Celebrate spring with a creamy bowl of shrimp and asparagus risotto. Bonus that one generous serving is less than 400 calories!
This meal started the way all meals should – around a bottle of wine. My dad had bought two bottles of this delicious, buttery chardonnay back in February for one of our weekly dinners. While it’s true I love my wine, I usually don’t get possessive over it. However, when Bry went to pour himself a generous second glass while I was still working on my first, I gave him a serious death-glare thinking he was going to finish the bottle. While I still got a (small) second glass, I had been waiting for the right time to ask my dad to open up the second bottle. Enter in Easter dinner.
Since Bry and I traveled back to Connecticut to spend Easter with his mom, we did an early Easter dinner with my parents before we left. While I offered to cook, I had one request of my parents: bring that really good bottle of chardonnay. Once they agreed, I started thinking up recipes that would pair well with the wine, while still being Spring-like for Easter.
Let me tell you, this risotto knocked it out of the park! I would almost dare to say that it gave the chardonnay serious competition for being the tastiest thing on the table. Yes there’s a lot of stirring when making risotto, but other than that it’s such a simple dish to make that tastes decadent and impressive.
While I’m not a fan of calorie counting, I am seriously impressed with the stats of this risotto! Less than 400 calories/serving and it’s still so creamy and delicious! I can assure you that this is now my go-to meal for impressing guests and hope it’ll be yours as well.
One note on the shrimp: unless you live near the ocean where you truly can buy fresh shrimp, I highly recommend buying a bag of frozen, uncooked shrimp rather than the stuff at the counter. When you buy frozen shrimp, it’ll only be thawed one time, which is when you go to thaw it. But when you get thawed shrimp from the counter, it’s usually been frozen and thawed a couple times. Plus, I often find that frozen shrimp is cheaper.
So here’s a toast to a family-favorite recipe in the making!
Healthier Spring Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth note you may not use all of it
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 lb uncooked shrimp peeled and de-veined
- 1 shallot diced
- 1 lb thin asparagus spears tough ends trimmed and cut into 2”-long pieces
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 4 oz dry white wine
- 4 tsp lemon juice
- ½ cup freshly grated Romano cheese
- Salt to taste
- Red pepper flakes for serving
- Place broth in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and maintain over low heat throughout cooking.
- In a large heavy saucepan, such as a dutch oven or cast iron skillet, place 1 tablespoon of butter and heat over medium. Once butter has melted, add shrimp. Cook until shrimp are pink on one side, flip, and continue cooking until pink and cooked through. Place cooked shrimp in bowl and set aside.
- Next, add asparagus to the hot pan and cook until asparagus is charred, but not soft, about 2-3 minutes. Remove asparagus from pan and set aside for later.
- After removing the asparagus, place shallots and rice in the hot skillet. Pour wine over rice and stir until wine is fully absorbed.
- Add a ladleful of the simmering broth to the rice and stir continuously. Once broth is absorbed, add another ladle. Continue this process until the rice is creamy and tender (but still slightly firm in the center). It usually takes me about 20-25 minutes, but can take up to 30 minutes. Note you may not end up using all the broth. Add the slightly charred asparagus and cooked shrimp to the pan with the last one or two ladles of broth.
- Once all the liquid has been absorbed from the last ladle of broth, remove pan from heat and stir in lemon juice, Romano cheese, and salt (if needed).
- Serve risotto with red pepper flakes, extra lemon juice, salt, and pepper all on the side. Enjoy!