Spring Green Pea & Asparagus Risotto & Arancici Balls (vegan)

Ah spring is in the air! But typically the UK weather is currently ranging from beautiful sunshine to rain and gloom. So I’m tentatively bringing in the spring greens but im still in need of some comfort as well.

I think that my spring green pea and asparagus risotto does just that, just the right amount of heathy greens with a gooey and rich risotto.

I think the key to a really good vegan risotto to getting as much flavour in as possible. My top tips? Maximise flavour at every step; make sure the onions are soft and browning, don’t be scared of garlic, cook the rice for longer than you think you should (turn off the heat, cover and let the grains get all sticky), use lemon to lift the flavour, add in liberal amounts of nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavour, season very well (I like to add tamari for extra flavour) and finally dress with some more extra virgin olive oil at the end of extra richness.

The result? I hope you try and let me know ?.

And of course I had to make arancini balls with the leftovers! Dipped in a mint & caper dip. Seriously delicious.

I'd love to know if you made this recipe.

Use #RebelRecipes and tag @RebelRecipes



  4-6 servings
  15 minutes preparation time
  1 hr cook time


Risotto ingredients;

  • 250g aborio rice washed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions chopped roughly
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced
  • 3 tbsp white wine – I used flat processco
  • 4 Cups veg stock
  • 1 small preserved lemon chopped finely (optional)
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Juice 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • Lots of Black pepper
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • 3 cups frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Big handful fresh mint chopped roughly

To cook the veg;

  • 1 Courgette chopped finely
  • Big handful asparagus sliced in half or quarter lengthways
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Twist black pepper


To make the arancini;

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs – I like to use a few days old sourdough or rye. Just break up a little and add to your food processor and blitz until you get a fine crumb.
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds – I used black
  • Big pinch Chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sea Salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the dip;

  • 3 tbsp coconut yogurt
  • 2 tbsp shredded fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • Squeeze lemon
  • Big pinch sea salt
  • Drizzle olive oil


To make the risotto;

  1. Add the oil to a large pan (with a lid) on a low to medium heat then add in the chopped onions. Fry for 8-10 minutes until soft.
  2. Next add the garlic and fry for a minute then add rice and stir for a minute then add in the wine. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  3. Add the preserved lemon. Add 1 cup at a time of stock at a time until all the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Fry the courgette in a little oil until its soft and browning.
  5. When the rice is nearly the consistency you like it add in the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, peas, courgette & olive oil and stir well.
  6. You can eat at this stage but I recommend (If you want a super gooey, soft and comforting Risotto) turn off the heat and pop the lid on and let it sit for 10 -15 minutes while you cook the asparagus .
  7. Add the asparagus to a frying pan with a little oil and allow to char a little on all sides.
  8. Stir in the mint then top with the asparagus, lots of cashew Parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil and toasted seeds.

To make the arancini

  1. Scope up and squish a small amount of the Risotto together in your hands then roll the into balls – not too big or they may break up. Place the balls on a plate ready for rolling.
  2. Add the bread crumbs, sesame seeds, nutritional yeast, salt and chilli flakes to a bowl. Mix to combine thoroughly.
  3. Add individual balls to the mix and roll around to coat. Repeat.
  4. Add the olive oil to a large flat bottom frying pan and then add the balls. Fry on a low to medium heat for a few minutes on each side until crispy. You may need to do this in batches, if so add a little more oil if needed.
  5. Remove from the pan and place on a large baking tray.
    Bake for 10 minutes on Gas mark 4

To make the mint dip;

  1. Mix everything in a small bowl

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  1. Cassie Thuvan Tran on June 4, 2018 at 4:31 am

    This risotto recipe looks perfect for the summer. Do you have to use the white wine–is it a necessary ingredient in terms of how the risotto will turn out in regards to texture, or is it just a flavor component?

    • Niki on June 14, 2018 at 9:18 pm

      Hey Cassie
      Not at all, it’s completely optional.
      Much love, Niki xx

  2. Jess on June 9, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    Looks amazing. Could I make this with normal rice like black or wild?

    • Niki on July 28, 2019 at 11:26 am

      Thanks Jess
      You can can, however the rice won’t go as soft and gooey.
      Niki xx

  3. […] Spring Pea and Asparagus Risotto via Rebel Recipes. Bookmark this one for spring! […]

  4. Lindsay on May 9, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    Just had the risotto for dinner – really delicious 😋

    • Niki on May 10, 2020 at 9:10 am

      Fantastic! happy to hear
      Niki xxx

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