What Are the Different Types of Vegetable Risotto?

Lori Kilchermann

Vegetable risotto is an Italian dish typically featuring arborio rice, wine and various vegetables, such as mushrooms and asparagus, which are found in mushroom and spring vegetable risotto. Risotto can be made with a variety of flavor combinations, such as roast pumpkin and feta risotto. Risotto lends itself to vegetarian dishes.

Fava beans can be used in vegetable risotto.
Fava beans can be used in vegetable risotto.

Mushrooms are a common vegetable risotto ingredient. Mushroom and spring vegetable risotto features asparagus, mushrooms and shallots. The recipe's arborio rice is given added flavor with dry vermouth, fresh thyme and freshly-squeezed lemon juice. Wild mushroom risotto features crimini mushrooms, dried mushrooms, such as morels or black trumpets, and assorted wild mushrooms, such as chanterelle, hedgehog or pleurote. Gorgonzola and wild mushroom risotto calls for dried chanterelle mushrooms, button mushrooms and crumbled Gorgonzola cheese.

Wedge of gorgonzola cheese, which can be added to vegetable risotto.
Wedge of gorgonzola cheese, which can be added to vegetable risotto.

Many vegetable dishes are flavored with asparagus. Spring green risotto features asparagus, leeks and peas. Green risotto features spinach, chopped basil leaves, and chopped flat-leaf parsley. Risotto with asparagus features chopped onion, white wine and Parmesan cheese. Wild mushroom and asparagus risotto features onions, wild mushrooms and asparagus. Garden risotto features asparagus, peas and baby spinach leaves.

Green peas are commonly included in vegetable risotto.
Green peas are commonly included in vegetable risotto.

Broccoli is another common ingredient in vegetable-based risotto dishes. Broccoli risotto with cream and lemon features broccoli florets, garlic and chopped fresh chives. Emerald green risotto features celery, broccoli florets and sugar snap peas. Other vegetables in the dish include zucchini, fresh green beans and chopped fresh parsley.

Button mushrooms, which are often included in vegetable risotto.
Button mushrooms, which are often included in vegetable risotto.

Parmesan cheese provides flavor for many vegetable-based risotto dishes. Butternut squash risotto features cubed butternut squash, dry white wine and grated Parmesan cheese. Risotto with tomato, corn and basil is flavored with white wine, Parmesan cheese and minced garlic. Green risotto with fava beans is flavored with onion, white wine and Reggiano Parmesan cheese.

Different types of rice, including risotto rice.
Different types of rice, including risotto rice.

Vegetable risotto can also be made with pumpkin, artichoke and zucchini. Roast pumpkin and feta risotto features mashed pumpkin, baby spinach leaves and feta cheese. Zucchini risotto features thinly-sliced zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil leaves. Artichoke risotto includes artichokes, fresh mint and the zest and juice of a lemon.

Risotto is often garnished with Parmesan cheese.
Risotto is often garnished with Parmesan cheese.

Roasted spring vegetable risotto features asparagus, whole baby carrots and assorted peppers. The dish also includes zucchini, fresh mushrooms and fresh rosemary leaves. Many herb-flavored risotto dishes also include an array of vegetables. Fennel risotto features fennel, onion and vegetable broth. Fennel onion risotto includes onion, garlic and green peas. Fennel risotto with ricotta and dried chilli includes garlic, chillies and onion.

Fresh basil leaves are often used to garnish vegetable risotto.
Fresh basil leaves are often used to garnish vegetable risotto.
Butternut squash can be cubed for use in a risotto.
Butternut squash can be cubed for use in a risotto.
A variety of vegetables can be used in vegetable risotto.
A variety of vegetables can be used in vegetable risotto.
Broccoli florets are often featured in vegetable risottos.
Broccoli florets are often featured in vegetable risottos.
Emerald green risotto is made with broccoli florets, celery, and sugar snap peas.
Emerald green risotto is made with broccoli florets, celery, and sugar snap peas.
Wild mushroom risotto contains several different types of mushrooms.
Wild mushroom risotto contains several different types of mushrooms.

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Discussion Comments


My friend makes vegetable risotto with cilantro. I think that this is too overpowering for the dish, because it drowns out every other flavor present. She just loves the taste of cilantro, so she puts it in everything.

I wanted to show her how it would taste without it, so I invited her to my house for vegetable risotto. I made it exactly the way she does, minus the cilantro.

I included broccoli, garlic, chives, zucchini, and squash. I made the same zesty sauce that she uses, and I used the same brand of rice.

When she tasted it, she said she was amazed at all the flavor she had been missing out on. I think I have converted her to cilantro-free vegetable risotto for good.


Vegetable risotto is delicious when served alongside New York strip steak. I order this meal from my favorite restaurant, and I am never disappointed.

Asparagus and zucchini are two of my favorite vegetables, and I get to enjoy both in the risotto. The steak leaks out plenty of flavorful juices, and I love to stir it into the rice of the risotto.

It's even good reheated the next day. As long as I stir everything up and use the microwave instead of the stove, it remains moist and full of that good green flavor.


@Perdido – You probably think of cheese in risotto because so many chefs do use it. I love watching cooking shows, and just about every time someone makes risotto, they include cheese.

My mother has always made it with heavy cream instead. It gives it a rich, thick consistency, and the absence of cheese lets the other flavors come out.

Vegetable risotto is my favorite. I'm not big on eating meat, so I could eat this as an entire meal. It's super good for you, and I never feel guilty for eating too much of it.


I have always associated risotto with cheese, and I cannot stand to eat cheese. So, when my friend had risotto at her wedding rehearsal, I had to ask the waiter about what was in it.

I was surprised to learn that this vegetable risotto contained absolutely no cheese. It did have broccoli, sugar snap peas, and asparagus, all of which I loved.

The lemon garlic cream that covered it was delicious. I felt good eating it, knowing that it had no hidden cheese.

This dish is so healthy that I have started making it at home. My husband loves it, but he does pick the asparagus off of it. That's okay, because I eat it for him.


@myharley - I have a pumpkin risotto recipe that I call my comfort food. This is my favorite way to eat risotto.

There are several recipes online, but basically they are the same recipes, and you are just using pumpkin or squash in place of any of the other vegetables you would use.

I still use the chicken stock, rice, mushrooms, olive oil, onion and butter. I know it doesn't sound very good, but a little bit of garlic can really spice it up.

The Parmesan cheese adds the finishing touch. This is the perfect dish for a damp, cold day.

I don't think you can go wrong with risotto. You can be creative and use the vegetables that are your favorites and create a healthy meal that you know you will love.


We eat a lot of vegetable risotto in the spring and summer. This is one of the best ways to use fresh vegetables and herbs from my garden.

In the spring, I love to make this with asparagus and mushrooms. I have an asparagus patch that comes back every year, and this tender vegetable makes a wonderful risotto.

To save time, I will usually use a carton of broth from the store. These cartons are so easy to use and you can store what is left in the refrigerator.

If I want something a little heartier and filling, I will add chicken breast to the risotto. I don't change the recipe at all, but just add the chicken and maybe a little bit more broth.

Chicken breast goes well with all kinds of vegetables, so this is something that makes a very healthy meal.

I have several risotto recipes for spring and summer, but have never tried it in the fall with pumpkin or squash. Does anybody have any good recipes or tips for this?


I like to make a simple vegetate risotto that has just peas, onions and Parmesan cheese. I can whip it up in just about 30 minutes and it pairs great with lots of different kinds of meals.

It has become a family favorite and we probably eat it once a week. Even my kids like it. One of our favorite family meals is to make a chicken spaghetti recipe, a big spinach salad and some quick vegetable risotto. We never have any leftovers.


My friend makes a kind of fusion vegetable risotto. It combines a traditional Italian preparation and risotto rice with some Latin heat and a selection of peppers and onions.

It is not something you would ever think to make, or even to eat but it is delicious. My friend uses green, yellow and red peppers so it is beautiful to look at. She is a really creative cook and is always coming up with unusual flavor and ingredient combinations.


@manykitties2-- I'm a fan of chicken recipes too! I had never thought about making vegetable risotto with chicken but it sounds like a great idea. I'm sure it would go great with mushrooms.

You can't put rice in a steam cooker! It will become liquid and mushy for sure. But a vegetable and lentil risotto would be a fantastic option for vegetarians and vegans! I'm going to tell my sister to try that, she's a die-hard vegetarian so she would never try chicken and mushroom risotto.


@popcorn-- I love prawn risotto which also calls for a lot of garlic. But I leave it out altogether because I don't like garlic or onion in risotto. Sometimes though, I just replace garlic and onion with scallions which also give a slightly onion-like flavor to the risotto without overwhelming it.

I think vegetable risotto goes really well with seafood. If you like seafood, I recommend making prawn, shrimp or salmon risotto with vegetables.

To prevent the rice from going mushy, add the rice to the vegetables at the end and make sure there isn't too much water. Or make the rice separately and mix with the cooked veggies and seafood later.


Curry risotto is my favorite out of all the vegetable risotto recipes. I love adding curry and tomato paste to vegetable risotto to make and Indian style meal. I know it's not the traditional way to make it, but I think vegetable risotto is very similar to Indian food when it's added spices.

It reminds me of eating vegetable curry and rice, but it's easier to make curry vegetable risotto because the rice and veggies are cooked together. I love making this risotto with green peas, carrots and zucchini. It's so delicious. I sometimes replace risotto rice with basmati or jasmine rice to make it even more Asian in flavor.


@popcorn - Surprisingly, one of the best vegetable risotto recipes I found came out of a book for easy chicken breast recipes. I suppose that was because the book had a few different recipes for chicken broth which was used in the vegetable risotto.

What I do to make my winter vegetable risotto perfectly is use a good pressure cooker. With this it shouldn't take you too long to make anything. Also, you can modify recipes until you have a taste you like. Just don't add as much of things your not a fan of. Another good rule is, if your rice always turns out bad, don't use rice. I actually made my vegetable risotto with lentils instead because I had the same problem.


Can anyone tell me how to make risotto so that it is delicious and is presented in an appealing way?

I have tried a few vegetable risotto recipes I found online and they always turned out a bit mushy and unappealing to look at. I found that the spices used were also a bit overwhelming (too much garlic was a big issue).

What I need is a really good winter vegetable risotto recipe so that I can impress my family with my cooking. I am usually pretty good at making things, but I can never seem to get anything with rice in it just right.

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