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A rich and creamy vegan risotto with a burst of fresh lemon! This deliciously hearty lemon risotto is a classic Italian dish made vegan that you’ll want to add to your regular dinner rotation!
You know the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemon risotto!”
OK, fine. Maybe that’s not really how it goes. But I’m taking some creative license here. 😉
Now that it’s a new year, it’s time to start thinking about a fresh start, resolutions and all that sort of stuff.
And if you’re of the belief that life gave you lemons in 2018, then put them to good, I mean, delicious use by kicking off 2019 with a bowl of this beautiful, bright, sunny, hearty, creamy, lemony VEGAN RISOTTO! 🙂
Lemons are so refreshing, and there is just enough “lemon-ness” in this dish to add the perfect burst of flavor.
What vegan cheese works best for this Lemon Risotto?
Traditionally, risotto is made with cheese, so to keep this recipe vegan while still maintaining that cheesy flavor, I used a combination of nutritional yeast and shredded vegan Parmesan cheese. For the vegan Parmesan cheese, I chose Violife brand “just like Parmesan.”
What’s the best vegan wine for risotto?
Personally, I prefer Pinto Grigio in risotto, but you can use any vegan dry white of your liking. For this dish, I used Candoni Green Pinot Grigio which is made with organic grapes and is certified vegan and gluten-free.
How to make Vegan Risotto
First, warm vegetable broth in a pot over medium heat. Then heat vegan butter and olive oil over medium heat in a wide pan with high sides until butter is melted.
Add the shallot and cook until it becomes translucent, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Then, add the Arborio rice and stir until it is well coated.
Next, add in the wine and stir constantly until it is absorbed. Then, begin adding the broth one ladleful at a time, adding more broth as it is absorbed, stirring constantly. Continue this process until rice is tender and has a creamy consistency.
Turn off heat and stir in the nutritional yeast and shredded vegan Parmesan cheese.
Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest, and stir to combine.
Stir in kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon slices. Serve immediately.
Can I add veggies to this risotto recipe?
Yes! Veggies such as peas or chopped asparagus would be a delicious addition to this dish. To do so, add your pre-cooked veggies right before the step of adding the nutritional yeast and cheese. Keep the heat on medium, stir in the veggies and cook for 1 more minute. Then turn the heat off and stir in the nutritional yeast and cheese followed by the lemon juice, lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste.
What to serve with vegan lemon risotto
This risotto pairs well with a light mixed green salad with a balsamic or red wine vinaigrette. You can serve the salad as an appetizer or side.
What is the best pan for making risotto?
Risotto is best made in a 4-quart, wide pan (about 10-12 inches in diameter) with a heavy bottom and high, straight sides (about 4 inches high) so the rice absorbs the broth and cooks evenly and there’s a large enough area to work in. To stir the risotto, a wooden spoon with a circular opening is traditionally used as it allows for more efficient stirring. This is the risotto pan and spoon I used in this post.
Vegan Lemon Risotto [Gluten-Free]
- 48 oz. gluten-free vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped shallot
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup vegan dry white wine, preferably Pinot Grigio (I used Candoni Green)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup shredded vegan Parmesan cheese (I used Violife brand - *see note below)
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh parsley (for garnish), to taste
- 1 medium lemon, cut into circle-shaped slices (for garnish)
- Warm vegetable broth in a pot over medium heat.
- Heat vegan butter and olive oil over medium heat in a 4-quart, wide pan (about 10-12 inches in diameter) with high sides (about 3-4 inches high) until butter is melted. Add the shallot and cook until it becomes translucent, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the Arborio rice and stir until it is well coated.
- Then, add the wine and stir constantly until it is absorbed.
- Once wine is absorbed, add one ladleful (approximately 1/4 cup) of broth. Stir constantly until broth is absorbed.
- When broth is absorbed, add another ladleful. Continue to add broth one ladleful at a time as it is absorbed, stirring constantly. Repeat this process until rice is tender and has a creamy consistency (will take about 20-25 minutes from this point).
- Once the rice is creamy, and you have used all or most of your broth (you might not need it all), turn off the heat and stir in the nutritional yeast and shredded vegan Parmesan cheese. Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest, and stir to combine.
- Stir in kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon slices. Serve immediately.
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