Creamy spring risotto

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20 min


8 cups (2 L)

* PLUS Cooking time: 28 minutes


  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 250 g uncooked shrimp , peeled (optional)
  • 1 bunch asparagus , about 500 g
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 3 tsp butter
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp hot red-chili flakes , optional
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 284-mL cans undiluted chicken broth , preferably 25 per cent less sodium
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan , or 1/2 140-g log goat cheese


  • Measure out peas and leave on counter to thaw. Meanwhile, if using frozen shrimp, rinse under cold water to remove ice crystals. Pat shrimp dry with paper towels. Snap and discard tough bottom ends from asparagus. Slice asparagus diagonally into pieces about 1 inch (2.5 cm) long. Core and seed peppers, then chop into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces.
  • Melt 2 tsp (10 mL) butter in a large wide saucepan over medium heat. Add shrimp, asparagus and peppers. Stir often until shrimp turn bright pink and veggies start to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, mince garlic. Finely chop onion. Remove shrimp, asparagus and peppers to a bowl. Melt remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) butter in pan. Add garlic, onion, salt and chili flakes. Stir often until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add rice and stir to evenly coat, 1 minute.
  • While constantly stirring rice, pour in wine. Scrape up and stir in any brown bits from pan bottom. Stir often until rice absorbs wine, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually pour in 1 can undiluted chicken broth. Stir often until liquid is absorbed, 7 to 8 minutes. Gradually add remaining can undiluted broth and stir often until absorbed, 7 to 8 minutes. Add water and stir often until most of liquid is absorbed, 5 to 7 minutes. If rice is not tender, continue to stir in water, 1/4 cup (50 mL) at a time, until tender. Add peas, shrimp, asparagus and peppers. Stir often until hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Add spinach and sprinkle or crumble in cheese and stir until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon into bowls. Terrific with a glass of white wine.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 176,
  • Protein
  • 7.7 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 29.9 g,
  • Fat
  • 2.9 g,
  • Fibre
  • 3.1 g,
  • Sodium
  • 746 mg.

Unlike traditional risotto dishes that showcase rice as the main star, we’ve used a minimal amount, then loaded it with lots of fresh spring veggies packed with healthy nutrients. All the creamy goodness is still here, but with half the calories.