Pea Whole Wheat Couscous Risotto | Naturally Ella

Pea Whole Wheat Couscous Risotto with Mascarpone Cheese and Basil

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course


A beautiful spring dinner, this couscous risotto is a riff on the traditional risotto. The dish uses fresh peas lightly sautéed in butter and paired with basil and mascarpone cheese.




  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 cups shelled sweet peas
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot (minced)
  • 1 cup whole wheat pearl couscous
  • ⅓ cup white wine
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt (to taste)
  • ¼ cup mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • Parmesan (for topping)
  • Chili flakes (for topping- if desired)


  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the butter, followed by the peas. Cook, stirring occasionally, until peas have softened and turn bright green. Add salt and pepper, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Return pan to the stove top over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil followed by the minced shallot. Stir in the couscous and toast for a minute or so. Measure in wine. Cook until most of the wine is gone, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add the broth and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook for 15 minutes or so. The couscous should be tender and most of the liquid absorbed. When there’s a small amount of liquid left, reduce the heat to low and add the mascarpone cheese, basil, and cooked peas.
  4. Remove from heat and stir until the mascarpone cheese has melted. Divide into four bowls and top with extra basil and grated (vegetarian-friendly) parmesan.


Tips & Tricks: If you’re short on time or peas are not in season, this is a meal that would work well with frozen peas.

Looking to leave the wine out of the dish? Just add more broth or water.

Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: couscous, peas, basil

Nutrition: see the information.


  • Calories: 336
  • Sugar: 5.9
  • Sodium: 217
  • Fat: 10.6
  • Carbohydrates: 47.6
  • Fiber: 6.4
  • Protein: 10.8
  • Cholesterol: 23.3