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This Vegan Mushroom Risotto is so rich and creamy, but it doesn't have any cream. It's comforting, cozy and oh-so-satisfying!
Yep, you've read that right - no vegan cream at all! I'm not against using cream in recipes, but this Vegan Mushroom Risotto just doesn't need it. It's entirely creamy on its own from the Italian-grown arborio rice.
A traditional Italian risotto doesn't include any cream because the creamy texture comes from the rice itself. The kernels contain a high starch content which creates a dreamy and luxurious texture when cooked.
When it comes to comfort food, Italian-style dishes are my favorite (right next to Mexican food). I often make this Italian-inspired Eggplant Rollatini and these Fried Olives Stuffed w/ Roasted Garlic.
WHAT IS RISOTTO?
Risotto is a popular Italian rice dish that's known for its rich, savory and satisfying feeling. It's creamy, buttery and cooked to a perfect al dente texture which leaves it velvety soft, but still with some bite. This dish will get your taste buds tingling and your belly warm and happy.
IS VEGAN MUSHROOM RISOTTO EASY TO MAKE?
Risotto can take some time, but it's really simple to make. There are many different flavored risotto recipes, but the technique is primarily the same. This Vegan Mushroom Risotto is basic and a super tasty recipe for you to start with. Once you get the hang of things, you can experiment with more.
WHAT'S IN VEGAN MUSHROOM RISOTTO?
The basic ingredients for Risotto are Arborio Rice, Broth, Onion, Wine, and Butter or Oil. Most likely you'll have everything in your kitchen waiting for you now.
Most traditional risotto recipes call for parmesan cheese (except for the seafood variety) but it's not 100% required, and it can easily be replaced with Vegan Parmesan Cheese. I really like this dish without it, but I'll sprinkle a little on top of the finished dish.
The cheese can sometimes overpower the delicate flavors of the dish and make it a bit dry. However, feel free to add some vegan cheese if you prefer (1-2 tablespoons). You can also use Nutritional Yeast for a cheesy flavor.
Risotto can be made with a rainbow of different vegetables and I try to use what's in season or whatever I have in the freezer. For this recipe, I kept it really simple by using cremini mushrooms and frozen peas, but you can add your favorites to make this dish your own.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN MUSHROOM RISOTTO
All you'll need to do is place the frozen peas in a bowl of filtered water to thaw out. Now sauté the mushrooms in olive oil, garlic, and thyme until browned and set them aside. It's best to cook vegetables outside of the risotto and place near the end. This avoids mushy vegetables and their flavors taking over the dish.
Now sauté the onions and remaining garlic and thyme in butter or oil. Once tender, add the rice and stir to coat and toast slightly. Pour in the wine and pour a glass for yourself because all that stirring will make you thirsty 😉
When the wine is evaporated, you'll begin adding hot stock to the pan, one cup at a time until it's gone. Let the broth cook down before adding more. You probably won't need more than 6 cups, but have some on hand just in case.
Stir often, but not constantly or it won't cook properly. Stirring is important because it helps release the starch molecules into the broth, creating a smooth & creamy-textured liquid.
The rice should be tender but have a slight bite to it (al dente). Add more broth if needed to reach desired tenderness. This whole process could take between 20-35 minutes. Remove from heat and add the peas, mushrooms, lemon juice, and fresh ground pepper, stir to coat.
Taste for seasoning and add more if needed. If you want to add cheese flavor stir in 2-3 tablespoons of vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast. Traditionally, a few pats of butter are stirred in at the end, so feel free to add some vegan butter to add more richness.
HOW IS RISOTTO SERVED?
In Italian tradition, risotto is served during the first course (primo), and sometimes on the side of the main course. However, I usually serve it as a main dish with a salad on the side and a light vinaigrette dressing, so it doesn't overpower the risotto flavors.
Now you're ready to have a restaurant-style, Italian dish in the comfort of your own home.
MORE VEGAN ITALIAN-STYLE CLASSICS FOR YOU
I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU
If you make this Vegan Mushroom Risotto, let me know what you think by ★ star rating it and leaving a comment below. It would really make my day. You can also follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @veganhuggs and hashtag #veganhuggs so I don’t miss it.
Creamy Vegan Mushroom Risotto w/ Peas
- 6 cups vegetable broth , low sodium + more if needed. (*See note)
- 12 ounces cremini mushrooms , brushed clean and sliced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- 2 large cloves garlic , minced (divided)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme , divided
- 1 small onion , finely diced
- 1 ½ cups arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine (+ a splash for deglazing)
- 1 teaspoon salt , more to taste (+ a pinch for mushrooms)
- ¾ cup frozen peas , thawed
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- Pour broth in a medium pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Now reduce heat to low to keep warm.
- For the mushrooms, heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Once fully heated, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and wait until it shimmers. Now add about ½ the mushrooms in an even layer in the pan (don't crowd the mushrooms or they won't brown). Let them sit undisturbed for a few minutes and then brown the other side.
- Now push the browned mushrooms to the side and add the remaining. Repeat the process and add more oil if needed. Now lower the heat and add ½ the garlic, ½ teaspoon of thyme and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 30-60 seconds until fragrant. Deglaze pan with a splash white wine to pick up the browned bits. Place mushrooms in a dish/bowl and set aside.
- Wipe out the same pan and return to stove over medium heat. Once heated, add the remaining oil and then add the onions and sauté until translucent (about 4-5 mins). Now add the remaining garlic and ½ teaspoon of thyme. Sauté until fragrant for 30-60 seconds.
- Add rice and stir to coat. Let it toast for 1-2 minutes.
- Add wine and turn heat up to medium-high to simmer. Once simmering turn heat back to medium. Cook wine down about 3-5 minutes and stir often.
- Add one cup of hot broth and salt. Let the liquid lightly simmer and cook down before adding more. Stir often, but not constantly or the rice won't cook properly. It could take between 2-4 minutes for each cup of broth to cook down. Continue this process until broth is cooked down and rice is al dente. The rice should be tender but have a slight bite to it. Add more broth if needed to reach desired tenderness. This whole process could take between 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Add thawed peas, cooked mushrooms, and fresh ground pepper then stir to coat. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed. If desired, stir in vegan parmesan cheese, fresh-cut parsley, a pat of vegan butter and a squeeze of fresh lemon.