This pea risotto recipe is lemony and minty and sings of spring. It’s easy to make in about 30 minutes. Serve with seared fish or scallops—or on its own for a delicious vegetarian dinner!

creamy, green spring pea risotto in pot with peas, mint, and lemon zest.

Celebrate spring with this lovely pea risotto! Made with arborio rice, fresh peas (or sub-frozen peas), mint, and pecorino cheese, it’s lemony and vibrant, with a creamy, savory depth. We make a quick purée with some of the peas and spinach to create the silliest texture and a vibrant boost of color. The wine can be omitted if preferred. Serve it up as a lovely starter, side dish, or vegetarian main, ready in about 30 minutes.

Why you’ll love it!

  • Bright, savory flavor & vibrant spring color. A delicious way to celebrate spring.
  • Quick to make! Ready in just 30 minutes, perfect for weeknight dinners.
  • Versatile. Serve it as a vegetarian main or as a perfect base for fish, scallops, or shrimp.

Pea Risotto Ingredients

spring pea risotto ingredients- broth, mint, rice, peas, lemon, garlic, shallot, oil, pecorino.
  • English Peas: You can use fresh or frozen peas. Trader Joe’s has 2-cup packages of shelled English peas—very handy here! I usually freeze one for later.
  • Arborio rice – For the best outcome, arborio rice is a must when making risotto to achieve that creamy texture we all love! Bamba Rice can work in a pinch.
  • Garlic Cloves and Shallots: 2 shallots or 1 large shallot. Or sub 1 leek or 1 white onion.
  • Olive oil
  • Warm Vegetable broth: Or chicken stock. In a pinch, warm salted water works too!
  • Optional Dry white wine: Or sub water with 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
  • Pecorino cheese: Grated, or sub Parmesan cheese. Pecorino is saltier, so if switching to parmesan, you may need more salt.
  • Lemon zest: From 1 lemon.
  • Fresh mint– adds a punch of flavor. If mint is not your thing, sub flat-leaf parsley and tarragon.
  • Truffle oil – optional but heavenly.
  • Optional additionsAleppo chili flakes or Urfa Biber, microgreens, sauteed mushrooms, pan-seared fish, or scallops.

How to Make Pea Risotto

Step 1: Warm the broth or stock. Heat broth in a medium pot.

Step 2: Sauté aromatics. Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat in heavy-bottom pot or Dutch oven. Sauté shallots and garlic for 5 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Stir occasionally with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon.

Step 3: Prepare risotto. Add rice and stir to coat. Add wine to deglaze, then simmer until cooked off.

Add a cup of hot broth and stir every 45-60 seconds, letting the rice absorb, for about 5 minutes. Be patient here! Continue adding a cup of broth at a time, allowing rice to absorb broth before adding more. This should take about 20 minutes. Rice will be tender, yet hold its shape when done.

Step 4: Blanch peas. Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of salted water to boil. Add peas and simmer 2-3 minutes, until bright and tender. Drain.

Step 5: Make purée. Add 1/2 cup of the blanched peas to blender with 1/2 cup water and remaining tablespoon of oil. Blend until smooth. Add a handful of spinach and blend again. You can add a little water if needed.

Step 6: Add cheese, zest, peas, and purée. When risotto is tender and you’re ready to serve, fold in cheese, lemon zest, peas, and pea purée. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 2/3 of the mint, reserving the rest for garnish.

Step 7: Serve. Taste and adjust for kosher salt, black pepper, and lemon. Add chili flakes for a subtle spicy bite if desired. Divide among bowls, drizzling each with truffle oil. Garnish with lemon zest, microgreens, and fresh herbs like fresh mint or fresh chives.

serving bowl with spring pea risotto with fresh peas, lemon zest, and microgreens for garnish.

Chef’s Tips

  • Use Arborio rice. For the best outcome, arborio rice is a must when making risotto to achieve that creamy texture we all love!
  • Use warmed stock or broth. Warm salted water will also work in a pinch.
  • Don’t overheat the pan. A common mistake is to try to cook off the broth too fast over too high heat. This will just force the liquid to evaporate, rather than allow the rice to absorb it. You’ll end up using way more liquid.
  • Constant stirring is really not necessary. Stir once every 45-60 seconds.
  • Instant Pot Risotto can easily be cooked in a pressure cooker! See our Instant Pot Risotto Recipe!
  • Risotto ratio: The basic ratio is 1 cup of arborio rice to 4 cups of liquid. Great to know when making big batches.
  • How to prep risotto ahead: In our restaurant and catering business, we often had to par-cook risotto ahead and finish it on site. In a nutshell, cook it two-thirds of the way through (by only adding two-thirds of the liquid), then completely cool. Store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat, adding the remaining hot broth, cheese, peas, puree, and seasonings.

FAQs

What is arborio rice?

Arborio rice is an Italian short-grain rice. While there are substitutions (carnaroli rice), these other grains of rice will not work as well. Try to find arborio when making risotto!

How often should I stir the risotto?

Only every 45-60 seconds. It is a common misconception that you must stir constantly. In fact, stirring too frequently can allow too much air into the risotto and make it gluey.

What do I serve with Spring Pea Risotto?

This risotto tastes great with seared fish or scallops. For a vegetarian option, you could serve with sautéed mushrooms. Or serve as is with warm, crusty bread or spring greens!

How long does Spring Pea Risotto last in the fridge?

Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Serving Suggestions

Serve it on its own as a vegetarian main dish with a leafy green salad or top it with seared fish or scallops. Here, we topped it with crispy-skinned sea bass (seasoned with salt and pepper and seared in a skillet), but halibut, black cod, and scallops all work great. Add microgreens for fresh topping!

serving bowl with spring pea risotto, pan-seared white fish, garnished with microgreens and lemon zest.

Love this recipe? Please let us know in the comments and leave a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below the recipe card.

More Spring Recipes You’ll Love

If you love this recipe, be sure to try our Asparagus Risotto too! We also love our friend Kate’s Spring Pea and Asparagus Pasta!

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This spring pea risotto recipe is lemony and minty and easy to make in about 30 minutes. It's delicious topped with seared fish or scallops—or serve it on its own for a lovely vegetarian dinner!

Pea Risotto Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 9 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: dinner idea, Italian
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This Spring Pea Risotto with lemon and mint can be made with fresh or frozen peas. Savory and delicious on its own as a vegetarian dinner, or top it with seared fish or scallops.


Ingredients

Units Scale

 Pea Risotto

  • 4 cups vegetable broth or chicken stock, warmed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 shallots ( or sub 1 leek or 1 white onion) diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or sub water with 1 teaspoon lemon juice)
  • 2 cups peas, fresh ( blanched) or sub frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino cheese or sub-parmesan cheese
  • zest of one lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, packed, sliced
  • Drizzle of truffle oil.

Optional additionsAleppo Chili flakes or Urfa Biber, microgreens, sauteed mushrooms, pan-seared fish or scallops


Instructions

  1. Heat 4 cups vegetable broth in a medium pot.
  2. In a heavy-bottom pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat and saute shallots and garlic until fragrant and golden, about 5 minutes, stirring.
  3. Add the arborio rice and stir to coat for one minute. Add white wine to deglaze the pan and simmer until the wine has completely been absorbed.  Add one cup of hot broth and stir every  45-60 seconds, letting the rice absorb it slowly over medium-low heat, about 5 minutes. Continue adding one cup at a time, each time allowing the rice to slowly absorb the broth until the rice is tender (yet still holding its shape).  This will take about 20 minutes.
  4. At the same time, blanch the fresh peas. Bring a small pot of salted water to boil. Once boiling, add the peas and simmer for 2-3 minutes, until tender; drain and set aside.
  5. Add ½ cup blanched peas to a blender with ½ cup water and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Blend until silky smooth. Add a handful of spinach to bump up the color even more. Blend until smooth again (it’s okay to add a little water to get the blades going).  Set this aside.
  6. When the risotto is tender and you are close to serving it, fold in the pecorino cheese, lemon zest, the blanched peas, and the pea puree. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in ⅔ of the mint, saving the rest for the garnish.
  7. Taste, adjust salt, pepper, and lemon, adding more to taste. Add chili flakes if you like.
  8. Divide pea risotto among bowls, add a drizzle of truffle oil to elevate.

Notes

Top with pan-seared fish, shrimp or scallops: Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat, season with salt and pepper, and sear the fish or scallops until a deep golden edge forms, about 3 minutes; turn and sear the other side, a cooked to desired doneness.  Squeeze with lemon and place atop the risotto.

Fish options: Halibut, Salmon, Sea Bass, Black Cod, Alaskan Wild Cod, Steelhead. If using skin-on, fish crisp the skin, placing it skin side up so it remains crispy.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 ½ cups
  • Calories: 357
  • Sugar: 10.7 g
  • Sodium: 722.3 mg
  • Fat: 14.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 43 g
  • Fiber: 4.3 g
  • Protein: 11.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 7.2 mg

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Comments

  1. Because I’ve never tasted risotto, I can’t compare this with previous experiences. However, this will certainly stay in my rotation. The combination of flavors were bright and fresh and very enjoyable! As with every recipe the first time making it I had to think through things but it was still very easy. Very little effort for the dazzling outcome! At my Asian market I was told sushi rice was a close substitute for Arborio rice. I added a handful of kale to the blender. I used cooked and diced chicken and added that towards the end. Thank you for another winner!






  2. Loved it! I added chopped spinach to mine and hemp hearts on top 😇 thank you so much for these amazing recipes!!






  3. you say add the “shallots and garlic”, yet in the ingredient list garlic is not listed. 1 clove?

  4. Lovely and so delicious and springlike! I was a bit shyer with the mint as mine was strong! As Marsha commented, I think this would work wonderfully with basil as well. Thank you for another great recipe 😋






  5. I made this splendid dish along with the artichoke heart, goat cheese, thyme souffles, and the green beans with walnut vinaigrette for Easter dinner. It was a lot of cooking but worth every minute of effort. So delicious and lovely to look at–I am so proud of myself and grateful to you for sharing such fantastic recipes along with personal reflections and quotes that touch my heart. Thank you, Sylvia! I have several friends who are now following you after hearing me sing your praises and tasting some of your dishes I have made.






  6. I made this yesterday and I absolutely loved it! Made exactly as written. The lemon and mint just elevated it beautifully.






  7. As with all your recipes the taste was amazing and the colour gorgeous!! No mint so used a good amount of fresh basil, some lovely pan seared cod on top… restaurant quality meal






  8. Be careful with the mint! If you overdo it, it becomes overpowering. Made that mistake tonight. But I can definitely see this working out well had I not 🙂






  9. Hey!

    Made this for the first time tonight as a midweek dinner. Wow! It’s a showstopper. Such lovely flavours. The purée really does bring it to life.
    I’m pescatarian so no chorizo but replaced with salt, paprika and garlic.
    As suggested I topped with prawns that I seasoned with paprika and cayenne for a bit of extra oomph!
    Love this recipe! Can’t wait to try it again.






  10. Thank you for a wonderful recipe. I made it everyone like it. I will be on my list of special dinner.






  11. I know this is not an autumn dish but I really felt like having this last night! It was lovely, the flavours were beautifully balanced. I will be making again! Thanks for bringing the joy of a delicious homemade meal into my life.

    1. There are no rules when it comes to food. Im glad you made what you felt like eating! Hope you are having a great day!

    1. I’ve never had great luck with making risotto ahead, however, it can be done…you could try par-cooking it. See here: http://www.finecooking.com/articles/how-to/make-risotto-ahead.aspx

  12. This recipe looks amazing. I’ve never made risotto because I never know how much liquid to add. However I’m a bit puzzled that you wrote 1:1/2 on the jar but the recipe calls for 1:2 1/2 or even more. How do you work out how much to add? I’d love to try it out.

        1. This was in my early days of recipe writing….sorry!
          It’s in there, but not very clear. 😉

    1. When making risotto, you can’t really rely too heavily on measurements. There are so many factors at play –heat, type of heat, the thickness the pot, the rice itself…. so it’s more of a “feel” kind of thing. You just keep adding liquid, little by little until it becomes cooked to your liking. I like mine tender but with a firm core. Give it a try…it’s fun!

  13. Hi!
    Just to let you know that we’ve made this last night and it was wonderful! =) We used another kind of fish (i’m sorry but i can’t find the name of it in english! =D)with some lemon and dill and it was great! Thanks for sharing.

  14. This looks like a wonderful combination of flavors – I have been looking for a good fish dish, will have to give this one a try!

  15. I LOVE the thought of writing water to rice ratios on the side of the jar! Brilliant. SImple, and brilliant! Oh, and absolutely gorgeous classic recipe, and photos. Nice.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Joanne! Yes, the ratios. I can never quite remember them with all the different varieties out there now, so i jot them on the jar with a sharpie. It stubs right off with warm water.

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