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Courgette and Lemon Risotto with Creme Fraiche

Courgette risotto in a white bowl with cubed courgettes and lemon zest on top.
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Creamy Lemon Risotto with little chunks of courgette is all you need to make your day better! Made without wine, this risotto features fresh and zingy notes of lemon, as well as slightly tart creme fraiche. Topped with zest and toasted pecans, this Courgette and Lemon Risotto is not only a feast of flavour but has all the lovely textures – from creamy to crunchy!

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Courgette and lemon risotto served in a white shallow bowl on a white wooden table with pecan nuts and lemon surrounding the bowl.

A Note on Ingredients

Whilst all of the ingredients are the usual everyday things that are easy to find in any supermarket, there are a few things I would note:

  • courgette: use green young courgettes (not the yellow courgette). Green courgettes have skin that is less tough and they cook quicker.
  • risotto rice: we recommend arborio or carnaroli.
  • lemon: make sure you use unwaxed lemons, as the zest will be needed to top the risotto.

Step-by-Step Recipe

STEP 1: Roughly chop the pecan nuts and toast the pecans in a dry pan, until just starting to brown and smell nutty. Tip them in a bowl to prevent further browning and set them aside for later.

STEP 2: Preheat the oven to 200°C Fan. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper/ baking parchment. Top and tail the courgette and chop it into 1 cm cubes. Spread the courgette in a single layer on the baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 15-20 minutes in the centre of the oven. When cooked, set the courgette aside for later.

STEP 3: In the meantime, melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the chopped onions and sautee on low heat for 5-6 minutes, until softened. Add the rice, increase the heat and stir for 1-2 minutes, until the rice starts to crackle and turn slightly translucent.

STEP 4: Zest one lemon and set the zest aside. Squeeze the lemon juice into the pan. Add a large ladleful of stock and, stirring continuously, cook over medium heat until the stock is mostly absorbed. Add another ladleful of stock and carry on stirring. Keep cooking in this manner for another 20-25 mins until you run out of stock and the rice is cooked al dente. If your rice is still too hard, add a splash of water.

STEP 5: Once cooked, take the risotto off the heat and stir in half of the grated parmesan, creme fraiche and 3/4 of the roasted courgette cubes. Season with salt and pepper.

Cubed courgettes, cheese and creme fraiche added to creamy risotto in a pan.

STEP 6: Divide the risotto between bowls, and scatter the rest of the courgette on top. Add the toasted pecans and lemon zest and serve with the rest of the parmesan!

Side Dishes for Risotto

For us, most risottos do not need any side dishes, however, this particular one may benefit from a little something as an accompaniment. We love serving this Courgette and Lemon Risotto with one of the following:

  • Garlic bread (however, easy on the garlic, you don’t want to overshadow the delicate flavours of the courgette).
  • Tenderstem broccoli.
  • A glass of chilled dry white wine.

Recipe FAQs:

What Rice is Best to Use in Risotto?

We recommend either Arborio or Carnaroli rice. Both are starchy enough to produce a creamy result, and both are sturdy enough to withstand the constant stirring. If I had to pick a winner though, my vote would go to Carnaroli rice, since we had the most delicious creamy risotto even without any cheese or cream added.

Can I Substitute Creme Fraiche with Sour Cream?

Absolutely! The flavour of both sour cream and creme fraiche is very similar. The only real difference is the fat content (creme fraiche being higher in fat).

How Can I Make This Recipe Nut-Free?

Yes! Toasted pine nuts (technically a seed, despite a confusing name) or pumpkin seeds will work great here. Alternatively, top the risotto with some crispy onion!

Risotto with creme fraiche served in a white bowl placed on a green tea towel.

Other Delicious Risotto Recipes

We are so in love with risottos that we cook them most weeks! Here are some of our absolute favourites for you to try:

Recipe Card

Courgette risotto in a white bowl with cubed courgettes and lemon zest on top.

Courgette and Lemon Risotto with Creme Fraiche

Creamy Lemon Risotto with little chunks of courgette is all you need to make your day better! Made without wine, this risotto features fresh and zingy notes of lemon, as well as slightly tart creme fraiche. Topped with zest and toasted pecans, this Courgette and Lemon Risotto is not only a feast of flavour but has all the lovely textures – from creamy to crunchy!
4.84 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 portions
Calories 503 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 20 g unsalted butter
  • 1 brown onion finely chopped
  • 300 g courgette
  • 180 g risotto rice
  • 1 lemon juice and zest
  • 800 ml vegetable stock hot
  • 20 g parmesan or vegetarian alternative, grated
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche
  • 20 g pecans roughly chopped

Instructions
 

  • Toast the pecans in a dry pan, until just starting to brown and smell nutty. Tip them in a bowl and set aside for later.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C Fan. Top and tail the courgette and chop it into 1 cm cubes. Spread the courgtte in a single layer on a baking-parchment lined baking tray, drizzle with a little oil, sprinkle with salt and roast for 15-20 minutes in the centre of the oven.
  • In the meantime, melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the chopped onions and saulee on low heat for 5-6 minutes, until softened. Add the rice, increase the heat and stir for 1-2 minutes, until the rice starts to crackle and turn slightly translucent.
  • Tip in the lemon juice into the pan. Add a large ladleful of stock and, stirring continuously, cook over medium heat until the stock is mostly absorbed. Add another ladleful of stock and carry on stirring. Keep cooking in this manner for another 20-25 mins until you run out of stock and rice is cooked al dente. If your rice is still too hard, add a splash of water.
  • Once cooked, take the risotto off the heat and stir in half of the grated parmesan, creme fraiche and 3/4 of the roasted courgette cubes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Divide the risotto between bowls, scatter the rest of the courgette on top. Add the toasted pecans and lemon zest and serve!

Nutrition

Calories: 503kcalCarbohydrates: 81gProtein: 12gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 1514mgPotassium: 422mgFiber: 5gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1134IUVitamin C: 37mgCalcium: 158mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Courgette and Lemon Risotto, Courgette risotto, Risotto With Creme Fraiche, Zucchini Lemon Risotto, Zucchini Risotto
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8 Replies to “Courgette and Lemon Risotto with Creme Fraiche”

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is the perfect way to use up the excess zucchini that I have this time of year! Love the lemon flavour.

    1. Thanks, Janessa! It always tastes better with homegrown zucchini! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Love this refreshing spin on risotto! The flavors were so bright and really just lighten what usually feels like a heavy meal. Will definitely make this again!

    1. Thanks, Dana! 😍

  3. 5 stars
    This risotto is so creamy and delisicous. I love the addition of the lemon t it.

    1. Yes! Lemon really makes it! So fresh! 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Not only is this beautiful it looks so indulgent, yet easy to make! I was searching for recipes for a dinner party and stumbled across this recipe and can’t wait to make it now.

    1. Hope you like it as much as we do! 🙂

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