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Creamy Pea Risotto

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 12 reviews
  • Author: Vanessa Gilic
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings (as a main) 1x
  • Category: Main Dish, Side Dish
  • Method: Instant Pot, Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian Inspired
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Learn how to make a super delicious creamy pea risotto at home with this easy recipe! Includes step-by-step instructions for both stovetop and the Instant Pot (pressure cooker).


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ cups Carnaroli rice or Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups vegetable broth for Instant Pot Method or 6 cups vegetable broth for Stovetop Method
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed (or fresh, see notes)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone, cream cheese or Boursin
  • 1/2 lemon, zest and juice (or to taste)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint or dill
  • Optional garnish: lemon zest, fresh herbs (mint, dill or chives), shaved or crumbled white cheddar, pea shoots or microgreens


Instant Pot Method

  1. Sauté shallot and garlic: Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté” mode and melt the butter and extra virgin olive oil.  Add the shallot and garlic and sauté until softened.
  2. Add rice: Stir in the rice and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add wine: Add the wine and cook until it has absorbed, while stirring to scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add broth and saffron: Press the cancel button and pour in the broth. Crumble the saffron threads between your fingers into the broth.  Stir to combine.
  5. Pressure cook: Secure the lid with the pressure valve in the “Sealing” position.  Set to pressure cook for 5 minutes (high pressure), followed by a quick release.
  6. Stir through remaining ingredients: Remove the lid and stir the risotto to combine.   Stir through the peas, cheddar, mascarpone (or Boursin or cream cheese), lemon zest and juice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Stir through chopped mint or dill. (Note: There will be liquid sitting on top when you open the Instant Pot – this is normal! Simply give it a stir to incorporate. It will thicken up into a beautiful, creamy risotto once the remaining ingredients are added and it has a chance to sit for a minute.)
  7. Garnish and serve: Scatter over some of the optional garnish ideas and enjoy!

Stovetop Method

  1. Warm broth: Pour the broth into a saucepan and crumble the saffron threads between your fingers into the broth.  Warm up over low heat.
  2. Sauté shallot and garlic: Melt the butter and olive oil in a large sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the shallot and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened.
  3. Add rice: Stir in the rice and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add wine: Add the wine and cook while stirring until it has been absorbed.
  5. Add broth gradually: Add a ladle (about 1/2 cup) of the warm broth and cook, stirring until the liquid is almost completely absorbed. Continue to add a ladleful or two at a time, allowing each addition to be mostly absorbed before adding the next (don’t let it get too dry or it can stick and burn). Adjust the heat as necessary during the process to keep a steady simmer. You don’t have to stir continuously but stir often to help release the starches in the rice which makes the risotto creamy. Repeat until the rice is al dente or your desired doneness and creamy in texture (you might not use all of the broth). This process can take around 20-25 minutes depending on your desired doneness.
  6. Stir through remaining ingredients: Turn off the heat and stir in the peas, white cheddar, and mascarpone (or Boursin or cream cheese) until combined and peas are heated through. Add the lemon juice and zest and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir through chopped mint or dill.
  7. Garnish and serve: Add some garnish if you like and serve!


  • Peas: I like to use frozen peas since they are available year-round, frozen at the peak of ripeness and don’t require any prep time (simply let them thaw). You can also use fresh peas but will need to blanch or steam them first before adding to the risotto.
  • Use risotto rice: It has a higher starch content which creates the creamy texture in finished risotto.  Two common varieties are Arborio and Carnaroli.  Arborio is easily found in most grocery stores. Carnaroli is a little more difficult to find but I highly recommend grabbing it if you see it. It is considered the “king” of risotto rice and has a higher starch content and firmer texture than Arborio, resulting in a creamier risotto that is much more difficult to overcook.  DO NOT rinse the rice – you want the starches for a nice and creamy risotto.
  • Seasoning: The amount of salt and pepper needed will vary depending on personal taste and if your vegetable broth is seasoned or not. Sometimes I also like to season with Herbamare or my homemade bouillon powder.
  • Instant Pot: For the Instant Pot method, I use the 6-Quart Instant Pot Duo.  If you are new to the Instant Pot or confused by the terminology, check out these 10 Instant Pot Tips For Beginners.