This mushroom risotto is one of those special dishes that when prepared with an abundance of love and care, makes for an exquisitely comforting and delicious meal that simply makes you feel cozy.
Mushroom Risotto, a Dish Best Prepared with Love
There are certain dishes that have a wonderful way of containing within them a lot of love and nurture.
These meals are the ones that often times require a little bit of extra time and tender, loving care, perhaps a bit more attention; and this rich, creamy mushroom risotto recipe is just such a splendid dish.
In general, risotto is often times seen as a dish that is difficult to prepare, but the secret is that it truly isn't. What it does require from the one preparing it is a genuine intention to enjoy the cooking process and take pleasure in the stirring, the simmering, and the aroma of the dish in order for that magic to be tasted.
Mushroom risotto becomes extra nourishing when one uses their heart as a guide, and sprinkles in copious amounts of love, patience and intention in order for the end result to be truly pleasurable.
And with tender, seared shiitake mushrooms, some white wine, a bit of vibrant green asparagus, tangy-sweet sun-dried tomato, a hint of bacon and a sprinkle of asiago cheese, this mushroom risotto is a homemade culinary pleasure in which the love can be tasted, indeed.
How to Make Mushroom Risotto
Preparing mushroom risotto is about allowing the layers of flavors to unfold and for a creamy texture to be achieved. After all, isn't that what's so comforting and delicious about risotto?
To prepare risotto, one begins by adding some fat and some flavorful aromatics to the pan before adding the rice.
Then, the rice is allowed to toast in those rich ingredients before wine is added in for depth and a hint of acidity, followed by small increments of broth or stock in which the Arborio rice (an Italian short grain variety which is higher in starch) is stirred and softened over time creating that delectably creamy texture.
Here's how I prepare my mushroom risotto, at a glance:
- To begin, I quickly blanch my asparagus pieces, and cool them in ice water.
- I sauté my shiitake mushrooms in the pan, the same pan I will be using for my risotto, until they are slightly caramelized and brown. When done, I set those aside.
- Into that same pan I add some butter and olive oil, then add my leeks and allow those to sweat, followed by some garlic.
- Next, I add in my arborio rice and stir that into the mixture to coat the grains well, and allow them to toast for about 1 minute.
- I add in some white wine and allow that to reduce, followed by adding in small ladlefuls of hot chicken broth (or stock), stirring all the while to incorporate it and help the rice to become creamy, until all or most of the stock is gone, about 24-28 minutes.
- I finish off the mushroom risotto by adding back to the pan the shiitake mushrooms, the asparagus, plus the remaining ingredients, and everything is stirred together until incorporated.
- Then, I serve while hot, garnished with a touch more asiago cheese over top.
(The full recipe is below...)
Tips & Tidbits for Mushroom Risotto:
- Arborio rice for risotto: You will need to use arborio rice for risotto, as it is super starchy and will yield that creamy texture that risotto is known for. You can typically find it in the same section of the market where other rice is sold.
- Patience is a virtue: While mushroom risotto is not difficult nor complicated to prepare, it does require some patience and some time in order for that cozy, comforting and creamy result to be achieved. Be prepared to stir the risotto the majority of the time, not stepping away from it for too long, as this helps the broth you add to incorporate and the rice to become tender and creamy.
- Go vegetarian: You can prepare this mushroom risotto to be vegetarian by simply leaving out the bacon and substituting vegetable broth instead.
- White wine: Wine is traditional in risotto, and while not very much is used, it does add flavor. Know that the alcohol does indeed burn off, but if you prefer to leave the alcohol out, simply omit it and proceed by adding in the broth.
- Stir frequently for creamy texture: While you certainly can take breaks after stirring in the increments of broth you will be adding, you will need to gently stir often in order for the rice to begin to break down and soften, and become creamy.
- Keep things at a very gently simmer: You can't rush risotto, as it does need time to develop. So once you begin adding your increments of broth (or stock), have the heat on low so that the risotto is always at a nice, gentle simmer rather than too vigorously bubbling or boiling.
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 4
Nutrition Info: 614 calories
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
• 12 ounces slender asparagus (trimmed of tough bottoms), sliced on the bias into ½” pieces
• Olive oil
• 3 ½ ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
• Black pepper
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use
• 2 leeks (white parts only), halved and sliced thinly into semi-circles
• 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 1 ½ cups arborio rice
• ¾ cup white wine
• 6 cups hot chicken broth (or stock)
• ¼ cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes (preferably not packed in oil, or then patted dry)
• 4 strips crispy-cooked bacon, chopped
• 1 teaspoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
• 1 ¼ cup grated asiago cheese, divided use
-Place a small pot of water over high heat, and add in a liberal amount of salt; bring it to the boil, then turn off the heat and add in the asparagus pieces, and blanch them for about 30-45 seconds; drain, then immediately run the asparagus pieces under ice-cold water, or plunge them into an ice-water bath, and then pat dry; set aside.
-Place a large, heavy bottom pan over medium to medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 3-4 tablespoons of oil; once the oil is hot, add in the sliced shiitake mushrooms, plus a pinch of salt and pepper, and saute them for a few minutes until they're golden-brown; then, remove from pan and set them aside for a moment.
-Into that same large pan, add in 2 tablespoons of the butter, plus about 3-4 tablespoons of the oil; next, add in the leeks, plus a small pinch of salt and pepper, and saute them for about 10 minutes, or until they're caramelized and golden-brown.
-Next, add in the garlic, and stir to combine; once the garlic becomes aromatic, add the arborio rice into the pan, and saute that with the leeks and garlic for about 1 minute, in order to “toast” the rice a bit.
-Then, add in the wine, and stir to combine; allow the wine to reduce down until it's almost completely gone, and then add in a couple of ladles of the hot chicken broth (or stock), and stir; reduce your heat to medium-low.
-Once the rice has absorbed most of the broth, add in another ladle or two and stir, and repeat the process, stirring the risotto frequently until it becomes tender and creamy, about 24-28 minutes (you will have used most or all of your broth by the end).
-Once the risotto is finished, turn off the heat; add in about ¾ cup of the grated asiago cheese and the remaining tablespoon of butter, and stir that in to incorporate and melt; add back into the pan the asparagus, the sauteed mushrooms, the sun-dried tomatoes, the chopped bacon, and the parsley and thyme, and fold those in.
-Serve the risotto immediately while creamy and hot, and garnish with some of the remaining grated asiago cheese, if desired.
Hungry for more rice recipes? Check out this Roasted Pumpkin Risotto, this Creamy Rice Pudding, this Faux Risotto with Chicken, or this Arroz con Pollo!
Cook’s Note: This recipe was originally published in 2015, and has been updated with even more love!
Thalia @ butter and brioche
This mushroom risotto looks beautiful!
Happy Blog Birthday! The mushroom risotto looks divine.
The blogosphere is an amazing journey- so many people, you get to know over the years, and are considered friends. The food community in the blogosphere is wonderful.
Cheers to many more years!
Hi Ingrid -- I was wondering if it is possible to cut back a bit on the olive oil and butter in the recipe without losing too much of the 'creaminess'. Thanks so much. -- Lisa
The Cozy Apron
Hi Lisa, I don't know that I would recommend it. There are quite a few ingredients (and quantities) that go into the pan to sauté and toast, and they'll need the oil/butter. You can certainly try and cut back, and always add in more if you see things sticking too much, or that they're too dry; but risotto, quite frankly, is one of those dishes that needs that butter and oil to get things going for a good end result. Hope you enjoy!
Sara @ Biscuits & Burlap
This looks absolutely delicious and I can't wait to try it.
The Cozy Apron
Hi Sara, thank you so much!
This looks amazing! Will be trying it soon! What wine would you pair with it?
The Cozy Apron
Hi Andrea, I'm so excited to read that you're planning on trying this recipe out! The recipe calls for white wine, so if you have a particular wine you like, use that in the dish and drink the rest with the meal; my favorite with this would be a nice pinot grigio. 🙂
I'm trying this recipe tonight for our valentine's day dinner and I'm so excited! I've always loved risotto and this will be my first attempt so wish me luck. I'm planning on pairing it with stuffed chicken breast, do you have any recommendations on what I could stuff the chicken with? I was going to use the extra asparagus and Sundried tomatoes, but I'd love to hear some ideas if you have and by!
The Cozy Apron
Hi Allison, I'm so excited for you that you're planning on preparing this risotto for Valentine's dinner! How wonderful...and as far as stuffed chicken is concerned, you've come to the right place with that, as well! I've got a couple of recipes in that vein (you can search "stuffed chicken" in the search box), but here's one you may be interested in:
However, if you want to keep things a bit more simple (because the risotto does need to be "babysat" to be honest), you could always just add some diced grilled chicken breast straight into the risotto at the end, as well. Here's wishing you success, and a love-filled Valentines!
This is absolutely delicious. I will probably omit th bacon next time. For me it was a bit too much. Thank you for sharing!
The Cozy Apron
Hi Heather, glad you enjoyed the risotto! And yes, certainly prepare it according to your tastes. Thanks for sharing!
This turned out fabulously! Thanks so much for the inspiration.
The Cozy Apron
Hi Monroe, so glad to read that! Thank you for sharing.
I e made this three times already and it is a bit complicated to do, but oh my GOODNESS SO WORTH IT! I made it for a get together and everybody couldn’t get enough of it and I got so many compliments. My hubby said he doesn’t want to share it ever again so he can keep it for himself. So creamy and rich. Almost a meal by itself. Lovely! Thank you!!!! This is a keeper!!!
The Cozy Apron
Hi Celina, so happy to read that!
I know, I know...risotto needs to be "nurtured" along during the cooking process, making it a bit of a time-consuming recipe; but when it turns out great, little is quite like it.
I smiled when I read the part about your hubby not wanting to share it again—what a precious compliment! Job well done.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me.
Is it possible to make this in advance? I’m having a dinner party but do not want to be cooking until right before it’s served. Looks delicious though!
The Cozy Apron
Hi Danielle, risotto is one of those dishes that is best prepared just before serving.
It is true that it can be done ahead, as many restaurants that serve it sort of "pre" cook it and then finish it to order. You could do this is, and the way to do it is to use additional stock/liquid when you go to reheat it, as it will be very thick.
You would slowly and gently reheat it in a large pan, stirring in stock/liquid in increments until the the desired creaminess/texture is obtained.
But as I write this, I'm thinking that with this process you're actually right back in the same boat with cooking right up until the last minute...
If you're looking to have things mostly prepped ahead of time, then I would suggest going a different route than risotto for this. It's very well worth the effort, but perhaps on an occasion that is a bit more relaxed. 😉
Made this tonight instead of a traditional St. Patrick's Day feast. So delicious!
The Cozy Apron
Cyndi, that is so wonderful—love that you made this a part of your "feast"!
Thanks for sharing.
Just finished making this recipe as a surprise dinner for my mother. I made some tomato, basil and colby/asiago stuffed pepper halves baked to cooked but still somewhat firm and a homemade salad with a vinegarette dressing as well to compliment and I will say it's paired nicely. I will say cook time was closer to 1hr 15 min but I doubled the recipe as well wince we are serving 8. The risotto turned a little dryer than I anticipated but the flavor and look is great. Thank you for this recipe!
The Cozy Apron
Hi James, thank you so much for sharing your experience with me! Sounds like you put together an absolutely delicious, intention-filled meal, and I'm so very happy to read that it turned out for you.
Yes, the things you mentioned about the cooking time and the risotto being a little dryer make perfect sense since you say you doubled it. Doubling it will definitely require more time, and, as you noticed, may require an adjustment to the liquid. I would say to use a touch more stock next time if you are doubling it, and it should be creamier.
Glad you enjoyed, and happy cooking to you!
This was amazing. I give it 6 stars out of 5. The hints in the story were very helpful. I made it this weekend and brought the leftovers to the office. They loved it too.
I tried to share the recipe with my coworker and kept getting errors. Later to find out why on your FAQ page. Did finally print it and gave full credit to your website. So good!!! thank you!
The Cozy Apron
Hi Rebecca, that is so, so wonderful! Thanks for sharing your success with this recipe!
I'm honored you also shared the actual recipe with your coworker—hopefully he or she will also gain much nourishment and comfort out of trying their own hand at this risotto. Happy cooking to you!