Creamy Mushroom Risotto is a delicious home cooked meal that pairs nicely as a side dish with chicken, lamb, salmon, steak, or even great on its own. It’s a flavorful dish that your whole family will enjoy!
Risotto might be one of my favorite dishes of all time. If I see it on a menu, I automatically know what I am ordering. A true comfort food, risotto is also very versatile and can be creamy and rich without using high calorie ingredients or dairy products, making it ideal for vegetarian and vegan entrees.
Creamy Mushroom Risotto is my #1 favorite risotto recipe. I’ve never had a bad review and make it at least once a month because it goes with nearly everything!
What is Risotto?
Risotto is an Italian dish made from a special type of rice called arborio. This short-grained rice is also used in rice pudding. These grains have a higher starch content, resulting in a firm grain (al dente) when cooked.
It can also absorb a lot more liquid than average rice and therefore a lot more flavor. It is also unique in the starches that cook off result in a creamy, gravy-like sauce without using any cream. One of my favorite varieties is mushroom.
What Mushrooms Are Best For Risotto?
I use a variety of three mushrooms, all that add their own flavor, texture and size. The end result is woody, creamy perfection. You can choose to use just one or none and still get rich flavor. You can even use more if it floats your boat!
One thing you should do before starting Creamy Mushroom Risotto, make sure you read my tips on making perfect risotto.
Why You’ll Love This Mushroom Risotto
This is a dish loved by many for many reasons, but here are a few reasons that we love this easy side dish:
- It goes with anything – No matter the main dish, this creamy risotto will take your dinner to the next level.
- Full of flavor – Between the white wine, flavorful broth, herbs, shallots and onions, the flavor of this side dish is out of this world.
- Elegant – Because of the robust flavors and complexity, it’s perfect for both a fancy diner party or weeknight meal.
Although the list looks a bit long, most of these simple ingredients you might already have on hand.
- Mushrooms – I use a combination of portabella mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms and dried porcini mushrooms for this delicious mushroom risotto.
- Butter – We need butter to sauté the vegetables, as well as to sauté the rice to get it ready for liquids.
- Olive oil – We will use this to sauté the onions, shallot and mushrooms along with the butter. Any neutral oil will work there though.
- Broth – Either vegetable or chicken broth will work here. But if you are trying to keep this vegetarian, make sure to stick with vegetable.
- Shallot – Rather than use garlic which is similar, I like to chop up a shallot to add to this risotto. It adds a wonderful flavor as well as some texture to the dish.
- Onion – I used a white onion, but you could also use a yellow onion if you prefer. They tend to be a bit sweeter, so keep that in mind.
- Herbs – I like to use a combination of bay leaves, dried thyme leaves and flat leaf parsley for this dish. They pair nicely with the flavor of the mushrooms and most already have them on hand.
- Salt and pepper – Not much is needed to season this easy recipe. I like fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and you can add these to taste.
- Arborio rice – There are no swaps or substitutions for the type of rice to use. Arborio ae the grains of rice needed to make this recotto recipe.
- White wine – You want a dry white wine for this recipe, so think along the lines of a dry pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc. You could use white cooking wine if you have it too.
- Parmesan cheese – This is part of what makes this rice so creamy. I highly suggest grating your own cheese rather than buying a bag pf pre-shredded cheese at the store. You could also use pecorino romano.
How Do You Clean Mushrooms?
Mushrooms can hold dirt and grit in a multitude of places. How you clean them depends large on how dirty they are.
- For less dirty mushrooms, rinse each mushroom with cold water and wipe with a paper towel. Cut off any dry, hardened ends.
- For dirty mushrooms, place then in a large mixing bowl with cold water. Allow the dirt to loosen and fall to the bottom. Drain well and trim.
How to Make Mushroom Risotto
Making risotto is a labor of love for sure. But the creamy texture and end result is more than worth it. Follow these step to make the best date night recipe.
- Prepare your mushrooms. Mushrooms can hold dirt and grit in a multitude of places. Rinse each mushroom well and wipe with a dampened paper towel. Cut off any dry, hardened ends. Set aside. In the microwave, heat water with one packet of concentrated vegetable broth in a medium bowl. Reconstitute dried porcini mushrooms until doubled in size. Drain and discard remaining liquid.
- Saute mushrooms. In a large, high topped skillet melt butter and olive oil. Saute shallot and half of onion until translucent. Add all three type of mushroom, bay leaves, dried thyme and parsley. Saute until mushrooms have reduced in size by half; they will still be taunt, but not mushy. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Bring broth to simmer. In the same large skillet without rinsing, melt remaining olive oil and butter. At the same time, bring water, combined with concentrated vegetable broth to a simmer over low heat in a separate sauce pan.
- Add rice. Add arborio rice and remaining half of the onion to the large skillet with melted butter and olive oil. Stir over medium heat until the rice is uniformly lightly browned.
- Add white wine. Stir in white wine until evaporated. Ladle in one cup of simmering broth and stir. Cook until absorbed. Continue to add 1 cup of simmering broth at a time, waiting until it is absorbed before adding the next, until all broth is gone. This process will take awhile.
- Add mushrooms and cheese. Return mushroom mixture to the rice in the skillet. Stir in finely shredded Parmesan cheese.
What to Serve with Mushroom Risotto
Creamy Mushroom Risotto is a delicious home cooked meal that pairs nicely as a side dish with chicken, lamb, salmon, steak, or even great on its own.
Turn this traditional risotto into main course by adding in some ground sausage or ground beef.
There are endless ways to make this creamy italian rice dish your own. But here are a few suggestions that we like:
- Mushrooms – If you don’t like the mushrooms I used, go ahead and use ones you like! Baby bella, oyster mushrooms or cremini mushrooms would also be great. Just be careful of wild mushrooms unless you really know what you’re doing.
- Fresh herbs – You can elevate the flavor of this dish by adding in some fresh herbs. Fresh thyme, fresh parsley or even an extra dash of black pepper would really enhance the savory flavor of this risotto rice.
- Flavor – Want to take the flavor a step further? A great way to do that would be to add in some lemon juice to brighten things up. You could also cook the sauteed mushrooms in truffle oil for enhanced flavor.
- Make it vegan – To make a vegan mushroom risotto, simply swap the butter for vegan butter, make sure to use vegetable stock and leave out the parmesan cheese.
Frequently Asked Questions
Check the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and measurements, but the basic components of risotto are arborio rice and some sort of liquid. This particular recipes uses mushrooms, broth and white wine as well.
I’d say the secret is cooking low and slow. The longer you give for the rice to soak up that liquid, the creamier your consistency will be. You also want to shred your own cheese. It melts easier, thus creating a creamy consistency.
I have a whole section above with serving suggestions, but it makes the perfect side dish for just about any protein you can think of. It’s also great paired with another green or leafy side dish.
I am no health expert, but I’m also not going to lie to you and say this is a healthy recipe. The good news is that the only ingredient that is truly fattening is the cheese.
More Risotto Recipes
Creamy Mushroom Risotto Recipe
- 8 ounces portabella mushrooms , thinly sliced (two large heads)
- 3.5 ounces shiitake mushrooms , sliced lengthwise, 7-8
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms , whole, pre-packaged
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , divided
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil , divided
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 large shallot , minced
- 1 small white onion , chopped, divided
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley , chopped
- coarse kosher salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese , shreded extra for topping
- Heat 1 cup of water in the microwave in a medium bowl. Reconstitute dried porcini mushrooms until doubled in size. Drain and discard remaining liquid.
- In a large, high topped skillet melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Saute the shallot and half of onion until translucent, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add all three types of mushrooms, bay leaves, dried thyme and parsley. Saute for an additional 3-5 minutes or until the mushrooms have reduced in size by half; they will still be taunt, but not mushy. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- In the same large skillet without rinsing, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons extra of the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter. At the same time, bring the broth to a simmer over low heat in a separate saucepan.
- Add the arborio rice and remaining half of the onion to the large skillet with melted butter and olive oil. Stir over medium heat until the rice is uniformly lightly browned, approximately 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in the white wine until evaporated. Ladle in one cup of the hot broth and stir. Cook until absorbed. Continue to add 1 cup of simmering broth at a time, waiting until it is absorbed before adding the next, until all broth is gone. This process takes about 20-25 minutes.
- Return mushroom mixture to the rice in the skillet. Heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and serve.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back to let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.