When you were to ask us about our favorite comfort food during summer, vegan risotto would definitely come to our mind. There’s just something about the creamy texture and full flavor that keeps us coming back to this Italian classic. And while it’s usually a dairy-heavy dish, we find that it’s easy to whip up a healthy, plant-based version as well.
Not only do we skip the butter and cheese here, we also omit all oils and other heavy vegan foods! A creamy, tasty risotto doesn’t require a bunch of fat to be satisfying. Oil doesn’t add much flavor to a dish, anyways – it’s rather the vegetables, herbs, and spices.
In this case, we used Herbs de Provence along with vegetable broth, onion, and garlic for a great base. The white wine vinegar and lemon juice add a nice zing to the risotto, and the nutritional yeast gives it a cheesy hint. What else could you ask for?
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One secret regarding the luxurious texture is the rice. When being cooked, the liquids bring out the starch in the Arborio rice, giving the dish a gooey consistency. It makes for a perfect dish when you’re craving carb-heavy meals with lots of cheesiness. You can use it as a main, adding a side salad, or even as an entrée.
This vegan risotto recipe really is pretty easy – if you’ve ever been intimidated to try it, don’t be! You cannot really mess it up. Most of the 14 ingredients will probably (hopefully!) already be in your well-stocked kitchen. And it’s really allergy friendly, too since it doesn’t contain any:
You can also make it soy-free by choosing a different plant-based milk. But in our experience, soy milk works best because of its thicker consistency. Soy is also incredibly healthy, can prevent some types of cancer, and has the most similar nutritional profile to dairy milk (minus all the saturated fat, hormones, and pus).
The mushrooms add a nice chewiness to the risotto as well as lots of B vitamins, copper, selenium, and some might even contain vitamin D. We personally think mushrooms are the best meat alternative when it comes to taste and texture! They bring a nice earthy flavor and absorb the herbs and spices pretty well.
When it comes to easy dishes, you just have to love these one-pot-wonders. Risotto is made entirely by just using one large pan, sautéing the veggies for a few minutes, then adding some broth and plant-based milk as well as the dry rice. Let everything cook thoroughly for about 15 to 20 minutes, then put in some spices as well as your peas and you’ll be done in a few more minutes!
If you’re extra-naughty, you can use white wine here, too. Most of these are vegan by default – just check Barnivore for more information on that. We personally don’t use any alcoholic beverages but it could add a nice touch if you want to wow your omnivorous dinner guests.
Without further ado, let's get into this quick, comforting, and delicious vegan risotto recipe!
Creamy Vegan Risotto
This healthy oil-free vegan is super creamy and comforting! Just using one pan for everything, you cannot mess up that dish.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 200 g white mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup risotto rice (Arborio)
- 2-3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 cup peas, frozen
- 1 cup soy milk
- ½ cup leek, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp Herbs de Provence
In a large pan, sauté onions, garlic and herbs for a few minutes, adding some vegetable broth if needed. Then put in the mushrooms and leek, letting everything heat up for another 3-4 minutes.
Add rice and 2 cups of veggie broth into the pan as well as vinegar and the cup of soy milk. Let everything simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until liquid is soaked up, stirring occasionally.
Once cooked, add in the peas, nutritional yeast and lemon juice for just a few minutes. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm. Decorate with fresh parsley (optional).
What is your favorite vegan comfort food? Have you tried to make a plant-strong risotto before? Let us know in the comments below.
About the Author
Alena has been eating a plant-based diet for 6 years and is passionate about sharing her learnings in the fields of nutrition, wellbeing, and vegan ethics. She is the co-creator of nutriciously and loves music, reading, nature, traveling, yoga & good food. Alena received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy, and social work.
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