Creamy and packed with flavor, this Vegan Mushroom Risotto is a delicious yet easy dish. Easy enough to make on a weeknight but fancy enough to serve guests, this versatile recipe is perfect for a main dish or show-stealing side.
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If you’re a mushroom lover, this recipe is for you. Well, even if you think mushrooms are just OK--you’re gonna love this risotto because it’s amazing.
No seriously, this vegan mushroom risotto is savory, a touch earthy, a little herby, a bit cheesy, and super duper creamy.
Yes, that’s my professional food writer voice: super duper creamy.
Anyway. You might be thinking that mushroom risotto already sounds vegan. But it often contains butter, cheese, chicken stock, etc. So this one is vegan!
Something I really love about risotto is that it can be a main dish or a side dish.
I can easily see this being your main meal--it usually is for me. It’s packed with nutrients and very satisfying.
I also tried to be a little bit more true to the method of traditional risotto in this recipe, i.e. adding ladle-fulls of simmering broth (in a nearby pot) to the rice slowly as it cooks, which helps it become a really creamy dish without any mushy overcooked rice.
So while this still isn’t a completely authentic Italian dish, it’s still totally delicious and does give a nod to some of those traditional techniques.
This dish only takes about 35-40 minutes to make and is truly a satisfying meal, so let’s get into it.
What You’ll Need
- Vegan butter or oil: While you can definitely make this dish oil-free with a good nonstick pot, a little extra broth or water, and a bit more attention, I think it does taste a little better with a bit of fat to saute the shallots and garlic at the beginning. I like to just use a little oil, but melting a bit of vegan butter in there too will just be delicious. If you plan to make this oil-free, you’ll need a bit more broth and a bit of water to saute the shallots and garlic--and just stir it fairly often to ensure they aren’t burning.
- Shallots: While yellow or sweet onion will also work well, shallots provide a delicate and delicious flavor that’s perfect for risotto. If substituting onion, I’d use a half of a medium onion, finely diced.
- Garlic: Fresh is best.
- Thyme or sage: Again, fresh thyme or finely chopped sage are best, but use what is available to you.
- Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- Truffle powder: This is a totally optional, slightly pretentious addition but it adds an amazing depth of flavor, so if you’ve got it, use it! Just a half teaspoon elevates the flavors a lot, but it’s still delicious without.
- Mushrooms: You can use fresh or dried mushrooms, but I like the texture of adding fresh mushrooms. You can use any mushrooms, but I think white mushrooms provide the least flavor here. I used baby Bella mushrooms, and I love how easy to find they are and how much flavor they impart. Other good choices include shiitake, oyster, or maitake mushrooms. A mix of two different mushrooms would also be delicious.
- Arborio rice: Regular short grain rice is fine, but won’t become as creamy as Arborio rice will.
- Vegan chicken broth: I like to use Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base mixed with hot water for this dish, partially because I can control the salt content myself (you can mix as much or as little of it with water as you like). I also think the flavor is the best and it’s also the most economical option. Store bought vegan chicken broth also works. The combination of vegan chicken broth and mushrooms is delicious, so that’s what I prefer to use. However, vegetable broth will work as well.
- Thawed frozen peas, optional: It seems like some people don’t like peas, so the peas can be left out if preferred.
- Vegan parmesan cheese, optional: Again, it’s not necessary but it adds a delicious flavor at the end. I love Violife vegan parmesan cheese, and I grate it with a microplane to get those beautiful fine shreds to put in and on top of the risotto. Alternatively, you can make my one minute vegan parmesan topping out of pantry ingredients.
- Fresh parsley
- Lemon juice: Fresh squeezed is best.
How to Make Vegan Mushroom Risotto
- Start by heating a tablespoon of oil or vegan butter in a large nonstick pot over medium high heat. Then add the shallots and cook for 2 minutes until slightly translucent, stirring frequently. If you are oil-free, heat the pan for 30 seconds with nothing in it, then drop the shallots in and stir frequently, adding water or broth a tablespoon at a time to keep it from burning.
- While that starts cooking, add your broth to a medium pot on a nearby burner. Heat to a simmer and keep at a low-medium simmer during the cooking process.
- Add the garlic and thyme or sage and saute one more minute.
- Now add the mushrooms. Stir well and allow to cook until they have softened a bit and released some of their water, about 3 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add the rice. Stir well and toast for about 1 minute, until the rice starts to make a crackling noise.
- Season with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper--I like to start with a half teaspoon of each and that’s usually all I end up needing. You can always add more later but keep in mind that most broths contain salt. If using, add the truffle powder now too.
- Add broth a little at a time--I like to use my ladle to add one ladle full of the simmering broth from the other pot, then gently stir the rice. Let that broth absorb, and add another ladleful. Repeat this process for about 20-25 minutes until the rice is softer, but still somewhat al dente--or a little chewy.
- Now add your thawed frozen peas if using and continue to cook about 5 minutes or until rice has reached your desired texture (some folks prefer softer rice and some prefer rice with a little texture).
- Add another ladleful or broth so it’s creamy, then add the parmesan, lemon juice, and parsley. Mix thoroughly and taste.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Refrigerate leftovers up to 3-5 days in an airtight container or freeze for up to 3 months in a freezer safe container. I think rice freezes well--I like to add a tablespoon or two of water to my rice when reheating--though I will say the mushrooms do lose a bit of their texture when reheated, but it’s not unpleasant.
More Vegan Dishes Featuring Mushrooms
- Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms
- Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Portobello Mushroom Steaks
- Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
- Vegan Mushroom Gravy
- Lentil Mushroom Loaf
- Vegan Scallops with King Oyster Mushrooms
- Kale Mushroom Pasta
- Vegan Green Bean Casserole
- Vegan Chicken Teriyaki with Oyster Mushrooms
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does, too.
This Vegan Mushroom Risotto is:
- And perfect for a family dinner, main or side, or a fancy dish to serve guests!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
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