If you’re looking for a unique risotto recipe, this carrot risotto is it! It’s cooked low and slow like a traditional risotto, but uses carrot juice in place of some of the broth. Not only is this risotto comforting and absolutely stunning, but it has the added benefit of some hidden veggies!
Asparagus and peas add even more veggies to this spring risotto, giving it a nice balance of flavors and textures. Finish it off with julienned green apple for a crisp tartness that balances out the savory, creaminess of this delicious risotto.
Broth: chicken or vegetable broth work best in this risotto recipe. We don’t recommend beef broth as it’s a bit too bold for the delicate vegetable flavors.
Carrot juice: look for carrot juice in the refrigerated juice section of your grocery store. Bolthouse Farms is the most common brand. Avoid using a carrot juice that is a mixed fruit and vegetable juice (it will be too sweet). Use leftover carrot juice to make our epic Carrot Margaritas!
Fat: for this recipe you’ll need a combination of olive oil and butter. We like the combo of flavors—feel free to use either all of one or the other.
Vegetables: in addition to the carrot juice, this risotto also has lightly sautéed asparagus and tender green peas. Both can be swapped for whatever green vegetable you like—green beans, snap peas and broccoli are all great options.
Aromatics: to add depth of flavor you’ll need a small yellow onion, some fresh garlic, fresh rosemary and a dash of nutmeg. Nutmeg is important for bringing out the creamy, cheesy flavors.
Rice: you’ll need risotto rice, also labeled as arborio rice. You can find it in most major grocery stores in the rice and grain section. You can also buy it online. We often recommend rinsing rice before cooking, but that’s actually not recommended here. That excess starch is important for creating a luscious, silky texture.
Dry white wine: use any dry white wine that you would enjoy drinking on its own but isn’t overly expensive (you’re cooking it after all!). You only need 1 cup for this recipe, so be sure you enjoy drinking the wine because it will pair wonderfully with the risotto.
Parmesan: grated fresh Parmesan adds incredible savory flavor. It’s important to use a high-quality freshly grated Parmesan—the only ingredient should be parmigiano reggiano (no anti-caking agents). If your store is out of grated Parmesan either grab a block and grate it yourself or use shredded Parmesan (again no added ingredients is key to achieving the right texture).
Toppings: to bring some brightness to the dish and balance out the savory flavors, we like to top each serving with julienned tart green apple and fresh parsley.
How to Make Carrot Risotto
Step 1: Combine the broth and the carrot juice in a saucepan, bring to a simmer them keep warm over low heat.
Step 2: Cook the asparagus just briefly until crisp-tender. Add the peas and cook just to warm through. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and set aside.
Step 3: In the now-empty pot, heat some olive oil and butter. Add the onion and rosemary and cook until the onion starts to soften. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Step 4: Add the rice and cook until the rice granules start to become transparent around the edges.
Step 5: Stir in the wine and cook until evaporated.
Step 6: Stir in 1 cup of the carrot-broth mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed. Repeat adding broth and cooking until all of the broth has been added and absorbed.
Step 7: Right before serving, stir in the vegetables, Parmesan and nutmeg. Season the risotto to taste with additional salt and pepper.
- It’s important to warm the broth mixture. While it may seem like an unnecessary step, it’s actually important for keeping the cooking process moving forward with each addition. (If you were to add cold broth to the risotto, it would bring the temperature of the risotto down and in turn cause the cooking time to become much longer.)
- When cooking the asparagus and peas—add the peas and cook briefly. They don’t need much time. If over-cooked, the peas will become dry and wrinkly. No need to thaw the peas prior to cooking.
Storage and Reheating
Store any leftover risotto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stovetop over medium-heat. You may need to add additional carrot juice and/or water to loosen the mixture.
For longer storage, freeze the risotto for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating over medium heat on the stovetop.
You can skip wine while making risotto. It adds a nice depth of flavor, but if you want to skip it, just increase the broth-carrot mixture by 1 cup.
Of course! This spring risotto is especially easy to modify to be vegan. Here’s all you need to do:
Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth
Use olive oil instead of butter
Leave out the Parmesan (add a few tablespoons of Nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor)
In most cases, no, you need to gradually add the broth and stir after each addition to ensure it is fully absorbed into the rice. Our recipe was developed to allow you to dump most of the broth in at once and do the stirring at the end.
The consistent stirring helps release the starch from the rice, making for a super thick and luscious risotto.
Make sure you are cooking over medium-low heat. If it’s too high you risk the risotto sticking to the pan and burning.
Once you give this risotto recipe a try, check out our Spring Pea Risotto. We top it off with a poached egg for extra protein and lusciousness! Then in the fall be sure to make our ulta-cozy Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto with crispy prosciutto!
We’ve got TONS of carrot recipes here on ZK. Check out our Carrot Margaritas (a great way to use up that bottled carrot juice), delicious Browned Butter Carrot Bread and our Vegan Curried Carrot Soup that is out-of-this-world good!
Carrot Risotto Recipe
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 cups bottled carrot juice,
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed, cut into ¼-inch pieces
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ cups (10¼ ounces) dry Arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- ½ cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
- Pinch fresh nutmeg
- 1 green apple, julienned, for garnish
- Parsley, for garnish
- Bring 4 cups broth and 3 cups carrot juice to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, cover and keep warm over low.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium. Add 1 pound chopped asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, 4–5 minutes. Add 1 cup peas and cook to heat through, 1 minute; season with salt and pepper. Transfer vegetables to a bowl and set aside.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon tablespoon olive oil and remaining 1 tablespoon butter in same pot over medium. Add 1 finely chopped onion and 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary; cook until softened, 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper. Add 2 cloves minced garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
- Add 1½ cups rice and cook, stirring constantly, until grains are slightly translucent and milky in color, 3 minutes. Add 1 cup wine and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes.
- Stir 1 cup warm carrot-broth mixture into rice, and cook, stirring constantly until liquid has been absorbed, 1–2 minutes. Repeat adding 1 cup carrot-broth mixture to rice and cooking until liquid has absorbed. Continue adding and stirring until all of the stock mixture has been used and the rice is creamy but al dente.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in reserved vegetables, ½ cup Parmesan and pinch nutmeg; season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve risotto with additional Parmesan, green apple and parsley.