Mushroom risotto is a creamy and tasty dish you can make with a few simple ingredients in one pot.
We'll show you how to make the best mushroom risotto recipe in a few simple steps. In just 30 minutes, you'll have a delicious dinner everyone will love.
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Italian comfort food at its best, mushroom risotto, is a classic recipe to jazz up your dinners and indulge in a rich, creamy, and earthy meal.
And did you know that risotto is easy to make? Yes, you'll have to keep an eye on the stove to stir the rice often, but apart from that, the recipe is simple.
You can make it in one pot (plus a small pot to warm up the vegetable broth) with your favorite mushrooms and finish it with butter and parmesan cheese, or if you want the recipe to be vegan, use vegan butter and vegan cheese instead.
Three quick tips to keep in mind to make the best mushroom risotto:
- Add vegetable broth a little at a time: add two ladles of broth at a time, then when it is absorbed, add more. Adding the stock gradually helps the rice grains release the starch slowly, making your dish the creamiest.
- Keep stirring: stirring often with little liquid helps the rice grains rub against each other and release more starch. This is the secret to a creamy risotto; not adding cheese and butter.
- Cook the rice al dente: al dente means with a slight bite to it in Italian. You should be able to feel the different grains of rice in your mouth. Risotto should not be mushy and overcooked.
You can find rice to make risotto in most supermarkets. It's either branded simply as risotto rice or as Arborio Rice, Carnaroli Rice, Roma Rice, Vialone Nano Rice, and Baldo Rice.
Their high starch content is what gives the risotto a creamy texture. Unfortunately is not possible to make risotto with any other rice variety.
We use a mix of white button mushrooms and portobello mushrooms. You can use most mushroom varieties based on what you can find where you live.
For instance, chanterelle mushrooms, brown mushrooms, and oyster mushrooms are great options.
You can also use porcini mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms in lesser quantities, as they have a more intense flavor.
If you like a more accentuated mushrooms taste, we recommend adding a few dried mushrooms, ideally dried porcini mushrooms.
Dried mushrooms are packed with flavor and umami and will infuse your risotto with a ton of mushroom flavor.
Use white onion, yellow onion, or shallot. Its purpose is to build a quick flavor base with the olive oil we cook the rice.
We don't add garlic in mushroom risotto as garlic is not common in authentic Italian mushroom risotto recipes. If you like to add some garlic, mince it finely and add it shortly after the onion.
We use extra virgin olive oil to make the flavor base - soffritto in Italian - with the onion and cook the rice for a few minutes.
Dry white wine adds a touch of acidity to the mushroom risotto and makes the other flavors pop.
While most of the alcohol evaporates, we understand if you don't wish to use wine. In this case, substitute vegetable broth for the wine.
Some good white wine options for risotto are Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Gewürtztraminer, and Riesling.
You can use homemade vegetable broth or store-bought vegetable broth. In either case, what's important is that you put the broth in a separate pot, warm it up to almost boiling temperature, and keep it very hot throughout.
You can also use chicken stock if you are not vegetarian or vegan.
Fresh flat-leaf parsley adds freshness and cuts through the creamy, buttery feel of risotto. Fresh thyme sprigs also work with this mushrooms risotto recipe.
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano add a ton of taste to the risotto. To make this recipe vegan, substitute a vegan parmesan alternative or a melty vegan cheese for the parmesan.
Butter adds richness and a velvety mouth feel. To make this recipe vegan, substitute vegan butter for dairy butter.
Salt and Pepper
Depending if your broth is salted or not, you might need teo add more or less salt. Freshly ground black pepper fits mushroom risotto very well.
Step 1: Start with the mushrooms.
Put the dried mushrooms to soak in a small bowl with warm water, then clean and chop the fresh mushrooms into small bite-size pieces and finely chop the onion and the parsley.
Also, warm up the vegetable broth in a separate pot and keep it hot throughout the recipe.
Add olive oil and finely chopped onion to a large skillet or dutch oven.
Fry the onion on medium heat for 3 minutes or until translucent.
Add the chopped mushrooms, salt, and black pepper, and cook on medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
Next, add the soaked dry mushrooms—Reserve soaking liquid.
Step 2: add the rice.
Add the risotto rice and stir for about 2 minutes on medium-high heat until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and the pan is dry.
Next, add the white wine to deglaze the pan; stir until the white wine is absorbed.
Add the reserved soaking water from the dry mushrooms and two ladlefuls of vegetable broth.
Stir often, almost continuously. When the broth is absorbed, add more. Always two ladlefuls at a time.
Keep stirring and adding broth until the mushroom risotto is cooked al dente - about 15 minutes.
Important: When you add it to the risotto, the broth should be very hot, almost boiling. If the broth is not hot is going to take you forever to cook this dish.
The mushroom risotto is ready when creamy and al dente (with a bite to it). Turn the heat off and let it cool down for 1 minute.
Note: depending on many factors (type of rice, heat intensity, how much you stir, size of your pot), you might need a little more or a little less vegetable broth than instructed in our recipe.
Step 3: add cheese and butter.
Off the heat, add cold Parmigiano Reggiano (or vegan cheese), cold butter (or vegan butter), and chopped parsley.
Stir for about 2 minutes until the ingredients are fully incorporated with the rice. If the risotto is too thick, add some more vegetable broth and stir.
Note: This step is called "mantecare" in Italian. It's an essential step in risotto making and should be done off the heat to preserve butter and cheese's organoleptic properties and texture.
How to serve risotto
Serve a ladleful or two of risotto on a flat plate and eat with a fork. You can sprinkle with parsley, cheese, or drizzle with good quality extra virgin olive oil.
Note: serve risotto "all'onda," which means "wavy" in Italian. That is a creamy consistency that is not too thick nor too liquid.
Risotto should spread on the plate on its own, just by slightly rotating and inclining the plate without touching the rice. However, it should not have excess watery liquid around the edges. The rice grains should be clearly separated and have some bite.
Mushroom risotto is a fulfilling, nourishing, and satiating main course. We recommend serving it with a light salad or with a vegetable side dish to add some veggies. You can try:
Or take your pick from our list of 25 best sides to serve with risotto, including salads and vibrant veggies.
What to do with leftover risotto?
Risotto gets sticky and compact the day after. If you want to eat it as is, we recommend warming it up in the microwave for a couple of minutes.
The texture won't be as creamy and wavy as just-made risotto. However, the taste will be delicious and even more intense than the previous day.
Since leftover risotto is so tasty and sticky, we can highly recommend three delicious recipes with it.
Mushroom Risotto Cakes
Leftover risotto patties, coated in a tasty and crisp breadcrumbs mixture, then fried in a pan or air-fried.
Serve them on a simple side salad for a delicious dinner that everyone will love, including kids and picky grown-ups.
Check out our risotto cakes recipe.
Crisp, creamy, and tasty Italian rice balls you can make easily with leftover mushroom risotto.
Serve them as a fun appetizer or a delicious main with a side dip of homemade marinara sauce, ketchup, or vegan mayo.
Check out our Italian rice balls recipe.
Pan fried risotto
Pan-fried risotto - Riso al Salto in Italian - is a leftover dish made with one to two days old risotto, fried on low heat, slowly with olive oil or butter.
The starchy risotto becomes super crispy on the outside and stays creamy on the inside, and it makes a perfect leftover dinner to serve with a simple Italian side salad.
Check out our pan-fried risotto recipe.
Store leftover mushroom risotto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in single portions in the microwave for 2 to 4 minutes.
Yes, you can freeze risotto for up to 3 months in freezer-friendly zip lock bags in single portions. Thaw frozen risotto in the refrigerator overnight before reheating it in the microwave the day after.
However, we do not recommend freezing risotto unless you really have to. Freezing changes the texture of the dish and the rice grains. Also, when you reheat frozen risotto, it'll be overcooked and mushy.
Try one of our leftover risotto recipes instead: Italian risotto balls, risotto cakes, and pan-fried risotto rice.
Yes, you can reheat risotto up to 3 days after it's made; however, only reheat the portion you will eat. We do not recommend reheating twice.
Our favorite way of reheating risotto is in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. Alternatively, reheat it in a pan with a dash of water or olive oil. But make sure not to overcook it.
It is not advised to make mushroom risotto in advance, especially if you have guests and want to serve them the best risotto.
Mushroom risotto is best eaten 2 to 5 minutes after it's made, with the freshly melted cheese and butter, creamy and velvety texture, and al dente rice grains.
It's very easy to make vegan mushroom risotto. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and substitute vegan cheese and vegan butter for parmesan and regular butter.
You easily keep out the wine and replace it with the same amount of vegetable broth.
To make mushroom risotto creamy, pick the right type of rice. Choose Arborio or Carnaroli rice varieties. They are rich in starch, which is the key to a creamy risotto.
Also, add the broth slowly, only one or two ladlefuls at a time, and stir the rice almost constantly.
The constant stirring with little liquid allows the rice grains to rub against each other, releasing plenty of starch to make your mushroom risotto super creamy.
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 white onion
- 1½ pounds mushrooms mixed - white mushrooms, portobello, chanterelle, or other
- ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper or more to taste
- ⅓ cup dried porcini optional
- 2 cups Arborio rice or other risotto rice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons butter or vegan butter
- ¾ cup parmesan cheese or vegan cheese
- ½ cup flat-leaf parsley
STEP 1: START WITH MUSHROOMS
- Put the dried mushrooms to soak with warm water for 10 minutesClean and chop the fresh mushrooms into small bite-size pieces.Finely chop the onion and the parsley.Warm up the vegetable broth in a separate pot and keep it hot throughout the recipe
- In a large skillet or dutch oven fry the finely chopped onion in olive oil for 3 minutes.
- Add chopped mushrooms, salt, black pepper, and cook for 5 minutes, then add soaked dry mushrooms.Reserve soaking liquid for later.
STEP 2: ADD RICE
- Add rice, stir for 2 minutes on medium-high heat until pan is dry.Add white wine and stir until wine is absorbed.
- Add reserved soaking water from dry mushrooms and 2 ladlefuls of hot vegetable broth.Stir often, almost continuously. When the broth is absorbed, add more. Always two ladlefuls at a time.Repeat until rice is cooked al dente (about 15 minutes).Note: You might have some broth leftover or need a little more depending on rice variety.
STEP 3: ADD CHEESE AND BUTTER
- Turn heat off a let cool down for 1 minute. Add cold parmesan, butter, and chopped parsley.Stir for 2 minutes until ultra creamy. Add more vegetable broth if required. Taste and adjust for salt and cheese.
- Serve a ladleful or two of mushroom risotto on a flat plate and eat with a fork. You can sprinkle with parsley, cheese, or drizzle with good quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Note: serve risotto "all'onda," which means "wavy" in Italian. That is a creamy consistency that is not too thick nor too liquid.Risotto should spread on the plate on its own, just by slightly rotating and inclining the plate without touching the rice. However, it should not have excess watery liquid around the edges. The rice grains should be clearly separated and have some bite.
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