There are two types of people in this world – those who do things in moderation and those who go overboard.  I most definitely find myself in the second category most of the time.  When I was in high school I ate vegemite sandwiches for lunch every day for five years and loved it.  When I fall in love with a new song I play it until my iPod screams for mercy or my friends/family stage an intervention.  Some might call it passion.  Some might call it an addictive personality.  I like to hope it’s just part of my charm.

So here we are.  I never even liked pesto before veganism and now I’m bringing you a sixth pesto recipe?  Sheesh.  This girl really likes her vegan food green.

The very first risotto I ever made was CleanGreenSimple’s Mushroom & Asparagus Risotto and I couldn’t believe how easy it was and how amazing it tasted.   I was very new to both veganism and cooking in general and this success made me feel like Nigella and Jamie rolled into one.  I could finally cook!  And a risotto, no less!  Everyone knows risotto has a bad reputation as a trouble maker and I had tangled with danger and won!  Fist pump!  

High on excitement after the success of the recent Pea & Pesto Soup experiment and still slightly obsessed with pesto (see first paragraph) I figured I’d try my luck at incorporating it into a risotto and see what happened.

Armed with a back-up delivery pizza plan and in the blink of an eye, deliciousness happened, that’s what.
This was a cinch to make and the taste was creamy, fresh and amazing.  I am now officially in love with risotto.  I might even stalk it if pesto doesn’t get jealous and mess with my iPod.


Serves 2 – 4

  • 1 tbsp vegan margarine
  • 1/2 cup white wine (optional)
  • 2 handfuls sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 3 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 litre vegetable broth/stock


  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • Squeeze of lemon juice


  1. Combine all pesto ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring vegetable stock to the boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer slightly.
  3. In a large fry pan, sauté snap peas and spring onions in margarine and wine for a minute or two.  Add rice and stir until rice starts to make small popping sounds.
  4. Add hot stock to the fry pan very slowly – about 1/2 cup at a time – stirring well and allowing the rice to soak up all the liquid before adding more (about 3-5 minutes or so each time).
  5. Once all the stock has been added and absorbed, add pesto and frozen peas and stir until well combined and peas are hot.
  6. Season with salt and pepper, and enjoy!


24 Comments on Passionate Pea & Pesto Risotto

  1. Karen H
    September 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm (12 years ago)

    I had to google EVOO! lol

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      September 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm (12 years ago)

      haha! Oops, I should have written it long hand. 😉

  2. Madison @
    September 13, 2012 at 6:45 pm (12 years ago)

    OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I love risotto. The colour of this is amazing. Yum yum yum!!

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      September 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm (12 years ago)

      Oh you have to try this version then, Madison! The pesto makes it even more creamy and sensational. 🙂

  3. Gabby @ the veggie nook
    September 13, 2012 at 7:25 pm (12 years ago)

    Gorgeous Bex! I really need to try making this risotta thing…I can’t believe I never have!

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      September 14, 2012 at 1:52 pm (12 years ago)

      Whaaaat??!! Ohhh, jump on board, Gabby! You’ll never look back, promise. 🙂

  4. Alexia
    September 13, 2012 at 10:14 pm (12 years ago)

    i am in love with good pesto! I make it myself with cashews, sometimes with brazil nuts and even almonds and hempseeds.. whatever comes in my mind… i sometimes to include raw goats cheese as a treat and put the pesto in just about anything! risotto, salad, sandwiches, veggie sticks, sauces…hummus… oh dear, never ending love story!!

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      September 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm (12 years ago)

      haha, I’m so glad I’m not the only one with a healthy pesto obsession! I like the hemp seeds idea!

  5. Barb@ThatWasVegan
    September 14, 2012 at 12:42 am (12 years ago)

    I’ve never made my own risotto, vegan or otherwise. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure if I’ve had any since going vegan…? No matter, you can just send me some of this cause it looks goooooood!

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      September 14, 2012 at 1:52 pm (12 years ago)

      haha, it’s in the post! 🙂

  6. Kristy
    September 14, 2012 at 10:43 am (12 years ago)

    Dear heavens, pesto risotto! You are speaking to my soul! If there are two things my soul loves when it needs comforting it’s pesto and risotto. This looks absolutely amazing!

    And I would have to agree with you- it’s part of your charm. 🙂

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      September 14, 2012 at 1:54 pm (12 years ago)

      hehe, thanks Kristy. 😉 And your two favourites are just made for each other. Soooo delish!

  7. Reia@TheCrueltyFreeReview
    September 15, 2012 at 11:58 am (12 years ago)

    Ha, I like how you wrote optional for the white wine. Optional for me or for the risotto? 😉 Cause for me, it’s not an option.
    I’m totally the same when it comes to obsessing over things. When I discovered Garbanzo’s, I ate there every other day. Their falafel is to die for!
    Risotto can be a pain to make (that’s what I need the white wine for) but it is so worth the effort. Great combination of peas and pesto; can’t wait to give it a try!

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      September 17, 2012 at 11:08 am (12 years ago)

      hehe, the wine is the best part! One for the dish, one for the cook, repeat… 😉

  8. Sophie
    September 18, 2012 at 5:39 am (12 years ago)

    A stunning & vibrant colour for this tasty looking risotto!
    Yummy Yum, I reckon!

  9. Alaine @ My GF & DF Living
    September 18, 2012 at 12:29 pm (12 years ago)

    Pesto risotto! It doesn’t get much better than that. 🙂

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      September 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm (12 years ago)

      It’s a match made in delicious heaven! 😉

  10. LifeOfBun
    September 19, 2012 at 7:17 am (12 years ago)

    Hmmmm looks good!!

  11. elizabeth
    October 3, 2012 at 12:39 am (12 years ago)

    Just made a big batch of fresh pesto last night–I may have to have this for dinner this week!

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      October 3, 2012 at 8:34 am (12 years ago)

      Absolutely! It’s so easy to make and tastes incredible. Plus it will give you tons of energy for triathlonning! 🙂

  12. Nina
    October 10, 2012 at 7:48 pm (12 years ago)

    This loooks like a tasty simple dish, win-win in my book. Just one question, You mention bringing the vegetable stock to the boil but I can’t see any vegetable stock listed. How much do I need?
    Cheers, Nina xx

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      October 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm (12 years ago)

      haha, oh whoops, it had to happen one day! I’ve updated it now – thanks for the heads up and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 🙂 xx