Parmesan Risotto

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Parmesan Risotto is an Italian side dish perfect for Easter dinner. Creamy rice with lemon juice, spring peas, and Parmesan cheese.

Baked Mac and Cheese is full of decadent creaminess that makes it a perfect holiday Side Dish recipe. If you are looking for a rich, creamy rice dish with fresh spring flavor for Easter, you will love this risotto recipe.

Lemon Parmesan Pea Risotto plated with lemon wedge garnish

This creamy risotto makes fancy side dish for Easter Dinner, is easy enough serve on a weeknight, and hearty enough to be a main course. If this is your first time making risotto, prepare to be pleasantly surprised on how quickly this beautiful rice dish comes together.

Lemon Risotto might seem like the kind of dish you only see on five star menu or cooking competition, but trust that any home cook can easily master this Italian rice dish. Learn a few basics and you will be serving this delicious side dish every chance you get.

Parmesan Risotto is all about stirring in small cups of liquid at a time and the creaminess you get with each bite is so worth it. It may be tempting to add the chicken broth all at once or before it’s fully absorbed each time. But if you keep your broth warm and add in small amounts, this recipe actually only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish!

Lemon Parmesan Pea Risotto ingredients prepared in pan and closeup collage

One of the key ingredients in any risotto recipe is the kind of rice. There is a lot of stirring in this recipe so you want a rice type that won’t get mushy. The most widely available and best rice for risotto is Arborio rice. You can find Arborio rice in most grocery stores and it works perfectly for Parmesan Risotto.

This risotto recipe uses frozen peas since they are easy to find year round, you don’t need to steam them, and there’s no shelling needed. In short, frozen peas make this recipe super easy. You can use fresh peas or spring peas, but they will need to be steamed before adding to the risotto.

Lemon Parmesan Pea Risotto plated with lemon wedge garnish

Perfect Easter Main Courses to Serve with Risotto

How to Serve

Serve this creamy Parmesan Risotto with simple rustic mains like Baked ScallopsRoasted Chicken or Pork Loin Roast. Risotto can be an easy vegetarian main course by using veggie broth instead of chicken broth and serving with Dinner Rolls.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Cheese: Instead of Parmesan cheese, try using other strong flavored cheeses like Romano cheese, Swiss cheese, Asiago cheese, or Manchego.
  • Wine: Use a dry white wine like Pinot Grigio, Un-oaked Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc. If you don’t want to use wine, substitute chicken broth or white grape juice.
  • Herbs: You can use other Italian herbs in Lemon Parmesan Risotto. Add fresh or dried herbs like sage, rosemary, or oregano. If you like garlic, add a teaspoon or two of minced garlic cloves after cooking the shallots, heating 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Veggies: Try this risotto recipe with chopped roasted veggies, steamed broccoli or cauliflower, or cooked chopped zucchini.
  • Vegan Risotto: Easily make this a Vegan Lemon Risotto by using olive oil instead of butter, veggie broth for chicken broth, and nutritional yeast for the Parmesan cheese. You can get nutritional yeast in bulk bins at many stores.

Lemon Parmesan Pea Risotto plated with lemon wedge garnish

More Easy and Tasty Rice Dishes

How to Store

  • Serve: This dish is best served immediately for maximum creaminess but can be at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
  • Store: Transfer cooled risotto to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove top with a little milk or chicken broth to make creamy again.
  • Freeze: You can freeze risotto for up to 3 months in a sealed container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on the stove top over medium heat.

Lemon Parmesan Pea Risotto Close Up

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Parmesan Risotto

Parmesan Risotto is an Italian side dish perfect for Easter dinner. Creamy rice with lemon juice, spring peas, and Parmesan cheese.
Yield 6
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 shallots , finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice , uncooked
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup white wine , or additional chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup frozen spring peas , thawed
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese , grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon peel , grated


  • In a small saucepan, heat chicken broth and keep warm on low heat.
  • In a large skillet, sauté shallots in butter for 2-3 minutes or until tender.
  • Add the rice, thyme and black pepper; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes. Stir in white wine and lemon juice.
  • Cook while continuing to stir until all of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Stir in heated broth, ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly. Allow liquid to absorb between additions.
  • Cook just until risotto is creamy and rice is almost tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Add the peas, parmesan cheese and lemon peel. Stir and cook until heated through.


Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 727mg | Potassium: 278mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 316IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 3mg

Lemon Parmesan Pea Risotto ingredients prepared in pan and plated collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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