If you’re looking for a comforting and hearty meal that’s perfect for any occasion, you can’t go wrong with this smoked salmon risotto. This classic Italian dish is made with creamy arborio rice, chicken stock, lots of fresh vegetables and herbs and a generous serving of smoked salmon. It is the perfect dish for a cozy weeknight dinner but also so fancy-feeling that you could easily serve it at a dinner party with friends!

Plate with smoked salmon risotto, peas, asparagus and a lemon wedge, sitting on a woven placemat.

Also, does anyone else hear the word risotto and just picture Gordon Ramsay screaming at his cooks about the risotto and calling them an idiot sandwich? LOL.

So for this reason you may think risotto is too intimidating to make but don’t fret, this dish is really super simple and comes together in about 40 minutes! I’ll show you exactly how to make it.

While You’ll Love Smoked Salmon Risotto Recipe

Creamy and comforting: Smoked salmon risotto is a creamy and comforting dish that just makes you want to curl up with a big bowl and glass of wine. It’s fancy but laid back. Indulgent but light. I know y’all know what I mean.

Perfect for dinner parties: if you want a straight forward, delicious main dish worthy of a special occasion, this is it my friends. Pair with a big green salad, a baguette and your favorite bottle of wine and your friends will think you are a kitchen wizard.

Versatile: Choose your journey! This recipe is wildly customizable, you can add whatever veggies, herbs, cheeses you love.

Large stainless steel pan with smoked salmon risotto, herbs, asparagus, peas and lemon wedges

The key to a good risotto is good ingredients. Here is what you will need:

Arborio Rice: Arborio rice is a short-grain rice that’s high in starch content, making it the perfect choice for risotto. You can find arborio rice in most grocery stores in the rice or international section.

White Wine: White wine is essential for adding flavor to your risotto. Choose a dry white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive bottle but remember, if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it!

Chicken Stock: Chicken stock is used to cook the rice and gives the risotto a rich, savory flavor. Using homemade stock will really make your risotto sing but if you don’t have it storebought will work!

Shallot: Shallots have a milder flavor than onions and work perfectly for this recipe. However, you can substitute sweet onion or red onion if you want!

Garlic: My suggestion is to use fresh garlic here instead of the jarred kind, the flavor is just so much better!

Frozen Peas: Frozen peas add a pop of color and freshness to the dish. And did you know there are 8g protein in just one cup of peas?

Asparagus: Asparagus provides more color and nutrition to the dish. I like to chop it into very small chunks so it cooks quickly.

Lemon: we’re utilizing both the zest and juice of the lemon to provide the best pop of lemony lightness.

Herbs: fresh dill, parsley and basil pair beautifully with the salmon but feel free to use other herbs like thyme, chives, spring onions and/or mint.

Goat Cheese: given the nature of arborio rice, risotto is naturally creamy but goat cheese adds a next level tangy creaminess to the dish. I find goat cheese in the specialty cheese kiosk near the deli section of the grocery store.

Smoked Salmon: Smoked salmon is the star of the dish and adds a delicious smoky flavor along with quality protein and fat. I love the variety from Costco.

Parmesan: Parmesan provides the perfect nutty salty finish!

Salt and Pepper: Salt and pepper are essential for seasoning the dish.

Small bowls each filled with an ingredient for smoked salmon risotto- smoked salmon, parmesan cheese, fresh dill, lemon zest, whole lemon, asparagus, peas, shallot, parsley, basil, white wine, arborio rice, garlic, goat cheese and chicken stock

Equipment you will need:

Heavy bottomed sauté pan: my recommendations are a stainless steel or cast iron pan.

Small saucepan: this is to keep the broth warm

Chef’s knife: investing in a quality knife will make food prep so much less of a headache!

Ladle: you’ll use this to gradually add the warm broth from saucepan to sauté pan.

Spatula: a simple silicone spatula is perfect for continuously stirring the risotto.

How to Make:

Step 1: Prepare Your Ingredients

Chop the shallot, asparagus, garlic and herbs. Chop the asparagus into ½ inch pieces- the smaller pieces will cook up quickly and you’ll avoid stringy fibrous asparagus chunks. Grate the parmesan. Zest and juice the lemon. Measure your stock and wine. Warm the broth over medium-low heat in a small saucepan and keep at a low simmer. Now you’re ready to go!

Large stainless steel pan with shallots, butter and oil

Step 2: Sauté the aromatics

Start by heating a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter and olive oil. When it’s hot add the shallot and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, until softened and fragrant.

Arborio rice added to sautéed shallots in butter and olive oil

Step 3: Toast the rice

Add the arborio rice, tossing it so all of the rice grains get coated with a bit of fat. Toast for 60-90 seconds.

Toasted the arborio rice grains for risotto in a large stainless steel pan

Step 4: Add the Wine

Once the rice is toasted, add the white wine to the pan and stir continuously until the liquid is absorbed.

White wine added to risotto in a large pan

Step 5: Gradually add the chicken broth

Next, add 1 ladleful of the hot stock and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this process, adding 1 cup of broth at a time and stirring until each cup is absorbed until the rice is cooked through and tender. The broth should be added at about 3-4 minute intervals and the total cooking time will be 20-30 minutes. The rice should be al dente, meaning tender but still with a slight chew. This consistently takes me about 27 minutes.

Ladle adding chicken stock to a pan with arborio rice making risotto
Arborio rice and chicken stock in a pan making risotto

Step 6: Add the peas, asparagus, lemon zest and juice

Once the rice is fully cooked through, fold in the veggies and lemon juice and zest. Let the peas and asparagus soak up the residual moisture and heat and cook through.

Asparagus, peas and lemon zest added risotto in a skillet

Step 7: Add the Smoked Salmon and Cheese

Gently crumble in the smoked salmon, goat cheese, parmesan cheese and all of the fresh herbs. Stir.

Smoked salmon and fresh herbs added to risotto in pan
Goat cheese and parmesan added to risotto in pan

Finishing Touches:

Serve hot with extra parmesan, herbs and a big squeeze of lemon.

Smoked salmon risotto on a plate with lemon wedge and lots of fresh herbs, asparagus and peas

Variation Ideas:

  • Switch up the protein: instead of smoked salmon, top with lobster tails or seared chicken breast.
  • Switch up the veg: caramelized mushrooms, onions, spinach and zucchini would all work beautifully in this dish.
  • Switch up the cheese: instead of goat cheese you could try creme fraiche and instead of parmesan try a different hard Italian cheese like grana padano or pecorino romano. Ultimately, use your favorite cheese!

What to serve with Smoked Salmon Risotto:

For the most impressive dinner party in town pair this entrée with:

The Baty House Salad OR Arugula Salad with Beets and Citrus

A simple baguette with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

And for dessert this triple chocolate cheesecake or key lime cheesecake

If you love this recipe you’ll also love these other stellar salmon entrees:

Teriyaki Salmon Rice Bowls

Chipotle Salmon with Mango Pico de Gallo

Honey Garlic Air Fryer Salmon Bites

Coconut Curry Salmon

FAQ:

Can I use regular salmon instead of smoked salmon?

Absolutely. Roast up a fillet of salmon and flake it into the risotto OR serve a full fillet with this veggie-studded risotto on the side.

Can I use regular white rice instead of arborio rice?

No. To get a true risotto feel, please use risotto rice (aka arborio!) for this recipe.

Can I make this ahead of time?

I think you can absolutely prep all of your ingredients ahead of time. But I would wait to cook the risotto until just before serving. That being said, this does make delicious leftovers!

How do I store salmon risotto?

Simply store your leftovers in an airtight container (I like these glass Pyrex dishes) in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes, stirring halfway. You may want to add a splash of water to loosen it a bit.

What type of wine should I use?

Any type of dry white wine will work like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay or Riesling.

Can I make this vegetarian?

Sure, simply omit the salmon and use vegetable broth instead of chicken or seafood stock. Caramelized mushrooms would be a great vegetarian meat alternative!

Can I make this smoked salmon risotto in the Instant Pot?

You can. Follow the recipe using the Saute function on the Instant Pot to saute the garlic, shallot, and rice. Add the wine to deglaze. Add the stock and pressure cook for 5 minutes, then quick release. The risotto may look a little soupy at first but stir, fold in the rest of the ingredients and it will thicken up.

Watch How to Make Smoked Salmon Risotto:

Okay y’all so now you have my challenge. It’s time to break out of your comfort zone and give risotto a try! You can make this delicious and impressive smoked salmon risotto at home, I believe in you! My favorite thing ever is seeing what y’all are making on Instagram and TikTok, so make sure to tag me (@itsaflavorfullife) when you make this.

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Smoked salmon risotto on a plate with peas, asparagus, fresh herbs and a lemon wedge. Glass of wine on the side.

Smoked Salmon Risotto with Peas and Asparagus

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Erica
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Creamy and comforting, this delicious smoked salmon risotto features salmon, peas, asparagus, lots of fresh herbs and lemon. Weeknight fave or fancy dinner party vibes, you’re going to love it!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 1/4 cup arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup white wine like sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio or chardonnay
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1lb asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 cup peas (frozen or fresh)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons each fresh parsley, basil and dill
  • 3oz goat cheese
  • 8oz smoked salmon
  • 2oz freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Instructions

Mise en Place: Chop the asparagus into ½ inch pieces- the smaller pieces will cook up quickly and you’ll avoid stringy fibrous asparagus chunks. Grate the parmesan. Zest and juice the lemon. Measure your stock and wine. Place the stock in a small saucepan over medium heat. 

Sauté the aromatics and rice: Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the butter and olive oil. When it’s hot add the shallot and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Add the arborio rice, tossing it so all of the rice grains get coated with a bit of fat. Toast for 60-90 seconds.

Cook the risotto: Once the rice is toasted, add the white wine to the pan and stir continuously until the liquid is absorbed.

Next, add 1 ladleful of the hot stock and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this process, adding 1 cup of broth at a time and stirring until each cup is absorbed until the rice is cooked through and tender. The broth should be added at about 3-4 minute intervals and the total cooking time will be 25-30 minutes. The rice should be al dente, meaning tender but still with a slight chew. The total cooking time for me was 27 minutes.

Add the rest: Once the rice is fully cooked through, fold in the veggies and lemon juice and zest. Let the peas and asparagus soak up the residual moisture and heat and cook through. Gently crumble in the smoked salmon, goat cheese, grated cheese and all of the fresh herbs. Stir.

Finishing Touches: Serve hot with extra parmesan, herbs and a big squeeze of lemon.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup risotto
  • Calories: 394
  • Sugar: 5.1 g
  • Sodium: 496 mg
  • Fat: 17.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 24.4 g
  • Protein: 31 g
  • Cholesterol: 69.7 mg