Vegan Risotto with Guajillo Chile Broth Is a Sophisticated Twist on a Classic

Andy Zambrano gives a traditional, creamy vegan risotto a smoky guajillo chile update

Photo: Andy Zambrano

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Vegan risotto is one of my favorite things to make right now. I think what attracts me is the endless broth options we can use to flavor this. I try to make a different broth every time I make it, and this time I’ve make a vegan risotto with guajillo chile broth for something a little unexpected.

I’ve also been making a lot of risotto lately because I just bought myself a nice copper rondeau pan – but don’t worry, it’s not actually essential. Any pan with a wide surface where you can evenly cook the rice should work. (Though, if you’re a fan of vegan risotto making like I am, it would be a great investment.)

Risotto is also one of those dishes where patience is mandatory to cook it well. You have to slowly let the rice absorb the hot broth to release its starches, resulting in a creamy smooth finish. Arborio rice is a short and wide grain with more starch compared to other rice grains, traits essential for its role in risotto.

In this recipe I used guajillo chile broth. I pan fried some chilies and blended it with vegetable broth that I had stored in the freezer. I always try to have my own veg broth on hand. I like to make a large batch and store it in 32 ounce deli containers in the freezer. After making this guajillo broth, I added a container of it to my freezer too; you never know when you’ll come across a recipe that would be enhanced by a special ‘secret ingredient’ like this and want to have it at the ready. All that said, you can absolutely use store-bought vegetable stock here if you prefer.

As for fillings, feel free to experiment with any vegetable. I tend to gravitate towards roasted mushrooms to top off a risotto; this time around I used fresh leeks that are currently in season.

More Related Recipes to Try Next:
Jicama Tostada with Avocado, Guajillo, and Hibiscus
Grilled Pepper Salad with Black Beans and Avocado
Crushed Butter Beans with Roasted Tomatoes and Avocado

Guajillo Chile Vegan Risotto

Cook Time
30 min


  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 4 dried guajillo chiles
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 medium sized shallots
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 leek
  • 1 Tablespoon plant butter
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a frying pan with a thin layer of hot oil, start to fry the chilies. They will puff up slightly and turn vibrant red. No more than a few seconds each side. Set aside on a paper towel to drain out any excess oil. 
  2. In a high powered blender add the broth and three of the chilies. Blend until completely incorporated. If you don’t have a high-power blender, make sure to strain. 
  3. In a wide skillet or pan that can hold at least two quarts, start to heat up a generous layer of oil into the pan on a medium heat. 
  4. In a separate pot bring the broth to a simmer and hold its temperature. 
  5. Mince garlic and dice shallots. Toss them into the pan when the oil is hot. Once they become translucent, add the oregano and arborio rice. Cook the rice until it’s down to an opaque color. 
  6. Next add the white wine and juice of a whole lemon. Cook down until the rice has absorbed half of the liquid. Making sure to stir frequently so that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. 
  7. Add the nutritional yeast and about a half cup of the hot broth into the risotto. You’re looking for a simmer so that the rice slowly starts to absorb the broth. 
  8. As you wait for the rice to absorb the first broth pour, prepare the leek. Remove the root and the darker green stems of the leek, leaving just the stem. Cut in half, lengthwise down the stem and continue to make thin half moon shaped cuts. Take about a cup of the leeks and add to the pan.
  9. Once the rice has absorbed most of the broth add another half cup. Repeat this process until you’ve finished all of the broth. Right before the last batch of the broth, add the salt to your liking. 
  10. Take the risotto off the heat and add the butter, making sure it has completely melted to make a creamy texture. Serve in a bowl immediately. 
  11. Mince the last guajillo chili and sprinkle over the finished risotto along with a dust of oregano and a drizzle of olive oil. 


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