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A close up of a bowl of risotto with pesto and peas
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5 from 1 vote

Pea and Pesto Risotto

A delicious and easy Pea and Pesto Risotto made with white wine, leeks, peas and the most incredible 5-minute homemade basil pesto. Packed with zesty lemon this risotto is fresh, vibrant and utterly delicious!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 490kcal
Author: Emily Kemp


  • 1.5 cups arborio rice (300g)
  • 4-5 cups vegetable stock (1 litre)
  • ¼ cup white wine (60ml)
  • 1 large leek (or 2 small)
  • 1 cup frozen peas (150g)
  • Zest of 1 lemon and juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

For the pesto

  • 2.5 cups fresh basil (30g)
  • cup Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano (30g)
  • 1.5 tablespoons pine nuts (20g)
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (45ml) plus extra for sautéing



  • Cut the leek in half and rinse it thoroughly in cold running water. Pat dry and cut into slices. Prepare your stock and keep it warm.

To make the pesto

  • Put the basil, Pecorino, pine nuts, garlic and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl and blitz to a smooth paste using an immersion (hand-held) blender. You can also use a small food processor or mortar and pestle. Once made, transfer to a bowl and set aside.

To make the risotto

  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large pan and add the leeks. Saute for a few minutes until softened but not browned (around 2 minutes).
  • Add the rice and toast it for 1-2 minutes making sure it's coated in all the oils from the leeks then add the white wine. Let the wine reduce (1 minute) then add 2 ladles of stock.
  • Stir the risotto until the stock has been absorbed then add more a little at a time letting it absorb in between additions. When you add the last of the stock add the peas, lemon zest and juice cook for a couple of minutes until the peas are cooked.
  • Stir in the pesto and turn off the heat. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed then serve.



  • Use good quality stock - try to use a good quality vegetable or chicken stock if possible. This is what will give a lot of flavour to the risotto.
  • What to do with leftovers? - leftovers can be eaten cold or reheated until piping hot all the way through. You'll need to add a little water to loosen it. You can also turn leftover risotto into Arancini. Roll into balls and dip in flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs then deep fry until golden brown.


Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 1049mg | Potassium: 273mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1976IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 143mg | Iron: 5mg