Dairy Free Seafood Risotto

Dairy Free Seafood Risotto with crab and shrimp at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

I love, love, love risotto! It’s one of my most favorite foods ever, but I used to hate making it. I swear it used to involve hours of drudgery and standing at the stove stirring – and stirring – and stirring.

Even at my old house when I had a nice stove (and before I got my induction stovetop last month), I didn’t like making it.

Finally, I learned a trick. You MUST keep the chicken or vegetable broth that you add to your risotto hot on the stove. This makes cooking the risotto oh so much quicker.

So much quicker in fact that you can make many risotto recipes on a weeknight, even when you’re tired and don’t feel like cooking something too complicated.

Before I discovered this, I always ordered risotto at restaurants and inevitably came home with a stomachache. I finally figured out it probably wasn’t from the cheese, but from all the butter chefs normally toss in their cooking – much more than the average home cook would use!

Since I like to cook with dairy free buttery spreads, I didn’t have that problem at home.

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Seafood Risotto using coconut milk at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Making a dairy free risotto

Now that I usually only eat risotto at home, I thought I’d go one step further by eliminating the need for cheese altogether by using unflavored and unsweetened coconut milk.

Normally, a dish like this would use eight cups of stock. I decided that half of that would be the coconutmilk, which ended up working out perfectly. It was creamy enough that I didn’t miss the cheese at all.

Plus, the coconutmilk complimented the seafood and other seasonings, too. So much healthier and guilt free without all that cheese, don’t you think?

This risotto recipe is made even simpler by using canned seafood, which I find very convenient and super economical. Just make sure to press all the liquid out of the canned crab so you don’t make the risotto watery!

If you’re gluten free, make sure to check the label on your store bought vegetable broth carefully. I used Massel bouillon cubes, which are gluten free, to make my vegetable broth.

If you can’t find lemongrass at your store, look for Gourmet Garden tubes in the fresh herbs aisle as most grocery stores carry it. If your grocery store doesn’t have pea shoots, substitute parsley, fresh dill, or some pretty baby lettuce leaves as a garnish.

Dairy Free Seafood Risotto with crab and shrimp at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Dairy Free Seafood Risotto


  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups Silk Unflavored Coconutmilk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons dairy free buttery spread
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped lemon grass
  • 16 ounces Arborio rice
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans white crab meat, drained
  • 1 (4 ounce) can tiny shrimp, drained
  • salt, to taste
  • white pepper, to taste
  • pea shoots, for garnish


  1. Heat vegetable broth and coconutmilk in separate saucepans over medium heat until liquids begin to simmer. Lower heat, but keep liquid at just below the simmer stage.
  2. Melt buttery spread in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, shallots, curry and lemon grass. Stir to combine. Cook until onion is soft – about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add rice and stir. Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes until rice is hot and seems too dry.
  4. Add 2 ladles of vegetable broth and 2 ladles of coconutmilk. Stir until liquid is absorbed.
  5. Add 1 ladle of vegetable broth and 1 ladle of coconutmilk. Keep stirring until liquid is absorbed.
  6. Repeat process until all liquid is used up and rice is tender and creamy.
  7. Turn heat to low. Add crab and shrimp. Stir to combine.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls with garnish.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes
Servings: Serves 4 to 6
  • Serving size: 1/4 to 1/6 of recipe