Spring Pea Risotto with Shrimp and Chèvre

Creamy risotto with delicate, herbaceous dill, plump Gulf shrimp, and spring-fresh English peas, all tossed with creamy chèvre… Spring Pea Risotto with Shrimp and Chèvre tastes like spring, and makes a perfect main course for your beautiful Easter brunch or supper!

Spring Risotto with Shrimp Chevre, and English Peas in 2 white ceramic bowls with fresh dill and chives and a glass of white wine.

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.

~~Ruth Stout

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – Spring Pea Risotto Inspiration

Nothing exemplifies spring (in my mind) like fresh plucked dill from my garden. It almost always makes an appearance on my Easter table.

When we lived in New Mexico, our favorite Easter entrée was gravlox made with a side of salmon, and cured with an entire bunch of fresh dill! Mmmm…

With only 2 of us to feed, gravlox aren’t really practical, but I still love to include fresh dill, even if it’s “just” a simple side of English peas and carrots with butter and fresh dill. What foods do you associate with spring and Easter?

The change in seasons is always exciting for foodies that love spending time in their kitchens (moi  ;-)) Seasons are blurred (non-existent?) in south Texas, but we do begin to see the change in the produce section of our markets. I have access to an incredible variety of produce year-round, but I still gravitate towards the seasonal selections.

In spring, I think of some of my favorites – strawberries, radishes, asparagus, and English peas. Spring Risotto with Shrimp, Chèvre and English Peas specifies English peas, but asparagus makes a worthy substitute. I love fresh English peas, but admittedly, I cannot always get them. My advice is to use either the English peas or the asparagus depending on which is available and freshest!

🍤 About Healthy Gulf Shrimp

Living near the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf shrimp has become a regular part of our diet. These wild-caught shrimp feast on the nutrient-rich waters of the Gulf, making them a far tastier choice than their farm-raised counterparts fed who-knows-what.

They are low in fat (lean protein!), low in calories, zero carbohydrates, high in omega-3 fats (“good fats”), and contain 2 less-common antioxidants – astaxanthin (provides the red color in fish and shellfish) and selenium (aids in thyroid function). Eat. More. Shrimp!

Of course you will still have a lovely dish if you cannot get wild-caught Gulf shrimp.  😀 Do take care to read the label, and know something about the shrimp you are buying. “Responsibly Farm-Raised” is a better option than “farm-raised” typically, and a lot of internationally farm-raised fish and seafood does not meet the USDA standards.

For more on this topic, see What You Need to Know About Farm-Raised VS Wild-Caught Fish. It is my opinion, though, that regardless of whether it was farm-raised or wild-caught, fish and seafood are an important part of a healthy diet…

A bowl of spring risotto with a silver fork alongside a spring print napkin.

📋 Ingredients Notes

  • broth/stock – I prefer seafood stock in this risotto, and use both store-bought seafood stock and homemade. When I’m feeling motivated, I save my shrimp shells, and make a quick stock with the shells. In a pinch, chicken broth/stock will do.
  • olive oil
  • shallots
  • garlic
  • arborio rice – Arborio is the only short-grained rice I’ve found in the US that works for risotto.
  • dry sherry – I use inexpensive drinkable dry sherry in this dish. Cooking sherry is fine, but keep in mind its sodium content. Don’t add any salt until you’ve tasted for seasoning! Alternatively, you can use double (1/2 cup) the amount of white wine.
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • shrimp – I’m a strong proponent of wild-caught shrimp, but farm-raised shrimp is fine if you know the source to be a clean and “sustainable.” Interested in sustainable shrimp? What You Need to Know About Wild and Farmed Shrimp.
  • fresh or frozen English peas – As I mentioned earlier in the post, fresh English peas are amazing in this spring risotto. Fresh English peas require 2 to 4 minutes cooking time. They can be added near the end of the adding liquid part of the instructions. Frozen peas need even less time in the simmering liquid – 1 to 2 minutes. See How to Cook Peas for more information.
  • fresh dill
  • chevrè
  • chives for garnish

So, on to the Spring Risotto with Shrimp Chèvre and English Peas! This bowl of goodness starts out with premium-quality arborio rice. As I mentioned in Seared Scallop with Mushroom Risotto, arborio is the only rice I have found in the United States that is suitable for risotto.

This short-grained rice yields risotto that is creamy, chewy, and firm to the bite. The finished dish should be creamy, never gloppy! Most markets now carry arborio; it used to be quite difficult to find. If you cannot get it locally, you can order arborio rice from Amazon. This is the brand I get locally.

Fresh shelled English peas in this spring risotto make my heart happy. Unfortunately, I cannot always get them. 😥 Perhaps they do not thrive in the greenhouses of south Texas with our 90 degree plus spring days?

I can often find them at Trader Joe’s, though, and their sweet, verdant presence in this dish is hard to replace. I do find that good quality frozen peas make a good substitute in a pinch. I have also grilled tender spring asparagus, and cut them into bite-sized pieces, before adding them in with the chèvre at the end… Play with it, and make it your own…

🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Heat the broth – Put your broth in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat and maintain a low simmer. 
  2. Sauté arborio and aromatics – Using a good quality, fairly heavy pan (I like my enameled cast iron small dutch oven), heat the olive oil, add the shallot and minced garlic. Sauté until translucent. Add the rice, and saute until the rice is fragrant but not browned (about 2-3 minutes).
  3. De-glaze – De-glaze the pot with wine or sherry. Add salt and pepper.
  4. Begin adding broth/stock – When most of the wine is absorbed, begin to add the hot broth a ladle full at a time as it continues to absorb. Stir frequently. This process will take about 30 minutes +/-.
  5. Add peas and shrimp – At about 25-30 minutes, add the peas (whether fresh or frozen). Fresh usually require 5-10 minutes. Starting with frozen peas, you’ll need about 10 minutes. With thawed peas, you only need about 5. Add the shrimp at about 30 minutes, cooking just until the shrimp are pink and opaque. The risotto is done when a rice grain is al dente (still a bit firm and chewy but tender). The starch will have been released into the dish creating a creamy consistency.
  6. Finish the risotto – Add the fresh dill and chevre. Stir in gently. Check for seasoning.
  7. Serve – To serve, garnish with additional chopped fresh dill and chives. Enjoy!

❓FAQ

What is the best type of pan to use for risotto?

Opt for a pan that offers enough surface area to cook the rice. Whether you use a large skillet or deep pot, just be sure there’s ample space for the rice to meet the heat. A “chef’s pan” is a great choice. See The Best Risotto Pan for more specific information.

Can I substitute frozen peas?

Yes! I frequently do! I run cold water over the frozen peas and drain them. To avoid overcooking them, add during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Can I substitute regular long grain rice?

No. It won’t release starch in the same way, and you will have gloppy, mushy rice.

What other fresh herbs can I use?

While dill is my favorite, fresh chives, parsley, thyme, and tarragon are all good choices as well.

Can I use dried herbs?

Yes, though it won’t be quite as fresh tasting. Cut the amount to 1 teaspoon.

Can I substitute a different cheese?

Yes. In fact, I have used feta in place of chèvre more than once!

Keep in mind that risotto is not a “set it and forget it” dish. The broth is brought to a simmer in a separate pan, then added by ladles full to the arborio rice. As the broth absorbs, more is added, stirring frequently. The shrimp and peas only spend the final 5-6 minutes in the cooking rice. Finally, the and fresh dill are added, and gently stirred. Does this not look and sound like spring? I do hope you’ll give it a try!

Bird's eye view of 1 bowl of Spring Risotto with Shrimp Chevre and English Peas with silver flatware and spring print napkin on a marble background.

Spring Risotto with Shrimp, Chevre, and English Peas

Spring Pea Risotto with Shrimp and Chèvre

Creamy risotto with delicate, herbaceous dill, plump Gulf shrimp, and spring-fresh English peas, all tossed with creamy chèvre…Spring Risotto with Shrimp, Chèvre and English Peas tastes like spring, and makes a perfect main course for your beautiful Easter brunch or supper!
5 from 8 votes

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 494 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups seafood shrimp, or chicken stock - plus or minus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot - minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic - minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine or 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • a few grinds pepper
  • 1 pound shrimp - peeled and deveined
  • 8 ounces fresh or frozen English peas
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill - extra for garnish, finely minced
  • 2 ounces chèvre - in small bits
  • chives for garnish - finely minced

Instructions

  • Put your broth in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat until hot, then maintain a low simmer. 
  • Heat the olive oil, then add the shallot and minced garlic. Sauté until translucent. Add the rice, and saute until the rice is fragrant but not browned (about 2-3 minutes).
  • De-glaze the pot with wine or sherry. Add salt and pepper.
  • When most of the wine is absorbed, begin to add the hot broth a ladle full at a time as it continues to absorb. Stir frequently. This process will take about 30 minutes +/-.
  • After about 25-30 minutes, add the peas (whether fresh or frozen). Fresh usually require 5-10 minutes. Starting with frozen peas, you'll need about 10 minutes. With thawed peas, you only need about 5. Add the shrimp about 30 minutes in, cooking just until the shrimp are pink and opaque. The risotto is done when a rice grain is al dente.
  • Add the fresh dill and chevre. Stir in gently. Check for seasoning.
  • To serve, garnish with additional chopped fresh dill and chives. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 494kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 7g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com

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10 Comments

  1. Yup! I made this last night and it was sooooo yummy! Will definitely be making again 🙂 thanks for the recipe Tamara ❤️

  2. I absolutely have to try this ASAP! I love risotto and usually go for asparagus or butternut squash, but this looks too divine not to try! Plus, it actually has protein unlike what I make haha!

    Wish we had Bob’s Red Mill here, I hear their gluten free flour blends are awesome!

  3. I love making risotto. But, I am a creature of habit, and don’t veer to far away from plain old parmesan and butter. What a nice addition this would make for a brunch. I love how lovely the shrimp, peas, and chevre come together.

    1. Thanks Lynn! I adore fresh herbs, and they do quite well in our hot tropical climate for most of the year… For some reason, dill just seems like spring to me 🙂

  4. I absolutely have to try this ASAP! I love risotto and usually go for asparagus or butternut squash, but this looks too divine not to try! Plus, it actually has protein unlike what I make haha!

    Wish we had Bob’s Red Mill here, I hear their gluten free flour blends are awesome!

  5. I love making risotto. But, I am a creature of habit, and don’t veer to far away from plain old parmesan and butter. What a nice addition this would make for a brunch. I love how lovely the shrimp, peas, and chevre come together.

    1. Habits die hard, don’t they? I have a few of my own… However, I do love to play with risotto, and this one with its spring flavors is lovely!