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Home/Blog/Mushroom Risotto: Creamy and Rich in the Right Way

Mushroom Risotto: Creamy and Rich in the Right Way

By Holly Darnell, RD

October 12, 2023

Mushroom risotto

Risotto is one of those dishes that everyone has heard of, but a surprisingly high percentage of people have never made it! (Okay, I’m excluding my Italian friends who have all surely made it.)

For those who can’t put a finger on what it is, it’s a popular Italian dish that features creamy, rich arborio rice that can be customized in many ways, including as an asparagus risotto or a saffron risotto. Today we’re making the quintessential mushroom risotto that will entice anyone within smelling distance to sit down at the dining table and wait impatiently.

Meanwhile, while most risottos are heavy on carbs, this one is balanced beautifully by offering plenty of protein as well. So it’s filling and very good for you!

What Is Risotto?

Where did risotto begin? It turns out that rice was brought to Sicily, Italy, and Spain by the Arabs in the 14th century. These lands were the perfect place to grow short-grain rice because of the humid weather and abundance of flat land.

Arborio rice is a type of short-grain rice that is most famous for its use in making risotto. Carnaroli is another short-grain rice variety.

This famous Italian dish is recognized by its slight sticky texture that is both creamy and rich. This is achieved by its somewhat laborious cooking process. (Don’t worry, it’s worth it.)

Typically risotto is made by sautéing onions, garlic and/or shallots in butter or olive oil. Then rice is added to the pan and cooked until a nutty flavor develops. After that occurs, a hot broth is added bit by bit while you stir constantly. When the rice absorbs the liquid, you add more broth. You continue until the dish is creamy and nearly al dente.

Mushroom Risotto Ingredients

We will focus on its three main ingredients. First, the Arborio rice, which is a short-grain rice that holds it shape nicely while being cooked. It gradually releases its starches that make this mushroom risotto both creamy and thick.

Arborio rice also offers some health benefits, as it provides complex carbohydrates that take longer to digest. It’s also gluten-free and rich in fiber, which can aid healthy digestion.

Arborio rice also is rich in numerous minerals and vitamins, including magnesium, phosphorus, iron and multiple B vitamins.

Cremini mushrooms are the mushrooms of choice for this mushroom risotto (see other options below). Also known as crimini or baby bella mushrooms, cremini is one of the most versatile cooking mushrooms and offers many benefits.

First, it’s rich in nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin D, selenium and copper. Cremini is also low in calories and fat yet offers fiber, protein and antioxidants.

Lastly, our Bone Broth Protein (Chicken Soup or Pure flavor) mixes perfectly with this mushroom risotto recipe and gives it savory taste alongside valuable protein. Each serving of this dish offers 25 grams of protein largely because of Bone Broth Protein, which is three times more potent than homemade broth (based on protein content).

The benefits are numerous and include supporting joint health, a healthy inflammation response, a healthy immune system, gut health and healthy skin. It features three types of collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid and 18 amino acids. That’s power!

Mushroom risotto ingredients

Nutrition Facts

One two-cup serving (368 grams) of this mushroom risotto is 424 calories, so ideal for a meal paired with a salad or lean cut of meat. The macros are very balanced, with 45 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of fat and 25 grams of protein.

Each serving provides over 30 percent Daily Value of vitamins B3, B5, B6 and K as well as manganese, phosphorus, selenium, magnesium and copper.

How to Make Mushroom Risotto

You’ll need either a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot for this dish. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat, and once shimmering, add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the onion is translucent, about 6–8 minutes. 

While the vegetables are cooking, make the chicken bone broth. In a medium saucepan, add five cups of water and five scoops of the Chicken Soup Bone Broth Protein. Whisk together until combined and no clumps remain. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Add the arborio rice to the onion and garlic mixture and stir it with a wooden spoon so that the grains are coated with the oil. Toast until the grains become lightly perfumed and there is a nutty aroma, about two to three minutes.

Pour in one cup of hot chicken broth to the rice and stir until incorporated. When the rice appears almost dry, add in another cup of chicken broth. Repeat this process until all of the stock has been used. 

Mushroom risotto cooking process

Stir every once in a while with a wooden spoon to make sure the rice isn’t sticking to the pan and that the broth is fully incorporated and absorbed. Rice should be tender but still firm to the bite, without being crunchy. This process takes about an hour.

While the risotto is cooking, make the balsamic mushrooms. First rinse and then slice the creminis. Add another two tablespoons olive oil to a medium skillet and cook over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sea salt to the pan and cook until the mushrooms are browned and the liquid is almost entirely reduced, about 10 minutes. 

Reduce the heat to low and add in the balsamic vinegar. Stir and cook for another 2–3 minutes and set the mushroom mixture aside. After the rice has absorbed all of the broth, stir in the butter and parmesan cheese until fully combined. Add in parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Stir in the balsamic vinegar mushrooms to the cooked risotto and top with additional parsley. Serve immediately.

This mushroom risotto can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator and will last up to two days.

If you wish to make his recipe dairy-free, use vegan butter and dairy-free parmesan.

Mushroom Risotto Recipe Tips

  • If you don’t have arborio rice, you can use Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice. But these are the only rices that’ll do.

  • Use hot broth, as cold broth will slow down the cooking process.

  • Stir the risotto often in order to prevent the rice from getting burnt or gummy. Use a wooden spoon or a flat-edged spatula to prevent sticking.

  • Optionally, add some white wine (dry) to enhance the flavor. Allow it to cook until the rice absorbs it.

  • Feel free to taste as you go in order to see if it’s done. It should be creamy and nearly firm (al dente) texture. Overall, it usually take around 60 minutes to cook.

  • Before serving, allow it to rest covered and away from the burner. This will allow the flavors to meld.

Other Mushrooms to Use

Creminis aren’t the only game in town. You can also consider these mushrooms as solo acts or use a variety.

  • White button mushrooms — mild flavor and with a tender texture

  • Portobello mushrooms — rich, earthy flavor and meaty texture

  • Shiitake mushrooms — earthy, smoky flavor and a tougher texture

  • Chanterelle mushrooms — nutty flavor and firm texture

  • Dried porcini mushrooms — rehydrate and add to the dish; adds a rich and earthy flavor

What to Serve with Mushroom Risotto

This mushroom risotto is meant to be a main dish, such as with a side salad or soup:

Smaller portions can also be used as a side dish to go with a grilled meat and cooked seafood. It also can accompany our beef liver and onions dish.

Recipe developed by Holly Darnell, RD. Holly is a registered dietitian nutritionist who unlocked self-love at the intersection of exceptional food and practical solutions for healthy living. She’s passionate about helping others make simple, positive lifestyle changes on their individual path to healing.

Mushroom Risotto Recipe

Category

Main dishes, Side dishes

Servings

6

Time

1 hr 30 min (Prep time: 15 min)

Calories

424

Author

Holly Darnell, RD

A mushroom risotto that is perfectly balanced in flavor and macronutrients? You’ve come to the right place. This versatile dish can work as a family dinner or at a fancy dinner party. Your call!

Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 5 cups (40 ounces) hot water

  • 5 scoops Chicken Soup Bone Broth Protein

  • 1½ cups arborio rice

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 16 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed unsalted butter

  • ½ cup parmesan cheese

  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Directions
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the onion is translucent, about 6-8 minutes. 

  2. While the vegetables are cooking, make the chicken bone broth. In a medium saucepan, add 5 cups of water and 5 scoops of the Chicken Soup Bone Broth Protein. Whisk together until combined and no clumps remain. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  3. Add the arborio rice to the onion and garlic mixture and stir it with a wooden spoon so that the grains are coated with the oil. Toast until the grains become lightly perfumed and there is a nutty aroma, about 2 to 3 minutes. 

  4. Pour in 1 cup of hot chicken broth to the rice and stir until incorporated. When the rice appears almost dry, add in another cup of chicken broth. Repeat this process until all of the stock has been used. 

  5. Stir every once in a while with a wooden spoon to make sure the rice isn’t sticking to the pan and that the broth is fully incorporated and absorbed. Rice should be tender but still firm to the bite, without being crunchy. This process takes about an hour.

  6. While the risotto is cooking, make the balsamic mushrooms. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a medium skillet and cook over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sea salt to the pan and cook until the mushrooms are browned and the liquid is almost entirely reduced, about 10 minutes. 

  7. Reduce the heat to low and add in the balsamic vinegar. Stir and cook for another 2-3 minutes and set mushroom mixture aside. 

  8. After the rice has absorbed all of the broth, stir in the butter and parmesan cheese until fully combined. Add in parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  9. Stir in the balsamic vinegar mushrooms to the cooked risotto and top with additional parsley. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving Size 2 cups (368 g), Calories 424, Carbohydrates 45.4 g, Fiber 3.9 g, Sugar 3.8 g, Total Fat 15.6 g, Saturated Fat 4.4 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1.6 g, Monounsaturated Fat 8.4 g, Trans Fat 0.1 g, Cholesterol 14 mg, Protein 24.8 g, Sodium 576 mg (38% DV*), Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 5.3 mg (38% DV*), Vitamin B5 1.9 mg (38% DV*), Vitamin B6 0.5 mg (39% DV*), Vitamin K 27.5 mcg (31% DV*), Manganese 1.9 mg (110% DV*), Phosphorus 302 mg (43% DV*), Selenium 18.4 mcg (33% DV*), Magnesium 92 mg (30% DV*), Copper 0.3 mg (30% DV*)

*Daily Value: Percentages are based on a diet of 2,000 calories a day.

mushroom risotto
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