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Two different kinds of mushrooms, arborio rice, and just the right amount of nutty parmesan cheese come together in this deeply savory, delightfully creamy mushroom risotto. It is the perfect choice for a chilly winter’s evening.
There is something soothing about making risotto. The continual stirring, the rich aromas, and the satisfaction of watching the rice dish thicken into creamy perfection. Mushroom risotto in particular holds a special place in my heart. It really warms you up from the inside out. The mushrooms absorb the flavors of the wine and the stock beautifully and the use of two different kinds of mushrooms, both fresh, adds an extra layer of complexity to the dish. Incorporate some perfectly melted parmesan cheese? Wow. I’m hungry. Throw on some jazz, pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy the meditative process of making this tasty side dish.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Risotto Recipe
There are so many good things about this delightful rice dish that it’s hard to pick just a few to talk about. But I will try.
- A side OR and entree. Mushroom risotto is the perfect accompaniment to an entree such as filet mignon or your favorite chicken dish. That being said, it is so hearty and flavorful that it is sure to satisfy those of you in search of a vegetarian entree.
- Great base recipe. Not a mushroom person? This recipe is a pretty failsafe starting point for any risotto variation. Just skip the mushroom portion and put your own spin on things. Have a look at the section below titled “Easy Variations” for some ideas.
- Interactive. If you are someone who likes to stay actively involved in the kitchen, this recipe is perfect for you. Between slowly adding the wine and broth and the constant stirring, there won’t be a dull moment as you watch this creamy dish come together.
Scroll to the bottom of this post for more details on quantities, etc., but here is a basic rundown of the ingredients needed to make this delicious mushroom risotto.
- Arborio rice – This is the classic risotto rice. It is short-grained and starchy. That starchiness is crucial in producing a creamy risotto. You can also use carnaroli rice.
- Chicken broth – Make your own if you can! If you are short on time, however, store-bought is just fine. I recommend using a low-sodium product so you can more easily control your seasoning. Additionally, if you want to keep this vegetarian, you can swap this for vegetable stock/broth.
- White wine – Try a sauvignon blanc or a pinot grigio. Fancy isn’t necessary here, so save your extra dollars for a good drinking wine to go along with the risotto.
- Button mushrooms
- Fresh shiitake mushrooms
- Dried thyme
- Parmesan cheese – Buy a block and grate it yourself; finely.
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh parsley
What Types of Mushrooms are Good with Risotto?
This recipe calls for button mushrooms and dried shiitakes, but feel free to branch out. Some other varieties that are successful in risotto are baby portabellas, porcini, cremini mushrooms, and oyster mushrooms.
This recipe is a wonderful starting point for those of you looking to experiment with risotto. You are welcome to adapt it to your taste preferences and play with adding ingredients other than mushrooms. Here are some examples of fun variations.
- Shrimp risotto. Simply skip the whole mushroom part of this recipe and, at the end of the cooking process, sauté some jumbo shrimp and add them to the mix. Incorporate some mascarpone cheese and you’ve got yourself a meal.
- Butternut squash risotto. Skip the mushrooms and substitute one cup of butternut squash soup for one cup of stock. I like Pacific Foods Organic Butternut Squash Soup. You can even stir in a bit of goat cheese at the end.
- Saffron risotto. Infuse saffron into the stock for a colorful, aromatic risotto.
How to Make Mushroom Risotto
Risotto can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Just follow a few simple steps and remain vigilant. I believe in you. I’ve outlined the basics here. but don’t forget to check out the full recipe at the bottom of this post for more details.
- Sauté, sauté, sauté. Melt some butter in a large saucepan and add the onions. Sauté until tender before adding the fresh mushrooms. Sauté until tender before adding the garlic and thyme.
- Toast the rice. Add the rice to the pan and stir until toasted.
- Deglaze with white wine. Add the white wine. Stir until it evaporates.
- Add the stock. Slowly. Add the stock to the pan in 1/2 cup increments, allowing it to evaporate between each addition.
- Add parmesan and butter. Incorporate the remainder of the butter and the Parmesan cheese into the mixture.
- Season. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh parsley.
Tips for Success
Risotto has a reputation for being somewhat finicky and difficult to get right. Not to worry. Here are some tips and tricks that will set you up for success.
- Heat the stock. Do not skip this step. Adding cold stock to the risotto will drop the temperature of the dish repeatedly, disrupting the cooking process.
- Slow and steady wins the race. It can be tempting to add all of the stock at once. Don’t do it. Be patient and add the stock in 1/2 cup increments. The constant stirring and the slow addition of liquid allow the starch to develop between the grains of rice, leading to the creamy texture that defines risotto.
- Don’t try to use a different rice. You might decide to reach for that leftover bag of jasmine rice you have in the cupboard. You will not achieve the desired consistency. You must use short-grained, starchy rice. The starch is a huge contributor to the creaminess of the risotto.
What To Serve with Creamy Mushroom Risotto
Serve this delicious dish alongside your favorite entree or as an entree in itself paired with a veggie side. Here are some dishes I enjoy serving with creamy mushroom risotto.
- Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Shallots
- Roasted Lemony Pesto Asparagus
- Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri
- Beef Tenderloin with Quick Red Wine Pan Sauce
- Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs
- Swedish Meatballs
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
This is a great recipe to double and save the leftovers for later. Here’s how to store and reheat it properly.
- Storing. Allow the risotto to cool to room temperature before sealing it in an airtight container and storing it in the refrigerator. It will stay edible for up to 5 days.
- Reheating. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat and add the desired portion along with a couple of tablespoons of stock or water. Stir until heated through. You can also use the microwave in a pinch. Make sure to add a bit of extra stock or water here as well.
Can I Freeze This?
You can! Allow the risotto to cool to room temperature before sealing it in an airtight container and placing it in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to enjoy, move the container to the refrigerator and allow the risotto to thaw overnight before following the above reheating instructions.
More Easy Side Dishes
Side dishes really do pull the whole meal together. This mushroom risotto is a wonderful option to serve alongside your favorite entree on a cold winter’s night, but I have some other favorites that will do the trick as well.
- Roasted Honeynut Squash
- Cheesy Baked Cauliflower Casserole
- Twice-Baked Loaded Ranch Potatoes
- Scalloped Potatoes
- 3 tablespoons (42 g) butter, divided
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Fresh thyme
- 1 ½ cups (129 g) portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup (226 g) fresh shiitake mushrooms
- ⅓ cup (79 ml) white wine
- ¾ cup (150 g) arborio rice
- 2 cups (473 ml) chicken broth, plus more if needed
- ½ cup (50 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Handful of parsley
The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.
- In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons (28g) of butter over medium high heat and sauté the onions until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the fresh mushrooms and sauté until they turn tender.
- Add in the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, less than a minute.
- Add the rice to the skillet and toast them by stirring until they start to turn translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add the white wine and deglaze the bottom of the skillet. Continue to stir to cook the rice until wine has mostly disappeared.
- Heat up chicken broth in microwave for 15-20 seconds then add the warm chicken broth to the skillet ½ cup at a time, stirring until it has disappeared. You may not use all the chicken stock, if it's starting to look like the arborio rice is not sopping up the liquid anymore, stop.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon (14g) of butter to the skillet along with the Parmesan cheese. Stir until all has melted and well incorporated.
- You may cover the skillet with a lid to let the arborio rice cook in the liquid some more, but that might not be necessary in your case.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve and garnish with parsley.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.