This recipe for an Easy Mushroom Risotto is a great place to begin your love affair with this Italian comfort food. Use the 5 tips as a bouncing board, and you’ll find yourself coming up with your very own risotto recipes in no time.
As you probably know, risotto is a traditional rice dish originating from Northern Italy.
What was your first thought when you saw the word risotto?
A basic risotto recipe can take about 40 minutes from start to finish. In my humble opinion, that’s a reasonable investment of time for the return you will get on the taste.
Today, we will be making basic mushroom risotto.
A printable recipe card found at the bottom of this page has the specific amounts for each ingredient. This is just a summary.
- Hot broth. Vegetable, chicken, or beef. Homemade is best. If using commercial. buy low sodium.
- Olive oil. A personal preference. Butter can also be used.
- Mushrooms. Any variety can be used… Portobello, shitakes, wild, Hen-of-the-Woods, cremini, etc…
- Shallot. It can be replaced with an onion.
- Celery. Part of the “soffritto“.
- Garlic. Use as much or as little as you like.
- Arborio rice. High starch rice is essential to obtain that creamy texture.
- White wine. A simple dry wine works well. It can be replaced with an equal amount of stock.
- Parmesan cheese. Freshly grated is always better.
- Butter. Just a pat.
- Parsley. Italian flat-leaf and fresh is best.
- Lemon juice. Optional.
- Lemon zest. Once again optional, but a little goes a long way in brightening the dish.
- Salt and pepper. To taste.
How to make mushroom risotto
As you can see, making risotto is really not that difficult.
Tip#1: In order to achieve a creamy mushroom risotto, you need to use short-grain rice.
Arborio rice is a popular one. (If you recall, this is the rice I used to make Creamy Rice Pudding). Other kinds of rice that are appropriate include vialone nano and carnaroli.
The short-grain absorbs a good amount of liquid without tasting like mush. Remember, to always cook risotto al dente.
Tip#2: When making your soffritto, sauté your vegetables (in this case the onions, celery and mushrooms) over medium heat until translucent.
Tip#3: Toast the short grains for a few minutes in the oil before adding the liquids.
This will enable each cup of uncooked rice to absorb up to 4 cups of hot broth. There are some recipes that will use butter as their source of fat; others will use a combination of oil and butter. I like using olive oil – it minimizes the number of saturated fats in the recipe. As usual, feel free to experiment! Do what you like best.
Tip#4: Add HOT broth to the rice. This allows for the rice to release its starch slowly, consequently allowing the rice to cook evenly.
Tip#5: When the risotto reaches the perfect texture, remove it from heat, add Parmesan cheese and enjoy!
Simple mushroom recipes we love
A few years ago, I bought a magazine from Better Homes and Gardens called “Cook’s Secrets”. One of my favorite recipes in this magazine is entitled “Classic Risotto”. The title should have been simple risotto because it is such a simple recipe.
I immediately fell in love with this recipe because it does not use excessive amounts of butter or cheese to achieve that wonderful creamy texture. It really is all about the technique.
I did make a few changes to the recipe… my mom would always add celery… so that was a must for me. I also transformed the recipe in order for it to become the best mushroom risotto.
Not only is this a great mushroom risotto recipe in and of itself, but once you master it, it’ll serve as a great base for a bunch of other risotto dishes, too!
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★★★★★ If you have made this arborio rice recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Easy Mushroom Risotto
- 3-4 cups vegetable or chicken broth low sodium
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups mushrooms chopped (Portobello, shitakes, wild, Hen-of-the-Woods, cremini, etc...)
- 1 shallot minced (about ½ cup)
- 1 stalk celery minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup arborio rice uncooked
- ½ cup white wine or chicken broth
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated (plus additional for serving-optional)
- 1 tablespoon butter room temperature
- 2 tablespoons parsley fresh, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice optional
- zested lemon peel optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place the broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a low simmer.Keep warm.
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy, very large skillet,over medium-high heat.
- Saute the mushrooms until softened and just browning, about 5-7 minutes.
- Transfer mushrooms to bowl and set aside.
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same large skillet,over medium heat.
- Saute the shallot and celery for about 5-7 minutes until translucent. Stir frequently.
- Add the minced garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds while stirring constantly.
- Add the rice.
- Keep stirring rice (frequently) for about 4- 5 minutes. The edges of the rice should begin to turn translucent and just beginning to turn a light golden brown.
- Add the wine (or broth) and stir constantly until almost all absorbed. This should take 30-60 seconds.
- Stir in 1/2 cup of hot broth into the rice mixture.
- Stir until the broth is absorbed.
- Keep adding the broth (1/2 cup at a time) until it is absorbed, stirring frequently.
- Halfway through this procedure (about 8-10 minutes of adding broth and stirring) add the sauteed mushrooms.
- Keep adding and stirring 1/2 cup of broth at a time.
- At the end of 16-20 minutes, start tasting your risotto. The texture should be al dente but still creamy.
- When the risotto is done, add just a few tablespoons of broth.
- Remove from heat and stir in the cheese, butter and chopped parsley.
- Add zested lemon peel and lemon juice (if using)
- Serve immediately with additional parmesan (if desired).
This post was originally published on January 31, 2016 and republished on May 9, 2019 with updated content, photos and a video. Thanks for watching and sharing!