Creamy Mushroom Risotto (Easy to Make)

Don’t feel intimidated, Mushroom Risotto is easy to make and the recipe below will make you seem like a gourmet chef! This recipe is made with rice that is slowly cooked in seasoned chicken broth with mushrooms, onions, and parmesan cheese!

The result is a rice that is extra creamy and packed with flavor.

A serving dish of mushroom risotto garnished with parmesan and parsley.

So, what exactly is risotto? Risotto is a simple Italian dish that consists of rice cooked to a creamy consistency (without cream) by adding small bits of warm broth and stirring frequently. The stirring releases starches which make the rice creamy and delicious!

What Kind of Rice to Use for Risotto

Traditionally, arborio rice is used for risotto because, as it cooks, it releases starch creating a creamy consistency. While this recipe is easy to make it requires a bit of babysitting at the stove as it should be stirred very frequently while warm broth is added in small amounts.

Of course you can use any rice you have on hand (except instant or minute rice) but the result will not be quite as creamy.

Rice being browned with butter and onions for risotto

Tips for Risotto

Risotto can seem intimidating since we often enjoy it at fancy restaraunts but to be honest, it’s pretty easy! Here are a few tips for success.

    • Precook veggies/mushrooms When adding veggies to risotto, you want to heat everything through but the veggies should be pre-cooked.
    • Toast the Rice Just like grilled chicken or the brown bits at the bottom of a beef stew, brown = flavor. Toast the rice slightly in olive oil for the best flavor (not too dark, just a bit golden).
    • Heat the Broth Broth will be added bit by bit but it should be heated. Keep a second pot on the stove or heat in the microwave. If the broth is not warm, it stops the cooking process each time you add some.
    • Stir Frequently Stirring helps release starches resulting in a creamy dish.
    • Add Broth in Small Doses Add broth, allow it to evaporate (while frequently stirring) and then add a bit more. A bit tedious but worth the time.

A pot of mushroom risotto garnished with parsley and parmesan.

To Make Ahead

You can make risotto ahead of time, simply cook it about halfway and then cool. Before serving, continue cooking and proceed with the recipe until tender.

What to Serve with Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto is a rich, creamy, decadent recipe, that elevated any dish it is paired with!

Try serving it with a simple oven-baked chicken breast to really let the risotto shine! A cold, crunchy salad with a bright, tangy vinaigrette is a definite diner pleaser and perfectly rounds out dinner.

If you are going the vegetarian route, a simple side of steamed broccoli or carrots makes for a colorful side dish.

A serving dish of mushroom risotto garnished with parsley and parmesan.

What to do With Leftover Risotto?

Keep leftover risotto can be kept in the fridge and reheated for leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop.

  • To Reheat: Add a little bit of milk to the leftovers as you reheat it and stir until it is restored to its creamy state again. Refresh the flavors with some salt and pepper and serve again, just like new!
  • To Freeze: Store in an airtight container. Let thaw in the fridge and then reheat following the directions above.

Pro Tip: Add some flour to leftover risotto, form into patties (hamburger-sized), and fry in olive oil for risotto cakes. Serve with garlic aioli over a bed of lettuce for a fancy lunch!

Just like creamy mushroom orzo, try stirring in defrosted peas for a colorful and delicious twist. Or try a low carb version using cauliflower rice! Whichever way you choose to serve this dish it is sure to be a hit.

Easy Rice Side Dishes

Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom risotto is a gourmet side dish that is so easy to prepare!

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 oz mushrooms (any variety, thinly sliced)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine (or extra broth)
  • 3 cups chicken broth (divided, or mushroom broth)
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Warm the broth in the microwave.
  2. Add olive oil and mushrooms to a pan over medium-high heat. Cook until mushrooms are softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Add butter and onions to a saucepan, cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in rice and cook until rice starts to lightly brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add wine and cook until evaporated while stirring. Add warmed broth 1/2 cup at a time stirring until evaporated after each addition. This will take about 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in mushrooms with any juices, parmesan cheese (reserve a couple of tablespoons for garnish) and parsley. Taste and add salt & pepper as needed. Garnish with fresh herbs as desired.

It is important that the broth you add is heated.
Optional add in 1/2 cup defrosted peas along with the mushrooms at the end.

Mushroom risotto garnished with parsley and parmesan.
Close up of mushroom risotto garnished with parmesan and parsley.
Mushroom risotto garnished with parmesan and parsley.