This melt-in-your-mouth creamy vegan risotto with roasted vegetables is the perfect comfort food recipe. Get all of the creaminess you associate with risotto while keeping things vegan.
When I’m craving comfort food, I know that this vegan risotto will do the trick. It’s also the perfect date night recipe!
This recipe comes together in about 30-minutes, and you’ll spend most of that time keeping an eye on the rice as your vegetables roast. Consider serving with this easy-to-make kale!
This creamy dairy free risotto is actual perfect on its own, without the roasted veggies. But I love the rich roasted flavors of vegetables on a creamy rice dish.
If you love mushrooms, you’ve got to make my Vegan Mushroom Risotto! So comforting and earthy.
Ingredients (with substitutions)
- Vegetables – You can use whatever vegetables you want! Just make sure you roast about 5 cups total of vegetables. I like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, red bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. Brussels sprouts would also be good here.
- Olive oil
- Vegetable broth – To make your creamy risotto tastier than simply cooking the rice in water.
- Vegan butter – or more olive oil
- Shallots – A sweet onion would also work.
- Arborio rice – This special type of rice is starchier and will create a thick and soft texture.
- Garlic – To add even more flavor to this dish.
- White wine – If you don’t want to cook with wine, you can omit it. However, it does go a long way to add more flavor.
- Black pepper
- Fresh chopped sage – Leave out or use a little dried instead.
- Fresh chopped thyme – May leave this out if needed, or use dried.
- Vegan parmesan cheese – For best results, use Violife’s parmesan block, shredded. It tastes just like real parm! You can also use my homemade vegan parmesan, if needed.
How to make creamy vegan risotto
First, get your vegetables roasting. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Add the veggies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
Warm the broth. Heat the vegetable broth over medium-low heat until warm, but not boiling. I like to keep this on the stovetop so it’s warm and ready to add to the rice. Cold broth will make the risotto not cook correctly.
Make the risotto: Add the vegan butter (or olive oil) to a sauté pan over medium heat. Then, add the chopped shallot, cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter, garlic, and onion mixture. Add the white wine and stir until absorbed. If using, add the fresh herbs as well. Add the warm broth ½ cup at a time and stir until absorbed, about 20-30 minutes.
Add the vegetables: Once the rice has absorbed the liquid and its softened, stir in the vegan parmesan and remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the roasted vegetables on top. Garnish with parsley and more parmesan and enjoy!
- Don’t skip the garlic or shallot/onion – They add so much flavor!
- Keep an eye on the rice – This is one recipe that keeps you in front of the stove from start to finish. You need to constantly stir to ensure it doesn’t stick and that it thickens.
- Add the broth a little at a time – Don’t be tempted to add your warm vegetable broth all at once. By adding ½ a cup at a time, the risotto will become even creamier as you stir.
Frequently asked questions
- What makes risotto creamy? Risotto gets its thick and creamy texture from the rice! Arborio rice is starchier than standard white or brown rice and is essential when making a vegan risotto. You also need to stir the rice constantly as it cooks to help release the starch. No dairy, no problem. You’ll still be able to enjoy a creamy risotto!
- How can you make risotto more flavorful? You can make your creamy risotto more flavorful by adding seasoning like salt/pepper, fresh herbs and using a flavorful, rich broth. Another trick is to add dairy free parmesan.
- Is risotto just creamy rice? While risotto may have the same appearance as any old rice dish, it is made with a specific type of rice called Arborio rice. This Italian rice is high-starch and short-grain, which means that it can absorb a lot of liquid without becoming mushy.
- Freezing risotto – You can freeze this dish. However, I prefer to make it fresh and simply refrigerate any leftovers. You can freeze the risotto if you must, but be aware that the texture will change slightly.
- Storing leftovers – While risotto is best served right after cooking, the leftovers are quite good. Simply reheat in the microwave until warm and enjoy. It will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. I would store the vegetables separately.
What goes with risotto?
There are many sides that go well with risotto. From bread to salads and cooked vegetables, pick what you love:
- Dutch Oven Bread
- Vegan Dinner Rolls
- Vegan Caesar Salad
- Kale Caesar Salad
- Air Fryer Asparagus
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
More vegan comfort food recipes to love
- Vegan Biscuit Pot Pie
- Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole
- The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Vegan Gnocchi
- Mushroom Bourguignon
Creamy Vegan Risotto with Roasted Vegetables
- 5 cups cut or cubed vegetables (see Note)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 shallot, chopped small or half a sweet onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 cup shredded vegan parmesan cheese I used Violife
- salt, to taste
- few shakes black pepper
- chopped parsley, optional for garnish
- Roast the vegetables: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the cut and cubed vegetables/squash. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, then bake for 20-30 minutes until tender and lightly browned. While the squash bakes, make the risotto on the stovetop.
- Warm the broth: Heat the vegetable broth in a large pot over medium-low heat until warm, but not boiling. This is for adding to the risotto, and it needs to be warm.
- Make the Risotto: In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the vegan butter and let it melt. Now add the shallot and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter, sautéing for about 2 more minutes.
- Next, add the white wine and stir constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Stir in the fresh herbs.
- Add 1/2 cup of the warm broth, and stir until absorbed. Continue adding 1/2 cup broth at a time, stirring frequently until absorbed each time, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is al dente (tender, yet slightly chewy), about 20-30 minutes. The heat should be high enough that the rice/broth is bubbling soon after you add it, but not boiling too much or the liquid will absorb too quickly.
- Once all the liquid is absorbed, remove from heat and stir in the grated vegan parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- To serve, place in bowls and add a good serving of roasted vegetables, as well as a sprinkle of parsley and more vegan parmesan, if desired. Enjoy!
- Vegetables – I used a combination of butternut squash (2 cups cubed small), a red bell pepper (seeded and sliced), broccoli, cauliflower and a carrot. Use what you like and have on hand, for a total of about 5 cups.
- No wine? If you don’t want to use wine, no worries you can leave it out.
- Storage – Store leftovers in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave until warm. While risotto can be frozen, the texture will change slightly.
This recipe was first published August 2019 and has been updated. The original had only roasted butternut squash and some spinach stirred in. I like it better with a variety of roasted vegetables, and have added a few fresh herbs and vegan cheese to improve it.