Naturally gluten-free Vegan Beetroot Risotto is beautifully creamy, delicious and super comforting. Simple to make, it's perfect as midweek family meal but also super impressive dinner party offering. Just look at that gorgeous dark pink hue!
In our house we eat some kind of risotto at least once a week. It's one of the quickest midweek meals to put together with whatever it is you've got in your fridge and cupboards.
My beetroot risotto is one of our ultimate family favourites. Even my youngest who is super vocal about his dislike of beetroot (to put it mildly) often asks for seconds!
My hubby says that I've got beetroot juice flowing in my veins. This might be slight exaggeration but I do cook with it quite a lot so Vegan Beetroot Risotto here we go!
For more risotto inspiration make sure to also check out my Spring Pea and Asparagus Risotto recipe.
✔️ Why should you make it?
- It's creamy yet completely dairy-free
- Full of goodness and earthy beetroot flavours
- Naturally gluten-free and of course vegan
- Quick and easy to make so perfect as a midweek meal
- Proper comfort food
- Impressive enough as dinner party offering
- Leftovers (if you're lucky enough to have any) make great arancini for lunch or a snack the following day
🥘 Ingredients and Substitutions
Beetroot - As easy as this recipe is you need to think ahead a bit and either cook your beetroot in advance (read my guide on "How to cook beetroot") or make sure you buy already cooked beetroot (one that comes vacuum packed, not in vinegar).
I do prefer cooking my own but shop bough one is more than adequate for this risotto.
You could use brown short grain rice here but it will most definitely require more liquid and cooking time will be longer too.
Coconut Milk - This might come as a bit of a surprise but you will just have to go with it and trust me here. Coconut milk from the tin (the type you would use in your curry) makes this risotto super creamy, rich and comforting. Don't worry, it doesn't make this risotto taste of coconut!
You could substitute it with extra stock if you really wanted to but I urge you to give it a go at least once.
Vegetable Stock - It can be either homemade or from the cube (I use Kallo) but it needs to be hot. I tend to keep the saucepan with my stock simmering on a low heat as I start my risotto.
Red Onion - You can use regular white onion here instead. Sweet shallots will work nicely too.
Thyme - Either fresh or dried will work well.
Nutritional Yeast - Super savoury in flavour and works really well in place of parmesan.
Miso Paste - I like to add it for that extra boost of umami flavour and saltiness but you can leave it out no problem.
Fresh Dill - I like to finish off my risotto with lots of fresh dill as for me beetroot and dill work so well together. If you'd rather substitute it with a different herb, fresh parsley will work nicely too.
Lemon Juice - Added at the end, lemon juice cuts through all the creaminess and adds that slight acidity to the finished product. You can use lime juice here instead.
Vegan Butter (optional) - Normally, I would stir some vegan butter into my risotto at the end to get it nice and super creamy but in this case I left it out. I think coconut milk being super creamy and rich does the job just as well. You can of course use it here if you want.
Cast Iron Shallow Round Casserole style pan works best for cooking risotto. You can also use it to serve your finished risotto in at the table.
Medium saucepan for heating up your stock.
Soup ladle or a jug to pour in the stock and coconut milk in with.
Immersion (stick) blender or food processor to puree the beetroot with.
Box grater for grating your beetroot instead of pureeing it.
💭 Top tips
- To ensure that you can make your vegan beetroot risotto nice and quick, think ahead and make sure you've got cooked beetroot ready when you need it. You can of course cook it right before you set to make your beetroot risotto but it will take considerably longer.
- Use hot stock to make your risotto. I like to keep my stock simmering in the pan next to my risotto. Hot liquid equals even cooking temperature. As we are using coconut milk here together with the stock, I would recommend warming it up gently too.
- Make sure you mix your coconut milk really well to combine water with cream on the top.
- Don't feel like you need to use up all of the stock in your risotto although you most likely will. Once you reach that creamy, al dente consistency (around 20-25 minutes in) you are done.
- Make sure you do tend to your risotto and keep stirring it now and again to prevent it from catching. It is a labour of love after all.
- I do puree most of my beetroot before adding to risotto mostly because of my youngest son who will not have it chunky. However, you could easily grate it on the coarse side of the box grater for more texture.
- Saving some beetroot cut up into chunks as garnish will add not only extra interest to the final dish but also welcome texture.
- Make sure you don't skip on resting your risotto at the end. This 5-10 extra minutes really does make a difference.
- If you find your risotto a bit thick after resting simply add a splash of stock or coconut milk and give it a gentle stir.
📖 How to cook beetroot for beetroot risotto?
I usually cook my beetroot on steam mode in my old and trusty Instant Pot. It's by far the quickest and most convenient method for me.
It takes anything between 12 to 25 minutes to steam it (depending on the size of the beetroot) plus it retains its lovely colour really well cooked this way.
You can also roast it either whole or in chunks, the latter being quicker. Roasting brings out natural sweetness of beetroot and you will have to force yourself not to eat it before you make your risotto.
Boiling beetroot would be my least favourite way of cooking it but you can of course do it this way if it's the only way available to you.
🥡 Storing and reheating vegan beetroot risotto
Risotto is best when served straight away but leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Make sure you cool your leftover risotto down and put in the fridge as soon as possible.
You will notice that the risotto thickens considerably as it cools. This is why the best way of reheating any leftovers would be in a pan on the stove as this will allow you to add extra liquid if need be to get that oozy creaminess back.
Make sure you reheat vegan beetroot risotto until it's piping hot and that you only do it once.
I wouldn't recommend freezing any risotto.
If you've got yourself some leftover beetroot risotto but don't fancy eating risotto again, try making arancini instead.
They are simple rice balls coated in some breadcrumbs and fried in a pan.
As mentioned above cold risotto thickens quite substantially and is therefore really easy to shape into small balls which you then coat in some breadcrumbs and fry until nice and crisp all over. Done!
🍴 Serving Suggestions
For us it's pretty much dinner for 4 but it can easily feed 6 for lunch or as an entrée at dinner party.
Absolutely! Make sure you use vacuum packed type and not one in vinegar. Bear in mind that the colour of your risotto might not be as vibrant when you use cooked beetroot from the shop.
No you don't. If you like a bit of texture you could grate it on the coarse side of the box grater instead. Grating it might be easier if you don't own a blender.
Risotto rice like any rice is naturally gluten-free so yes this risotto is also gluten free providing you also use gluten-free vegetable stock as not all the stock cubes are gluten-free.
Technically the answer is yes, although personally I wouldn't recommend it as it will affect the texture of the dish and it will simply not be the same.
🔪 How to make Vegan Beetroot Risotto?
Ingredient quantities & detailed instructions to be found in recipe card at the bottom of the post.
One: Heat up couple of tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan and sautée the onion and garlic until softened, stirring occasionally.
Two: Add fresh or dried thyme and stir it in following with the rice. Stir it well until nicely covered in sauteed onion mixture.
Three: Slowly start adding hot vegetable stock to your rice and keep stiring it in until absorbed.
Four: Once the first portion of stock has been absorbed add some coconut milk and keep stirring it in until absorbed. Keep repeating the process alternating between stock and coconut milk until your rice becomes creamy but not overly soft.
Five: Next add some miso (if using) and stir it in, followed by pureed or grated beetroot and nutritional yeast. Mix everything together really well.
Six: Add some lemon juice and stir it in too. Give your risotto a little taste and adjust seasoning if required.
Seven: Once you are happy with the flavours, cover the pan with risotto and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Eight: Stir in some freshly chopped dill and add saved chunks of cooked beetroot to the pan right before serving and mix them in.
Nine: Serve and enjoy garnished with some extra dill!
Have you tried my Vegan Beetroot Risotto recipe?
Please consider giving it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in recipe card below.
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Vegan Beetroot Risotto (Gluten-Free)
- 350 g white short grain risotto rice arborio or carnaroli will both work well
- 400-500 g cooked beetroot peeled and most of it pureed or coarsely grated, some cut into chunks for garnish and texture, see notes
- 2 tablespoon rapeseed/olive oil
- 1 large red onion roughly chopped
- 2 plump garlic cloves finely chopped or minced
- 1 ltr hot vegetable stock from cube is fine (I use Kallo)
- 1 tin (400ml/13.5 fl oz) coconut milk Don't use coconum milk (drink) in the carton, only tinned one as you would for curry, see notes
- 2 teaspoon dried thyme feel free to use few spring of fresh thyme instead
- 1 teaspoon (heaped) of miso or to taste
- 15 g nutritional yeast
- lots of fresh dill or parsley to serve
- juice of half a lemon or to taste
- Ensure that you have hot vegetable stock and warmed up coconut milk at the ready and your cooked beetroot either pureed or grated.
- Heat up couple of tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan and sautée the onion and garlic until softened, stirring occasionally.
- Add fresh or dried thyme and stir it in following with the rice. Stir it well until nicely covered in sauteed onion mixture.
- Slowly start adding hot vegetable stock to your rice and keep stiring it in until absorbed.
- Once the first portion of stock has been absorbed add some coconut milk and keep stirring it in until absorbed. Keep repeating the process alternating between stock and coconut milk until your rice becomes creamy but not overly soft. You might not use up all of your liquids depending on the texture and tenderness of the rice that you prefer. (20-25 minutes)
- Next add some miso (if using) and stir it in, followed by pureed beetroot and nutritional yeast. Mix everything together really well until you get that lovely and uniform dark pink hue to your rice.
- Add some lemon juice and stir it in too. Give your risotto a little taste and adjust seasoning if required.
- Once you are happy with the flavours, cover the pan with risotto and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Stir in some freshly chopped dill and add saved chunks of cooked beetroot to the pan right before serving and mix them in.
- Serve and enjoy garnished with some extra dill!
- Nutritional information is approximate, per serving based on 4 servings and should be treated as a rough guideline only.
- Recipe timings assume you already have cooked beetroot.
- I cook my beetroot in the Instant Pot but you can also roast or boil it or use vacuum packed shop bough beetroot (not the one in vinegar though).
- Make sure to stir coconut milk thoroughly to mix the cream and water together. I like to heat it up as I do with my veggie stock to ensure it doesn't bring down the temperature of my risotto.
- Store your leftover risotto in the fridge for 2- 3 days. Make sure to reheat it until piping hot and only once.
- Not suitable for freezing.
- To ensure that you can make your risotto nice and quick, think ahead and make sure you've got cooked beetroot ready when you need it.
- Use hot stock to make your risotto and warm your coconut milk up too.
- Don't feel like you need to use up all of the stock in your risotto although you will most likely use up most of it. Once you reach that creamy, al dente consistency (around 20-25 minutes in) you are done.
- Make sure you do tend to your risotto and keep stirring it now and again to prevent it from catching.
- Feel free to grate instead of pureeing your beetroot for more texture.
- Save some beetroot cut up into chunks as garnish.
- Make sure you don't skip on resting your risotto at the end. This 5 extra minutes really does make a difference.
- If you find your risotto a bit thick after resting simply add a splash more of stock or coconut milk and give it all a gentle stir.