Creamy Vegan Risotto with lemon, courgettes, grilled mushrooms, pinenuts, rocket and pesto

Gone Vegan or just wanting to get more plants into your diet? This recipe is or you. I swapped out the dairy for Oat cream, I found it was the best alternative – but feel free to experiment if you’re not a fan. You don’t have to make your own pesto, you can buy great vegan friendly pesto’s but making your own is so much tastier. 

Serves 4


  • 300 g Arborio risotto rice 
  • 3 Garlic Cloves 
  • 1 Brown onion 
  • 2 Lemons 
  • 2 Courgettes 
  • 250 g Chestnut Mushrooms 
  • 2 Vegetable stock cubes or 1 Ltr of Vegetable stock 
  • 175 mls oat cream 
  • 60g Rocket leaves
  • Olive oil for cooking (about 3 tablespoons) 
  • 100g Pine nuts 
  • 30 g basil (leaves and stalks) 
  • small garlic clove
  • tbsp shelled pistachios
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper



  1. Boil the kettle and prepare you veggies. Peel and finely chop the onion, chop the courgettes into bite sized chunks, slice the mushrooms and mince the garlic cloves (or finely chop) Heat the olive oil in a wide non stick pan on a medium heat and add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 5 minuets until nice and soft. Whilst the onion is cooking dissolve the stock cubes in 1 Ltr of boiling water.
  2. When the onion is cooked add the garlic and the rice, stir the rice so its coated in the oil from the pan (add a little more oil if the pans looking dry) Add the stock a bit at a time, stirring as you go for about 25 minuets until the rice has absorbed the stock and its cooked. 
  3. Meanwhile, zest and juice your lemons and set this aside. Then get on with making your pesto. Add the 1 garlic clove, 100 mls of olive oil, pistachios and fresh basil to a food processor and blitz until a lovely paste is formed, season and blitz again. 
  4. When the risotto rice is about 15 minuets off add the courgette to the pan and stir. Heat a griddle pan on a high heat and grill the mushrooms for about 10 minuets until cooked and slightly crisp. Drizzle with a little oil and keep warm until needed. Wipe the pan you cooked the mushrooms in and put it back on the heat, toast the pine nuts in the pan until golden and set aside. 
  5. When the rice is cooked pour in the lemon juice and half of the zest add the oat cream, stir and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve the risotto in bowls with rocket leaves stored into the risotto, top with the mushrooms, dollops of pesto, pine nuts, lemon zest and extra pepper. 



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