Vegan Mushroom Risotto
This creamy vegan mushroom risotto recipe is easy to make for a delicious meal that’s perfect for a mid-week dinner or special occasion.
Mushroom risotto is a classic Italian dish traditionally made with butter, onion, white wine and parmesan. This version is dairy-free and made without wine but it’s still super creamy and satisfying!
While risotto is a bit more hands-on than cooking pasta or regular rice, there’s no need to be intimidated by this classic dish, it’s actually quite easy to make once you get the hang of it!
You’ll love the creamy, velvety texture and delicious, earthy, umami flavour of this risotto. Whether you make it for a special occasion or any night of the week, this delicious risotto makes a crowd-pleasing dish everyone will enjoy!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- It’s vegan, nut-free and gluten-free, can can be made oil-free.
- It’s the ultimate comfort food!
- It’s ready in under 40 minutes.
- It’s completely dairy-free yet still creamy and delicious.
- It’s made with just a handful of basic ingredients.
- It’s easy enough for everyday but elegant enough for special occasions too!
A complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the printable recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.
- Thyme: Fresh is lovely but if you only have ground thyme that’s ok.
- Olive Oil: Oil can be substituted with broth for oil-free risotto.
- Onion: White onion, shallot or yellow onion work, or you can use 2 large leeks, cleaned and diced, for a variation.
- Garlic: Use fresh garlic, not ground garlic powder.
- Mushroom: The recipe calls for white button mushrooms and portobellos but you can use any variety of mushroom. I would recommend using at least 2 different types of mushrooms for a variety of textures and flavours. Try cremini, shitake, oyster mushrooms, wild mushrooms, baby bellas or anything else you can find or enjoy!
- Arborio Rice: Medium-grain arborio rice or carnaroli rice both work well in this recipe. I used arborio rice as it’s easier to find in stores though if you can find carnaroli rice, it’s really nice for risotto.
- Vegetable Broth: Any homemade or store-bough broth works, you can also use bouillon powder or cubes
- Lemon: You’ll need both the juice and zest from a lemon.
- Vegan Butter: Adding butter at the end is optional but adds a creamy, decadent finish to the risotto.
How to Make Mushroom Risotto
Step 1. Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a large pot on the stovetop.
Once it boils, lower the heat and keep the broth warm. This is an important step as it’s important to use warm broth when we cook the rice.
Step 2. In a separate saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat.
Add the onions, garlic and thyme and cook for a few minutes until the onions are translucent and fragrant.
Step 3. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. The mushrooms will release liquid as they cook, keep cooking until they pan is nearly dry again.
Step 4. Add the rice to the pot and “toast” the rice for 1 minute by sautéing it in the pan.
This is an important step and enhances the flavour of the risotto by opening the pores of the rice.
Step 5. Now to start cooking the rice. Slowly add the hot stock 1 cup at time, stirring with a wooden spoon as the rice absorbs the stock.
You don’t have to constantly stir the whole time but keep a close eye on it and give it a stir at least every 30 seconds.
Continue to add the stock 1 cup at a a time until all of the stock is incorporated and the rice is cooked. This still should take 25-30 minutes.
Quick Tip: Be consistent with stirring the rice. Consistent stirring helps the final dish being more evenly cooked and creamier in consistency.
Step 5. Season with salt and pepper and fold in the lemon zest and parsley.
Finally, stir in the vegan butter for a decadent, creamy finish! Serve your risotto with more fresh parmesan and fresh-cracked black pepper.
Use Hot Broth: It’s important to follow the recipe and heat the broth separately. Adding hot broth to the rice ensures and even cooking time for the best risotto!
Add the Broth Slowly: Follow the recipe, slowly adding small amounts of broth as it continues to be absorbed by the rice. The is key for creamy risotto as it slowly brings out the starch in the rice for that ultra-creamy texture.
Cook Rice Al Dente: Cook the rice until it’s tender but still a bit chewy, rather than completely soft. If the rice is overcooked, the risotto will be mushy.
Cooking Time: Cooking times may vary depending on the rice, pot and stove used, as well as the temperature of the cooking liquid. Keep watching the pot for when the stock has been absorbed, continually slowly adding more until the rice is tender but still has some chewiness.
- Add up to 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas to the finished risotto.
- Omit the mushrooms for regular risotto.
- Drizzle truffle oil over the final dish for truffle risotto.
Mushroom risotto is best enjoyed hot right after cooking but leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
To reheat the risotto, add it to saucepan and slowly heat stovetop, adding broth as needed until the rice has loosened and the risotto has heated through.
The best way to tell if risotto is done is to taste it. Cooked risotto should be al dente – that is, fully cooked but still a bit firm and chewy to the bite.
When you run a wooden spoon through cooked risotto, it should be creamy but not overly thick. so that when you run a spoon through it, the risotto slowly flows back in to fill the space.
- Serve topped with fresh parsley and fresh-cracked black pepper.
- Try this vegan parmesan or any store-bought parmesan sprinkled on top.
- Risotto is usually served as a main dish but works well with a light green salad or other light side dishes like roasted veggies.
- Store leftover risotto in the fridge for up to 3 days in a sealed container.
- To reheat place on stove and slowly add stock until rice has loosened in consistency and is heated all the way through.
- Mushroom risotto is not ideal for freezing.
Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.
Vegan Mushroom Risotto
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 6
- Category: Side Dish
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Vegan
This creamy mushroom risotto is surprisingly easy to make for a flavourful meal that’s sure to impress. Easy enough for a mid-week dinner and elegant enough for special occasions, enjoy this lovely dish anytime!
- 8 cup vegetable stock, boiling
- 1 medium white onion, diced (2 cups, 250 g)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (1 tbsp, 10 g)
- 1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves removed from stem (or 1 tsp dried)
- 2 tbsp olive oil (15 g, use vegetable stock for oil-free risotto)
- 3 cups button mushrooms, roughly chopped (300 g)
- 2 cups portobello mushrooms, gills removed, cut in half and finely chopped (150 g)
- 2 cup arborio rice (400 g)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lemon zest (if you don’t have a zester, use a peeler and finely chop)
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley (10 g)
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- Start by bring the vegetable stock to boil in a pot then reduce heat and keep warm. This is a very important step in making the risotto as we need the stock to be hot when we start cooking the rice.
- In a separate medium-sized pot, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions, garlic and thyme and sauté for 3-5 minutes until onions are translucent and fragrant.
- Place the chopped mushrooms in the pot with the onion and cook for an additional 5 minutes. The mushrooms will release liquid in this process. Cook the mushrooms until the have fully absorbed the liquid and the pan is almost dry.
- Add the rice to the pot and “toast” the rice by sautéing it with the other ingredients for 1 minute. This is an important step to enhance the flavour of the risotto as it helps open the pores of the rice.
- Begin cooking the rice by slowly adding the hot stock 1 cup at a time. Ensure you are constantly stirring the rice with a wooden spoon while the stock is being absorbed. The more consistently you stir the rice, the more evenly cooked and creamy in consistency the final risotto will be. Continue to add 1 cup of stock at a time and stir until all stock is incorporated and the rice is cooked al dente. It should be tender but still have some chewiness. This step should take 25 – 30 minutes.
- Once the rice is cooked, season with salt and fold in the parsley and lemon zest. Remove from heat and stir in a tablespoon of vegan butter. Serve with more fresh parsley and fresh cracked black pepper.
Storing and Reheating: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat place on stove and slowly add stock until rice has loosened in consistency and is heated all the way through.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 308
- Fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 60 g
- Protein: 8 g
Keywords: vegan mushroom risotto
Absolutely delicious! I used closed cup mushrooms and shitake. Instead of butter, I added low fat soft cheese.
My partner, who normally turns his nose up at vegetarian food, loved it too!
Thanks, Annie! So happy you both enjoyed it.
I like this but it isn’t like risotto, more like mushrooms and rice. Normally I love vegan food but in this dish I miss the cheese. The flavor is good though.
I made this for my non vegan friends and they loved it! I will make this again!
So glad you enjoyed it!
Excellent and easy to follow. She was right, heating the broth first made a huge difference!
So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks so much for the review!
This was delicious! (And got a bonus arm workout from all the stirring!) The lemon zest is a must- surprising and fresh. Even my carnivore husband liked this dish. Be mindful that it makes a TON – I will probably cut it in half next time.
So glad you enjoyed it. Thank you so much for the review!