Lemon Risotto with Roasted Cauliflower in a serving bowl

Lemon Risotto with Roasted Cauliflower

This vegan Lemon Risotto is a creamy citrus rice dish that's served with spiced and roasted cauliflower.  Serve this dish as a main course for Date Night, or as a fancy side dish at your next dinner party!
Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side dish.  This recipe is easily doubled, but the cook time for the risotto will be longer.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 622kcal
Author Champagne Tastes


Roasted Cauliflower:

  • 1/2 cauliflower head, broken into florets
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB smoked paprika
  • 1 TB chili powder
  • 2 tsp salt

Lemon Risotto:

  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 2 1 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, removed from stem
  • 3/4 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lemon (zest first, then juice)
  • 2 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric (for color, omit if you don't have)
  • To Serve: diced green onion, optional


  • Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Prepare cauliflower by tossing it in the paprika, chili powder, salt, and olive oil.  Spread the cauliflower out on a baking sheet and set aside.  (Don't put it in the oven yet.)
  • Heat broth in saucepan over medium heat until hot, and then keep warm on low heat.
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat.  When the oil begins to ripple, add the diced onion and sauté 2-3 minutes until the onions soften.
  • Lower heat to medium.  Add garlic to the pan, and sauté 1 minute.  
  • Add rice and stir 1-2 minutes.  Add the rosemary and stir.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low. Add white wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until wine is completely absorbed (4-5 minutes). 
  • Ladle over 1 cup (or less) of broth, and stir every few minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.  Repeat until all your broth is gone. 
    Don't rush these steps- you want the rice to slowly release the starch and become creamy. Rushing will result in less creamy risotto.
  • After adding the first cup of broth to the rice, put the cauliflower in the oven and set a timer for 20 minutes.
  • When you've finished adding all the broth to the risotto, and the liquid has absorbed into the rice, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and turmeric.  Stir to incorporate.  Taste, and add more salt if desired.
  • Remove risotto from heat and cover to keep warm until the cauliflower finishes roasting.
  • Serve risotto topped with cauliflower, and add green onion for garnish.  Serve immediately.


Recipe Variations:
  • (Not Vegan): Add 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese to the risotto when it's finished cooking, and stir to incorporate.
  • (Not Vegan): Substitute cauliflower for shrimp.  Toss thawed shrimp in the spices listed for the cauliflower, heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat, and sauté shrimp 1-2 minutes per side until they turn pink.
  • Make only the cauliflower or only the risotto, and serve as a side dish to another meal.


Calories: 622kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Potassium: 919mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 70.7% | Vitamin C: 133.4% | Calcium: 8.9% | Iron: 35.2%