This easy spring Lemon Risotto recipe is perfect Italian comfort food! It's made with creamy Parmesan cheese, peas, and artichokes.
This Lemon Risotto celebrates the fact that spring has arrived (or is in the process of arriving for those of us in northern climates). It's got lots of bright flavors like peas and artichokes. This recipe kind of feels like spring in a bowl.
Risotto has got to be one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. The reason I love it so much is because it's one of those dishes that seems fancy but in reality is easy to make and prepared with mostly pantry ingredients.
It's one of those meals that can make a weeknight dinner feel a little extra special. Risotto can be enjoyed on its own or paired with something like fish, Garlicky Shrimp and Vegetables, or any seafood as well as meatier dishes like this Grilled Chuck Steak.
Risotto is also fun to make. Sometimes cooking can feel like a chore (even for those of us who love to cook) but this is one of those things that is enjoyable to cook and leaves you feeling kind of accomplished when it's finished.
- What Is Risotto?
- Where Can I Find Arborio Rice?
- Ingredients For Lemon Risotto
- How To Make Lemon Risotto
- What Kind Of Wine Should I Use For Risotto?
- How Long Does It Take For Risotto To Cook?
- How Do I Know When Risotto Is Done?
- What Ingredients Can I Add To Spring Risotto?
- What To Serve With Lemon Risotto
- How Long Does Risotto Last In The Fridge?
- Can It Be Frozen?
- Lemon Risotto with Peas & Artichokes
What Is Risotto?
Risotto is a dish made with Arborio rice that's sauteed with garlic, onions, and white wine and then cooked in broth until it becomes creamy. It is a dish commonly eaten in northern Italy.
Arborio rice looks like pasta but is actually a variety of Italian rice that's high in starch which gives it that characteristic creamy texture when cooked.
Risotto is great for those of us who can't eat gluten because it has everything we love about Italian food - It's decadent and dreamy but totally gluten free.
Where Can I Find Arborio Rice?
You can find Arborio rice in the rice or grains section of your local grocery store. It may be located next to the wild rice or dried goods like beans or lentils. It is available in most grocery stores nowadays.
You can also find it online if you are unable to locate it in your local grocery store or food coop.
Ingredients For Lemon Risotto
Here's what you'll need to make it.
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 6 cloves Garlic
- 1 Onion
- 1 ½ cups Arborio Rice
- ⅔ cup White Wine
- 5 cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 12 oz. package Frozen Peas (about 2 cups)
- 1 12 oz. jar Marinated Artichokes
- 2 Lemons (zest and juice)
- ½ cup Grated or Shaved Parmesan Cheese
- ½ tsp. Kosher Salt and Pepper
How To Make Lemon Risotto
The first step is to heat the vegetable broth in a sauce pan. The broth is heated first before it gets added to the risotto.
This allows the rice to cook more quickly and evenly.
- Simply add 5 cups of vegetable broth to a sauce pan and heat it on the stove top. The broth should be heated through but not boiling.
- Mince 6 cloves of garlic and 1 onion. (You can use any color onion you like but I recommend white or yellow for a milder flavor. Shallots can also be substituted for the onion).
- Heat a large skillet to medium and add 2 Tbsp. olive oil.
- Add the minced garlic and onions to the skillet and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add 1 ½ cups of Arborio rice to the garlic and onions and saute for 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add ⅔ cup white wine to the rice and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add a ladle full of warm broth to the skillet and stir until incorporated.
- Add ½ tsp. of kosher salt and pepper to the rice and stir until incorporated.
What Kind Of Wine Should I Use For Risotto?
You can use any kind of white wine you have on hand. There is no need to go out an buy anything fancy - Feel free to use any variety of white wine that you enjoy drinking.
How Long Does It Take For Risotto To Cook?
The rice will start out tough and become softened and creamy as liquid is added to the skillet. The trick is to add the liquid a bit at a time until the rice is fully cooked.
- After adding that first ladle-full of broth stir the rice until it is incorporated.
- Continue to add the broth a ladle at a time, stirring often until all of the liquid is added and absorbed by the rice.
The cooking process usually takes about 20 minutes.
It's important to stir the rice often but there is no need to stir it constantly. This is one of those dishes you need to keep an eye on but also does its own thing.
How Do I Know When Risotto Is Done?
You will know that the rice is done when it is plump and can no longer absorb any liquid. Try not to overcook the rice or it will become mushy. Much like pasta its important to keep it 'al dente'.
What Ingredients Can I Add To Spring Risotto?
Once the creamy rice base is ready it's time to add the rest of the ingredients.
- Add 1 12 oz. package (about 2 cups) of frozen peas to the skillet.
- Zest 1 lemon into the rice using a Microplane or small zester. Cut the lemon in half and add the juice of the entire lemon.
- Cut 1 12 oz. jar of marinated artichokes into smaller pieces and add them to the skillet.
- Add ½ cup of shredded or shaves Parmesan cheese to the skillet.
- Turn the heat down to low and stir until all of the ingredients are combined and warmed through.
You can substitute canned peas for frozen if that's what you have on hand. Be sure to drain them first if using canned peas.
What To Serve With Lemon Risotto
Once the Lemon Risotto is heated through and the cheese is melted it's ready to serve!
Risotto is a hearty dish (don't let the fact that it's vegetarian fool you). It can definitely be served on its own and be totally satisfying.
It goes great with shrimp, fish, or any kind of seafood.
Meaty meals like Steak with Shallot Sauce, Steak Diane, or lamb would be a great accompaniment as well as a lighter fare like this Kalamata Olive Tapenade, Roasted Mushroom Tapenade or a side dish like Asparagus with Prosciutto.
I recommend serving the risotto with some extra Parmesan cheese and more lemon zest. You can also add more salt and pepper if needed.
How Long Does Risotto Last In The Fridge?
If you have leftovers they should last 3-4 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge. They may be heated up on the stove top or in the microwave.
Can It Be Frozen?
It is not recommended to freeze risotto as it can cause the texture to become grainy. Risotto is one of those things best enjoyed right away.
Love risotto? Check out these recipes!
Love Mediterranean flavors? Don't miss these recipes!
- Mediterranean Chicken and Potatoes
- Instant Pot Mediterranean Chicken and Rice
- Tuscan Vegetable Soup
- Sheet Pan Italian Chicken
- Easy Chicken Marsala Pasta
- Skillet Chicken Parmesan
- Baked Eggplant Parmesan
- Italian Mozzarella Grilled Cheese
- Green Pasta Sauce
- Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
Looking For More Risotto Recipes? Don't Miss These!
Lemon Risotto with Peas & Artichokes
- Mince 6 cloves of garlic and 1 onion (a milder onion like white or yellow is recommended or shallots may be substituted for the onion).
- Chop 1 12 oz. jar of marinated artichokes into smaller pieces.
- Heat a large skillet to medium and add 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Once heated, add the minced garlic and onions. Saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add 1 ½ cups Arborio rice to the skillet. Saute 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add ⅔ cups white wine to the rice. Saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. The alcohol will cook off and the wine will reduce as it cooks.
- Add 1 ladle of warmed vegetable broth to the rice. Stir until incorporated. Add ½ tsp. of kosher salt and pepper. Stir until combined.
- Continue to add the broth 1 ladle at a time to the rice. Stir the rice often (but not constantly) to prevent the rice from sticking or burning. Continue to add a ladle of broth every few minutes until the rice cannot absorb any more broth. (This process takes 16-20 minutes).
- Once the rice is cooked (but not mushy) add 1 12 oz. package of frozen peas, the zest and juice of 1 lemon, the chopped marinated artichokes, and ½ cup of shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese to the skillet. Reduce the heat to low and stir until incorporated.
- Once the peas are heated and the cheese is melted the risotto is ready to serve.
- To Serve: Zest another lemon on top of the risotto and add some more Parmesan cheese. Feel free to add more salt and pepper if needed along with fresh herbs (optional).