This is a risotto so good, it will make a grown man weep. A creamy, umami packed Mushroom Risotto fully loaded with garlicky, buttery mushrooms stirred through the risotto AND piled on top, it’s completely and utterly mouthwateringly delicious, can’t-stop-eating-it-good.
This is a fully loaded mushroom recipe – there’s 750g / 1.5 lb mushrooms in this!
It’s such a let down when you’re faced with a giant bowl of Mushroom Risotto, only to find you have to fish around desperately through piles of gluey rice to find a a few piddly bits of mushrooms.
Let me assure you, no fishing expedition will be required for this Mushroom Risotto!
(Let me also assure you there is no gluey rice in sight. Just creamy, silky, perfectly al dente risotto!😇)
What goes in mushroom risotto
This risotto recipe is intended to be one that makes the most of ordinary mushrooms, rather than hunting down exotic wild or Asian mushrooms, or using dried mushrooms which have a more intense mushroom flavour.
So this recipe is based around a rather large volume of either white or Swiss Brown/Cremini mushrooms!
Other than the mushrooms, there’s nothing unusual or groundbreaking in this recipe. It’s more about cooking technique (trust me, risotto is simple!).
Just a note on a few of the ingredients:
Risotto rice – to make risotto, you need to use risotto rice which is called Arborio rice, it’s different to ordinary white rice because it’s got a higher level of starch on the surface which thickens the cooking liquid used and makes the risotto beautifully creamy;
Cream – I don’t ordinarily use cream in risotto because you don’t need it to make risottos creamy (see above point). In this particular recipe, I actually use it to add a touch of richness and to make the risotto white (you’ll see in the video it’s quite brown because of the mushrooms). It’s optional;
Eschallots / French onions – baby onions that are finer than normal onions so they kind of “dissolve” into the risotto. Sub with 1/2 a normal onion, finely chopped; and
Substitute for wine? Wine adds depth of flavour into risotto as well as deglazing the pot (ie dissolving the golden brown bits on the base of the pot from cooking the mushrooms into the wine which forms part of the flavour base)
How to make Mushroom Risotto
And here’s how to make it.
Golden mushrooms – Sauté the mushrooms first to make them beautifully golden (because golden mushrooms = more flavour than colourless mushrooms!). Do this in 2 batches, else the pot is too crowded and they go watery and stew instead of golden. Then remove from the pot.
Sauté garlic and onion until the onion is cooked and the garlic smells amazing!
Deglaze with wine and add risotto – Add wine and let it simmer rapidly until mostly evaporated. Then add the risotto rice and stir so it gets coated in the butter and becomes semi-translucent – about 1 to 2 minutes.
Add stock 1 1/2 cups at a time – We’re using a total of 5 cups of chicken stock which is the amount needed to cook 1 1/4 cups risotto rice so it’s al dente (cooked through but not mushy) with enough sauce so the risotto is beautifully creamy, as pictured.
Add the stock 1 1/2 cups at a time, stir briefly then leave it for 3 minutes until the rice absorbs most of the liquid. Repeat 3 more times until the stock is used up, stirring regularly towards the end so the base doesn’t catch.
There’s no need to add the hot stock ladle by ladle, stirring constantly, which takes around 30 minutes. The end result will be just as creamy, I promise. Read next section below for why!
Add cream and parmesan – Once the chicken stock is all used up and the rice is just cooked (about 12 minutes), the risotto will still seem a little sloppy which is exactly what we want. The excess liquid will evaporate quite rapidly in the finishing steps.
Add the cream and parmesan, then give it a vigorous stir. This activates the starch in the risotto rice which gives the sauce the signature creamy consistency. In this step, you’ll also observe that the risotto transforms from being sloppy to beautifully creamy!
Creamy and white – Notice the difference in the colour and consistency in Step 6 (after cream and stirring) compared to step 5.
Add most mushrooms – Now add most of the mushrooms into the risotto, reserving some for garnish. Adding the mushrooms at the end rather than cooking the rice with the rice preserves the beautiful golden colour of the mushrooms.
Serve! Ladle the risotto into bowls and top with remaining mushrooms. Your goal is for the risotto to be beautifully creamy, it should ooze when ladled into bowls rather than piling up in a thick stodgy mound. If your risotto gets a bit thick, just add a splash of boiling water to loosen it up again.
Garnish risotto with extra parmesan (essential in my world) and a little sprinkle of parsley for a touch of freshness, if desired.
For the best flavour, cook the mushrooms until golden then stir some back in at the end and reserve the rest to pile on top. Maximum taste – and it looks better too!
Busting risotto-making myths!
There’s no need to stand over a hot stove stirring constantly for 30 minutes for creamy risotto. The liquid just needs to be added in 3 or 4 batches, and you only need to stir regularly towards the end. And I promise, your risotto is still going to be beautifully creamy and evenly cooked.
The concept of having to slowly add stock into the rice ladle by ladle for creamy risotto is a traditional method that was called for in the times when risotto was made by Italians in tall, narrow risotto pots. Tall narrow pot = high rice and liquid depth = must stir regularly for even cooking.
It’s been pretty well documented and tested by established food authorities such as Kenji Lopez-Alt at Serious Eats that if you use a wider pot, there’s no need to be so diligent.
What to serve with Mushroom Risotto
Mushroom Risotto can be served either as a starter / appetizer, or as a main.
As a starter, serve smaller portions (remembering that this is quite rich!). For a protein main, try some of these:
Crispy Pan Fried Fish – or serve this as the main with the Mushroom risotto on the side
I usually serve it as a main course with a simple crisp green salad like a Rocket (Arugula) Salad with Balsamic Dressing and Shaved Parmesan. The peppery flavour of the Rocket lettuce is a classic pairing with rich, creamy dishes like this risotto. Bonus that it’s possibly the fastest side salad ever!! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
- 500g (1 lb) mushrooms , sliced 3 mm / 1/8" thick (Note 1)
- 250g (1/2 lb) mushrooms , quartered (Note 1)
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1/2 tsp salt and pepper , each
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- 2 eschallots / French onions , finely chopped (or 1/2 onion)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (Note 2)
- 1 1/4 cups arborio rice , uncooked
- 5 cups chicken broth/stock , low sodium, warm (Note 3)
- 1/2 cup cream , optional but recommended(Note 4)
- 2 tbsp (30g) butter , optional (Note 4)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese , finely grated
- 1/2 tsp salt and pepper , each
- Finely chopped parsley or chives
- Parmesan , freshly grated
Garlic Butter Mushrooms
- Add 1 tbsp oil and half the butter in a large heavy based pot over high heat (Note 5). Once melted, add half the mushrooms and cook until pretty golden brown (~4 min).
- Add 1/2 the garlic, 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper, then continue to cook until golden brown (~1.5 min). Then remove into bowl.
- Repeat with remaining mushrooms, then remove.
- Turn heat down to medium. In the same pot, melt butter then add garlic and onion.
- Cook 2 minutes until onion is translucent but not golden.
- Add wine and allow to simmer rapidly for 2 minutes, scraping the base of the pot, until mostly evaporated.
- Add rice and stir for 1 minute until semi translucent.
- Add about 1.5 cups of stock. Stir, then leave for 3 minutes, stirring just a few times, until mostly absorbed (~3 min).
- Add about 1.5 cups stock, stir every now and then until mostly absorbed (~3 min) – no need to stir constantly. Repeat twice more until all stock used up, rice is just cooked but risotto still creamy and sloppy (~10 min, Note 6).
- Add cream and butter, stir vigorously to make creamy.
- Stir in parmesan, salt and pepper.
- Stir through half the mushrooms, then taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Consistency should be creamy, not stodgy (Note 7).
- Reheat remaining mushrooms (I microwave).
- Spoon risotto into bowls, then top with reserved mushrooms (including a drizzle of buttery juices pooled in bowl!)
- Garnish with parsley if using, and extra parmesan. Serve immediately!
Originally published October 2019. Post tidied up January 2020 – no change to recipe!
More Risotto recipes
All that creamy, cosy goodness!
More mushroom recipes
Mushrooms can do anything!
Life of Dozer
He has a pigeon hole at my mother’s house where I keep some of this things for the times when he stays over. He’s always snuffling around in there, hoping to score some treats!