Overhead view of creamy lemon asparagus risotto in a white serving bowl with a wooden spoon on the edge.

Easy & Creamy Lemon Asparagus Risotto

Lemony, creamy, indulgent, and delicious, this Asparagus Risotto recipe will have everyone thinking they’re dining at a fine restaurant. You’ll never need to tell them how easy it is to make. Fresh asparagus, lemon, and Parmesan are perfect flavor matches. 

Prep: 10 mins.Cook: 35 mins.Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 6-8 servings (6 cups risotto) 1x


  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced (or ½ small white onion, minced)
  • 1½ cups arborio rice or other short- or medium-grain rice (290 g)
  • Pinch of sea salt and black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • Juice of 1 large lemon (3-4 tablespoons)
  • 1 lb asparagus, cut into -inch pieces
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup grated, shredded, or shaved Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • Chopped fresh parsley or thyme for garnish (optional)


  1. In a Dutch oven, large pot, or large skillet with straight sides over medium heat, heat the oil, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot, add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens, 2-4 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, fill a large, wide skillet or saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 
  3. To the first pot with the shallot, add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice becomes glossy, 2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, then the lemon juice. Stir and let the liquid bubble away for 30 seconds. 
  4. When the lemon juice has been absorbed, start adding the broth, ½ cup at a time. You do not need to heat the broth ahead of time. When the ½ cup of broth has been absorbed into the rice (2-5 minutes), add another ½ cup of broth, stirring after each addition. Keep adding broth, ½ cup at a time, when each prevision addition of broth has been absorbed into the rice, keeping the heat at medium to medium-high and stirring frequently. 
  5. Back to the skillet: When the water in the skillet comes to a boil, add the asparagus pieces in an even layer. If the water doesn’t cover the asparagus, put a lid on the skillet. Cook the asparagus until tender and bright green (2 minutes for thin asparagus, 4-5 minutes for medium asparagus, and 6-7 minutes for thick asparagus pieces). 
  6. When the asparagus is tender, drain the skillet and run some cold water over the asparagus. Then drain and set asparagus aside. 
  7. Back to the risotto: Begin tasting the rice after about 20 minutes of cooking. The rice should be neither soupy nor dry. You want it to be tender and not chalky tasting but still have a little toothsome crunch to it, which could take up to 30 minutes to reach that texture. When it does, stir in the ½ cup Parmesan and drained asparagus pieces. Taste and add more salt and/or pepper, if you’d like. 
  8. Serve risotto immediately and garnish with additional shaved Parmesan and fresh herbs (such as parsley or thyme). 


Add Stovetop Salmon: This asparagus risotto tastes delicious served with salmon, cooked to your preference (grilled, skillet cooked, or oven baked). Follow these simple directions to cook salmon on the stovetop: 

  1. Cut a 1 lb salmon fillet (skin on or skinless) into 4 pieces; sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides. Heat a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and swirl to coat the skillet. Add the fish to the hot oil, skin side down (even if the skin has been removed), and increase the heat to medium-high. 
  2. Cook until the salmon pieces easily release from the skillet surface, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the salmon pieces over and cook to desired doneness, 2 to 5 minutes more. Use a knife to check the inside of the salmon. Serve with lemon wedges on the side. 

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1 cup risotto
  • Calories: 273
  • Fat: 7 g
  • (Sat Fat: 2 g)
  • Sodium: 266 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 44 g
  • (Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 3 g)
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Cholesterol: 7 mg


© The Real Food Dietitians
Recipe By: Jessie Shafer