Dairy-free Risotto

Risotto completeI previously wrote about cooking salmon and risotto in my article Blackstrap Tamari Salmon – this is the follow-up with the risotto recipe.

I had never previously cooked risotto and I wasn’t even entirely sure I knew exactly what went into it!  All I knew when I began was that risotto was apparently “difficult” to cook.

I couldn’t have been more wrong!  My risotto-making skills could surely improve, but as long as you watch it and keep stirring, you will end up with something delicious and edible, and you can only improve from there.


I usually don’t eat dairy, and I have a strong dislike for many cheeses, especially parmesan (which is usually included in risotto).  So, I combed through lots of recipes and finally ended up combining these two to get a risotto I was happy with:

You can add other ingredients if you like, including cheese, mushrooms, or chicken, all of which are typical types of risotto.  However, this version without additions is still creamy, hearty, and I like the vegetable flavour from the vegetable broth.

Dairy-free Risotto

(makes 3-4 portions)

Ingredients for dairy-free risotto



  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1½ Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped shallots or onion
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup dry white wine (eg: pinot grigio)
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter or ghee


1. Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat so the broth remains hot, but not simmering.  You can turn off the heat but leave this saucepan on the burner to stay hot.

Shallots cooking

Shallots cooking

2. In a heavy, wide pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.

3. Add shallots (or onion) and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and softened, about 5-7 minutes.

4. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.

5. I don’t like chunky onions, so at this point I put the onions and garlic in a food processor and make them into a paste, then put that back into the pan.

Rice added

Rice added

6. Add a little bit more oil to the pan, then add rice and stir to coat with oil.

7. Toast the rice until the edges becomes translucent, about 1-2 minutes.

8. Pour in the wine and stir well until evaporated.




Stir that rice!

Stir that rice!

9. Stir in salt and 1/2 cup of hot vegetable broth.

10. Cook, stirring constantly, until all broth is absorbed.

11. Add hot broth in small amounts (I do 1/2 cup at a time), just enough to moisten all the rice, and stir until fully absorbed before adding more.

12. Stir constantly and adjust heat so rice is simmering very gently.

13. Once you have used all your broth and the rice is creamy and tender, you are done.  I find this takes about 20 minutes.

14. Remove from heat and stir in ghee or butter until melted.

15. Add fresh ground pepper to taste.

Blackstrap tamari salmon with dairy-free risottoI suggest serving this risotto with my Blackstrap Tamari Salmon recipe and a glass of dry white wine (the same wine you can use to cook both these dishes!).

For more recipes, check out my Recipes page!


  1. Blackstrap Tamari Salmon - Dr. Kate Whimster, Toronto Naturopath - July 27, 2016

    […] suggest serving this salmon with my Dairy-free Risotto recipe and a glass of dry white wine (the same wine you can use to cook both these […]

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