A super creamy one pot leek risotto recipe.
This vegan leek and cashew parmesan risotto recipe has quickly become one of our new favourites. We’ve recently got very into leeks, and seem to be putting them into everything right now. They’re also currently in season, which is even better, as we always strive to eat seasonally where possible. Charlie and I just love how sweet they are and how creamy they can go when cooked over a long period of time. Leeks are also a great alternative to onion, being more sweet and floral.
Risottos can sometimes be seen as a faff to make as they require constant stirring, and unfortunately, you can’t really take your eyes off the pan for too long. However, there’s something quite meditative about making risotto. Taking the time to focus on one thing can be a rare moment of calm in the day. Despite the time it takes to cook, they’re relatively easy dishes to make. Everything is cooked in one big pan, apart from the cashew cream, which is blended up and then added in at the end. However, if you eat cashew cream a lot, like us, then it’s always useful having a batch made up in the fridge to add to dishes throughout the week. It gives any meal an extra delicious cheesy, creamy flavour. Risottos are naturally creamy by nature, as all the starch from the rice turns into a lovely creamy sauce when cooked slowly with the liquid. The addition of cashew cream isn’t essential, but we absolutely love it and would definitely recommend taking the extra time to make it for this recipe. However, if you do want to skip the cashew cream, a shop-bought vegan cream cheese would work as a good alternative.
The crispy fried leeks add a delicious crunchy topping to this dish.
What takes this risotto recipe to the next level is the crispy fried leeks. We’ve sliced the leeks up super-thin into little batons, then shallow fried them until they’re golden and crunchy. They’re like a sweeter version of crispy onions, but we think even tastier! The crispiness of the fried leeks go so well with the soft textures of the rice, giving you all the flavours and textures, so every mouthful is pure deliciousness. These little crispy leeks are pretty addictive; we could eat them straight out of the frying pan! If you don’t fancy frying the leeks, you could bake them in the oven for a less oily alternative. You could also go for some shop-bought crispy onions, which would give a similar flavour and texture.
Cashew parmesan is the perfect cheesy vegan addition to this recipe.
As well as having cashew cream mixed into the rice, this risotto recipe also has a dairy-free and completely vegan cashew parmesan as a topping. You may be thinking, how do you possibly make a vegan parmesan?! The answer is always with cashews! They have the most incredible cheesy flavour when blended or ground into a crumb. The second magic ingredient is nutritional yeast. It’s pretty much an essential ingredient for plant-based cooking. We use it all the time, and it’s a key ingredient when making cheese replacements. You blend raw cashews with nutritional yeast and salt until a fine crumb has formed. It’s that easy.
This easy vegan leek risotto recipe makes a great weeknight meal.
This risotto recipe is super versatile. You can make it up in big batches for a tasty, warming and nutritious weeknight meal. Or, you can pimp it up with some starters or sides for a fancy special occasion meal at home. We’ve made this leek risotto recipe on its own for low-key dinners with family, as well as for our Valentine’s dinner date at home. We served it with Panzanella, and some lemon grilled tenderstem broccoli. Just by adding a few sides, you can really elevate this simple dish into something special.
This vegan leek risotto recipe is:
- creamy, warming and comforting
- vegan and dairy-free
- great for special-occasion and weeknight meals
- easy to make
- super tasty
If you liked this, why not try:
Easy Vegan Leek and Cashew Parmesan Risotto Recipe
For the risotto
- 400 g risotto rice
- 2 tbsp dairy-free butter
- 1 + 1/2 leeks cut in half lengthways, then thinly sliced across the width
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 200 ml white wine
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 ltr veggie stock 2 stock cubes
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp mustard
- 50 g cashews
- 5 g nutritional yeast
- 1/4 lemon juiced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 3 tbsp water
For the toppings
- 50 g cashews
- 15 g nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp mustard powder
- 1/2 leek cut in half lengthways, then julienned
- cooking oil for shallow frying leeks
- Soak your cashews in a pan of boiling water whilst you start the risotto.
- Toast the risotto rice for a few minutes in a large shallow frying pan, then add the dairy-free butter and stir until it’s melted. Now add in the sliced leeks and garlic. Cook for a few minutes.
- Next, add the white wine, and stir on a low heat until it has been fully absorbed into the rice. Now add the nutritional yeast and stir.
- Make the stock, then add it to the risotto very slowly, one ladle at a time, stirring regularly.
- Once you’ve added your last ladle of stock, heat an inch’s worth of cooking oil in a saucepan, once it’s hot, add the julienned leeks and shallow fry until crispy. Remove them from the oil and place on some kitchen roll to absorb the excess oil, then leave them to one side.
- Once all the stock has been absorbed, add the fresh thyme, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper and stir.
- Add the soaked cashews to the blender, then add nutritional yeast, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth, then add to the risotto.
- To make the cashew parmesan, blitz cashews with nutritional yeast, mustard powder and salt.
- Plate up the risotto, then top with the crispy leeks, the cashew parmesan and some fresh thyme.