Summer Squash Farmer’s Market Legume Rice Risotto

Summer Squash Farmer's Market Legume Rice Risotto - Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free Vegan Dinner Recipe from Plants-Rule
Summer Squash Farmer’s Market Legume Rice Risotto – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free Vegan Dinner Recipe from Plants-Rule
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Farmer’s Market Legume Rice Risotto

Risotto is a classic Italian comfort food. Traditionally, it involves cooking Arborio rice low and slow. The starches of the rice release to give you a creamy, satisfying dish. It usually takes at least 30 minutes and 2 big pans to make traditional risotto. However, with new legume rice from Banza, you can make this healthy Farmer’s Market vegetable risotto in under 20 minutes, using just one pan. It makes the perfect plant-based weeknight dinner.

Plant-Based Vegan Protein

Besides easier and quicker cooking, the gluten-free Banza rices are loaded with lots of vegan protein. The tri-color legume rice has 10g protein per serving, compared to just 3g in brown rice. The chickpea rice has 11g protein. Both hold up really well with cooking. So far, I’ve found them to be healthy substitutes in Rice Salad, Gumbo, and stuffed tomatoes.

Protein can be a big concern for anyone trying to eat a healthy, plant-based diet. Women need about 46g per day while men need about 56g. It’s nice to know that products like these new Banza rices are available. In fact, they open the door to cooking creativity. Rather than just adding beans or lentils to recipes for more protein, now vegans can make risotto, pasta, or creamy mac and cheese. The protein nutrition worry can fade and the excitement over creating delicious flavors can build!

Summer Squash Farmer's Market Legume Rice Risotto - Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free Vegan Dinner Recipe from Plants-Rule
Summer Squash Farmer’s Market Legume Rice Risotto – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free Vegan Dinner Recipe from Plants-Rule

Risotto Vegetable Variety

Just like a traditional risotto, there is so much versatility with this recipe. You can mix and match with whatever vegetables you have on hand or what’s in season. It’s a great way to make use of some of that CSA and Farmer’s Market organic produce.  Plus, also a great clean-out-the-fridge dinner to make on a Thursday night.  Stretch it to feed a crowd or make a smaller batch for a satisfying meal-for-one. 

This is one of the essential plant-based recipes you’ll want to have in your cooking collection.

Beautiful Organic Summer Squash at Chicago's Green City Farmer's Market
Use up summer’s bounty of squash in this easy, healthy recipe

Chef Katie’s Healthy Cooking Tips

Banza Legume Rice: Banza is a food brand that creates high-protein pasta and rice made from chickpeas, lentils, and legumes. You can find their products at health food stores and online. In addition to this recipe, I love using their pastas in recipes for healthy plant-based, gluten-free protein. You can substitute with farro or brown rice, but you’ll need to increase the cooking time 20-25 minutes.

Shopping at Farmer’s Markets: Shopping at local farmer’s markets gives you the freshest, highest quality produce. Plus, you support sustainable agriculture and the local community. The types of fruits and vegetables available will depend on the season. I shopped at Chicago’s Green City Market for this incredible produce. Nichols Farm and Orchard and Iron Creek Farm grew the shallots, tomatoes, and summer squash for this recipe.

Other Vegetable Variations: Use this risotto recipe as a template for other vegetable variations. It’s a great recipe to clean out your fridge or use up that CSA. You can add mushrooms, asparagus, sweet onions, bell peppers, garlic scapes, or whatever vegetables you have on hand.

More Plant-Based Protein: You can add more plant-based vegan protein to this recipe. Add 1 cup frozen green peas, 1 can of chickpeas, or 1 cup cooked lentils.

Oil-Free Mission: I’m on a mission to get rid of empty calories, like those found in refined oils. This recipe is 100% oil-free. You can use a little bit of water to saute the vegetables if they start to burn.

Watch the Recipe Video:

Easy |  Servings: 4  |  Ready In: 20 minutes |  Yield: about 5 cups

Similar Recipes: If you like this recipe, you’ll also love Mushroom Pea Vegan “Farro-tto, Pasta “alla Norma” Eggplant Cavatappi, and Stewed Zucchini with Basil and Mint.

Summer Squash Farmer’s Market Legume Rice Risotto

This healthy, vegan dinner was inspired by the beautiful summer squash, zucchini, and other vegetables at Chicago’s Green City Farmer’s Market. Eat Banza’s legume rice is loaded with plant-based protein, making a hearty base for this easy, oil-free recipe. This one-pot meal makes the perfect weeknight meal.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Farmer’s Market, Gluten-Free, Healthy, Italian, Oil-Free, Plant-Based, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword colorful, Farmer’s Market, fiber, fresh, heart-healthy, Italian, one pot meal, protein, seasonal, summer
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 211kcal


  • Saute pan


  • 1 shallot sliced
  • 3 summer squash or zucchini sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup Banza Legume Rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • How to make the Summer Squash Farmer’s Market Legume Rice Risotto:
  • In a medium pan, saute the shallots and squash until starting to brown, 5 minutes. Stir often, to prevent sticking. No oil needed. If the vegetables start to cook too fast. add a splash of water and reduce the heat.
  • Add the garlic and cook 1 minute, until aromatic.
  • Add the legume rice. Toast 1 minute.
  • Add the water. Scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the risotto to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer 5 minutes, until creamy. Be sure not to overcook as you want the rice to be “al dente”.
  • Add the tomatoes, basil, and yeast. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Cook 1 more minute.
  • Taste to check to seasoning.
  • Serve immediately!


Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 211
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3 g 5 %
Saturated Fat 0 g 0 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 145 mg 6 %
Potassium 408 mg 12 %
Total Carbohydrate 38 g 13 %
Dietary Fiber 8 g 30 %
Sugars 4 g  
Protein 13 g 27 %
Vitamin A 12 %
Vitamin C 56 %
Calcium 10 %
Iron 5 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.



Shopping and Gear List

  • Banza Tri-Color Legume Rice
  • Bragg Premium Nutritional Yeast Seasoning 4.5 Ounce
  • Simply Organic Italian Seasoning Certified Organic, 0.95-Ounce Container
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