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.

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 (7 votes, average: 4.71 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x
  • 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

Scale
  • 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

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

4 Comments

  • Reply
    John
    March 23, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    Do you use the mushrooms from the broth in the risotto or do you use them separately? Meaning the recipe if using the homemade mushroom broth requires 2 lbs of mushrooms?

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      March 24, 2021 at 9:07 am

      You can actually re-use the mushrooms from the broth if you wish! You can saute them (use a little less time) just as instructed in the recipe. Or, you can use fresh mushrooms and buy 2 lbs. A good option is use the baby bellas from the broth, then reuse them but add in some fresh shiitakes. Does that make sense?

  • Reply
    Andy
    April 10, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    Am I misremembering or was there a version of this recipe kale on here at some point?

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