This Lemon Risotto is fresh, light and so full of flavour. It pairs perfectly with the salty fried halloumi to turn it into a dish the whole family will devour. This makes it the perfect meat-free meal for everyone – even the carnivores will love it!

A white bowl with cooked lemon risotto topped with pieces of fried halloumi and a slice of lemon in the background.
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Oh man! Salty golden halloumi on a bed of zesty lemon risotto and a mountain of fresh, green leaves. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

I love the lightness of this risotto, it tastes like Summer in a bowl!

🔪 How to make this Lemon Risotto

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  • First of all you’re going to start cooking the risotto.
  • Once the risotto is on to cook, in a 2nd frying pan you want to gently fry up some slices of delicious haloumi.
  • Add in the greens to the risotto just before serving and top with the fried halloumi and lots of lemon zest.
A collage of 4 images showing the process of making herby lemon risotto and fried halloumi.

👩‍🍳PRO TIP You want to add the stock into the risotto a little bit at a time. Doing this will really allow the rice to absorb the flavours of the stock and create a starchy, velvety smooth consistency to the risotto.

📺 Watch how to make it

Overhead photo of lemon risotto in a pan with a wooden spoon sticking out of it.
Lemon Risotto

🍽️ What to serve it with

You can serve this tasty lemon risotto with the fried halloumi in this recipe but you could also serve it with;

  • Crispy bacon < for a non veggie version
  • Roasted veggies for an extra veggie version
  • Topped off with a nice piece of fish
  • Stir in shreds of leftover cooked chicken from your roast chicken dinner

This is a lovely light meal so of course there’s room for a treat like some sticky toffee pudding or a no-bake cheesecake afterwards.

Other Risotto Ideas

Still got some risotto/arborio rice left?  Check out these other fantastic Ideas:

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5 from 3 votes

Lemon Risotto with Halloumi

This Lemon Risotto with fried Halloumi is fresh, light and so full of flavour even the carnivores will love it!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2 Servings
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: British


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic peeled and crushed
  • 150 g (5.5 oz) Arborio rice
  • 75 ml (2.5 fl oz) white wine optional, replace with stock if you’d prefer
  • 600 ml (7 fl oz) vegetable stock use vegetable bouillon for gluten-free
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • ½ block halloumi sliced
  • 30 g (1 oz) Italian style vegetarian hard cheese grated (or Parmesan if you prefer – note Parmesan isn't vegetarian)
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • pinch salt and black pepper
  • 30 g (1 packed cup) baby spinach
  • 30 g (1 packed cup) watercress
  • small handful of fresh basil roughly torn
  • small handful of fresh parsley roughly torn

To Serve:

  • zest of half a lemon
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
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  • Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion starts to go translucent.
    1 tbsp olive oil, 1 small brown onion
  • Add in the garlic, stir and cook for a further minute.
    1 clove garlic
  • Add in the rice and stir until the oil has coated the rice.
    150 g (5.5 oz) Arborio rice
  • Add in the wine and stir. Wait for the wine to almost fully absorb (stirring regularly) and then add the stock a ladle at a time – ensuring each ladle has almost fully absorbed before adding the next. Ensure you stir regularly. This should take approx 15-20 mins.
    75 ml (2.5 fl oz) white wine, 600 ml (7 fl oz) vegetable stock
  • Once you've used up all the stock, have a taste of the rice. It should be softer, but still have a bit of a bite to it. If the rice is still far too hard, you can add in a ladle or so of hot water from the kettle. Once the risotto is cooked, turn the heat down to very low.
  • Heat the oil in a small frying pan and add in the halloumi. Cook on a medium-to-high heat for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.
    1 tsp vegetable oil, ½ block halloumi
  • Whilst the halloumi is cooking, go back to your risotto. Add in the parmesan, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Give everything a good stir then turn off the heat and gently stir in the spinach, watercress, basil, and parsley.
    30 g (1 oz) Italian style vegetarian hard cheese, juice of ½ a lemon, pinch salt and black pepper, 30 g (1 packed cup) baby spinach, 30 g (1 packed cup) watercress, small handful of fresh basil, small handful of fresh parsley
  • Divide the risotto between 2 plates and top with the fried halloumi.
  • Serve sprinkled with lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some freshly ground black pepper.
    zest of half a lemon, squeeze of lemon juice, freshly ground black pepper



Nutritional Information is per serving.


Calories: 658kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 998mg | Potassium: 163mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Vitamin C: 4.5mg | Calcium: 815mg | Iron: 3.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

This post was first published in May 2015. Updated in July 2021 with new photos, a video, and for housekeeping reasons.

🍲 More fantastic vegetarian recipes

Although we’re not vegetarians I do try and get at least one vegetarian meal per week. Here are some of the favourites on recipe rotation at the moment;

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

Welcome to Kitchen Sanctuary

Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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  1. Mary says:

    5 stars
    Outstanding risotto!! I added additional broth as well as salt and pepper but the overall combination with the haloumi was soooo delicious!!

  2. Maria Ja says:

    5 stars

  3. Barbara says:

    5 stars
    Great risotto recipe, added to our meat free meals rotation.