Creamy Lemon Summer Squash Risotto

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Easy & creamy lemon summer squash risotto is made with zucchini, yellow squash, Asiago and parmesan cheese for a delicious summery risotto recipe.

A white bowl filled with creamy summer squash risotto. It's topped with fresh chopped basil and shredded cheese. There's a slice of lemon in the background and a yellow and navy blue plaid napkin.

Risotto is one of those recipes people think is too hard to make at home, but really, once you make it you’re like “that wasn’t so bad”.

Yes, it takes time and attention for the 30 minutes it’s cooking, but it’s so worth it in the end when you have that perfectly cheesy and creamy risotto.

Plus, it’s a greaatttt arm workout ;).

This creamy lemon summer squash risotto is made with both yellow squash and zucchini that’s finely grated, Asiago & Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and fresh basil.

It’s the perfect summer side dish to pair with grilled chicken, steak, scallops or shrimp!

Pour yourself a nice glass of wine (preferably white because you need it in the risotto recipe anyways!), and let’s get to it.

An upclose shot of a wooden spoon with a spoonful of lemon summer squash risotto. It's topped with shredded cheese and has a creamy texture. The bowl of risotto is blurred in the background.

Let’s talk ingredients for our risotto:

  • Arborio Rice-this is a short grain white rice that’s most commonly used in risotto.  It’s got a high starch content which gives the risotto it’s creamy texture.

  • Summer Squash– for this recipe I like to use yellow squash and zucchini, but feel free to use one or the other.  I also like to grate it using a regular cheese grater.  If you like it chunky, you can also dice it.  If you do grate it, it’s important to squeeze out the excess moisture or you’ll have soupy risotto.

  • Cheese-I love the combination of Asiago and Parmesan cheeses.  They’re both nutty and slightly sharp, adding a richness to the risotto.

I even like a little bit of balsamic drizzle on my squash risotto, just to give it that extra pop of flavor :).

A large glass bowl with grated zucchini, yellow squash and shredded asiago and parmesan cheese. There's a whole lemon a small white bowl with arborio rice in the background.

How to make perfectly creamy risotto:

  1. Keep your broth heated the entire time you’re cooking your risotto.  You don’t want to add cold broth to the rice because it will delay the cooking time and stop the Arborio from cooking.
  2. Before adding any liquid, I like to lightly toast the Arborio rice.  This gives it a nice “shell” on the outside, keeping it soft on the inside, yet al dente after it’s cooked.  Since it’s being cooked for such a long time we want it to hold its shape and avoid being soggy.
  3. Be patient!  You want the liquid to absorb almost entirely before you add your next ladle full.  This is an important part of the risotto making process.
  4. Keep stirring!  I know, your arm is tired but the constant stirring releases all those starches in the rice, giving the risotto it’s creamy, wonderful texture.  I usually end up pulling up a chair to my stove top with my glass of wine as I’m stirring (hey, it helps!)
A white bowl filled with creamy summer squash risotto. It's topped with fresh chopped basil and shredded cheese. There's a slice of lemon in the background and a big serving bowl with risotto.

What goes with creamy lemon summer squash risotto?

Or for a vegetarian option eat a big bowl full of it by itself.

For more easy summer recipes try:

Creamy Lemon Summer Squash Risotto

Easy & creamy lemon summer squash risotto is made with zucchini, yellow squash, Asiago and parmesan cheese for delicious summery risotto recipe
Course Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword risotto, siedishes, summerrecipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Author Wine a Little Cook A Lot


  • 1 Yellow Squash grated
  • 1 Zucchini grated
  • 4 cups Vegetable Stock plus more if needed
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion diced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 ½ cup Arborio Rice
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • ½ cup White Wine
  • Zest of ½ lemon about 1.5 tsp
  • ½ cup Asiago Cheese grated or shredded
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese grated or shredded
  • ½ cup Fresh Basil roughly chopped


  • Add the grated squash and zucchini in a medium sized bowl. Using a paper towel or cheese cloth, squeeze out excess moisture. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan add vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.
  • In a Dutch oven pan or large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook additional minute.
  • Stir in Arborio rice and season with salt and pepper, continue stirring for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in white wine, cook 1-2 minutes or until mostly absorbed.
  • Add about 1 cup of the broth, stirring constantly until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this process, adding in 1 cup ladles at a time and stirring constantly, until all liquid is used and rice is al dente and creamy. This process should take about 30-35 minutes. Add more broth if your rice is still crunchy and hard.
  • Stir in grated squash, lemon zest, Asiago and parmesan cheeses and fresh basil. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.

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