask how to make the perfect risotto? The answer is actually very simple! You only need a few simple ingredients, a pot and the right “spoon swing”. So today I’m going to show you my best tips and tricks, so you’re guaranteed to make the perfect Italian risotto in no time!
What is risotto?
Risotto is a popular northern Italian rice dish that is traditionally served as an appetizer, side dish or main dish in Italy. The classic dish consists of creamy stir-fried rice with aromatic broth, white wine, butter, and freshly grated Parmesan, but you can easily make it with vegan ingredients too!
Risotto Recipe Variations
Just like pasta and gnocchi, risotto is a quick and easy dish that definitely belongs in the category of my favorite comfort foods. You basically only need 4 main ingredients and the rest is up to you. Here are some risotto variations that I also like to make:
- Asparagus Risotto: is a classic in spring season! Edamame, peas and wild garlic also go well with it.
- Zucchini Risotto: in combination with sweet corn, it is also perfect in spring and summer!
- Tomato Risotto: I love it especially with ripe Italian tomatoes in summer!
- Pumpkin Risotto: is always popular in fall! You can also use butternut squash to make this recipe.
- Vegan Mushroom Risotto: made with sautéed cremini, button mushrooms, chanterelles or other mushrooms, this recipe is perfect for cold days in fall and winter!
- Spinach Risotto: garnished with vegan feta cheese, this dish is another favorite recipe.
- Other variations: you can also use other vegetables like sweet potatoes, broccoli, roasted cauliflower, kale, peppers or carrots to give this Italian rice dish a really tasty twist!
- Protein: if you want more protein in your risotto, feel free to add a plant-based protein source such as tofu, vegan feta, lentils, chickpeas, beans, or other meat alternatives of your choice.
- Arborio rice or carnaroli rice (short-grain rice)
- Onions or shallots & garlic
- Olive oil (or vegan butter)
- White wine
- Vegetable broth
- Soy or Oat Cuisine (or other dairy-free cooking cream /or coconut milk).
- Nutritional yeast flakes (or vegan parmesan)
- Salt and black pepper
Mediterranean Oven-Roasted Vegetables (optional)
- Vegetables (e.g. cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and garlic)
- Olive oil
- Italian herbs (e.g. mixture of rosemary, thyme and basil)
- Salt and pepper
- Vegan feta
How to make Vegan Risotto – the recipe is as simple as that!
As always, I recommend watching the recipe video and checking out these step-by-step instructions first. Then you can then find the full recipe with the exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Roast the onions, garlic and rice.
First, heat some oil or Vegan Butter in a saucepan, large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Then add the garlic and sauté for a minute until fragrant. Next, add the rice and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, until grains of rice are translucent around the edges.
Step 2: Add broth and cook the risotto
Now deglaze the pan or pot with white wine and let it boil down until it has almost evaporated. Then pour in a ladle of vegetable broth and simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid is almost absorbed. Add another ladle of broth and continue like this until the broth is used up and the risotto is ‘al dente’ and creamy. Finally, stir in dairy-free cream and season with nutritional yeast flakes, salt and pepper.
Step 3 (optional): Roast vegetables
While the risotto rice is cooking, you can add vegetables and garlic to a shallow baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle herbs, salt and pepper and give it a gently mix. Then spread vegan feta on top and roast in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Also, briefly toast the pine nuts in a pan.
Step 4: Garnish risotto and serve
Now you can serve your risotto with the Mediterranean vegetables on top. Garnish with vegan feta and / or a few tablespoons of vegan parmesan cheese, olives, toasted pine nuts and fresh herbs as desired. You can also sprinkle some fresh parsley over your dish or a drizzle of lemon juice to add another layer of flavor. Enjoy your meal!
Tips for Making Perfect Risotto!
- Stir often. Not only will this prevent the rice from burning at the bottom of the pan or pot, but stirring will also help the rice release its starch, which is crucial for a perfect creamy risotto!
- Add the broth slowly. By adding the vegetable broth slowly, you can better control the amount and cooking process.
- Keep the vegetable broth warm. Heat the vegetable stock in a second pot over medium heat and keep it warm while cooking the risotto to ensure you won’t interrupt the cooking process when adding more stock.
- Practice makes perfect. If you don’t get the risotto right the first time, that’s totally fine! Just remember what you did wrong and improve it next time.
- Best served hot. Risotto tastes best when it has just been cooked. Nevertheless, leftovers can also be reheated well.
How to store leftovers?
You can store leftover risotto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Then, when you want to eat your risotto, just warm it up on the stove or in the microwave, adding a little water or plant milk if it’s too thick. However, I do not recommend freezing the risotto, as this will change the texture of the rice.
This Vegan Risotto Recipe is:
- Quick and easy to make
- Dairy free (lactose free)
- So delicious!
- Perfect for lunch or dinner!
More easy and delicious Italian recipes to try
- The Best Vegan Lasagna
- Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese
- Lentil Bolognese
- Chickpea Frittata
- Italian Bread Salad
- Pasta alla Puttanesca
- Spanish Tomato Soup
- Vegan Carbonara
If you try this easy creamy Italian vegetable risotto recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a review! And if you take a picture of your rice dish and share it on Instagram or Facebook, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your remakes! Enjoy! 🙂
Vegan Risotto with Vegetables (Easy 30-Minute Recipe)Author:
For the risotto:
- 1 ¼ cup (250 g) Arborio rice or carnaroli rice
- 1-2 onions finely diced
- 4-6 cloves garlic depending on size, finely chopped
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil or vegan butter
- ½ cup (120 ml) vegan white wine
- 2 ½ cups (600 ml) vegetable broth
- 1 cup (240 ml) dairy-free cooking cream e.g. soy or oat cuisine or coconut milk
- 3-4 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes or vegan parmesan optional to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8.8 oz (250 g) vegetables e.g. cherry tomatoes and zucchini strips
- 2 cloves of garlic pressed
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Italian herbs e.g. mixture of rosemary, thyme and basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3.5 oz vegan feta
To serve (optional):
- pine nuts
- basil or other fresh herbs
*Note: Feel free to check out the recipe video + step-by-step photos above!
- Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or non-stick pot. Add the onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Then add the garlic and sauté for a minute until it is fragrant.
- Now add the rice and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Deglaze with white wine and let it boil down until the wine has almost evaporated. Then pour in ⅔ cup of vegetable broth and simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until the broth is almost absorbed. Add another ⅔ cup of broth and simmer for about 15 minutes. Continue like this until the broth is used up and the risotto is 'al dente'. Finally, stir in dairy-free cooking cream and season with nutritional yeast flakes, salt and pepper.
- While the risotto is cooking, you can roast your favorite vegetables in the oven or sauté them in a pan and prepare other toppings. To do this, place vegetables and garlic in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread the vegan feta on top and roast in a preheated oven at 392 °F (200 °C) for 15-20 minutes. Also, toast the pine nuts in a small pan without additional oil. Then set aside.
- Serve the risotto in bowls and top with the roasted vegetables as desired. Garnish with vegan feta and/or vegan parmesan, toasted pine nuts and fresh herbs as desired.
- Storage: leftover risotto can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Lots of helpful recipe tips and delicious risotto recipe variations are mentioned in the blog post above!
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