Creamy Vegetable Risotto (30 Minutes!)

When we traveled to Portugal last year, we ate so much good food.

One of the dishes was a vegetable risotto the restaurant was able to make vegan-friendly by omitting the cheese and butter. Perhaps a cardinal sin in making risotto, but they obliged. One bite in and recipe inspiration was born.

Wood serving platter displaying broccolini, shallots, parsley, red bell pepper, arborio rice, asparagus, vegetable broth, and vegan parmesan for making Creamy Vegetable Risotto

This vegan, gluten-free, oil-free risotto is made with 8 ingredients in 30 minutes from start to finish!

It starts with fresh vegetables sautéed until just tender. We went with bell pepper, broccolini, and asparagus, but go with whatever is available and in season for you.

Using a wooden spoon to stir together arborio rice and vegetable broth for this vegan Creamy Vegetable Risotto

Next, start cooking the risotto by sautéing shallot and then adding arborio rice and white wine for flavor.

Once the wine cooks down, add warmed vegetable broth one ladle at a time and stir as it cooks until “al dente.” Then just add your vegan parmesan cheese and the sautéed vegetables and you’re good to go! It’s that easy.

A few things to keep in mind with risotto:

  • Always use warmed vegetable broth so it doesn’t halt the cooking when added to the rice.
  • Stir frequently as the rice cooks to prevent sticking.
  • Cook the rice at a simmer instead of a boil so the rice can cook slowly and evenly.
  • Cook until just “al dente” to avoid gummy risotto.

Saute pan filled with Creamy Vegetable Risotto

We hope you all LOVE this dish. It’s:

Loaded with fresh vegetables
Easy to make
& So delicious

This would make the perfect weeknight meal when you need something that’s incredibly satisfying and comforting in a hurry. It would make a delicious entrée or side dish, and it would also work well for dinner parties, as it’s a versatile side dish that complements just about any main.

If you’re into rice dishes, also be sure to check out our Vegan Fried Rice, Mushroom & Leek Risotto, 30-Minute Cauliflower “Rice” Stir Fry, Cheesy Cauliflower Rice & Broccoli Bake, and Veggie Brown Rice Sushi.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Two serving bowls filled with Creamy Vegetable Risotto for an easy plant-based dinner

Creamy Vegetable Risotto (30 minutes!)


A healthier take on risotto without oil or butter, replacing cheese with vegan parmesan cheese. Includes plenty of fresh vegetables for fiber and nutrients. An easy 30-minute, 8-ingredient recipe perfect as an entrée or a side.


Recipe type: Side, Entrée

Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Italian-Inspired

Serves: 4



  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups (840-960 ml) vegetable broth, warmed on the stovetop (DIY or store-bought)
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) water (or oil), divided
  • 1 small bundle asparagus (160 g), ends trimmed or 1 small bundle broccolini, stalks trimmed (we used both)
  • 1 red bell pepper (120 g), seeds + stem removed, thinly sliced
  • ~1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper
  • 3/4 cup (120 g) thinly sliced shallot
  • 1 cup (185 g) arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) dry white wine (or sub more vegetable broth)
  • 1/4 cup (20 g) vegan parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

FOR SERVING optional


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat vegetable broth over medium heat. Once simmering, reduce heat to low to keep warm.
  2. In the meantime, heat a large pan over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp (15 ml) water (or oil) and asparagus (and/or broccolini) and red bell pepper. Season with a pinch each salt and pepper and sauté until just tender and slightly browned – 3-4 minutes – stirring frequently. Cover to steam and speed cooking time. Remove from pan, uncover, and set aside.
  3. Heat another large rimmed pan over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp water (or oil) and shallot. Sauté for 1-2 minutes or until softened and very slightly browned.
  4. Add arborio rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Then add dry white wine (or more vegetable broth) and stir gently. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Using a ladle, add warmed vegetable broth 1/2 cup (120 ml) at a time, stirring almost constantly, giving the risotto little breaks to come back to a simmer. The heat should be medium, and there should always be a slight simmer. You want the mixture to be cooking but not boiling or it will get gummy and cook too fast.
  6. Continue to add vegetable broth 1 ladle at a time, stirring to incorporate, until the rice is “al dente” – cooked through but not mushy. This whole process should only take 15-20 minutes.
  7. Once the rice is cooked through and al dente, remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Also add vegan parmesan cheese and most of the cooked vegetables, reserving a few for serving. Stir to coat (see photo).
  8. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding a pinch of salt and pepper to taste or more vegan parmesan to enhance the cheesiness.
  9. To serve, divide between serving bowls and top with remaining vegetables, additional vegan parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of parsley (optional).
  10. Best when fresh, though leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.


*Recipe adapted from Food Network.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of 4 servings calculated with water (not oil).

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1/4 of recipe Calories: 257 Fat: 2.2 g Saturated fat: 0.4 g Carbohydrates: 50 g Sugar: 3.4 g Sodium: 423 mg Fiber: 2.7 g Protein: 5.7 g




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