This easy mushroom risotto with thyme is creamy, comforting and delicious! Loaded with rich, savoury mushroom stock and lots of fresh mushrooms, it’s a recipe you’ll want to make again and again.
Years ago over the course of a few weeks hubby and I took a fun weekly evening class all about Italy.
The class was about culture, language and, of course, food (my favourite part). It was very casual and a great way to spend the evenings. I remember when we would come home from the class, we would practice words that we learned over a glass of wine. So fun!
The lady that taught the class was originally from Italy and, of course, I picked up a few pointers from her for making this risotto.
For example, don’t brown the onions when they are cooking. Another important step is to cook or toast (not brown, though) the rice before adding the wine just to kinda wake up the rice. Little, but important, tips to keep in mind. All in the details, isn’t it?
Easy Mushroom Risotto Recipe from Scratch
This mushroom risotto, let me tell you, is really good. It’s like a big, warm hug, the perfect comfort food. In from the cold? Risotto. Want to make something nice for your family? Risotto. You get the picture.
Though this mushroom risotto is simple, don’t leave it. You just have to be attached to the stove for a little bit. It’s a labour of love and requires your attention once you start the process.
No worries, though. the recipe calls for some wine, that means that you can have a glass of wine on hand as you are making this, LOL. There’s three cups in a bottle, isn’t there? Well, that means some for the risotto and some for you and your sweetie.
Risotto is honestly one of my favourite things both to make and to eat. And who would have thought that some simple ingredients, like mushrooms and arborio rice, could make such a special meal?
I just love the process of making it and taking my time with each step. The whole thing just comes together wonderfully.
Today I’m sharing a mushroom flavoured risotto, but risotto can come in all varieties of flavours, even in the basic side (which still tastes fabulous). The main component of risotto is arborio rice, plus a few other pantry staples. The basic ingredients for any risotto are:
- Olive oil
- Arborio rice
- Stock or water
- Parmesan cheese
What Is Arborio Rice?
Arborio Rice is an Italian short grain rice. It’s white and hard (like you would expect it to be), but when cooked, it releases a considerable amount of starch, which is what makes risotto so creamy.
Do you Rinse Arborio Rice Before Cooking?
No! The starches from the arborio rice is what gives the risotto its classic creamy consistency. No rinsing required.
How To Make Risotto
Making risotto at home is easy! You don’t have to save it for special occasions while dining out in a restaurant! Full details are in the recipe card below, but here are the basics:
- Cook mushrooms, remove from pan, and lay to one side.
- Then, heat olive oil in your pan.
- Cook minced onion until translucent (don’t brown).
- To onion, add arborio rice and stir, coating in the oil. Cook for a few minutes. Don’t brown the rice.
- Add wine and cook until absorbed.
- About a ladle at a time, add stock to pan, stirring to help the rice release its starch. When stock is almost evaporated, add another ladle or so of stock. Continue this process until you are left with a creamy consistency and the rice is cooked through (but still has a little bit of bite — think al dente pasta almost).
- After the last ladle of stock (and when you’ve reached your desired consistency), add the reserved cooked mushrooms, thyme and salt. You want a creamy consistency. You aren’t cooking this like you would regular rice whereas all the moisture (aka stock) is dissolved. The mixture should be creamy, not too thin and not too thick.
- Off the eat, stir in butter and Parmesan. Serve and garnish with additional thyme. Enjoy immediately.
Is Risotto a Meal or a Side?
Honestly, it can be both! It’s quite substantial enough to be a meal on its own, especially if there’s hearty ingredients like mushrooms (or even add some crisped prosciutto or pancetta on top).
Alternatively, it makes a great side or starter dish as part of a multi course meal (just serve smaller portions).
For a side or starter, it would be lovely with a green salad, steak or chicken.
Does Cream go in Risotto?
No! Classic risotto does not have cream. The starchiness from the arborio rice is what makes risotto so creamy dreamy. No cream needed.
Tips for Making This Recipe
- Mushroom stock was used here. Unsalted vegetable stock can be used, but the end result won’t be as mushroom-forward.
- Speaking of stock, keep your stock warm in a pot next to your risotto. You don’t want to add cool stock to your risotto because you would be slowing the cooking process each time. Keep that stock warm! And every time you add stock, stir well into the risotto.
- Use a quality white wine, something you would enjoy drinking. If you wouldn’t drink it, why cook with it?
More Easy Comfort Food Recipes
Hope you love this easy mushroom risotto recipe as much as we do!
If you make this mushroom risotto recipe, be sure to leave a comment below!
Easy Mushroom Risotto Recipe
- 4 to 6 cups mushroom stock, or vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 4 cups thinly sliced fresh mushrooms, I used a combination of baby bella (cremini) and white button mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and minced
- 1 cup arborio rice
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish (if you like)
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish (if you like)
- Place mushroom stock in a medium saucepan over low heat and bring to a simmer. Note: In total, you want about 4 to 6 cups of stock. In this recipe you'll use approximately 4 cups, but I like to have a little extra, if necessary. Any leftover stock can be used for another dish, if desired.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of butter with 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a 10-inch heavy-bottomed sauté (or deep) pan over medium-low heat.
- Add mushrooms to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and a pinch of black pepper. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate and set aside.
- Next, heat remaining 3 teaspoons (or 1 tablespoon) of olive oil. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent (don't brown), about 5 minutes. To this, add arborio rice. Stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes (don't brown). Then, add wine and cook until it has absorbed, about 5 minutes.
- Add a ladle or so of stock to rice mixture. Simmer and stir (pulling your spatula or spoon through the rice) until stock is almost absorbed; then, add another ladle or so of stock. Continue this process, until the arborio rice starts to release its starch and it gets creamy and the rice is cooked (think kinda like al dente pasta, where it has a little soft bite but is cooked through).
- After the last ladle of stock (and when you've reached your desired consistency), add the reserved cooked mushrooms, thyme and season with remaining ¾ teaspoon of salt, or to taste. Note: It takes about 25 minutes to cook the rice. The mixture should be creamy (not too thin, not too thick).
- Off heat, add remaining 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter and stir through. Stir in Parmesan cheese.
- To serve, ladle the risotto into warmed dishes and garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and reserved thyme (if desired). Enjoy! Yields 2 generous main servings or 4 appetizer servings.
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.
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Tried this recipe?
If you do make this recipe, thank you!! It would mean so much if you could leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed it, and it helps other readers too!