Creamy courgette risotto

This melt-in-the-mouth vegetarian dish served with pine nuts and fried courgettes is everything a traditional Italian risotto should be

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:35 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 496
  • fat 23g
  • saturates 12g
  • carbs 50g
  • sugars 4g
  • fibre 4g
  • protein 22g
  • salt 1.4g


  • 50g butter, plus 2 knobs more
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 250g courgettes, 140g coarsely grated, the rest diced
  • 175g risotto rice
  • zest and juice 1 lemon
  • 1.2l vegetable (or chicken) stock, kept hot on a low heat
  • 25g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
  • 2 heaped tbsp mascarpone
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 heaped tbsp toasted pine nuts


  1. Melt the butter in a sturdy frying pan, add the onion and gently fry until softened. Stir in the grated courgettes and rice, increase the heat and sizzle while stirring for 1-2 mins.

  2. Add the lemon juice and a ladle of hot stock, and bubble over a medium-high heat while stirring constantly. When the liquid has just about been absorbed, add another ladleful of stock. Keep cooking like this for 20-25 mins until the rice is just tender and is creamy. Stir in the Parmesan, mascarpone and some seasoning, cover with a lid or baking sheet, and set aside for 5 mins while you cook the remaining courgettes.

  3. Heat the remaining butter and a splash of oil in a small frying pan. Add the diced courgettes, and fry over a high heat for 2-3 mins until golden and just softened. Divide the risotto between shallow bowls or plates, then scatter with the diced courgettes and any buttery juices, the pine nuts and a few pinches of lemon zest.

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