Craving a hearty, comforting meatless meal? Look no further than this mushroom risotto recipe. So full of savory, satisfying flavor!
A few weeks back, I had an evening alone and I found myself with a powerful and very specific craving: Mushroom risotto.
Well, needless to say, I got right into the kitchen. The only way to satisfy that kind of hankering is to feed it.
Luckily risotto is easy enough to whip up and it only takes about 20 minutes of babysitting. And I ended up with something so stunningly delicious, I knew I couldn’t waste a single moment. It had to be shared- with you.
This dish is truly the ultimate. The flavors are sophisticated, with a hint of white wine, fresh herbs, and decadent white truffle. The texture, while soft and velvety, is also hearty and rich, with big, toothsome chunks of earthy mushroom.
I put this mushroom risotto recipe in that “comfort food” category, along with loaded baked potato soup or chicken pot pie. It’s hearty and soul-satisfying, creamy and full of deep, rich flavor. Perfect for a chilly night. Curl up under a blanket in front of the tv, with a hot and steamy bowl of this, a hunk of crusty bread, and a glass of wine.
This is the kind of meal that makes you feel pampered and cared for in every way.
WHAT IS MUSHROOM RISOTTO?
Risotto is a classic northern Italian dish, made by lovingly stirring arborio rice together with broth, as it slowly releases its starches and becomes soft and creamy. It’s often enhanced with parmesan cheese, wine, onions, and butter or cream.
This version takes it a step further, adding meaty mushrooms, fresh herbs, and aromatic truffle oil.
You will need to give it plenty of TLC as it cooks, stirring and adding broth every few minutes, but it only needs about 20 minutes to cook. And you’ll be rewarded with a dish that is truly so spectacular.
It’s a perfect dish for a cozy weeknight dinner but is also luxurious enough for a special occasion.
HOW TO MAKE MUSHROOM RISOTTO
To really bump up the earthy, savory quality of this dish, we’re going to start with dried mushrooms. You can use any kind you like, but my favorite are porcini. Here’s a link to the kind I like to buy: Mycological Dried Porcini Mushrooms.
Place these in a small pot of water, and simmer them over low heat for 20 minutes.
While the dried mushrooms are softening and creating their own mushroom-y broth, warm the stock in another, slightly larger pot until it’s steaming. You can use chicken stock (like I did), or vegetable or beef stock would work really well too.
Saute some onion in a little olive oil.
Then add fresh, sliced mushrooms. I prefer baby bellas (aka: mini portabella mushrooms or creminis), but button mushrooms would work really well too.
Stir in the uncooked rice as well, and give everything a pinch of salt & pepper.
You need a special kind of rice for risotto. It has a shorter grain and is very starchy. This is how you get that soft, creamy texture. I like to use arborio rice, but carnaroli rice is another good option.
Allow everything to cook until the onion is translucent, the mushrooms are softening, and the rice looks opaque in the middle but a little translucent around the edges.
Now deglaze the pot with a dry white wine, scraping the bottom to pull up any browned bits.
Once most of the wine has been absorbed into the rice, add in the reconstituted dried mushrooms, along with the liquid they’ve been simmering in.
Toss in the rind from a wedge of parmesan, and a sprig or two of fresh rosemary for flavor.
Cook the mixture, stirring, until it reaches a simmer.
Allow the risotto to continue simmering, stirring every so often, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Then add in a ladle of hot stock.
Stir the stock in and again, allow it to simmer and absorb.
Keep repeating this process of adding hot stock, stirring, and simmering, until all of the stock has been added.
Now, give it a taste. Is the rice al dente, with a little bit of firm texture? If not, stir in hot water until the texture is right. Does it need more salt or pepper? Adjust the seasoning as needed.
The final step is to stir in a little cream. This will give the final dish a truly luxurious quality. So scrumptious!
Now just spoon it into serving bowls and garnish with grated parmesan, truffle oil, and fresh herbs.
The truffle oil is optional, but it really is my favorite element of the dish. I love a brand called Artisan de la Truffe White Truffle Oil, which I buy at Williams Sonoma. Here is a link: Artisan de la Truffe Truffle Oil. This stuff is seriously INCREDIBLE!
CAN THIS BE MADE VEGAN?
Mushroom risotto is naturally gluten-free, and you can also make it vegetarian if you use vegetable stock.
For a vegan version, use coconut milk in place of the cream. I prefer the full-fat, unsweetened version sold in a can: Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk. And of course, you’ll want to omit the cheese (or use a vegan parmesan substitute).
Looking to jazz up this dish with a little extra protein and/or veg? Here are some tasty add-ins:
- Cooked & Cubed Chicken
- Fresh Spinach
- Crisp Bacon
- Grilled Shrimp
- Seared Scallops
- Cubed Pumpkin or Butternut Squash
- Sauteed Leeks
- Cooked Crumbled Sausage
Just to name a few!
HOW TO STORE
Risotto can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week to 10 days.
You can also freeze it. It will last in the freezer for a couple of months. Thaw it in the fridge, the night before you plan to serve it.
HOW TO REHEAT
This dish tends to become even thicker as sits, so you may need to dilute it with a little bit of water before you reheat it.
I like to warm it in the microwave (covered) in 30-second bursts, stirring after each, until it is hot and steamy. But you could also transfer it to a small pot and reheat it on the stove. Just be sure to stir it frequently, so it doesn’t scorch on the bottom!
A FEW MORE COMFORTING, HEARTY MEAL IDEAS:
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- 1 ounce (28.35 g) dried mushrooms , (I prefer porcinis)
- 2 cups (473.18 g) water
- 4 cups (960 g) chicken stock, or vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons (29.57 g) extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 (165.5 g) sweet onion, (medium) roughly chopped
- 8 ounces (226.8 g) fresh mushrooms,, sliced (I like baby bellas)
- 1 cup (200 g) arborio rice
- 1/2 cup (120 g) dry white wine
- parmesan rind
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons (9.86 g) kosher salt, (divided), or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper,, to taste
- 1/4 cup (59.5 g) heavy cream
- freshly grated parmesan, (optional garnish)
- truffle oil, (optional garnish)
- fresh herbs, such as chives, (optional garnish)
- Place the water and dried mushrooms in a small pot, and simmer over low heat (covered) for 20 minutes.
- Heat the stock in a medium pot until steaming.
- Drizzle the olive oil into a large pot and place over medium heat.
- Saute the onion in the hot oil until slightly softened, then add the fresh mushrooms and rice, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and stir.
- Cook the mixture for a few mintues, stirring, until the rice starts to look translucent around the edges.
- Stir in the wine, allowing the mixture to simmer.
- When most of the liquid has been absorbed, stir in the dried mushroom/water mixture.
- Add the parmesan rind and the rosemary.
- Allow the mixture to cook, stirring, until most of the liquid is absorbed, then add one ladle of hot stock.
- Continue to cook, stirring, adding more stock once the last addition has been mostly absorbed.
- When all the stock has been added, taste the risotto (the rice should be firm: not hard or chalky and not too mushy*), season as needed, and stir in the cream.
- Serve the mushroom risotto in bowls, garnished with grated parmesan, a drizzle of truffle oil, and a pinch of fresh herbs.