Pea Risotto is a crowd-pleasing meal full of cozy and comforting flavors. It’s swirled with lemon and mascarpone cheese, plus a bit of salty prosciutto. Perfect for weeknights and dinner parties!
I mean, it’d be pretty hard not to love this dish with all of those fantastic ingredients hanging out in there, right?
Mascarpone, parmesan, prosciutto and sweet peas…
About the process…
The risotto-making process is easy, but it can be a bit intimidating if you’ve never made it before. It is a dish that you need to “babysit” the whole time.
During the cooking process, the risotto is fed ladle full after ladle full of stock, letting it absorb between each addition. The process results in the grains of rice plumping up and the constant stirring process results in the most fantastic, creamy texture.
Once that perfect texture is reached, the risotto is stirred together with a puree of peas and spinach, which gives it that wonderful green color, and then the mascarpone cheese and nutty parmesan help to make it even more creamy.
To brighten things up, and add a depth of flavor, I added in a bit of fresh lemon juice and mint and then stirred in some whole peas to give the risotto some texture.
A handful of some diced prosciutto added in a hint of smoky saltiness (however, you could make this recipe totally vegetarian by omitting the prosciutto and using vegetable stock).
Risotto may seem like a complicated dish but it’s actually very simple and made with easy ingredients. This recipe uses:
- Broth or stock – Use chicken bone broth or flavorful chicken stock to cook your rice. Or, keep it vegetarian by using vegetable broth (and omitting the prosciutto).
- Peas – I used frozen, but fresh peas will also work.
- Lemon – Lemon zest & juice adds a burst of citrus to the finished dish.
- Garlic + Shallots
- Arborio rice – AKA risotto rice! Because of its high starch content, it’s creamier and chewier than other types of rice.
- White wine – Like a dry Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. To make this without wine, you can use dry vermouth, chicken broth, or chicken stock.
- Mascarpone cheese – This Italian cheese is smooth and spreadable like cream cheese, but with a fluffier, creamier texture. You can also use whipped cream cheese or crème fraîche.
- Parmesan cheese
- Prosciutto – Adds a nutty, salty flavor to the risotto, but you can leave it out for a vegetarian friendly meal. Don’t have prosciutto? No problem! You can swap in bacon.
- Fresh Mint – fresh tarragon would also be delicious.
How to make it
Make a pea puree by processing together peas, spinach and stock.
Warm the broth. This is what will “feed” your risotto during the cooking process.
To start making the risotto, heat butter and sautee shallot and garlic. Next, add the rice. Season and toast the grains for 1 minute.
Deglaze the pot with wine. Make sure to scrape the tasty brown bits stuck on the bottom of the pot!
Add some warm broth to the pot, occasionally stirring with a wooden spoon until the broth is absorbed. Repeat this step until the rice has a creamy consistency but is still al dente.
Stir in the flavorings. Add pea puree, parmesan, mascarpone, prosciutto, lemon and mint. Season with salt + pepper, to taste.
To serve, scoop some risotto into each dish and garnish with additional mint and grated parmesan, then enjoy!
Can you use frozen peas in risotto?
You can absolutely use frozen peas in this recipe! I love to use them because they are ready to go in a flash.
Tips for making risotto
- I love to keep dry vermouth on hand and often use it in recipes where white wine is called for. It will keep in your cupboard and it’s generally more affordable than white wine.
- The best way to determine if your risotto is done is by tasting. During the last 5-10 minutes it will become very creamy. You want to ensure that the arborio rice is fully cooked, but not becoming mushy. I like for it to have the slightest bit of a bite to it.
- If your risotto is too thick, stir in a splash of broth at a time to loosen it up.
This green pea risotto is the perfect canvas for your choice of proteins and veggies. Try one of these add-in ideas:
- Air Fryer Shrimp
- Seared Scallops
- Crispy Prosciutto
- Instant Pot Salmon
- Crumbled Italian Sausage
- Artichoke Hearts
- Fresh herbs – Like dill, parsley, basil or thyme
What to serve with it
- Marinated Lamb Chops
- Easy Arugula Salad
- Sauteed Spinach
- Cherry Tomato Salad with Roasted Lemons
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Vegan Caesar Salad
- Shaved Fennel Salad
- More → 35+ EASY sides for risotto!
More risotto recipes
Did you try this pea risotto recipe?
If you loved this spring pea risotto I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a ⭐️star review⭐️! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
- 4 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium shallot (minced (about ⅓ cup))
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 3/4 cup dry white wine (or dry vermouth)
- 1/2 cup parmesan (grated)
- 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons fresh mint (chopped)
- 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen )
- Shaved parmesan and fresh mint (for garnish)
- 4 ounces diced prosciutto
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Combine all of the ingredients for the pea puree in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Set aside.
- Pour the stock into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until softened, 3-4 minutes.
- Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the wine and cook, stirring, until the wine is absorbed.
- Add about ½ cup of warm stock at a time and stir until fully absorbed. Repeat the process, until almost all of the liquid is added and absorbed (will take about 20 mins).
- Taste the rice to see if it’s done. If needed, add additional broth and cook for a bit longer. It should have a bite to it, but be creamy in texture. Stir in the pea puree.
- Next, stir in the parmesan, mascarpone, prosciutto, lemon zest, lemon juice and mint until incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Fold in the peas and serve in shallow bowls topped with additional parmesan and mint, if desired.
This post was originally published in 2017. It was updated in 2023 to add new information. The sweet pea risotto recipe remains the same. Enjoy!