Mushroom Risotto

The recipe calls for risotto rice, Italian rice varieties that are high in a particular type of starch, with grains that are shorter and fatter than most other rices: Arborio, Carnaroli and Vialone Nano are the most famous varieties. The high starch content of these rices yields a creamy texture when cooked.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6



  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cups flavorful mushrooms such as shiitake, chanterelle, or oyster mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into half inch to inch pieces
  • 2/3 cup brandy, vermouth, or dry white wine
  • 5-6 cups chicken stock* (use vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
  • 1/3 cup of peeled and minced shallots (OR 1/3 cup of yellow or white onion, finely chopped)
  • 1 3/4 cups arborio rice or other risotto rice
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or chives

*If cooking gluten-free, use homemade stock or gluten-free packaged stock.


1 Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan.

2 Sauté the mushrooms: Melt the butter in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and shallots and sauté about 5 minutes (if using chanterelles, dry sauté first for a minute or two and let the mushrooms cook in their own juices before adding the butter).

3 Add rice and brandy: Add the rice and stir to combine. Add brandy, bring to a boil, and reduce liquid by half, about 3-4 minutes.

4 Add simmering stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring enough to keep the rice from sticking to the edges of the pan. Stir the rice almost constantly — stirring sloughs off the starch from the rice, making the creamy sauce you're looking for in a risotto.

Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup.

This process will take about 25 minutes. The rice should be just cooked and slightly chewy.

5 Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or chives.

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  • Louise M

    Great. Save that last cup of broth. Had to let it sit a bit and that revived it.


  • Steven

    I want to make this tonight but all I have is red wine. Will that make much of a difference? Is there something else I can sub for the wine?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Steven! I wouldn’t sub red wine for this, not only does red wine have a different flavor than white and works less well as a compliment to the mushrooms, but it will turn your risotto purple-colored! I’d skip the wine altogether and add a little extra stock instead. You might need a splash of cider vinegar or a squeeze of lemon at the end — something acidic to help brighten up the flavors. Good luck!

      • Steven

        Thank you!

    • Glenn

      If I don’t have wine, I just use acidulated water… a tablespoon of vinegar in a 1 cup measuring cup, topped off with water. It works great, and the acid helps break the initial starches of the rice free of their oil coating.

  • Henni

    Just finished eating my first attempt of the mushroom risotto. It was amazing! I used brandy and Highline mini Bella mushrooms found at Costco. It was a little tiring stirring for such a long time but it was worth it. My next attempt will be a lobster risotto.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Henni, I’m so glad you liked it! Yes you have to stir for a while, but I agree, it is worth it.

  • Susie

    This recipe is delicious! Just made it using a trio of mushrooms that were in a package at Kroger (blend of fresh gourmet), vegetable broth and barefoot Pinot Grigio – shocked myself that it tasted so good on the first try. Stayed with the simmering rice the whole time. Really fun to make! Thank you for this great recipe!


  • glodie

    is it bad to use beef broth instead of chicken?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi glodie, you could easily use beef broth instead of chicken. Beef broth goes great with mushrooms.

  • Kate

    Will this recipe double okay? I’ve made it before and loved it! Now I’d like to make it for a bigger group.


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Kate, good question! I haven’t tried doubling the recipe but don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work. Just use a wider pot.

  • Kyle

    I love the flavor of marsala wine in cooking. How would a marsala wine be in this? Would you use the full 2/3 cup of marsala wine or split it with some white wine?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Kyle, I love the flavor of marsala with mushrooms too. I probably wouldn’t use a whole 2/3 cup though. Maybe just 1/4 cup or a 1/3 cup. No need for other wine.

  • Katy

    I could only get ahold of was cremini and shittake, and this turned out wonderfully! Luckily I had fresh parmesan; that always adds a nice flavor. The long stirring process allows lots of time for dancing, which is one of my favorite parts cooking. I recommend the recipe!

    • Katherine

      That’s what I used turned out so yummy. I was scared of doing risotto but this turned out amazing

  • Tom

    If your store has only sushi rice, that will still work great for risotto! it’s a high starch, short grain rice, and I’ve yet anyone tell the difference when I’ve used it (which has been at least a dozen times).

  • carolina p

    planning on making this for dinner tonight as i have a pound of cremini mushrooms from sat morning’s farm market…hoping that they are an equally ‘flavorful’ mushroom substitution?

    Sure, you can make these with cremini. ~Elise

    • Katherine

      I used crimini and it was amazing

  • Fred

    I absolutely despise cream in risotto. I know Thomas Keller puts cream in. So what. Its gross. Beat the cheese in at the end (and some butter too). Let it sit covered for a minute or two and it will be creamy. The dish really comes together the last few minutes and that’s where care is taken to get the right texture.

    It’s a dish where the home cook can and should do better than a restaurant.

  • Lara

    I tried the newer recipe compared to the older. Is there a reason this one tastes “earthier” as someone said to me?

    The main difference is that now we are making the recipe without cream. A classic risotto should not need cream; it gets its creamy texture from the constant stirring of the risotto rice while slowly adding in the stock. ~Elise

  • Linda

    I used the brandy and at the end I finished it with 1/4 c. cream and 1 T. butter and 1/3 c. pecorino romano rather than parmesan – covered and let it sit for about 3 minutes. I used the chives. This was amazing! :-)

  • Jules

    I fell in LOVE with risotto after having it for the first time in Croatia. Mushroom is my favorite type to make. I, like a previous commenter, saute the rice for a few minutes in butter/oil before adding stock or wine. Also, I usually add a half cup or so of half and half or cream when I add the Parmesan at the end of the recipe. Makes it even more decadent (if you can afford to splurge on the calories of course.)

  • Zee

    Can I use Marsala wine instead of brandy, vermouth, or dry white wine? I’d think it’d be an acceptable substitute, but I wonder if there’s a certain taste I’d be missing out on.

    Yes, you could easily use Marsala. It would be delightful. ~Elise

  • Ray

    A comment about all the stirring. More stirring gets you a creamy risotto, less stirring results in a looser one. Think what’s in your risotto before you start stirring. Seafood – loose, saffron – creamy, etc.

    The stirring also generates texture. That’s why a decent home cooked risotto blows away anything done at a restaurant. They interrupt the process, make one base for all variations and don’t have the time to stir. In Italy the norm is call ahead if you plan to have a risotto. In the US, better to do it at home.

  • Dahlia

    Any chance of using dried mushrooms and reconstituting them with the warm broth? They are such a deal compared to fresh mushrooms and a lot easier to keep on hand. I just Love your blog. Many thanks!

    You’ll need to simmer the dried mushrooms for 20-30 minutes, or just let them reconstitute in the stock for an hour or two. Bring the stock to a boil, then put in the mushrooms. Cover the pot and turn off the heat. Works fine. ~Elise

  • Matt

    I’ve been making this for a while in my rice cooker due to mostly a lack of time, and it turns out delicious but probably not as creamy as risotto is supposed to be. I think I’ll try doing it the * right * way now and compare results.

  • Mary

    Funnily enough I just came across some arborio rice this morning and thought about a pea and asparagus risotto, I enjoy the process and my family usually enjoy the result!

  • uknownchef

    I have some experience making mushroom risotto :). Many people ask, how do restaurants make multiple portions of risotto, made to order, in less than the 25 to 30 minutes needed to make the dish?! Secret: in the restaurant we cook plain risotto half-way then pull it off the heat. When a risotto order comes in, we add whatever other ingredients such as sauteed mushrooms and finish the risotto to perfection. This is how its done in the best restaurants around the world. You can do this at home too if you want to save time and/or have multiple courses to serve before the risotto. Lovely recipe. Enjoy?

  • Arlene

    I, too, love the kitchen therapy of making risotto but there are times when I don’t want to be chained to the stove. I suggest that you look at Cook Illustrated’s most updated recipe for risotto where you add almost all of the liquid after the rice has been added and cover the pot and walk away. It is an EXCELLENT method and has resulted in creamy risotto every time.

  • Brianna

    What’s the advantage of using hot broth? I always use broth directly from the can, and the risotto comes out fine if I add a small enough amount at a time.

    The advantage of adding hot broth is that you don’t shock the rice — adding cold broth to hot rice will seize it up briefly, and that will make your risotto less creamy. Adding broth directly from the can will work fine, but you will want to add it in increments smaller than 1/2 cup. Beware of canned broth, though! It can be very salty in large amounts. ~Elise

  • LimeCake

    Everytime I make mushroom risotto, I make it different every time. Sometimes with a little fresh thyme, deglazing with a white wine… I love the slow cooking process. It’s just so therapeutic after a long day.

  • Martin

    I share your love of risotto not just for the taste, but the 20 minutes of culinary therapy it provides. It’s not difficult cooking but it demands attention and repays instantly! A current favourite is to use something like curly kale (or any strong tasting green) and stilton, an English blue cheese. Maybe some bacon for that pile in the centre.

  • chef shamus

    I haven’t tryed your recipe, though, mine is so similar it made me think about running out to the store for mushrooms and risotto. Just in case there are any leftovers, here is a great idea to serve with the next meal. Warm leftovers to room temp, (you may want to add some additional cream or milk) add some chopped scallions, chives or parsley, make small burger shaped pattys and dip in lightly toasted panco bread crumbs. Heat a pan with oil, and gently sauté up to serving temp. M mm mmm… as good as or perhaps better than the first go round. :O)

  • Paul

    Great recipe–thanks. I’ve found you can cut down a little on the stirring by adding about half the stock right away and letting it simmer until it’s almost absorbed before starting the stirring routine, without changing the texture of the rice. In response to Jessica, my experience has been that risotto will hold fine for ten minutes–I usually turn off the heat, add some additional stock, and cover while I wait for folks to get seated. BUT–waiting much longer will tend to make it mushy.

  • Jessica

    I love risotto. Though it takes a lot of stirring, I think the time spent preparing it really pays off! The only reason I don’t make it more often is because I feel like you must serve it immediately. It is sometimes difficult to get everyone to the table on time. Is this a misconception? Can risotto survive a 5 or 10 minute wait?

  • jenny

    On Sunday, my parents ordered a side of mushroom risotto at a restaurant we went to in state college, PA. It had chives mixed in, and the flavor was surprisingly fantastic. It would be a really great addition to yours, I recommend trying it!

  • BrianB

    Great recipe !

    When I make risotto I saute the rice with the chopped onion for about 5 minutes before I start to add the liquid. It helps to break the starch and let it absorb more liquid. It cuts the cooking time down some. I like to use Piave cheese instead of Parmesan.. just my preference because I love the intense, nutty flavor.

  • irene

    A tip on cooking chanterelles: you can wash chanterelles all you want (and if you pick them yourself, you might need to) and then dry-saute them. If you add the mushrooms to a hot cast iron pan on high heat without any oil or butter, they will give off all of their juices. Cook them without stirring on high heat until most, but not all, of the water is gone, then continue sauteing them as you would otherwise (e.g., on medium with some butter or olive oil). Hope this helps.

  • Sean

    Shave french black truffle over the finished product. He he, so good!