Easy Mushroom Risotto Recipe

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This easy mushroom risotto recipe is everything you love about risotto: creamy, flavorful, and perfectly delicious as a side or an entrée on its own. If you’ve ever been hesitant to try your hand at making risotto at home, then you’ll want to give this easy recipe a try as you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Mushroom Risotto recipe on plate

What is the secret to a good risotto?

Everybody thinks risotto requires secret techniques to make it the creamy perfection you often receive at a quality Italian restaurant. The truth is that risotto’s creaminess is often foolproof if you use the right kind of rice.

Sure, you can use butter and cream, which are definitely necessary ingredients for flavor and richness, but the creamy nature of risotto is a result of the rice grains themselves.

To make risotto, you will want to use arborio rice, a short grain rice that’s incredibly starchy. As you cook the rice and stir it, you’ll help release much of that starch and create a thick, creamy consistency.

mushroom risotto image overhead view

Is risotto a hard dish to make?

No! The reason risotto gets a bad rap is that, in general, people tend to have a hard time making rice. But unlike a regular pot of rice, the liquid used to cook the risotto is added in batches.

Personally, I find it easier to control how tender your risotto gets when you’re adding the liquid in batches. With regular rice, you often have to add all the water right at the beginning, which makes the ratio of liquid to grains very important.

With risotto, you can add more or less liquid by taste-testing the texture as you go.

Do you have to cook rice before making risotto?

No, you do not have to cook rice before making risotto. In fact, it’s necessary to cook the rice as you go so that the starch that’s released helps bind other ingredients like cream and butter to the rice and give it delicious flavor.

easy mushroom risotto image side view

How do you fix sticky risotto?

If you find your risotto too sticky, you can simply add a little bit of stock or water to your risotto to loosen it up. Just be sure not to add too much or else your risotto will be soupy.

Can you make mushroom risotto ahead of time?

Yes, you can definitely make mushroom risotto ahead of time. What you’ll want to do is parcook the risotto. When your risotto almost feels ready but still a little al dente and not quite as soft as you want, you’ll want to turn off the heat and take your pot off the stove.

Once completely cool, cover with the lid and stick the risotto in the fridge. Bring the risotto out within a few days, at the latest, and reheat over the stove, adding some more stock or water to finish cooking the risotto to your desired tenderness.

What to serve with Mushroom Risotto?

Mushroom risotto pairs well with a variety of dishes, making it the perfect side dish. I’ve made this easy mushroom risotto recipe as a side for my crispy chicken meunière, scallops or sole meunière, and even my fork-tender braised short ribs.

mushroom risotto image up close view

How to make easy mushroom risotto

So, are you convinced you need to make this mushroom risotto recipe at home? I’ll tell you, this is a recipe my sister regularly requests from me and when I do make it, she pretty much kidnaps the pot of risotto from my house!

To make this easy mushroom risotto recipe, you’ll want to start off by melting a little butter in a large pot. You’ll add the mushrooms and sauté them until tender, then temporarily remove them from the pot.

To the now empty pot, you’ll add a drizzle of olive oil, along with the onion and garlic. Sautéed until translucent and fragrant, you’ll add the arborio rice and give everything a stir for a minute to toast the rice.

A combination of vegetable (or chicken) stock and white wine are added to the rice, in batches, until each batch of liquid is absorbed by the rice. Once all of the liquid has been added and absorbed, some cream, butter, and parmesan are added for extra flavor and richness. The cooked mushrooms are stirred in and, voila, easy mushroom risotto!

Mushroom Risotto recipe on plate

Easy Mushroom Risotto Recipe

Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

A deliciously creamy and tender risotto studded with sautéed mushrooms and flavored with parmesan.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. mushrooms (suggested: mix of baby bella, crimini, shiitake), cut into quarters or eighths depending on size
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups dry arborio rice
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock* see note
  • ½ cup dry white wine (such as sauvignon blanc)
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • ⅔ cup finely grated parmesan
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. To a large pot over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp of unsalted butter. Cook the mushrooms in the melted butter over medium heat until they’re soft and tender. Once the mushrooms are tender, temporarily remove them from the pot and set aside.
  2. To your pot, add the olive oil. Once hot, stir in the chopped onion. Add in the minced garlic and stir to combine. Cook until the onion is translucent.
  3. Now, add in the arborio rice, and stir over medium heat for a minute to toast. While the rice cooks for a minute, add the vegetable stock and white wine to a large pitcher or container.
  4. Pour ¼ of the stock/wine mixture into the rice. Once the mixture is simmering, lower the heat slightly to keep it at a gentle simmer. Stir and let the rice cook in this liquid until it has completely absorbed all the liquid.
  5. Then add in another ¼ of the stock/wine mixture to the rice. Again, stir and let the rice absorb all the liquid before adding in another ¼ of the stock/wine mixture.
  6. After the rice has absorbed the liquid, add the remaining stock/wine mixture and cook until fully absorbed.
  7. Now, add in the heavy cream along with the remaining 2 tbsp unsalted butter and the grated parmesan cheese. Once the butter has melted, season the rice with the salt and a pinch of freshly ground pepper.
  8. Stir in the sautéed mushrooms from before, then turn off the heat and serve warm. If you want the risotto to be just a tad softer, place a lid over the risotto with the heat off, and let it sit there for another 10 to 15 minutes, until it's as soft as you like.

Notes

You can also use bouillon stock cubes. If you're using the cubes, dissolve the cube in 4 cups of hot water first, then this will become your equivalent of stock liquid in this recipe.

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