Creamy Vegan Mushroom Risotto

By Jessica Hylton -

Creamy Mushroom Risotto is the ultimate comfort dish! It’s so much easier to make than it seems. And, not only is homemade vegan risotto packed with caramelized mushrooms easy, it’s healthy too!

Bowl of risotto with parmesan cheese.

Ready to do some mental vacationing with me? Here’s a flashback…

The scene is Paris, France, 2015, in the 4th arrondissement. I’m sitting outside a cafe, fresh off the plane, and I have my first Parisian dish: Risotto aux champignons de Paris et ses copeaux de parmesan. Translation: Creamy and delicious mushroom risotto from Paris with parmesan.

One bite and I’ve declared that I’ve fallen in love with Paris. I’m also in Paris with my love, my newly wed husband, on our honeymoon.

The third thing I’ve fallen in love with? That would be the word champignons, making mushrooms a new favorite ingredient of mine. All in all, this is bliss.

Fast forward 6 years and I am finally remaking this dish so we can relive the tastiness that is creamy risotto.

How has it taken me this long to make Creamy Vegan Mushroom Risotto, you ask? Intimidation. But, I finally bit the bullet and decided to have a go at it. Boy, did the effort pay off. This homemade risotto is rich, savory, buttery… fill in the blank with your favorite culinary adjective.

Serve it as a side dish, or enjoy it as you would a bowl of pasta – as long as you try it, it really doesn’t matter!

Cheesy, creamy risotto in a pan.

What is Risotto?

Risotto is perfection. Except, it’s not. It’s a beautiful, temperamental dish that you can’t just follow a direct recipe for. It’s not a script; it goes with the flow of life and that’s what makes it perfection.

But you were probably looking for a more definitional answer. So, risotto is an Italian rice-based dish that is cooked in broth until it is rich and creamy. Mix it in with some vegan cheese and caramelized mushrooms, and you’ve got yourself a truly divine dinner.

Bowl of mushroom risotto with parmesan cheese.

What Makes this the Best Vegan Risotto?

‘Best’ is a serious title, but I promise you this vegan mushroom risotto is deserving of it. In case the photos haven’t convinced you yet, here are some more reasons you’re going to want to dig into a bowl of your own:

  • You Can Taste the Effort You Put Into It: Risotto is a dish that requires a lot of love, time and patience, it’s true. But, give it that, and it’ll reward you with the best rice/pasta-y/creamy dish you’ve ever had. My advice? Put a cooking show on, or some French music, and really get into it! You’ll have a blast, and in 40 minutes you’ll have an elegant dinner to enjoy for your efforts, too.
  • The Technique for Vegan Risotto is Simple: First you’ll saute seasonings, and add rice. Then, add wine, and let it absorb. Next add warm broth, ladle by ladle, letting the rice absorb each addition before adding more. Finish with a dollop of high quality vegan butter, vegan parmesan, and lemon or lime juice. Stir, then finish. So, you’ll need to watch this meal, yes, but it doesn’t sound too difficult, right?
  • It’s Comfort Food: It’s not as quick as spaghetti and meatballs, but this traditional risotto dish still counts as comfort food! A bowl of creamy rice will warm you up from the inside out, it’ll stick to your bones, and the seasoning will cure all of your savory cravings. Promise. Cross my heart. So come on! Let’s get started already.

Notes on Ingredients

The cooking process for mushroom risotto may be a bit tricky, but rounding up the ingredients is a fairly simple task! Here’s what you’ll need to find:

For the Risotto

  • Oil: Use the cooking oil of your choice! Olive oil, canola oil, avocado oil, etc.
  • Rice: I generally stick to using arborio rice, but carnaroli rice will also work well.
  • Onion: I like to slice up a white onion, but yellow onions are good too.
  • Garlic: Minced or finely diced.
  • Dry White Wine: I used Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Broth: Since it’s vegan risotto, we’ll obviously use vegetable broth. The amount used varies slightly depending on how creamy you want the risotto (see tips below).
  • Seasoning: Use a mix of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Cheese: Gather up some vegan parmesan cheese – it can be homemade or store-bought. (I used my homemade parmesan, but Violife makes an amazing vegan parmesan cheese block.)
  • Vegan Butter: My favorite vegan butter is Miyokos.
  • More Seasoning/Garnish: Lemon juice or lime juice.

For the Caramelized Mushrooms

  • Mushrooms: Any kind – shiitake would be great here, I used baby bella. Cleaned and sliced, stems removed.
  • Vegan Butter: Oil works as a substitute if you like.
  • Garnish: Sea salt to taste.

How to Make Vegan Mushroom Risotto

For the Risotto

Warm the Broth: Heat the vegetable broth in a small pan and set aside. Keep warm, you want to keep this warm so that it doesn’t reduce the heat of the risotto and mess with the texture of the dish.

Pan with vegetable broth in it.

Sauté the Onion: In a pan over medium high heat, heat the oil. Add in the onion and the garlic, stirring to combine. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Add the Rice: Add in the arborio rice, and stir. Allow the rice to toast for about 3 minutes, until the edges become slightly translucent. Add in the white wine to deglaze the pan. Stir and allow the rice to absorb the wine.

Rice grains with onion.

Combine with Broth: When the wine is completely absorbed, add in about a ladle or ¼ cup of the still warm vegetable broth. The pan should be warm enough for the rice to absorb the rice in a few minutes. Swirl and allow the rice to absorb the broth completely. Repeat, ladle by ladle (easier to scoop), until each is completely absorbed, stirring and swirling to help the rice absorb evenly.

Taste Test the Rice: After about 12 minutes of cooking, taste your rice. Careful, it’s hot! From there, add ladle by ladle and when you reach 3 cups in, taste the rice after each ladle. You want your rice to be al dente or whichever texture you desire.

Season the Rice: After the rice has reached al dente, turn off the heat. Add in the sea salt, black pepper, vegan butter, vegan parmesan, and the lemon or lime juice. Stir to combine completely and let it all absorb in with the residual heat, for about 3 minutes. Remove from the stove.

Risotto with vegan butter and vegan parmesan.

For the Caramelized Mushrooms

Cook the Mushrooms: In a pan over medium high heat, melt the vegan butter. Swirl around the pan. Add in the slices of mushroom, stirring to combine in the butter. Let the mushrooms sit for about 3-5 minutes until they begin to caramelize.

Pan of sliced mushrooms.

Season the Mushrooms: Flip and repeat for about 3-5 minutes until the other side is caramelized too. Season with sea salt.

Sautéed mushroom slices in a pan.

Serve and Enjoy: You can stir the mushrooms in the risotto, or serve them on top of each individual bowl risotto. Serve immediately with additional vegan parmesan cheese and mushrooms. Enjoy!

Vegan risotto with caramelized mushrooms.

Tips for Success

Not so intimidating now!

You’ve got this Italian comfort dish in the bag. Well… almost in the bag. First take a peek at these quick tips that will help you get the best results with your homemade vegan mushroom risotto:

  • Don’t Multi-Task: You’re going to want to give this risotto a lot of love and attention. Slow and steady wins the race here!
  • How Should I Handle the Heat While Cooking? If your heat seems too high and every time the broth hits the pot it’s sizzling and evaporating, lower the heat slightly. You want it hot, but not so hot that the rice doesn’t cook properly. I found medium to be the best temperature for mine.
  • How Much Broth to Use: The first time I made this Mushroom Risotto I used 4 cups of broth. The second time I changed nothing ingredient-wise, and only used 3 ½ cups, and it came out creamier. I figure that’s because I really let the rice soak up the broth properly after each time.
  • How to Know When the Risotto is Done: Taste testing after 12 minutes of cooking and after that every few minutes will help you to know when your risotto is al dente and creamy.
Vegan risotto in a bowl with mushrooms.

Serving Suggestions

Risotto can be the star of the show, or it can share the spotlight – it’s really up to you! Here are some ways I like to enhance/serve my risotto:

  • With Extra Parmesan: Cook it into the risotto, and then sprinkle some extra on top! Cheesy, creamy rice is totally irresistible.
  • With More Vegetables: Don’t feel like you have to stick to just mushrooms here. Roasted (or steamed) asparagus is a welcome addition, as are broccoli or chopped peppers, etc. If you want to make a simple salad, too, this risotto is a great side to supplement your healthy eating. 🙂
  • Alongside a Protein-Packed Dinner: A great vegan option would be something like this Easy Baked Tofu.
Vegan mushroom risotto with vegan parmesan cheese.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

If you have leftovers (that’s a big if, my friends), they can easily be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container.

The best way to reheat your vegan mushroom risotto is to put it back in a pan on the stovetop, add a little extra vegetable broth, and heat until it reaches the desired temperature.

Two bowls of mushroom risotto.

Bowl of mushroom risotto.

Creamy Vegan Mushroom Risotto

Creamy Mushroom Risotto is the ultimate comfort dish! It's so much easier to make than it seems. And, not only is homemade vegan risotto packed with caramelized mushrooms easy, it's healthy too!
by: Jessica in the Kitchen
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 3 servings
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Ingredients

Risotto

  • 1 tablespoon oil of choice
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or finely diced
  • ½ cup dry white wine I used Sauvignon Blanc
  • 3-4 cups vegetable broth*
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegan parmesan cheese homemade or store-bought**
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter***
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or lime juice

Caramelized Mushrooms

  • 8 ounces mushrooms any kind (shiitake would be great here, I used baby bella), cleaned and sliced, stems removed
  • 1-2 tablespoons vegan butter or oil
  • sea salt to taste
Instructions

Instructions

Risotto

  • Heat the vegetable broth in a small pan and set aside. Keep warm, you want to keep this warm so that it doesn’t reduce the heat of the risotto and mess with the texture of the dish.
  • In a pan over medium high heat, heat the oil. Add in the onion and the garlic, stirring to combine. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the arborio rice, and stir. Allow the rice to toast for about 3 minutes, until the edges become slightly translucent. Add in the white wine to deglaze the pan. Stir and allow the rice to absorb the wine.
  • When the wine is completely absorbed, add in about a ladle or 1/4 cup of the still warm vegetable broth. The pan should be warm enough for the rice to absorb the rice in a few minutes. Swirl and allow the rice to absorb the broth completely.
  • Repeat, ladle by ladle (easier to scoop), until each is completely absorbed, stirring and swirling to help the rice absorb evenly. After about 12 minutes of cooking, taste your rice. Careful, it’s hot! From there, add ladle by ladle and when you reach 3 cups in, taste the rice after each ladle. You want your rice to be al dente or whichever texture you desire.
  • After the rice has reached al dente, turn off the heat. Add in the sea salt, black pepper, vegan butter, vegan parmesan, and the lemon or lime juice. Stir to combine completely and let it all absorb in with the residual heat, for about 3 minutes. Remove from the stove.
  • You can stir the mushrooms in the risotto, or serve them on top of each individually served risotto. Serve immediately with additional vegan parmesan cheese and mushrooms. Enjoy!

Caramelised Mushrooms

  • In a pan over medium high heat, melt the vegan butter. Swirl around the pan.
  • Add in the slices of mushroom, stirring to combine in the butter. Let the mushrooms sit for about 3-5 minutes until they begin to caramelize. Flip and repeat for about 3-5 minutes until the other side is caramelized too.
  • Season with sea salt to taste and serve with or on top of risotto. Enjoy!
NOTES
You’re going to want to give Risotto a lot of love and attention. Don’t try and multi-task while making this dish. Slow and steady wins the race here! If your heat seems to high and every time the broth hits the pot it’s sizzle and evaporating, lower the heat slightly. You want it hot, but not too hot that the rice doesn’t cook properly. I found medium the best temperature for mine.
 
*The first time I made this Mushroom Risotto I used 4 cups of broth. The second time I changed nothing ingredient wise and only used 3 1/2 cups and it came out creamier the second time. I figured that’s because I really let the rice soak up the broth properly after each time. Taste testing after 12 minutes of cooking and after that every few minutes will help you to know when your risotto is al dente and creamy.
** I used my homemade parmesan, but Violife makes an amazing vegan parmesan cheese block. You can also top it with my homemade vegan parmesan.
*** My favourite store-bought vegan butter is Miyokos, however you can use any vegan butter here. You can also my homemade vegan butter recipe!

Nutrition

Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 43.4g | Protein: 10.1g | Fat: 12g | Fiber: 2.4g | Sugar: 2.8g
by Jessica

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Ready for more easy vegan side dish ideas? Let’s dig into some more, then!

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Recipe Rating




9 comments

  1. We love mushroom risotto. We will definitely try this out soon. It looks amazing.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Awesome Regina! We’re so happy that you like it! We hope that you enjoy!

  2. Linda says:

    5 stars
    Tasty meal. I made this so I could use the leftover to try the fried Rice Balls (Arancini) you had feature in Valentines dishes. Thanks for sharing/creating delicious plant-base meals.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Thank you for trying the recipes Linda. We’re so happy you enjoyed it. We hope that you enjoy the rice balls too!

  3. Juliette says:

    5 stars
    We just tried this mushroom risotto last night and it was really tasty! Even though the recipe has the mushrooms last, I actually made them before the rice then set aside. Such a yummy recipe! I also added some spinach and it went well!

  4. Steph says:

    5 stars
    Creamiest risotto I have ever made! Even my husband couldn’t believe it was vegan 🙂 so so good! Definitely going to become one of our staple meals.

  5. Kelly says:

    5 stars
    I’ve made this twice now, and it’s fantastic. I like to throw in a couple different types of mushrooms for some variety. I made it for my family and got great reviews.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Thank you so much Kelly. I’m so happy that yo and your family enjoyed this!

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