Creamy Mushroom Risotto

You’ll want to make this mushroom risotto recipe again and again! It’s irresistibly creamy, flavored with wine and Parmesan cheese. Here’s a deliciously creamy, cozy recipe that’s ideal in any season: Mushroom Risotto! This one is full of robust earthy flavor and the best canvas for any type of mushroom you have on hand. Throw them together with Parmesan cheese, white wine and if you like, a homemade mushroom broth. You won’t believe the silky, irresistible flavors! We made this one to celebrate spring with a combo of baby bella and baby shiitake mushrooms, and we couldn’t stop sneaking bites from the pan. What’s in mushroom risotto? Risotto is a creamy Italian rice dish that’s made using short grain rice and broth. When I first started learning about home cooking, I thought risotto was a product from a box marked “risotto”. Nope! All you need is short grain arborio rice, which plumps up and becomes creamy when you cook it with liquid. You’ll need a handful of simple ingredients for this mushroom risotto. The flavors are crisp and pure. Here’s what you’ll need: White arborio rice: a short-grain Italian rice used for making risotto Mushrooms: a variety of types is nice; […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

You’ll want to make this mushroom risotto recipe again and again! It’s irresistibly creamy, flavored with wine and Parmesan cheese.

Mushroom risotto

Here’s a deliciously creamy, cozy recipe that’s ideal in any season: Mushroom Risotto! This one is full of robust earthy flavor and the best canvas for any type of mushroom you have on hand. Throw them together with Parmesan cheese, white wine and if you like, a homemade mushroom broth. You won’t believe the silky, irresistible flavors! We made this one to celebrate spring with a combo of baby bella and baby shiitake mushrooms, and we couldn’t stop sneaking bites from the pan.

What’s in mushroom risotto?

Risotto is a creamy Italian rice dish that’s made using short grain rice and broth. When I first started learning about home cooking, I thought risotto was a product from a box marked “risotto”. Nope! All you need is short grain arborio rice, which plumps up and becomes creamy when you cook it with liquid.

You’ll need a handful of simple ingredients for this mushroom risotto. The flavors are crisp and pure. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • White arborio rice: a short-grain Italian rice used for making risotto
  • Mushrooms: a variety of types is nice; see below
  • Broth: Homemade mushroom broth is best and takes only a few extra minutes, or use vegetable broth
  • Dry white wine: wine is essential to the nuanced flavor
  • Lemon: fresh lemon pairs perfectly with asparagus
  • Parmesan cheese: brings just the right savory notes
  • Olive oil, butter, onion, garlic powder: For flavoring
Mushroom risotto recipe

Use a mix of mushrooms for best flavor

This mushroom risotto is the perfect canvas for any type of mushroom you can find! In fact, it’s an easy way to serve a variety you might not be familiar with. Alex and I have been cooking through all the types we can find at our local grocery store: and we’ve found many new favorites! We used a combination of baby bella and baby shiitake mushrooms for the risotto you see here, but there are endless variations you can try. Here are a few types of mushrooms that would work great here:

  • Baby bella (aka cremini): This variety is a baby version of the portobello and has a savory, meaty flavor
  • Button or white: The baby stage of a cremini! It has a mild flavor and is easy to find
  • Portobello: Slice up portobellos for a super meaty flavor
  • Shiitake: Their earthy flavor is perfect here; if you can find baby shiitakes you can leave on the stems
  • Oyster: This variety has a delicate and savory flavor; if you can find King Oyster mushrooms the flavor is even more meaty
  • Maitake or Hen of the Woods: this variety is feathery with a peppery finish and great in a risotto!

Other varieties you could consider if you can find them: Lion’s Mane or Beech.

Homemade mushroom broth is the star

The other key to flavor in this mushroom risotto recipe? Homemade mushroom broth! If you’re running low on time, you can substitute purchased mushroom broth or vegetable broth (see the recipe below). But we highly recommend homemade: it infuses the entire risotto with earthy, savory flavor! Here are the basic steps (or jump over to the Mushroom Broth recipe):

  • Chop fresh veggies, and grab some dried mushrooms. You’ll need both fresh and dry mushrooms: dry porcini mushrooms work best. Chop the fresh ones and add carrot and celery to the mix. Throw them in a pot with water and salt.
  • Simmer 15 minutes. That’s all you need to get great flavor! The dried porcini mushrooms add a massive amount of umami.

For the specific instructions and quantities, go to Homemade Mushroom Broth recipe.

Mushroom broth
Homemade mushroom broth adds huge flavor (and only 5 extra minutes)

The keys to making mushroom risotto

Making homemade risotto is pretty simple, though it might seem complex if you haven’t tried it before. Just cook short grain rice with broth until it becomes extraordinarily creamy! You’ll sauté your mushrooms first, then set them aside while you cook the risotto. Here are some keys to great homemade risotto:

  • Use arborio rice. You should be able to find it at most grocery stores. This variety of rice becomes plump when it’s cooked with liquid.
  • Heat the broth first. This is important. Warm broth helps it to cook into the rice right away without lowering the temperature of the food. Of course, it’s already warm when you make the homemade broth!
  • Add warm broth 2 ladles at a time and stir until rice is al dente (about 12 minutes). This process does require a bit of babysitting. Continue this process until the rice is just al dente.
  • Add Parmesan & the mushrooms. Once it’s al dente, add the Parmesan cheese and stir vigorously for 2 minutes until it’s very creamy. Add the mushrooms and serve!
Mushroom risotto

Make ahead and storage instructions

Can you make this mushroom risotto ahead? Technically you can, but risotto is best freshly made. Why? Here are a few pointers:

  • Serve it freshly made if possible. The creamy texture is best right out of the pan. Because…
  • You can store refrigerated 3 days, but it becomes less creamy. The rice soaks up a lot of the broth in the refrigerator.
  • Reheat on the stove with additional broth or Parmesan. You’ll need a little more liquid to get it back to a creamy texture. Additional Parmesan and a few pinches salt can revive the flavor.
  • Make ahead ideas: To speed up prep day of, you can make the mushroom broth in advance. You can also saute the mushrooms in advance; just refrigerate until you make it.
Mushroom risotto

Sides to serve with risotto

You can serve this mushroom risotto as a vegetarian main dish, or it also works as a fancy side dish for fish or meat. Usually we go vegetarian for this meal, since 45 minutes is quite a while for making a side dish. But if you’re serving it for a fancy dinner party: it’s absolutely perfect! Here are a few easy ideas for what to serve with risotto when you’re serving as a main dish:

Want more risotto recipes? Try our Asparagus RisottoButternut Squash RisottoCauliflower Risotto and Parmesan Risotto.

This mushroom risotto recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Mushroom risotto

Creamy Mushroom Risotto


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

You’ll want to make this mushroom risotto recipe again and again! It’s irresistibly creamy, flavored with wine and Parmesan cheese. 


Ingredients

  • 2 quarts Homemade Mushroom Broth, purchased mushroom broth, or 1 quart vegetable broth, 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms: a mix of baby bella (aka cremini), button, shiitake, portobello, oyster, or other
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups white arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay (optional but recommended)
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • For serving: Zest from 1/2 lemon, freshly ground black pepper, and fresh thyme

Instructions

  1. Heat the broth: Make the mushroom broth (our preferred method for best flavor) and start the 15 minute simmer. OR combine 1 quart vegetable broth, 4 cups water, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a saucepan and place it over low heat. The homemade broth only adds a few minutes to the cook time, so we highly recommend it! Simmer it while you complete Step 2, 3 and 4.
  2. Cut the vegetables: Finely mince the onion, then place it in a bowl and reserve. Slice the mushrooms (we used a mix of baby bella and baby shiitake).
  3. Saute the mushrooms: Add 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned, stirring occasionally: about 5 to 7 minutes depending on mushrooms. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Start the risotto: In the same skillet, heat the olive oil and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the minced onion and cook for about 2 minutes until tender. Add the garlic powder and rice and cook, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes until the rice starts to turn light brown. Stir in the wine and cook until the liquid is fully absorbed, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the broth: Add two ladles of the hot broth to the risotto. Cook, stirring occasionally until the liquid is fully absorbed, then add two more ladles of both. Cook in this same manner for about 12 minutes, adding two ladles and stirring. Then taste a grain of rice. If it’s creamy but still al dente in the center, you’re ready for the final step! If not, continue to cook and add broth for a few minutes more. (You may have some broth left over: save it for reheating leftovers.)
  6. Finish the risotto: When the rice is al dente, reduce the heat to low. Add two more ladles of broth, the Parmesan cheese and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes until you’ve got a thick and creamy risotto. Then stir in the sautéed mushrooms. Taste and add additional kosher salt if desired. Serve topped with lemon zest, Parmesan shavings, fresh thyme, and black pepper.
  7. Storage info: Flavor is best day of. You can store leftovers refrigerated for up to 3 days, but the texture will become less creamy when chilled. Reheat on the stovetop and add a little extra broth and Parmesan cheese, and a few pinches salt to taste. (See Make Ahead section above for tips.)
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian-inspired

Keywords: Mushroom risotto, Mushroom risotto recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Best Ever Sauteed Mushrooms

Attention, mushroom lovers: here’s THE perfect sauteed mushrooms recipe! It brings out the best savory flavor with lemon and fresh herbs. Hold on to your hats. This recipe truly makes the best sauteed mushrooms. They’re tender, juicy, and meaty with a brightness at the finish. Fresh thyme and oregano give an herby punch. Take one bite and you’ll exclaim “Wow!” (Yep, we promise. We did.) This recipe is plant based with not a lick of meat or dairy, but it has the feel of taking a satisfying bite of meat. It also takes only 10 minutes to make. Your side dish game will never be the same. How to make the best sauteed mushrooms on the planet OK, we jest! But only a little. These sauteed mushrooms are indeed very tasty. One bite is the very definition of umami. (If you’re not familiar, that’s the mysterious fifth flavor that rounds out sweet, salty, sour and bitter with savory.) All this is coming from a former mushroom hater. Yes, I’ve changed my tune because I’ve found that when cooked correctly, these little fungi are nature’s gift. Here’s what to do to make this easy sauteed mushrooms recipe: Clean the mushrooms and […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Attention, mushroom lovers: here’s THE perfect sauteed mushrooms recipe! It brings out the best savory flavor with lemon and fresh herbs.

Sauteed mushrooms

Hold on to your hats. This recipe truly makes the best sauteed mushrooms. They’re tender, juicy, and meaty with a brightness at the finish. Fresh thyme and oregano give an herby punch. Take one bite and you’ll exclaim “Wow!” (Yep, we promise. We did.) This recipe is plant based with not a lick of meat or dairy, but it has the feel of taking a satisfying bite of meat. It also takes only 10 minutes to make. Your side dish game will never be the same.

How to make the best sauteed mushrooms on the planet

OK, we jest! But only a little. These sauteed mushrooms are indeed very tasty. One bite is the very definition of umami. (If you’re not familiar, that’s the mysterious fifth flavor that rounds out sweet, salty, sour and bitter with savory.)

All this is coming from a former mushroom hater. Yes, I’ve changed my tune because I’ve found that when cooked correctly, these little fungi are nature’s gift. Here’s what to do to make this easy sauteed mushrooms recipe:

  • Clean the mushrooms and slice them.
  • Saute the mushrooms in olive oil for 2 minutes.
  • Add roughly chopped fresh thyme and oregano and continue to cook, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • When the liquid is cooked out, turn off the heat and stir in fresh lemon juice.
Sauteed mushrooms

What’s the best type of mushroom to use?

Great question! The type we recommend for these sauteed mushrooms is baby bella mushrooms (also called cremini). Why? This variety is a more mature version of a white button mushroom, so it has a more robust flavor. As the name implies, it’s also a less mature version (baby!) of a portobello mushroom. You can use white button mushrooms if you can’t find baby bella mushrooms, but we recommend seeking them out if at all possible.

Can you use portobello mushrooms? Or a mix of other mushrooms? Yes! Portobello mushrooms have a great meaty flavor. They’ll just have a slightly different look here: simply chop the caps into bite-sized pieces. Using a mix of mushrooms is also nice (we do this in our Mushroom Pasta). Try a mix of baby bella with shiitake and oyster, which results in lots of flavor and texture contrasts.

Cremini mushrooms

Can you use dried herbs instead?

Short answer: No. For these sauteed mushrooms, you want the best flavor. And the very best flavor comes from using fresh herbs. The herbs we’ve used are thyme and oregano, which add an herby punch. You could definitely use other herbs you have on hand, but these offer the best flavor. It’s becoming easier to find these fresh herbs in grocery stores, and of course if it’s the summer: grow your own!

Longer answer: OK, if you absolutely must use dried, it will still taste good: just not sublime! Here’s the key: For 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, substitute 1 teaspoon dried herbs. (This works for any dried herbs.) So for the 1/3 cup fresh you’d substitute about 3 teaspoons dried oregano and 2 teaspoons dried thyme. I’m intentionally burying this info in hopes you won’t read it and just make it with the beautiful fresh herbs as stated!

Mushrooms in pan

Ways to serve sauteed mushrooms

There are so many ways to serve these sauteed mushrooms! They’re a fantastic whole food plant based (WFPB) side dish recipe, but there’s much more you could do with them.

Mushrooms nutrition

Alex and I eat these sauteed mushrooms because of their incredible flavor. But want more reasons to eat mushrooms? According to the New York Times, here are some of the nutritional benefits of mushrooms:

  • They’re low in calories and fat and cholesterol-free (like all vegetables!)
  • They have over a dozen minerals and vitamins (like potassium, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins such as folate)
  • They’re high in antioxidants (like selenium and GSH), which are believed to protect cells from damage and reduce chronic disease and inflammation.
Mushrooms in pan

Use them in pasta, bruschetta & more

These sauteed mushrooms are SO good, we’ve used the same concept of oregano, thyme and lemon juice in a few of our other recipes. There’s not just a favorite side dish, there are so many other ways to use them:

Mushroom pasta
This Mushroom Pasta is a fan fave! It uses a mix mushroom types, paired with the same flavors as this recipe.

This sauteed mushrooms recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

Print
Sauteed mushrooms

Sauteed Mushrooms (Best Ever!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 9 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Description

Attention, mushroom lovers: here’s THE perfect sauteed mushrooms recipe! It brings out the best savory flavor with lemon and fresh herbs.


Ingredients

  • 16 ounces baby bella (cremini) mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh thyme and oregano*
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil**
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Meanwhile, rinse the mushrooms and wipe off dirt. Then slice them. Chop the fresh thyme and oregano.
  2. In a saute pan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often (the mushrooms will start to release their liquid at this point).
  3. Add the herbs and kosher salt and pepper and cook another 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is cooked out and the mushrooms are tender. (Taste to assess doneness.)
  4. Turn off the heat and add lemon juice and stir. Taste and add another pinch salt as necessary.

Notes

*We highly recommend using fresh herbs here for the best flavor; do not substitute dried. 

**Step it up and add a richness with butter if you’d like!

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Sauteed
  • Cuisine: Plant Based

Keywords: Sauteed Mushrooms

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes