This easy vegan mushroom risotto recipe is made with mixed mushrooms, vegan butter, and plenty of aromatics. It’s a rich and delicious vegan risotto recipe.
I love a good risotto and when I was in Italy, risotto ai funghi was my favorite. This vegan version is absolutely divine even without the cheese or butter.
For this mushroom risotto recipe, you only need five ingredients (not including water, salt, and pepper):
- Plant-based butter
- Green garlic (or freshly minced garlic cloves)
- Arborio or carnaroli rice
- Dry thyme
You can finish the dish with two optional garnishes of lemon juice and fresh parsley.
The most important part of this recipe is the mushrooms. In my recent newsletter, I talk about both chestnut mushrooms and the green garlic I used in this recipe. You can use one type of mushroom or use a blend, but the most important thing is that they are fresh as older mushrooms tend to release so much liquid and don’t brown up quite as nicely as fresh mushrooms.
I used cremini mushrooms and chestnut mushrooms, a beautiful orange-red mushroom with long, edible stalks. I chose chestnut mushrooms because of their nutty, aromatic flavor. Try this recipe with:
- Fresh cremini mushrooms: These have a mild flavor that will pair well with bolder mushroom varieties.
- Maitake mushrooms: These will give you a meaty tasty and earthy flavor
- Oyster mushrooms: A delicate and savory flavor profile, these crisp up nicely and would work well in a risotto.
- Shiitake mushrooms: Shiitake mushrooms will lend a buttery flavor and meaty texture to your risotto.
If at all possible, use a blend of mushrooms and try to mix up a variety of foraged and cultivated for the most wonderful flavor profile.
How to make this easy vegan mushroom risotto recipe:
This recipe is quite simple to make, though, like any risotto, it will require some babysitting over the stovetop.
First, brown the mushrooms. Melt the vegan butter–I love Wayfare’s whipped butter–into the pot. Once frothy, add the mushrooms and cook until all of the liquid releases and evaporates. This will take anywhere from 18–20 minutes depending on the mushroom variety. But you want to continue cooking until the mushrooms crisp up and take on a deep, golden color. Fond will stick to the bottom of the pot, but once you add the liquid, it will release and add even more flavor to your risotto.
Next, add the minced green garlic or garlic cloves along with the dry thyme and cook until just fragrant. From there, add the rice and cook until it toasts slightly about 2 minutes. After that, it’s a matter of adding the warm liquid in increments, agitating the rice, and adding more liquid only after the rice has absorbed all the liquid in the pot. You’ll need anywhere from 6 to 7 cups and once the risotto takes on a creamy texture and the rice is al dente, you can turn off the heat.
To finish the risotto, you can add a splash of lemon juice and serve it with fresh parsley if you like.
Easy Vegan Mushroom Risotto
- Wide pot
- 4 tablespoons vegan butter, divided
- 1 pound mixed mushrooms, torn or sliced depending on the variety
- 1 stalk green garlic, or 8 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon Dry thyme
- 1 ½ cups arborio rice
- 6–7 cups warm water or vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
For serving, optional:
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ½ cup loosely packed parsley, minced
Brown the mushrooms:
- Melt two tablespoons of vegan butter into a wide pot. Once frothy, add the mushrooms and cook until all of the liquid releases and evaporates. Depending on the size of your pot, you may need to cook the mushrooms in batches. Depending on the mushroom variety, this will take anywhere from 18–20 minutes.
- Continue cooking until the mushrooms crisp up and take on a deep, golden color. If you cooked the mushrooms in batches, add all of them back to the pot and season with salt and pepper.
Cook the garlic:
- Next, add the minced green garlic or garlic cloves to the cooked mushrooms along with the dry thyme and cook until just fragrant.
Prepare the risotto:
- Add the arborio rice to the pot of mushrooms and cook until it toasts slightly, about 2 minutes.
- Begin adding the warm liquid in 1-cup increments, agitating the rice, and adding more liquid only after the rice has absorbed all the liquid in the pot. You’ll need 5 to 7 cups and about 40 minutes of regular stirring. Turn off the heat once the risotto takes on a creamy texture and the rice is al dente. If using water, season the risotto liberally with salt and pepper. If using vegetable stock, you may not need as much salt.
- Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Let the risotto rest off the heat for five minutes.
Finish the risotto:
- Stir the juice from half a lemon into the risotto if you like. Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon wedges from the other half of the lemon. Enjoy!