Oven-Baked Risotto with Shrimp, Asparagus and Peas

This is my cheater risotto. My one-pot, weeknight meal, easy peasy risotto that doesn't require you to hover over the stove while gently stirring in broth. 

A lot of times when I develop a recipe I think about my sister, who has two kids under 5.   I often wonder - would she have the time to do this recipe while wrangling my niece and nephew? If the answer is no I try to adapt it to make it easier. It won't work for all recipes (most baking recipes are going to take a bit of time) but for this risotto I wanted to try to make it easier.  

What happens if you bake risotto instead of cooking it on the stovetop?  Well the answer is is you get the exact same risotto that you would get if you spent 30 minutes gently stirring in the broth.  I am sure that risotto purists would disagree with me but oven-baked risotto is just as creamy and delicious as traditional risotto. 

Couple notes on the recipe: 

First, consider this recipe as a base recipe. Feel free to swap out the peas or asparagus or even the shrimp. You could make a mushroom risotto or a butternut squash risotto - just be aware that whatever you swap in could change the cook time.

Arborio rice is a type of rice that is specifically used in risotto. You can find it at most groceries stores - if you can't find it, substitute with a rice meant for risotto like carnaroli because unfortunately regular white rice won't work in this recipe. 

Lastly, the size of your pan matters in this recipe. I used a 5 qt. Dutch oven. It is totally ok to use whatever pot you have at home but know that a bigger or smaller pot will change the cook time slightly. 

Oven-Baked Risotto with Shrimp, Asparagus and Peas

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 to 5 cups chicken stock (or vegetable or fish stock) 
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup blanched asparagus 
  • 3/4 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salt and pepper
  • Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley 

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. 

In a medium sized Dutch oven or heavy pot warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and rice and cook for another minute or until rice is coated with the oil and shiny. 

Stir in the white wine, 4 cups chicken broth and big pinch of salt and pepper. Cover the pot and bake for 35 minutes. 

Carefully remove the lid and stir in lemon zest and 1/2 cup chicken broth. (adding remaining chicken broth if rice is dry.) Fold in shrimp, peas and asparagus and cook covered for 10 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and firm. 

Taste for salt and pepper then serve risotto with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. 

Makes 6 to 8 servings.