Asparagus is in season, and there’s no better way to enjoy it than in this delicious Instant Pot Asparagus Risotto. This dish is packed with flavor and takes only a fraction of the time to make compared to traditional risotto recipes.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Asparagus risotto is a delicious, creamy dish that is perfect for a springtime dinner
- It is a simple dish, yet it is packed with flavor
- Hands-off cooking – no need to stand and stir like traditional risotto recipes
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make asparagus risotto, you have to try cooking it in your Instant Pot. In around 30 minutes, you can have a creamy and flavorful risotto that’s packed with healthy asparagus. And since it’s made in the Instant Pot, cleanup is a breeze!
Scroll down for the printable card for this pressure cooker asparagus risotto recipe, or read on for all the details.
What you’ll need
I use an Instant Pot to make this recipe, but you can use any brand of electric pressure cooker or a multicooker with a pressure cook function.
Key ingredients and substitutions
Full ingredients list and quantities are given in the recipe card below.
Choose fresh asparagus. The spears should be plump and firm (not bendy), and the tips should be tightly closed. Trim any woody bit off the end of the stems before making this recipe.
Try to choose spears that are a similar size so that they all take a similar length of time to get tender.
Olive oil and butter
Olive oil is good for sautéing, butter adds more flavor. Skip the butter if you are dairy-free.
Use arborio rice or another short grained risotto rice like Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano.
Do not rinse the rice before cooking! The starch in the rice is what creates the rich and creamy texture of risotto. When you rinse rice before cooking much of this gets removed
Chicken or vegetable stock (and wine)
I usually use chicken stock to make this recipe, however you can substitute vegetable stock if you want to make a vegetarian asparagus risotto.
You can substitute half a cup of the stock for dry white wine. This adds a little more depth of flavor to the risotto, but is optional.
You need the zest and juice of a lemon. You can substitute lime if you are out of lemons.
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
I like to serve this risotto with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or powdered Parmesan. For a dairy-free version, you could substitute nutritional yeast.
How to make asparagus risotto in the Instant Pot
This recipe is very straight-forward to make, there are just a few simple steps to getting it just right:
- Prepare all the ingredients ahead of starting to cook.
- Sauté the asparagus first, then remove and cover while you cook the risotto. If you add the asparagus to the risotto before pressure cooking it will get over cooked and end up soggy.
- Quickly sauté the onion and garlic. This releases the flavors from these aromatic ingredients.
- Add the rice to the pan (ahead of the liquid), and stir to coat the rice grains with the oil and liquid in the pan.
- Add the stock, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper and deglaze the pan. This just means gently scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to release any cooking residues into the stock.
- Bring the stock to the boil, then cancel the sauté program. This starts the rice cooking and will help the pressure cooker to come up to fully pressure more quickly once you start pressure cooking.
- Close and lock the lid with the valve set to ‘Sealing’, then pressure cook for 5 minutes.
- Once the cook time is up, use the quick release option to open the Instant Pot so that you don’t over-cook the risotto.
- Stir through the asparagus and the Parmesan cheese and serve.
Asparagus risotto is a delicious, creamy dish that is perfect for a springtime dinner. Serve it topped with extra Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper, with a simple side salad.
It can also be served as a side dish. It is a perfect accompaniment to many chicken or fish dishes. Here are some easy main dishes you can serve it with:
Instant Pot Asparagus Risotto
- 2 cup arborio rice
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 onions chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock [Note 1]
- 1 lemon zest and juice reserved
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Finely chop the onions. Crush or finely chop garlic cloves.
- Trim the asparagus [Note 2] and cut into 1-inch pieces.
- Set Instant Pot to 'Sauté'. Add a drizzle of olive oil. When it is hot, add the asparagus, and cook until softened (approx. 3 minutes).
- Cancel the Saute function, remove the asparagus from the Instant Pot to a bowl, and set aside.
Prepare the risotto
- Set Instant Pot to 'Sauté' again, and add another drizzle of olive oil.
- When it is hot, add the onion, and cook until softened, then stir in the garlic (approx. 3 minutes).
- Add the rice, and stir to coat with the liquid in the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the stock, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Stir and deglaze the pot [Note 3], then allow it to come to a boil.
Pressure cook the risotto
- When the risotto has come to the boil, press 'Cancel' to end the Sauté program.
- Close and lock the Instant Pot lid. Ensure that the steam release handle valve is set to 'Sealing'.
- Press the 'Pressure cook' button, and set it to pressure cook for 5 minutes.
- When the time is up, use the quick release option to open the Instant Pot (press 'Cancel' then carefully turn the steam release handle to the 'Venting' position). When the float valve has dropped, open the Instant Pot.
- Add the butter and Parmesan cheese and stir to combine, then top with the cooked asparagus, or stir in if preferred.
- You can substitute half a cup of stock for white wine if you like.
- Cut the ends to remove any damaged or tough parts of the stems.
- Use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to gently scrape the sides and bottom of the pot to release any cooking residues.
Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.