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Zucchini Risotto With Miso Butter & Lemon

This creamy zucchini risotto recipe has grated zucchini cooked in creamy risotto with miso butter and broth. It’s fresh, savory, full of umami notes, and is both dairy-free and gluten-free.

Adding grated zucchini to risotto is a great way to seamlessly add extra veggies. It makes an excellent side dish or main dish if you add in cooked protein. 

The zucchini has a delicate, subtly sweet flavor that pairs well with fresh lemon and savory miso butter for a fusion of Italian and Asian flavors that normally wouldn’t be paired together, but work anyway. Just like fusion pasta and kimchi pizza

Ingredients

A few simple ingredients yield a ton of flavor. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil – to saute the vegetables.
  • Zucchini – the shredded zucchini seamlessly melts into the risotto.
  • Yellow or white onion – this adds flavor to the rice before the liquid is added.
  • Miso butter – gives the dish a nice salty, tangy, umami flavor.
  • Arborio rice – short grain rice that releases its starches when added to liquid and is what yields a creamy texture. It’s the most common risotto rice.
  • Chicken or vegetable broth – the flavorful liquid that the rice cooks in.
  • Lemon zest and lemon juice – add brightness and a fresh lemon flavor.
  • Kosher salt & black pepper – to taste.
  • Cooked protein of choice (optional) – shrimp, chicken, beef, tofu, beans, etc. This makes it more filling if serving it as a main course.
  • Fresh herbs – such as fresh thyme, fresh basil, or fresh parsley. If using thyme, add at the same time as the onion.

How To Make Zucchini Risotto With Miso Butter

Step 1. Warm the broth in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.

Step 2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add a little olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the miso butter. Cook the diced onion for a few minutes until translucent, then add in the grated zucchini and cook for about 7-10 minutes, until soft and tender, stirring occasionally.

Step 3. Add the rice to the cooked onion and zucchini, then let it toast lightly to develop flavor for about a minute.

Step 4. Add 1 cup of warm broth to the skillet. Stir frequently (about every 30 seconds) until the rice has absorbed all the liquid in the pan before adding another cup of broth. Repeat this process until you’ve used up all the broth and the rice is al dente.

Step 5. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the last tablespoon of miso butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice along with a cooked protein if using. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Top with chopped fresh herbs. 

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

Please remember that recipes are just a starting point. 

How can you make this zucchini risotto using what you already have? Here are some ideas

  • No miso? – dairy-free butter (or unsalted butter if not dairy-free) will also work.
  • Add-ins – dry white wine, sweet corn, yellow squash, red pepper, vegan parmesan cheese, etc.

Helpful Tips

Don’t rinse the rice before cooking. The rice has all of that lovely starch that gets released when added to a liquid and is what helps make the risotto super creamy.

Avoid using cold broth. Using warm broth ensures that it will be a similar temperature to the risotto so it won’t affect the cooking time. It also helps release the starches from the rice when it’s warm.

How To Store

Store leftover risotto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

More Risotto Recipes

Zucchini Risotto with Miso Butter & Lemon

5 from 5 votes
Two bowls of zucchini risotto topped with lemon zest and chopped fresh parsley next to a lemon wedge.
This creamy zucchini risotto recipe has grated zucchini cooked in creamy risotto with miso butter and broth. It's fresh, savory, full of umami notes, and is both dairy-free and gluten-free.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Serving Size 5

Ingredients
 

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons miso butter divided
  • ½ medium yellow or white onion diced
  • 3 medium zucchini grated
  • 1 ½ cups arborio rice don't rinse
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 pound cooked protein such as shrimp, chicken, beef, beans, or tofu optional
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • fresh herbs such as chopped basil or parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • Warm the broth in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat with olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the miso butter. Cook the diced onion for a few minutes until translucent, then add in the grated zucchini and cook for about 7-10 minutes, until soft and tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the rice to the cooked onion and zucchini, then let it toast lightly to develop flavor for about a minute.
  • Add 1 cup of warm broth to the skillet. Stir frequently (about every 30 seconds) until the rice has absorbed all the liquid in the pan before adding another cup of broth. Repeat this process until you’ve used up all the broth and the rice is al dente.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the last tablespoon of miso butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice along with a cooked protein if using. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Top with chopped fresh herbs if desired.

Notes

See the blog post for storage and helpful tips.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

No miso? – dairy-free butter (or unsalted butter if not dairy-free) will also work.
Add-ins – dry white wine, sweet corn, yellow squash, red pepper, vegan parmesan cheese, etc.

3 Comments

  1. Evie Ugrin says:

    5 stars
    Great texture, (not mushy like my usual mushy risotto)
    Very pleasant aroma with wonderful flavor.
    I had chicken on hand and it was good.
    Also cut the recipe in half for my trial run. Half worked well but will make full recipe with guests.

  2. 5 stars
    This is delicious. The lemon juice and lemon zest really make a difference. It does make a big batch. I cooked some shrimp in a little of the miso butter to serve with it. I also used red miso rather than white because it came in a much smaller container. It had a great flavor.

    1. Lindsey Jenkins says:

      Ooo red miso sounds delicious! Thanks for taking the time to leave a rating and review! Glad you loved it 🙂

5 from 5 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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