How to Make Vegetarian Risotto

Risottos are a good, hearty meal with many variations. They are perfect for entrée or main meals or even allowed to chill, making them into balls, coating them in breadcrumbs and frying to make Arancini - risotto makes a very versatile recipe to know. Here's how to make a satisfying meal: to serve 4.


Basic recipe:

  • 2 purple shallots or 1 medium onion, chopped finely.
  • 1.5 cups of risotto rice (arborio is an easy to find choice)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped.
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 4 cups of Stock. Vegetarian chicken flavour is favourite.
  • Grated Parmesan cheese to taste.
  • Olive oil or butter.

Optional extra vegetables & seasonings

  • 2 small bunches of asparagus, chopped. Juice & zest of 1 lemon.
  • 1 cup of frozen peas & a few strands of saffron (Milanese risotto)
  • Sliced & fried mushrooms & chopped parsley or a little thyme
  • Pumpkin & zucchini/courgette cut into 1 centimeter (0.4 in) cubes, 1T curry powder & 1 cup coconut milk (omit wine & cheese).
  • Chopped red capsicum / bell pepper & olives with saffron, cumin, coriander & chopped parsley (influenced from Spanish Rice recipes)
  • Fresh spinach plus more cheese and mustard to taste.


  1. Image titled Make Vegetarian Risotto Step 1
    Make your basic risotto recipe. Put your saucepan on low heat and melt 1T of butter or 1T oil. When warm enough to sauté, add the chopped onion, garlic & rice. Stir very well but don't allow to brown. Keep the heat low if needs be.
  2. Image titled Make Vegetarian Risotto Step 2
    When the rice is opaque, add 1 cup of stock and stir well. Keep stirring until it is absorbed which could be 2 or 3 minutes. If you have hard vegetables to add such as pumpkin, add them at this stage.
  3. Image titled Make Vegetarian Risotto Step 3
    When this is absorbed, add the next cup of stock. Continue to stir and add firm vegetables if you picked the capsicum or zucchini recipes.
  4. Image titled Make Vegetarian Risotto Step 4
    Keep stirring and add the next cup. At this stage the goal is the vegetables should be 1/3rd cooked. You can add asparagus at this stage as it doesn't take as long to cook.
  5. Image titled Make Vegetarian Risotto Step 5
    Allow to simmer gently. Add the next cup when it is absorbed continue to stir, but aim not to mash or stir furiously, it's a gentle stir. Put on some music if this helps.
  6. Image titled Make Vegetarian Risotto Step 6
    Add the final cup of wine or stock and add your seasonings and/or grated cheese. If you picked the fried mushrooms or frozen peas option add them now with seasonings together.
  7. Image titled Make Vegetarian Risotto Step 7
    Allow this cup to absorb then taste the rice & veges to see if its cooked through. If it needs a little longer, turn off the heat and put the lid on for 5 minutes. The consistency should be distinct rice grains & vegetables in a creamy sauce. It shouldn't ideally be soupy, or stiff like mashed potato but in between.
  8. Image titled Make Vegetarian Risotto Step 8
    Stir before serving and add salt & pepper to taste, or a little cream if desired for extra creaminess. Serve with extra grated cheese if you wish.
  9. Image titled Make Vegetarian Risotto Intro


  • If the risotto is too soupy a quick fix it to get a thick slice of baguette or bread and toast it (or butter & grill or fry the bread until golden) then serve the risotto poured over the bread. Garnish with some chopped herbs to taste.
  • If its too dry, add a little more wine, stock, water or cream to make a good consistency.


  • Avoid letting it burn - keep the heat low and keep stirring.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 liter (0.5 US gal) saucepan
  • Wooden spoon or stirrer
  • 1 L jug & measuring utensils.

Article Info

Categories: Risotto | Vegetarian