Lemon Asparagus Quinoa Risotto

Today, I have a super delicious preview recipe from the upcoming Food Babe Eating Guide! This lemon asparagus quinoa risotto is a perfect dish to make right now, since asparagus are in season and abundant at the market. It’s also very light, filling and incredibly nutritious (just like the rest of the recipes in the Eating Guide program, especially if you would like to shed a couple of pounds before Summer!). Asparagus keep the bloating and under-eye circles in check too. This is such a gorgeous plant to eat on a regular basis just for that.

Also, there are so many great options to use for risotto instead of the standard arborio white rice that risotto recipes usually call for. I love having the option to choose another grain besides nutritionally-lacking white rice. This recipe calls for cauliflower and quinoa, but you can use barley, brown rice, brown lentils or buckwheat instead. This dish is very versatile. Get creative!


Lemon Asparagus Risotto

4.8 from 24 reviews
Food Babe's Asparagus Lemon Quinoa Risotto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • ½ head cauliflower, chopped into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ pound asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1” pieces
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 2½ cups vegetable stock
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • parsley to garnish
  • Choose either cashew cream or sour cream for top:
  • ½ cup cashews, ¼ cup water and pinch of salt (if making cashew cream)
  • sour cream
  1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet toss the cauliflower with 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tender and slightly browned.
  2. While the cauliflower is cooking, bring a pot of water to boil and blanch the asparagus for 1 minute. Drain under cold water and set aside.
  3. In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until hot. Add the onion and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add in the garlic and saute 1 minute.
  4. Add in the quinoa and salt and saute for 2 minutes.
  5. Add in 1 cup of stock at a time, stirring after each addition until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked.
  6. When the cauliflower is done, toss with ½ teaspoon curry powder and place in a food processor and pulse until it looks like the size of rice.
  7. Add the cauliflower to the quinoa mix and fold in the lemon zest, cashew cream or sour cream and asparagus and continue to cook 2-3 minutes.
  8. Top with fresh chopped parsley and serve.
  9. To make cashew cream: Place cashews, water and salt in a blender and mix until a thick consistency is formed. *There will be some cream leftover if you wish to add more to the recipe or use for leftovers.
***Please choose all organic ingredients if possible.***


If you know someone who would like to eat a recipe like this, please share this post with them. Encouraging everyone to eat and choose healthier options is changing the world! I see it happening everyday.

Bon Appétit, 


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99 Responses to “Lemon Asparagus Quinoa Risotto”

  1. Jen

    Made this tonight, it was fantastic. I used organic chicken broth and it worked wonderfully (I couldn’t find organic vegetable broth at my local grocery for some reason). For those asking about calories I added it up to 372 calories per serving. This recipe makes two servings. It could vary a little based on the exact ingredients you use.

  2. Mary

    I loved this a lot. The lemon peel really makes it. I didn’t need the curry, though my family did. I left it and the cream off and let them put it on their own servings. My mom put Greek yogurt in hers and enjoyed it. I used white pepper instead of black, put in less salt, and used a little less of the cauliflower. I usually don’t like cauliflower that much, but I liked it in this. However, this is something that really needs two people to make it. I thought it might be good as a beef stew, if you stop cooking before all the liquid absorbs.

  3. Maureen

    This took FOREVER for the quinoa to cook- twice as long and twice as much stock!


    We made this dish tonight. Simply Fab. Learned to have patience with preparing the quinoa, but this has launched us into out latest diet regime. Well done folks…

  5. Marla

    LOVE this dish! So delicious. I used scallions instead of regular onion & added extra lemon juice. Even my 4 year old loved it! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Stacey

    Thanks so much, great recipe.

  7. Renee

    Really loved it! Lots of steps, but well worth it on a Sunday afternoon preparing lunches for the week.

  8. Carolyn

    Great dish. Made it twice now but note that each time it took me much longer than 45 minutes. I left out the curry (because I don’t like it) and the sour cream (to save calories). Didn’t change anything else. Thought it was terrific. Would definitely make again. I hope I get invited to someone’s house for a brunch – it would be the perfect side dish to bring.

    • Karen Scribner (to Carolyn)

      This can be a main dish- quinoa is very high in protein.

      • Sara (to Karen Scribner)

        Quinoa is full of protein when uncooked, something like 24 grams, but once cooked, it drops to 8 grams protein.

  9. kathy

    I want to make this today! But can I use frozen cauliflower? I have some in the freezer and just wondering if I can use it up for this recipe.

    – Thanks!

  10. Geetika

    I made this for dinner today, and it came out great. I did not have parsley or lemon but I did have a lime and used that. The recipe is great but it definitely took some work to prepare!

  11. Kesia

    This recipe was absolutely AMAZING!!! I haven’t had something this flavorful in years…best part is, it came out of MY KITCHEN thanks to you Vani! Can’t thank enough!

  12. Rachel

    Thanks so much!! I just purchased the monthly food guide! I am really excited and I have been following your blog and your happenings for almost two years! I absolutely love what you are doing and I started eating cleaner, healthier, etc after reading your posts! In the grochery store my husband consistently says “what did foodbabe say we could buy?” I love that he knows how much I treasure your advice! Yesterday I entered to win the juicer and that would absolutely top off one of the purchases that I have been wanting to get!

  13. Kristi D

    This looks really good! Pinned and I’m going to have to try it. Really excited about everything you are doing right now!!!

  14. michaela

    This was amazing and decadent we added oyster mushrooms and did the cashew cream and half the amount of curry powder. I will absolutely make this again!

  15. Kommu

    Dear Vani,

    I used to eat a lot of Quinoa until someone said to me it has not been in the market for long enough that we know its impact on our body. I have endometriosis and I am trying to change the way I eat to delay the time of reoccurrence.

    Can you please let me know your thoughts coz I trust you? Do you think I should start eating it again?

    Hope to hear from you.


    • Ginny (to Kommu)

      It may not have been on the market long in the U.S., but has been a staple since ancient times in Peru. Sadly, demand for quinoa from abroad has drastically changed its affordability for Peruvians.

  16. Lynne

    I have made this twice and think it is the most flavourable dish I’ve had in ages. I used the cashew cream and added it to everything just before serving. I also added organic smoked tofu and wild shrimp to boost the protein. LOVE IT!!!

  17. Jessi Pore

    I made this recipe tonight Vegan style with home made vegetable stock and it was absolutely delicious!!!!! Thank you!

  18. Stephanie

    I made the vegan version of this for Easter and my entire family LOVED it!! I didn’t have a lemon to zest so I added a splash of lemon juice at the end. I will be making this one again!!

  19. Erika

    It was excellent. Be sure you have a high quality curry. It is a great side dish to go along with fish.

  20. Diana

    This recipe is just so good. I used chicken stock instead of vegetable stock because it’s all I had in the pantry. When I added the broth, I brought to boil and cooked it covered for 10, then uncovered for about 5 mins to let the rest of the broth evaporate. I also added the zest AND the juice of 1 lemon. If you like lemon, it will taste amazing. LOVE IT! and low calorie!

  21. Sara

    Wow, this is amazing! Followed the recipe exactly as posted, used the cashew cream. Lots of steps but very easy to follow! Thank you thank you thank you!

  22. Christina

    Made this Quinoa Risotto and it was fabulous! My daughter (8), who is very accustomed to eating quinoa, said this is her favorite! I left the cream out but did use chicken broth instead of veggie since it’s all I had. I added a little more curry. When all was cooked, I packed it tightly in a coffee mug and flipped it over on a plate for display purposes! Beautiful and yummy!

  23. Jennifer

    I just made this recipe, absolutely wonderful! I thought ahead & roasted the cauliflower yesterday to get a head start today. Also…so glad I roasted the whole head of cauliflower because it was so delicious that I ate quite a bit of the fresh roasted cauliflower just as it came out of the oven. I didn’t add the sour cream to the entire dish, just a teaspoon or so on top of each plate. I feel that it makes more like 3-4 servings when served with other foods. It paired especially well with salmon.

  24. Nicole Suren

    This is delicious! My mom made it for dinner at my request and it was great! Instead of sour cream she topped it with a dob of guacamole and she also drizzled it with a lemony vinaigrette. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  25. Amanda

    This was absolutely delicious! I didn’t tell my husband there was cauliflower in it, and I think he assumed it was rice! ;)

  26. Jeana

    I made this dish last night. I felt it was a little too much work for how it came out, I did enjoy it though. Very interesting flavors that opened up the taste buds. Great idea maybe next time I’ll do it a little differently though. Thanks for the recipe food babe!


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