Oven-Baked Asparagus Risotto

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I absolutely adore risotto, but I definitely don’t adore how much of a faff it is to make. It just takes so much time, and so much stirring (it’s the best workout my arms ever get). As such, I don’t make risotto as often as I would like – I’m usually in need of a quick meal, rather than a labour of love.

Oven-baked risotto to the rescue! Making risotto in the oven saves so much time – plus, it gives your arms a rest, as it practically cooks itself. Hurrah!

Overhead view of baked asparagus risotto topped with cheese and pesto.

I’ll admit, there’s still a little stovetop-standing required for this baked risotto, but only about 10-15 minutes or so, and then you can just shove it all in the oven – a vast improvement on the hour it usually takes to make risotto.

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • A risotto baked in the oven is so much less effort than a regular stovetop risotto! Just 10-15 minutes of prep, then you can leave it to cook itself while you do something else (laundry, tidying, TV…).
  • With garlicky onions, juicy roasted tomatoes, and crisp pieces of asparagus, this asparagus risotto is such a tasty way to get your veg in! Top it with some basil pesto and a few shavings of parmesan, and it’s the perfect dinner.
  • Risotto is perfect for cooking in bulk, so make a huge batch and keep the leftovers for the next day (see the FAQs below for details on reheating rice).

🥗 Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe. You’ll also need a few cupboard staples, like oil, salt and pepper. See the printable recipe card below for detailed ingredient quantities.

Ingredients for baked asparagus risotto laid out with text overlay.
  • arborio rice – or any other short-grain risotto rice, e.g. carnaroli
  • asparagus (because you can’t have an asparagus risotto without a bit of asparagus…)
  • onion
  • cherry tomatoes
  • vegetarian parmesan cheese
  • basil pesto – I think it’s worth splashing out on a good-quality fresh pesto, but you can use the regular jarred kind if you prefer!
  • garlic
  • veggie stock

Becca’s Top Tip

Make sure you choose a vegetarian version of parmesan cheese, as ‘real’ parmesan (Parmesan Reggiano) isn’t vegetarian – it’s made with rennet. I find a generic ‘Italian hard cheese’ is usually vegetarian, it’s basically identical, and as a bonus, it’s usually cheaper than real parmesan too!

🔪 Equipment

Ideally, a baked risotto needs a large pot that’s safe to use on both the stovetop and in the oven – and if it’s got a lid, that’s even better. I used my beloved Le Creuset cast iron casserole dish, which is perfect for any recipe that starts on the hob and then goes into the oven (like a mushroom bourguignon or a vegetable casserole!).

Admittedly, the Le Creuset ones are eye-wateringly expensive (mine was a gift many years ago and it’s still going strong!), but you can get similar pots from other brands for a much nicer price on Amazon, which still have great reviews.

Le Creuset: Amazon UK / Amazon US
Cheaper version (with great reviews): Amazon UK / Amazon US
(affiliate links)

A red Le Creuset casserole dish on a white background.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a suitable pot (and you don’t want to buy a new one), you may have to use two separate pans for this recipe – a large pan or wok on the stovetop, and then a baking dish for the oven. Just transfer the rice mixture into the oven-safe dish when it’s time to bake. Be super careful, as the mixture will be hot!

📋 How to Make Baked Risotto

Here’s how to make this recipe – see below for the printable recipe with detailed ingredients and instructions.

Risotto rice frying in oil with onion.

Step 1: Sauté some onions and garlic in oil, then add the risotto rice, allowing it to become lightly toasted and coated in the oil.

Risotto rice, onion and pesto in a large Le Creuset pan, with plenty of vegetable stock.

Step 2: Add plenty of vegetable stock, and a good dollop of basil pesto.

Part-cooked baked risotto with pesto.

Step 3: Bake for 20 minutes, until part-cooked. Mix well.

Baked risotto with grated cheese, tomatoes and asparagus thrown in.

Step 4: Add the asparagus, tomatoes and parmesan cheese.

Oven-baked asparagus and tomato risotto.

Step 5: Bake again until the rice is fully cooked.

A portion of asparagus risotto with garlic bread and cheese.

Step 6: Serve topped with a little more pesto and parmesan.

Becca’s Top Tip

My pesto contained a few whole pine nuts, which was a nice addition to the risotto. If your pesto doesn’t contain these, you can always sprinkle a few pine nuts on top when serving, if you like.

🎥 Recipe Video

💭 Recipe FAQs

Is parmesan cheese vegetarian?

True parmesan is not vegetarian, as it is made with rennet. However, it’s usually quite easy to find a vegetarian ‘Italian hard cheese’, which is pretty much identical, but is not allowed to use the protected name ‘parmesan’. If you’re a vegetarian, make sure you find a vegetarian version for this recipe.

Can I make asparagus risotto on the stove top?

Of course! If you don’t want to try the baked version, you can make this same recipe in a large wok or frying pan, using the method detailed here: How to cook risotto.

Can I reheat any leftovers?

Risotto is best eaten immediately. If you do have any leftover risotto, store it in an air-tight tub in the fridge for up to 1-2 days, and reheat thoroughly in the microwave before serving. Rice can cause food poisoning if not handled correctly – for more details, see the NHS website.

A panful of baked risotto with asparagus and tomatoes.

🖨️ Printable Recipe

Baked asparagus risotto in a pan with tomatoes and cheese.

Oven-Baked Asparagus Risotto

An oven-baked risotto is so much easier than making it on the stovetop! This asparagus risotto has juicy roasted tomatoes and fresh pesto.

If you’ve cooked this recipe, don’t forget to leave a star rating!

5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Comment
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 667kcal
Author: Becca Heyes


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 400 g (~ 2 cups) arborio rice
  • 1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
  • 1 litre (~ 4 cups) water
  • 150 g (~ 1/2 cup) good quality basil pesto
  • 250 g (~ 9 oz / ~ 10 spears) asparagus
  • 150 g (~ 5 oz) cherry tomatoes
  • 100 g (~ 3 1/2 oz) vegetarian parmesan-style cheese, grated
  • Salt
  • Black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
  • Heat the oil in a large pan – if you have a pan that’s also oven-proof, that’s ideal. Otherwise, you’ll have to start cooking in a frying pan, and transfer to a baking dish later.
  • Add the diced onion and garlic to the pan, and cook over a medium heat for a few minutes, until soft and fragrant.
  • Add the arborio rice, and stir for a minute or so until it’s well coated in the oil and onion.
  • Next, add the vegetable stock cube and water (or liquid stock instead, if using), and half of the basil pesto (keep some back for drizzling over at the end). Mix well, and cover with a lid.
  • Place in the oven for around 20 minutes, then remove and stir well. The rice should be nearly cooked – give it a little taste to check.
  • Add the chopped asparagus, cherry tomatoes, and most of the cheese (you can save a little back for garnish, if you like). Add salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture seems a little dry, or if the rice still needs to cook a bit more, you can also add another splash of water or stock – I added about another 250ml (~ 1 cup). Mix thoroughly, cover with the lid, and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.
  • When the risotto is cooked, mix thoroughly again, and serve topped with any remaining pesto and parmesan cheese.



Risotto is best eaten immediately. If you do have leftovers, you can store it in an air-tight tub in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat thoroughly in the microwave before serving.


Nutrition Facts
Oven-Baked Asparagus Risotto
Amount Per Serving (1 portion)
Calories 667 Calories from Fat 229
% Daily Value*
Fat 25.4g39%
Saturated Fat 7.3g37%
Cholesterol 27mg9%
Sodium 759mg32%
Potassium 343mg10%
Carbohydrates 94.9g32%
Fiber 5.8g23%
Sugar 5.7g6%
Protein 20.4g41%
Calcium 379mg38%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.

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Recipe Rating


  1. This is a truly excellent recipe. Easy and delicious. I used mushrooms instead of the tomatoes, and will make it often with other veggies. Like many of your recipes, this can be used as a template.
    and it definitely freezes & reheats well.5 stars

    1. I always try to pre-empt things that are particularly seasonal to give people a chance to see it in time! But I did manage to get this asparagus from Morrisons the other week :)

  2. YUM!!! Love this one, too, and cannot wait to make it. Thank you for sharing on Thursday’s Treasures Week 47. Looking forward to more amazing recipes! <3 and hugs!

  3. I love the idea of an oven-baked risotto! I agree, there are definitely times when the mindless stirring sort of puts me in a zen-like state of relaxation, but there are other times that it would be good to just pop it in the oven + ignore it. I’m a cheeseaholic, too, so i’d probably add the cheese in anyway. =) Awesome that it was great without it, though!

  4. Becca,
    I too understand the cheese thing! I love cheese and use any excuse to add it to a meal. This looks delicious and I will definitely be trying this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing at Creative Thursday this week. Have a wonderful weekend.


  5. Oh gawsh, no cheese!??!?! Cheese is like the best thing ever. This risotto looks amazing though. I love how much easier it is than traditional risotto.

  6. LOL i totally understand about the cheese! I looooove cheese! I could eat it all the time! but this looks so light and fresh and delish! But i will definitely be adding the cheese to my helping :-P

  7. Fab looking recipe, I have to say I’m shocked about the cheese!! Either way, his looks perfect for what I’m in the mood for.

  8. Oh, this is so lovely! I love the way you layered the asparagus and the tomatoes on top– what a delicious pop of color they give the dish. And I am SHOCKED that you enjoyed the risotto without cheese, but I’ll have to take your word on this one as I am just as much of a cheese addict as you, and if you liked it without the cheese, well… :)

    Looks so yummy– what a perfect summer dinner.