This Coconut Beetroot Risotto Is Perfect For Date Night

Risottos are delicious and relatively easy to make - here's a new vegan recipe to try


2 Minutes Read

A vegan beetroot risotto made to a dairy-free and plant-based recipe Ever added beetroot to a risotto? This is your sign to try - Media Credit: Clare Winfield

If you’re planning a date night and want to cook something special, risotto is always a good bet – and this recipe for coconut beetroot risotto is sure to impress.

Risotto is a northern Italian rice dish cooked to a creamy consistency. Traditionally, the dish is started by sautéing onions in butter, to which the rice is then added and toasted briefly. Risotto dishes also often contain chicken or beef broth, as well as parmesan cheese. But this recipe, which comes from plant-based chef Madeleine Olivia, features no animal ingredients.

Making risotto suitable for vegans involves substituting the non-vegan ingredients with plant-based alternatives without compromising the creamy texture and depth of flavor that are hallmarks of the dish. Olive oil can be used in place of dairy butter for sautéing the onions, and vegetable broth substitutes for the traditional chicken or beef broth. Olivia’s recipe also uses coconut milk and white wine. You have the option to add vegan parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast if you like a cheesy taste.

Here’s how to make it:

Coconut and beetroot risotto

Colourful, earthy and simple, this dish is easy to put together for a super-nutritious and delicious meal for late summer and autumn (fall) when beetroot (beets) is abundant. Beetroot is probably a vegetable that I don’t give enough love to, but roasting it and adding it to this risotto with the sweetness of the coconut is probably one of my favourite ways to enjoy it.
A vegan beetroot risotto made to a dairy-free and plant-based recipe
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Cook Time1 hr
Prep Time10 mins


  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) raw beetroot (beets), peeled and chopped into quarters
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) tin of coconut milk
  • 750 ml (25 fl oz/3 cups) hot vegetable stock
  • 400 g (14 oz/scant 2 cups) arborio rice
  • 100 ml (3½ fl oz/scant ½ cup) white wine
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • Small bunch of parsley or coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic glaze


  • Preheat a fan oven to 200°C (425°F).
  • Arrange the beetroot in a large baking tray (pan) and bake in the oven for 30–35 minutes until tender. Remove from the oven and transfer half the beetroot to a food processor and blitz. Set aside. Leave the rest to cool, then cut into dice.
  • Heat a large saucepan with the olive oil over a medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, or until softened. Mix the coconut milk with the hot stock in a jug.
  • Add the rice to the saucepan, then pour in the wine and cook for a couple of minutes until the liquid has reduced. Lower the heat and add a ladleful of the stock and coconut milk mixture. Stir constantly until the stock and coconut milk mixture has been absorbed, then add another ladleful. Keep repeating this step, and stirring, until all the stock and coconut milk mixture has been added. Add the blitzed beetroot, stir in the orange juice, zest and some of the chopped herbs, then season to taste with salt and black pepper. Keep stirring until the beetroot has heated through.
  • Arrange the cubed beetroot on top, drizzle over the balsamic glaze, sprinkle with the remaining herbs and vegan feta (if using) to serve.
If beetroot (beet) isn’t your cup of tea, swap for roasted butternut squash, (bell) peppers or courgette (zucchini).

This recipe was republished with permission from Make it Vegan by Madeleine Olivia, published by Hardie Grant. You can buy the book now.

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