This pea and asparagus risotto with bacon is the perfect risotto recipe for the end of Spring/beginning of Summertime. It’s filled with seasonal asparagus, peas and crispy bacon, and flavoured with fresh lemon, chives and, of course, parmesan cheese. This easy risotto recipe is creamy, decadent and is bound to impress friends and family alike!
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- Why You Should Make This Asparagus, Pea and Bacon Risotto
- Ingredients and Substitutions
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to store risotto?
- How to freeze risotto?
- How to reheat risotto?
- Which rice should I use for risotto?
- Is risotto gluten-free?
- Watch the Video
- Recipes You May Also Like
- How to Make Pea and Asparagus Risotto with Bacon
Erm, I think I’m slowly realising that risotto might be my favourite food? To be honest I’m wondering how it has taken me this long to figure this out?!
But can you blame me?! Into that base of creamy, starchy rice you can add just about anything, ANYTHING, to make a meal that is comforting, balanced, and, most importantly, delicious.
Hit that rice up with your fave seasonal veggies, herbs, meat, fish, spices, even alcohol, to create a risotto that satisfies whatever it is you’re craving. Risotto is magic I’m sure of it ✨
And so to add to the growing list of risotto recipes already on the blog (see my Herb and Lemon Risotto or my Pearl Barley Risotto recipes for even more risotto-y goodness) I present you with this little number: Pea and Asparagus Risotto with Bacon. Ohhh yes.
To start, bacon is cooked until it’s crispy and golden. Then we’re adding in leeks, risotto rice and your favourite white wine. We add the stock one ladleful at a time and combine it with a good measure of stirring to release all that starchy goodness from the grains of rice.
When the rice is nearly cooked those delicate little asparagus spears are jumping into the pot along with fresh or frozen peas (chefs choice!) to cook for a few minutes.
For this risotto recipe, we’re finishing it off with a good squeeze of lemon juice, a handful of fresh chives, a knob of butter, a little salt and pepper and a (very) generous helping of parmesan cheese, of course.
Et voila! Asparagus, pea and bacon risotto – an easy risotto recipe that’s perfect for Spring or the beginning of Summer while asparagus is still in season. Eat it outside on a sunny evening with a glass of chilled white wine while the birds sing and the sun goes down. Or you could do what I do and eat it straight out of the pan, spilling half of it down your t-shirt. Live your best life honey 😘
Why You Should Make This Asparagus, Pea and Bacon Risotto
- This asparagus, pea and bacon risotto is deliciously decadent and sure to impress friends and family alike!
- With a few little substitutions, you can make this risotto vegetarian or vegan, so it’s pretty versatile. WE LOVE TO SEE IT.
- It’s a substantial meal on its own, but you could also add chicken, salmon, tofu or prawns to this risotto to bump up the protein content.
- With lot’s of creamy, rich flavours this risotto is comfort in a bowl. It’s seriously like one big hug.
- Ready in an hour, it takes a little time and energy to prepare this pea and asparagus risotto but the end result is so worth it. I promise 🙏
In this asparagus, pea and bacon risotto the bacon provides us with several micronutrients including phosphorus, thiamine and niacin. We need phosphorus in our diet for strong bones and teeth while thiamine is important for growth, the function of our cells and converting food into energy. Niacin is important for many enzymatic reactions in the body and also helps convert food into energy to be used in the body.
Bacon is also a good source of protein, which makes up our muscles, organs and tissues. Protein is essential for growth and also makes up our hormones and enzymes. Bacon is also quite high in fat and sodium. Fat is used for energy in the body and is also needed to help absorb solve vitamins into the body. There is a mixed body of evidence regarding whether saturated fat, like that found in bacon, increases the risk of heart disease.
Sodium is an electrolyte needed in the body to help maintain the balance of fluids and to conduct nerve impulses, however, a high intake of sodium is linked to high blood pressure, and consumption should be limited.
The asparagus, peas and leek all provide a number of different nutrients, including folate and vitamin K, although it is the asparagus that provides the most. Folate is needed for several bodily functions including making and repairing our DNA and producing red blood cells. Vitamin K is required for normal blood clotting and also bone health.
Rice provides us with a good source of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are broken down during digestion into glucose which the body uses as a source of energy.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Bacon – The bacon in this risotto recipe adds saltiness and umami flavour, especially when you get it nice and crispy. I’ve used smoked bacon for depth of flavour but you could use unsmoked if you prefer. If you want to make this risotto vegetarian you can omit the bacon or use mushrooms as a substitute. Get them crisp to develop their flavour!
Rice – Arborio rice is the typical rice used to make risotto. Its short grains are high in starch which are released into the stock during the cooking process. The high starch content is what makes risotto so creamy. Carnaroli rice or sushi rice could be used to substitute arborio rice as they are both high in starch. While other types of rice could work in risotto they have a lower starch content and won’t give you the same creamy texture.
Peas – Peas add a delicious sweetness to this recipe. I use frozen peas as I always have some lying about in the freezer, but fresh would work just as well. If you need a substitute podded edamame beans offer the same colour and a similar flavour and texture.
Asparagus – Asparagus is the epitome of Springtime and has a distinct flavour. Fresh works best as it retains its texture, but you could use frozen if that’s what you have to hand. Asparagus is a little harder to substitute, but tenderstem broccoli is likely your best bet in this recipe.
Leeks – Leeks have a delicate onion flavour while added to the beautiful pale green hues of this dish. To substitute, swap the leek for a brown onion.
White wine – The wine adds depth of flavour to the risotto and also adds a little acidity to balance the richness of the other ingredients. However, if you don’t have it to hand or would simply prefer to, you can absolutely leave it out!
Stock – Vegetable stock or chicken stock works well in this pea and asparagus risotto recipe as they both add a delicate, savoury flavour. Use low-sodium stock if you’re watching your sodium intake, or you can simply use water instead. You could also use bouillon powder if you have it!
Parmesan – Ahh parmesan, a classic ingredient in risotto recipes that adds flavour and creaminess. Even more so if you add a good grating on top when you serve! If you can’t get parmesan Granada Padano is the next best thing. If you’re going dairy-free or vegan there are a number of vegan parmesan options you could stir in a spoonful of nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavour.
Chives – The chives add a mild onion flavour to the finished risotto which helps cut through the richness just a touch. There’s not really a great substitute for chives in this situation so if you don’t have them, just omit!
Lemon juice – Lemon juice cuts through the richness of all that butter, starch and bacon and uplifts the final dish. While you could use lime juice to substitute the lemon if you needed to the lime flavour doesn’t work with the other flavours in this risotto quite as well, so use sparingly. You can always omit the lemon juice if you don’t have it.
Butter – A knob of butter at the end of cooking the risotto makes the risotto nice and glossy while also bumping up the creaminess and flavour. It’s not essential, so omit it if you want to. You could also use a glug of good olive oil for a similar glossy finish.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to store risotto?
Allow the pea, asparagus and bacon risotto to cool to room temperature for no longer than two hours. Transfer the risotto to an air-tight Tupperware container and store it in the fridge for 3-4 days.
How to freeze risotto?
Once cooled as above, transfer the risotto to a freezer-safe container and store it in the freezer for up to three months.
To defrost, transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge and leave it to thaw for up to 24 hours. Alternatively, you can use the defrost setting on your microwave.
How to reheat risotto?
Transfer the risotto to a saucepan or casserole pot with a few tablespoons of water. Heat on a medium heat for approximately 7 minutes, stirring regularly, until the risotto is piping hot all the way through. Add more water if the mixture is a little too thick.
Alternatively, you could reheat the risotto using a microwave. Microwave for approximately 3 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the risotto is piping hot. Cooking time will vary depending on your microwave.
It should be noted that risotto is best served immediately to stop the rice and vegetables from going soft and mushy!
Which rice should I use for risotto?
Arborio rice is the most popular rice to use for risotto. It has a high starch content that is released during the cooking process, making it creamy. Carnaroli is a similar type of rice that can also be used for risotto recipes.
Is risotto gluten-free?
Generally, risotto is gluten-free, as rice does not contain any gluten. However, you should be mindful of any ingredients that have been factory produced. While they may not inherently contain gluten, some ingredients are produced in factories that make gluten-containing products that can contaminate other ingredients. Always read the label to make sure!
Watch the Video
Recipes You May Also Like
- Roasted Pepper and Aubergine Bake with Feta and Harissa
- Honey, Lemon and Dill Salmon with Asparagus
- One-Pot Chicken and Rice
- Penne Carbonara with Prawns, Courgette and Asparagus
- Summer Vegetable Risotto from Anna’s Family Kitchen
How to Make Pea and Asparagus Risotto with Bacon
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Pea and Asparagus Risotto with Bacon
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Risotto
- Cuisine: Italian
This Pea and Asparagus Risotto with Bacon is a super simple Spring/Summer recipe that packs in lots of fresh flavours!
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 200 grams bacon lardons
- 1 leek, ends removed and diced
- 250 grams arborio rice
- 150 millilitres white wine
- 800 millilitres vegetable stock or chicken stock (see note)
- 200 grams fresh or frozen peas
- 200 grams asparagus spears, woody ends removed and sliced into 1cm
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 10 grams chives, finely chopped
- Juice of half a lemon
- 50 grams parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a heavy-based casserole pot to a medium-high heat, then fry the bacon lardons for 5 minutes until golden and crispy. Then turn the heat down to a medium-low and saute the leeks for 5-7 minutes until they are soft and translucent.
- Add the risotto rice to the pan and cook for 1 minute, ensuring the rice grains are coated in the oil. Pour the white wine into the pan and cook down until it has reduced to almost nothing.
- Heat your stock in a separate saucepan until it is hot but not simmering or boiling. Begin adding a ladleful of hot stock into the risotto, stirring regularly to release the starch from the rice. When the stock has been absorbed by the rice, add another ladleful of stock and stir. Repeat this process until the rice is almost cooked through – this takes around 20-25 minutes.
- Once the rice is almost done, add the asparagus and peas to the risotto along with another ladleful of stock. Cook for 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Turn off the heat then stir in the butter, parmesan cheese, lemon juice and chives. Taste the risotto and add salt and lots of pepper as desired.
- Garnish with chopped chives and grated parmesan. Serve and enjoy!
- You may need slightly more liquid than is listed. It will depend on the rice you are using, the pan you are using and the heat of your pot. If you run out of stock, you can use water from a freshly boiled kettle to add to the risotto.
Keywords: asparagus risotto, pea risotto, bacon risotto, asparagus and pea risotto, easy risotto recipe, simple risotto recipe,
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