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Risotto with Peas – A Perfect Spring Meal

Risotto with peas is a classic Italian dish that screams springtime!

But don’t worry, although risotto may appear daunting at first, I assure you it’s easier than it seems.

With just a little patience and the proper techniques, you can create a restaurant-worthy risotto at home.

pea risotto in a fork

Why This Recipe Is The Best

Creamy and Comforting – The creamy texture of risotto makes it so comforting.

Simple technique – Once you learn the method of toasting the rice and adding broth gradually, it comes together smoothly.

Family-Friendly – This risotto with peas is a crowd-pleaser. Whether cooking for your family or hosting a dinner party, this dish will impress everyone.

What Goes In This Risotto? 

Risotto Rice: The foundation of any good risotto, I prefer to use Arborio rice for its ability to release starches.

If you don’t find Arborio, I recommend Carnaroli or Vialone Nano.

Carrots and Onions: The base soffritto I use,  I like to use a yellow or white onion, finely chopped.

You can leave the carrots out, but I like it because it makes it even tastier.

Peas: You can use frozen or fresh peas for this recipe.

If using fresh, look for young, tender peas in the spring. Frozen works great, too, and is a convenient option.

Parmesan Cheese and Butter: These rich, creamy ingredients are essential for that signature “mantecatura.”

Broth: Having a warm, flavorful broth on hand is key to slowly adding it to the rice as it cooks.

You can use chicken or vegetable broth.

Salt and Pepper: Simple seasonings.

Mantecare” is an Italian term used in cooking, especially when making risotto. It refers to the final step of adding butter and Parmesan cheese to the cooked rice and stirring until fully incorporated. This step is important for achieving the creamy texture characteristic of a well-prepared risotto. “Mantecare essentially means to cream or blend the ingredients together to create a smooth and velvety consistency in the risotto.

How To Make This Easy Risotto

Prepare the Broth: First things first, let’s prepare the broth. Y

ou can use store-bought or homemade broth, whichever you prefer. I used my homemade. Vegetable stock cubes diluted in a liter of broth.

Warm it up in a separate pot and keep it simmering throughout the cooking process.

Sauté the Onion and Carrots: Chop the onion and carrots into small pieces.

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, sauté the onion and carrots in olive oil over medium-low heat. 

Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and translucent.

Add the Peas & Broth: Add the peas to the pan. Stir them in with the onion and carrots.

Pour in a ladle of the warm broth and let the peas cook until the broth evaporates.

cook the peas to the pan

Add the risotto: Once the peas are cooked, add the risotto rice to the pan.

Stir gently to coat each grain with the flavors from the onion, carrots, and peas. Toast for about 3 minutes.

toast the rice in a pan

Add the broth a ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Let each addition fully absorb before adding more. Repeat this process until the rice is cooked al dente, with a slight bite.

Finish with Parmesan & Butter: Remove the pan from the heat once the rice is cooked but still has a nice bite.

Stir in the basil, Parmesan cheese, and a pat of butter until fully incorporated. This final “mantecare” step makes the risotto extra creamy.

manteca the risotto with butter and parmesan cheese

Serve and Enjoy: Spoon the risotto into bowls and garnish with additional Parmesan.

risotto in a plate decorate with basil

What can I serve with risotto peas?

Risotto with peas can be enjoyed as a main course, or you can pair it with some delicious side dishes. Here are a few suggestions:

Recipe Notes & Tips

Don’t Rush the Process: Risotto requires patience.

Take your time and enjoy stirring and gradually adding the broth. This slow and steady cooking method gives risotto its creamy texture.

Warm Broth: Adding warm broth to the risotto helps maintain a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process, while cold broth can slow the cooking time.

Simmer, Don’t Boil: When adding the broth to the rice, ensure it simmers gently instead of boiling vigorously.

Risotto variation

Add Bacon: Crispy, salty bacon makes a fantastic addition to this risotto. Cook it up first, then crumble it over the top.

Include Mushrooms: Sautéed mushrooms would be a delicious mix-in.

Try Asparagus: Add asparagus spears for a springtime spin.

Add Lemon: Lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice make the risotto super good!

How to store

Leftover risotto can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Add a broth splash to reheat and gently warm it on the stovetop or microwave.

It’s not recommended to freeze risotto.

My tips with leftovers: Make Arancini; if you have any leftover risotto, don’t let it go to waste!

Shape it into small balls, coat them in breadcrumbs, and fry until golden brown.

Parmesan Risotto with Peas


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Yield: 4 portions

Risotto with peas

risotto with peas

Creamy and comforting risotto with peas - a delicious Italian dish perfect for spring. Learn how to make this family-friendly.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • Vegetable or chicken broth, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring the broth to a simmer in a medium pot and keep it warm over low heat.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Add the chopped onion, carrots and sauté until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the peas and 1-2 ladles of broth to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat until the broth has evaporated.
  4. Add the rice to the pan and toast for about 3 minutes. Gradually add the warm broth, a ladleful at a time, stirring often until the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Continue this process, adding more broth, until the rice is al dente and the risotto has a creamy consistency, about 18-22 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, basil, and Parmesan cheese until they are well combined.
  7. Serve the risotto immediately, garnished with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.

Did you make this recipe?

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Recipe FAQ’s

Can you use regular rice in this risotto?

While you could technically use a regular long-grain rice variety, I really don’t recommend it. 

Can I make this risotto vegan?

Absolutely! Just omit or use plant-based cheese and a plant-based butter or olive oil instead. 

How do I know when the risotto is done?

The risotto is ready when the rice is cooked through but still has a slight bite. 

It should have a smooth, creamy consistency, and the grains should be tender but not mushy.

Can I make this risotto in advance?

Risotto is best served immediately, so I wouldn’t recommend it.

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Thursday 6th of June 2024

Risotto is one of my favorite things to make in spring!

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