It’s a good mood comfort food day! This Creamy Vegan Risotto delivers the soul-satisfying, cozy decadence that suckers me into ordering whichever entree comes with risotto every time I see it on a menu, but it is made with lighter, brighter ingredients.

An easy vegan risotto recipe made with quinoa, cauliflower, and nutritional yeast, topped with asparagus and veggies.

Risotto is one of those recipes that I made often when Ben and I were first married but slowly drifted away from over time.

Perhaps it was the onset of practicality. I began to feel like eating a plate of starchy grains showered in cheese on an average weeknight might not be the best long-term healthy eating strategy, especially since the two of us had a stellar record of polishing off the entire pot in a single sitting.

I still love to order risotto when I’m out or cook it for friends. For a regular weeknight affair, however, today’s vegan risotto recipe is the one you’ll be finding on my stove from now on.

Thanks to a few sneaky ingredients, this dairy free quinoa risotto delivers the decadence that makes risotto its wonderful self but is higher in protein, 100% whole grain, and packed with generous servings of veggies too!

Creamy vegan risotto made with quinoa, cauliflower, white beans, and nutritional yeast. Topped with roasted vegetables.

The Inspiration for Creamy Vegan Risotto with Asparagus and Quinoa

I’m not sure how the idea of making risotto with quinoa instead of rice crept its way into my brain, but it stuck.

I liked the fact that, in comparison to rice, quinoa is noticeably higher in protein. I’m a sucker for all-in-one meals, so I reasoned that if I could add enough protein to the vegan risotto, it would be substantial enough to serve as a main course.

Because quinoa isn’t a starchy grain like rice, I knew I’d need to come up with an alternative way to make the vegan risotto creamy. I found my solution in two parts.

The first was to cook the quinoa in Almond Breeze almond milk Original Unsweetened instead of stock or water. Almond milk is my go-to for a wide range of sweet and savory recipes. I love its creamy texture and mildly nutty flavor. The fact that it’s only 30 calories a cup is also a definite plus when I’m slimming down more decadent dishes.

The almond milk turned out to be a perfect pairing with the vegan risotto. Its flavor was lovely, and the resulting quinoa was more rich and creamy, making it the perfect vegan risotto base.

Cauliflower, asparagus, and artichokes are roasted for topping creamy vegan risotto made with quinoa and almond milk.

Although the quinoa was definitely the creamiest batch I’d ever cooked, I was so adamant that the vegan risotto be reminiscent of a classic risotto I’d order in a restaurant, I took the recipe a step farther by blending together a mixture of cauliflower (bonus veggie sneak!), white beans, fresh lemon, and garlic.

White beans, cauliflower, and garlic are part of the base for creamy quinoa risotto.

Not only was the resulting cauli-bean puree ultra fresh and flavorful, it was fantastically creamy. Once folded into the quinoa, it gave the vegan risotto the indulgent texture I’d been chasing all along.

In place of Parmesan, this vegan risotto recipe uses nutritional yeast, which is loaded with nutrients and tastes surprisingly “cheesy.” I regularly add nutritional yeast to my salads and roasted veggies, and you can use it in any one of these recipes with nutritional yeast too.

Roasted cauliflower, asparagus, and artichokes are the perfect topping for healthy quinoa risotto.

To round out the recipe, I topped my vegan risotto with asparagus, artichokes, and a little additional cauliflower, all of which I roasted in the oven. The caramelized texture of the veggies was a beautiful contrast to the creaminess of the risotto.

I also loved how spring-y the asparagus made the vegan risotto taste. I can see this recipe as a great side for Easter, and if you have any vegetarian or vegan guests, a larger serving would be a good option for a hearty main (this Asparagus Casserole is another great option).

At any time of year, this basic vegan risotto recipe is flexible. Feel free to swap the asparagus for other in-season veggies or any you might have on hand. I have tasty plans for a vegan risotto with butternut squash in the fall, along with a vegan risotto with mushrooms just as soon as I can make it.

Creamy vegan risotto made with quinoa and almondmilk! Topped with delicious roasted cauliflower, asparagus, artichokes, and nutritional yeast.

How to Store and Reheat Risotto

  • To Store. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Store leftover vegetables separately.
  • To Reheat. Reheat the risotto gently in the microwave or on the stove with a splash of almond milk, stock, or water to keep it drying out. Rewarm the vegetables in a low oven or by lightly sautéing them on the stove. You can also microwave the vegetables, though they will become somewhat soggy.

More Risotto Recipes

Vegan risotto on a blue plate with artichokes

Creamy Vegan Risotto with Quinoa, Asparagus, and Cauliflower

5 from 4 votes
Creamy Vegan Risotto with quinoa, asparagus, nutritional yeast, and cauliflower. The BEST basic vegan risotto recipe. Ultra creamy, tastes like the real deal, and you can add mushrooms, butternut squash, or any of your favorite veggies!

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 1 hr

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium head cauliflower cut into rough florets, divided (about 5 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus 1 teaspoon, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided, plus additional to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper divided, plus additional to taste
  • 14-16 ounces quartered artichoke hearts drained from a can or defrosted from frozen
  • 1 pound asparagus about 1 small bunch
  • 15 ounces reduced-sodium white beans (1 can) , such as cannellini beans, white kidney beans, or Great Northern beans
  • 1 clove garlic peeled and left whole (if you are a serious garlic fiend, you can up to 2)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast*
  • 2 ⅓ cups Almond Breeze almondmilk Original Unsweetened divided
  • 1 large shallot diced
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives plus additional for serving

Instructions
 

  • Place a rack in the upper and lower thirds of your oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Coat two large rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray.
  • Place 3 cups cauliflower florets in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and a pinch (about ⅛ teaspoon) black pepper. Toss to coat, then spread in a single layer on one baking sheet. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender and caramelized, tossing once halfway through.
  • Meanwhile, spread the artichokes in a single layer on top of several paper towels. Place a few additional sheets of paper towels on top, then press gently to remove excess water. Transfer the artichokes to a large mixing bowl. Trim the asparagus and cut into 1 ½-inch diagonal slices, then add to the bowl with the artichokes. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Toss to coat, then spread into a single layer on the second baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast for 15 to 18 minutes, until the veggies are caramelized and tender, tossing once halfway through.
  • While the veggies roast, place the remaining cauliflower florets in a food processor. Pulse a few times until the cauliflower resembles grains of rice, then add the beans, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and ⅓ cup almondmilk. Puree just until smooth.
  • Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in a Dutch oven or medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the shallot and cook until it’s beginning to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the quinoa, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and remaining ⅛ teaspoon black pepper. Stir to coat the quinoa in the oil and shallots, then add the remaining 2 cups almondmilk. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat, cover, and let simmer until the quinoa has absorbed most of the liquid, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Add the cauliflower bean puree to the quinoa and fold to combine, adding a few extra tablespoons almondmilk as needed so that you have a nice, creamy consistency. Stir in the chives. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as desired.
  • Divide the quinoa into serving bowls. Top with a generous serving of roasted vegetables and sprinkle with additional chives. Enjoy immediately.

Notes

  • *Nutritional yeast is available in many grocery stores and can be ordered online here. It offers nutrients and adds a pleasantly nutty, Parmesan-like flavor for the dish. If you prefer not to use it, you can simply leave it out.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat the risotto gently in the microwave or on the stove with a splash of almondmilk, stock, or water to keep it drying out. Store leftover vegetables separately and rewarm them in a low oven or by lightly sauting them on the stove. You can also microwave the vegetables, though they will become somewhat soggy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4), heaping 1 ½ cups risotto plus ¾ cup roasted veggiesCalories: 445kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 22gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gFiber: 16gSugar: 7g

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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28 Comments

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  1. Risotto is one of my go-to dishes for Spring. Never thought to make it with almond milk before. I need to try this! Love all the veggies in there, too!

  2. Just made this tonight! 5 Stars!!! My new “make for company” vegan recipe. Followed exactly as printed and used the 2 cloves of garlic — because we LOVE garlic. The recipe is PERFECT!!! We are making it for Easter, too!!! My husband is vegan but my children aren’t. This is a great recipe because it’s a perfect side dish for my sons “steak” while it’s a main dish for my husband. Thank you so much!5 stars

    1. Kar, I am so so happy to hear not only that you loved it, but also that it has a place on your Easter menu. Thank you for taking time to report back and share this lovely review!

  3. Erin,
    Another FANTASTIC recipe! Love following you and making your healthy, very tasty recipes!5 stars

  4. Nice! This is going into regular spring/summer rotation (as cauliflower and asparagus dip into my price range). The ingredient list is fantastic! I doubled the garlic. Next time I might quadruple the garlic but fry it up first.
    I used the cold leftovers  without topping–the roasted veggies got gobbled up fast–as spread in sprouted wraps with cucumbers, lettuce, basil and cherry tomatoes. Wonderful!!5 stars

  5. This looks amazing. I am not able to eat beans (soy allergy) – do you think the beans are a necessary ingredient? Is there anything you would substitute (I actually have gluten, dairy and soy allergies which can be limiting!). Thank you!

    1. Hi Linda! I’ve only tested the recipe as written, but I think marinated artichokes would work fine and could still be roasted if you’d like. I’d just recommend keeping an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  6. So yummy!! I made this for my meal prep clients and they absolutely loved it. Added basil since that’s what I had and it was such a good addition5 stars