The best mushroom risotto, and it just happens to be vegan! Rich, creamy and bursting with umami flavor, you'd never guess this savory dinner was diary-free.
I think I mentioned that mushrooms would be making frequent appearances around here in January. I didn't realize rice would be pretty prominent too! I kicked off the month last week with some biryani. And today I'm sharing a risotto recipe
I feel like risotto gets a bad rap. People seem to think of it as fancy or fussy — there was even a time when I did. But it's totally not. For one thing, risotto is usually a one-pot deal. This risotto certainly is. For another thing, the rice takes about 20 minutes to cook up, so unless you're pairing it up with something that takes much longer, you've probably got a relatively quick meal on your hands.
I think the issue for most people is that you kind of have to babysit your risotto while it cooks. It needs frequent stirring. Personally, I find that to be no biggie. It forces me to stay in the kitchen while it cooks, and I can prepare other courses or, better yet, clean up the kitchen while my risotto cooks. I just pivot around every minute or two and give the pot a stir. Easy! And efficient!
So let's talk about just how easy it is to prepare this risotto in particular.
Like I said, it's a one-pot recipe. The catch is that some things (namely, the mushrooms) have to go in and out of the pot while you cook. So maybe one pot and a plate is more accurate.
Start the dish by browning your mushrooms in some oil. You can use just about any type of fresh mushroom for this. The first time I made it, I used all cremini, and it was great. Before going to retest the recipe I spotted some hen of the woods and oyster mushrooms at a local produce shop, and I couldn't resist. I paired them up with some shiitakes and white buttons. Use your favorites, or whatever you've got on hand.
Tip: don't crowd the mushrooms in your pot when cooking. You want them in a single layer. This means you might need to cook them in batches.
Once the mushrooms have browned, take them out of the pot and put them on a plate. Add some more oil to the pot and sauté some shallots. Add some garlic after a few minutes, and then the rice. Toast the rice for a minute before adding some white wine and herbs.
Let the wine simmer down and then begin adding broth in small increments — about a half cup at a time. Stir the rice frequently as it cooks. A bit of coconut milk and miso paste go in at the end, to make the risotto extra creamy and savory, followed by some peas and then your cooked mushrooms.
FAQ & Tips for Making Perfect Mushroom Risotto
- What's with the miso paste in this recipe? It adds savory flavor. In fact, miso is one of my favorite ingredients for adding umami to vegan recipes, so I definitely recommend getting your hands on some.
- Where can I get some miso paste? Try the international foods section of your supermarket. If they don't have it, try an Asian market or Amazon.
- What variety of fresh mushrooms do you recommend for this recipe? Almost any will do! But I loved the batch that included hen of the woods, shiitake, oyster, and button. Any or all of those varieties will give you a delicious risotto.
- Can I omit the oil? You can sauté the shallots and garlic in broth if you prefer. I personally don't like cooking mushrooms without oil (they can get soggy in water), but if you have a method that works for you, feel free to try it with this recipe.
- The recipe calls for coconut milk. Does it taste like coconut? I couldn't taste it at all, but feel free to use another non-dairy milk if you prefer. Just make sure it's unsweetened and unflavored.
- Check with Barnivore to ensure your wine is vegan.
Creamy Vegan Mushroom Risotto
The best mushroom risotto, and it just happens to be vegan! Rich, creamy and bursting with umami flavor, you'd never guess this savory dinner was diary free.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¾ pound assorted fresh mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
- ½ cup chopped shallots (about 2 shallots)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon white truffle oil (recommended, but you can substitute another tablespoon of olive oil if preferred)
- 1 ½ cups arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon rubbed sage
- 3-4 cups low sodium vegetable broth, warmed
- ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons white miso paste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
- Salt and pepper to taste
Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and place it over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms in as even a layer as possible (cook them in 2 batches if you don't have much room).
Allow the mushrooms to cook for about 5 minutes on each side, until tender and browned.
Remove the mushrooms from the pot and transfer them to a plate.
Add the truffle oil to the pot and give it a minute to heat up.
When the oil is hot, add the shallots. Cook the shallots for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to brown.
Stir in the garlic and cook for about 1 minute more, until very fragrant.
Stir in the rice and cook it for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until it begins to turn translucent.
Stir in the wine, thyme, rosemary and sage. Bring the wine to a simmer and allow it to cook until fully absorbed by the rice, stirring frequently.
Begin adding the broth to the pot, about ½ cup at a time, bringing each addition to a simmer and allowing it to cook until fully absorbed by the rice before adding the next batch. Stir the rice frequently as it cooks.
After about 3 to 3 ½ cups of broth have been added (this should take a bit less than 20 minutes) the rice should be very creamy and almost fully cooked, with just a bit if firmness at the center of the grains. At this point, stir in the coconut milk and miso. Stir well to fully dissolve the miso.
Allow the rice to continue cooking until the coconut milk has been absorbed. Test the rice for doneness and add a bit more broth and cook a few minutes more if needed.
Remove the pot from heat and stir in the lemon juice, peas and mushrooms.
Taste-test and season with salt and pepper to taste.