Spring Green Risotto with Peas, Asparagus and Fennel

Spring Green Risotto | The View from Great Island

Spring Green Risotto with Peas, Asparagus and Fennel ~ this healthy risotto recipe with fresh spring vegetables will have you dreaming of spring! It makes a naturally gluten free side dish or light meal.

Risotto is one of the rare dishes that’s equally appropriate all year long…

depending on the recipe, it can be serious winter comfort food, or a light spring time supper. Just like pasta, risotto is a great base for an almost endless variety of flavor combinations and seasonal variations. The key to this light primavera version is to seriously undercook the veggies and keep everything as fresh and green as possible.

This is the perfect recipe to take advantage of all the fresh spring veggies appearing in the grocery stores and farmers’ markets. It is a great way to highlight the delicate flavors of peas and asparagus which can sometimes get overwhelmed in other dishes.

This particular risotto has a secret weapon that helps boost its flavor and helps it achieve that pretty spring green color. In addition to the fresh garden peas, asparagus, and fennel I made a puree of frozen peas and parsley and stirred it in at the very last minute. It makes all the flavors of the finished dish pop and adds an extra dose of nutrition as well.

Sometimes risotto gets a bad rap for being labor intensive and difficult to get just right, but it’s really not so bad, and the results are totally worth it! These tips from Bon Appétit will dispel you of any risotto-myths you might be holding onto (hint: you don’t have to stir it constantly!).

Risotto really is the perfect meal for all seasons–check out my other risotto recipes to keep yourself inspired all year!

Spring Green Risotto | The View from Great Island
3.23 from 18 votes

Spring Green Risotto with Peas, Asparagus and Fennel

Spring Green Risotto with Peas, Asparagus and Fennel ~ this healthy risotto recipe with fresh spring vegetables will have you dreaming of spring!  It makes a naturally gluten free side dish or light meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Yield 4 -6 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 1 cup fresh shelled garden peas
  • 1 lb baby asparagus trimmed
  • 1 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large shallot minced
  • 1/2 white onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small head of fennel thinly sliced
  • 1 heaping cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry Sherry
  • 48 oz chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup good quality Parmesan cheese finely grated


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and immerse the asparagus and the garden peas for 30 seconds. Drain and immediately plunge the vegetables into ice water. Let cool in the ice water, and then drain. Chop the asparagus into one inch pieces.
  • In a food processor or blender, puree the thawed peas, and parsley until smooth. Set aside.
  • Heat the broth in a saucepan on the stove and leave it on very low heat as you begin the risotto.
  • Heat the olive oil and butter in a large heavy pan. Saute the shallot, onion, garlic, and fennel for about 5 minutes, until the fennel is crisp tender.
  • Add the rice and stir as you cook another minute.
  • Add the Sherry to the pot and stir until it is absorbed. You want the heat to be hot enough so that you hear a good sizzle when the Sherry hits the pan. When the Sherry is absorbed, add your first ladle of broth and cook, stirring constantly, until it is absorbed.
  • Continue to add the broth, stirring almost constantly, waiting for the liquid to be absorbed before adding more. After about 20 minutes, add the garden peas and asparagus, and continue cooking until the rice is tender and you have used most of the broth. Taste the rice to check if it is tender. If not, keep cooking. If you run low on broth, add a little water to it..
  • When the rice is tender, stir in the pea and parsley puree. Continue to stir until it is hot throughout. Add the cheese and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve hot with a little extra cheese.

Cook's notes

  • Make it vegetarian using veggie broth instead of chicken broth.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Don’t forget to pin this Spring Green Risotto with Peas, Asparagus, and Fennel!

Spring Green Risotto with Peas, Asparagus and Fennel pin


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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    May 26, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    I just love the vibrant green color…a beautiful spring/summer dish! Lovely presentation and photos!

  • Reply
    May 22, 2014 at 6:23 am

    How beautiful this risotto looks! I like that there is such a wonderful ratio of veggies to pasta.

    • Reply
      May 9, 2018 at 8:04 am

      That’s key, if you ask me, thanks Susan!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    May 19, 2014 at 5:01 am

    I think I have 16 recipes in my pile of risotto but have never made one. I need to get on with it! This looks perfectly wonderful – I could eat it for breakfast. Guess I better get to work. Happy Monday!

  • Reply
    Julia @Vikalinka
    May 18, 2014 at 2:03 am

    Love the fresh springy flavours and risotto is such a comfort food for me!

  • Reply
    May 17, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Se ve delicioso¡¡¡¡¡ las arvejas frescas son lo mejor me encanta,abrazos

    • Reply
      May 17, 2014 at 5:48 pm

      Gracias Rosita!

  • Reply
    May 17, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Love the color of this dish Sue, and veggies that are crisp tender like this. Your are so right…. risotto is very versatile, any time of year. Happy week-end!

    • Reply
      May 17, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      Thanks Cheri, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s almost impossible to keep baby asparagus crisp, the only way is to barely cook it at all! Have a good weekend too!

  • Reply
    Chris @ The Café Sucré Farine
    May 17, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Beautiful! Looks like springtime all dressed up in Sunday best!

  • Reply
    Jude- A Trifle Rushed
    May 17, 2014 at 7:11 am

    You are right about risotto being perfect throughout the year, I love pumpkin and mushroom in the autumn, and tomato in the summer, but this is glorious for the spring, we’ll be eating your delicious recipe one evening this week, thank you.

    • Reply
      May 17, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      I have to say that fall is my favorite risotto season, for sure.

  • Reply
    May 16, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Beautiful pictures! This looks delicious 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    May 16, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Such a beautiful risotto, I love this bright version for spring!

  • Reply
    Helen @ Scrummy Lane
    May 16, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Love your ‘little green secret’ in this recipe! That’s such a great idea because I sometimes find it difficult to get enough colour into my risottos. As you said, this is perfect for spring.

  • Reply
    May 16, 2014 at 10:32 am

    What a beautiful fresh summer dish! The colors are magnificent! Have a beautiful weekend. Blessings, Catherine

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