Creamy courgette risotto

Creamy courgette risotto

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(36 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 35 mins


Serves 3 - 4
This melt-in-the-mouth vegetarian dish served with pine nuts and fried courgettes is everything a traditional Italian risotto should be

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving (3)

  • kcal496
  • fat23g
  • saturates12g
  • carbs50g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre4g
  • protein22g
  • salt1.4g
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  • 50g butter, plus 2 knobs more



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 250g courgette, 140g coarsely grated, the rest diced



    The courgette is a variety of cucurtbit, which means it's from the same family as cucumber,…

  • 175g risotto rice
  • zest and juice 1 lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 1.2l vegetable (or chicken) stock, kept hot on a low heat
  • 25g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • 2 heaped tbsp mascarpone
  • splash of olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 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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Comments, questions and tips

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10th Jun, 2019
Delicious risotto, though I tweaked it slightly. To serve two I reduced the rice to 150g and reduced the stock to about 950ml. I followed advice to reduce the lemon to a half and added 100g of frozen peas a couple of minutes before turning off the heat to increase the veg content. I tried cream instead of mascarpone as that's what I had but I wouldn't do that again: a knob of butter would have been better. Yum.
11th Apr, 2019
Very good and easy. Had to amp it up a bit because I wanted it to serve 4 so used 250g rice, 500g + courgettes, juice from one lemon (no zest) and following other comments added some spinach at the end. Did not put mascarpone and served the parmesan at the table as an add-on. Really liked the grated courgettes and the lemony flavor.
19th Jun, 2018
Scrumptious! Toasted sunflower seeds are an economical alternative to the pinenuts and as others have said half a lemon is perfect. Great served with a green salad.
8th Mar, 2018
so good! I added green peppers and frozen peas to get some extra veg/bulk/colour, as well as garlic!
8th Mar, 2018
Really nice but I also agree that half a lemon is plenty. Wish I had read the comments before adding the juice of a whole one! Also I think toasting the pine nuts should be in the method as most dont come pre toasted. I dry fried mine in a frying pan before taking out and cooking the courgette in butter
1st Jan, 2018
Delicious but would recommend using half a lemon, 1 lemon makes it very lemon-y. Would also go well with garlic or extra vegetables such as peas and asparagus
24th Nov, 2017
Be warned, this definitely only just serves 3 as a main - but it's delicious! I couldn't find marscapone so I used quark which worked fine. Tiny criticism is I don't know why the recipe omits garlic - I would shove some in with the onion. Can't wait to make it again!
29th May, 2017
Absolutely lovely. My meat loving partner says its his favourite veggie meal. I used low fat cheese spread instead of mascapone just to make it a little less calorific. I have made it a couple of times now and found that I don't need as much stock - maybe only two thirds - I think its to do with the water content of the courgettes.
10th May, 2017
I cooked my first risotto ever and it came out just lovely, creamy and deliciously soft. I have added some mushrooms as everyone in my family loves mushrooms :-) definitely cook it again!
15th Jul, 2016
Good, but a whole lemon with zest makes it too sour. Maybe just the zest, or maybe zest and half the juice. Will try again though, it is lovely.


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