Mushroom Risotto
Mushroom Risotto is a classic Italian favorite that is unbelievably creamy, garlicky, warm, and comforting loaded with caramelized shallots and buttery mushrooms for umami packed pleasure. This Mushroom Risotto recipe is gourmet enough for special occasions (hello Easter) but easy enough for every day – you seriously will be BLOWN away at how easy it is! The oven version is 100% foolproof and doesn’t require constant stirring or babysitting. Mushroom Risotto can be served either as a side or a main course, and is extremely versatile – add peas, spinach, chicken, Italian sausage, etc. This Mushroom Risotto recipe also reheats beautifully (unlike traditional rice), so it’s the meal that keeps on giving.
Prep Time
10minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
Prep Time
10minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
Mushroom Risotto
Ingredients
MUSHROOMS
  • 1pound cremini/baby bella mushroomssliced 1/8-inch thick – divided
  • 4tablespoons unsalted butterdivided
  • 2tablespoons olive oildivided
  • 1tablespoon low sodium soy saucedivided
  • 1/2tsp EACH salt, pepperdivided
RISOTTO
  • 1tablespoon olive oil
  • 5tablespoons unsalted butterdivided
  • 2 shallotsfinely chopped
  • 1 1/2cups Arborio riceDON’T USE DIFFERENT RICE
  • 4cloves garlicminced
  • 6cups low sodium chicken broth, warmeddivided
  • 1teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2tsp EACH dried basil, dried thyme, salt
  • 1/4teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4-1/2cup heavy creamoptional
Instructions
RISOTTO
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. Add shallots and sauté 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir until the edges begin to look translucent/toasted, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté an additional 30 seconds.
  3. Add 5 1/2 cups warm chicken broth and all “risotto” seasonings. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. When it starts to simmer around the edges, cover, and transfer to the oven. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until rice is tender.
MUSHROOMS
  1. While risotto is baking, cook the mushrooms in two batches. Melt 2 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet. Increase temperature to medium-high and add half of the mushrooms.
  2. Spread mushrooms into an even layer and let cook for cook for 3 minutes without touching, then continue to cook and stir an additional 3-5 minutes, until all the liquid is evaporated and mushrooms are golden.
  3. Add 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook 60 seconds; remove to plate. Repeat with remaining mushrooms.
COMBINE
  1. When rice is tender, remove from oven and stir in remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth (if needed), 3 tablespoons butter (cubed) and Parmesan cheese. Stir vigorously until butter and cheese are melted (this releases starch and makes it creamier). Stir in mushrooms.
  2. Stir in heavy cream or additional chicken broth if desired for an even creamier/saucier risotto. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste (I add both).
Recipe Notes

Tips and Tricks

This Mushroom Risotto recipe is pretty straightforward, but here are some tips to ensure success:

  • Correct pot.  Use a wide pot, preferably a cast iron Dutch oven, with a tight-fitting lid in order for the rice to cook evenly.  A heavy, cast iron pot holds in more heat. If you don’ have a tight-fitting lid, then you can use foil, but make sure it is TIGHT otherwise the broth will evaporate before the rice is cooked, leaving you with crunchy rice.
  • Use arborio rice.  As detailed earlier, you must use arborio rice or your Mushroom Risotto recipe can easily become mushy.  Arborio rice ensures creamy rice every time.
  • Don’t rinse rice. In contrast to other rice recipes, we WANT the extra starch because that is what translates into creaminess.
  • Toast rice.  The brief step of sautéing the arborio rice is critical to perfect risotto.  Toasting the rice not only infuses it with flavor, but more importantly, creates a protective barrier around each grain which helps the grains absorb moisture slowly. This allows the grains to maintain their structural integrity and become soft without becoming soggy or exploding from absorbing moisture too quickly.
  • Use low sodium chicken broth. The broth will be reduced and absorbed into the rice so make sure to use LOW sodium chicken broth. You can add salt but you can’t take it away!
  • Warm broth. Only use warm broth so the rice will cook evenly. Adding cold broth reduces the temperature of the rice and interrupts the cooking process. Warming the broth before adding it to the rice also releases more starch from each grain of rice whereas cold broth will cook the rice while shocking it into holding onto its starches.
  • Bake on.  If your rice is not done (too crunchy) but the broth is gone, simply add more broth and bake until the rice is on the softer side of al dente.
  • Stir vigorously.  After you add the butter and Parmesan, stir vigorously.  The stirring isn’t just to combine the ingredients but is to stimulate the rice.  Arborio rice becomes creamy as it is vigorously stirred and the starch is released.
  • Mushroom variety.  You can use whatever mushrooms you prefer such as cremini/baby bella mushrooms or shiitake that are nice and mushroomy.
  • Don’t Submerge Mushrooms. If you rinse mushrooms in water, they will absorb water like a sponge and not brown as well or become as flavorful because they are full of water. Instead, clean them with a damp paper towel.
  • Be patient.  It is tempting to not cook your mushrooms to the point all the liquid is absorbed, but keep cooking until they are browned all over for maximum flavor.
  • Cook mushrooms separately.  It is best to cook the mushrooms separately from the rice and stir them into the risotto before serving.  If you cook them with the rice, the mushrooms lose color, flavor and texture.
  • Salt mushrooms at the end. Add salt and pepper when instructed at the end of cooking the mushrooms.  If you salt your mushrooms while cooking, it will prevent them from browning in the pan.
  • Salt to taste.  If your Mushroom Risotto tastes like its missing something – it is probably salt. Salt enhances all of the other flavors. Add additional salt to taste a little at a time if needed.
  • Heavy cream. Is optional but makes the Mushroom Risotto even creamier.  I would not add heavy cream, however, if your rice is already on the saucier side.
  • Consistency.  The rice in Mushroom Risotto should be on the softer side of al dente – slightly firm but not crunchy.  The risotto should be saucy but not soupy – more like porridge, but the ultimate consistency is up to you!  If your Mushroom Risotto is too thick, simply stir in additional chicken broth at low heat until it reaches the desired consistency and texture. You can also stir in additional heavy creamy for extra decadence.
  • Versatile. See the post for vegetable and protein add-in ideas and different flavor combos!

Storage 

Transfer Mushroom Risotto to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for three to five days.  The risotto will thicken in the refrigerator due to the starch in the rice, but you can easily thin it out to and restore it to its glory.  To reheat risotto:

  1. Add risotto and some chicken broth or water to a skillet, about ¼ cup liquid for 1 cup risotto.
  2. Heat over medium heat until warmed through, stirring often.
  3. If the risotto is still thick, stir in additional liquid one tablespoon at a time.
  4. You can also add additional butter and salt to taste as the salt will mellow when refrigerated.