Turkey Mushroom Risotto


An Italian-inspired rice dish using leftover turkey, mushrooms, sage and a little fresh goat cheese.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Have leftover turkey stock? Our T-day turkey produced 3 quarts of stock this year. This risotto by Hank is a great way to use it. So creamy, my dad begged Hank for the recipe, and here it is. ~Elise

To me, leftover poultry always means risotto, no matter if it’s chicken or turkey. Why? Because I always make stock from the carcasses and I use this stock to flavor the rice.

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There’s also often a bit of leftover meat hanging around—especially with a leftover turkey—so that goes into the rice as well. Add a few mushrooms and some herbs and booyah! You have the makings of some high-end comfort food.

A good risotto requires patience, and a strong stirring arm. You must stir the rice almost constantly for upwards of a half-hour, otherwise you will not get that wonderful creaminess that makes a risotto a risotto.

You add the turkey stock and/or water slowly, letting each little bit evaporate before adding the next glug, stirring all the while.

It’s a labor of love.

I used chanterelle mushrooms for this dish, because they go so well with turkey. You could use any fresh mushrooms, although the giant portobellos are not ideal here. I happen to like shiitake mushrooms with chicken.

Cheese is pretty much a given with risotto, and Elise came up with the idea of using chevre, a fresh goat cheese. It’s a little funky and very tangy, which adds to the overall flavors of this dish. If you wanted to go more traditional use pecorino or parmesan.

Serve this risotto with a green salad (arugula would be nice) and a crisp white wine, such as a Sancerre, an un-oaked Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Chenin Blanc. If you are a beer drinker, a pilsner or lager would be perfect.

Turkey Mushroom Risotto Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

You must use risotto rice for this recipe or it will not work. These rices—Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano—contain special starches that slough off when you stir the rice, creating a creamy sauce without any added cream. You can use chicken stock instead of turkey stock, but note that the turkey stock is what gives this risotto its turkey flavor.


  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1/3 pound chanterelles or other fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio, Carnaroli, Vialone Nano, or other risotto rice
  • Salt
  • 3 cups turkey stock
  • 2 ounces Chevre or other fresh goat cheese
  • Black pepper to taste


1 Simmer turkey stock and water: Bring the turkey stock, plus an additional 2 cups of water, to a simmer.

2 Cook shallots and mushrooms: Heat the butter in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes, until it begins to brown. Add the shallots and mushrooms and toss to combine. Salt them well and sauté until the shallots are translucent, about 3 minutes.

3 Add the garlic, sage and rice and stir well. Sauté for another 1-2 minutes, stirring often.

4 Start adding stock: Add 1 cup of the simmering stock. Stirring constantly, let the stock evaporate before adding another 1/2 cup. Repeat, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is al dente, cooked through but still a little firm. This will take about 20-30 minutes.

5 When the rice is al dente, add the goat cheese and stir well to combine. Add the black pepper and stir again. Serve at once.

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Wild Turkey Risotto - from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

Turkey, Artichoke and Kalamata Olive Risotto - from Sarah's Cucina Bella

Hank Shaw

A former restaurant cook and journalist, Hank Shaw is the author of three wild game cookbooks as well as the James Beard Award-winning wild foods website Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. His latest cookbook is Buck, Buck, Moose, a guide to working with venison. He hunts, fishes, forages and cooks near Sacramento, CA.

More from Hank

5 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Christopher D.

    Great recipe, but it’s a lot easier with a pressure cooker:

    Saute the shallots and garlic with the butter in the bottom of the pot until just translucent. Add the rice, and stir to coat all the grains (important: it stops it from foaming up.) Add everything else but the cheese, pepper and sage. Close the lid and bring to 15 pounds pressure. Cook for four minutes then quick cool under the faucet just long enough to release the pressure. Carefully open the pot, and return it to the burner on low heat. Add the cheese, stir and simmer for a minute or two to reduce to desired consistency. Finish with the pepper and sage and serve. Easy! It will come out just as if you had done it the hard way. (Be careful, and follow the directions that came with your cooker for safety.)

  2. Beau Harbin

    I made this for dinner last night after spending the afternoon making turkey stock. This came out great. I kept back some bits of the turkey that came off the bone while making stock and added them to the risotto with the garlic and sage. This came out very hearty and filling. Thank you for the recipe.


  3. John

    so…the only turkey in turkey mushroom risotto is the stock, which might be chicken instead? I expect it tastes very similar to mushroom risotto then.

    Hi John, homemade turkey stock, at least the stock we make, is strongly flavored of turkey. You can’t miss it in this risotto. ~Elise

  4. Heather

    This looks delicious, can’t wait to try it! What other kind of cheese do you recommend, I’m not a big fan of goat cheeses. Thanks!

    Try parmesan, it’ll work fine. ~Hank

  5. Katie

    Just made this for dinner. Delicious! I even threw some turkey bits in at the end. Perfect for rainy night.


Turkey Mushroom RisottoTurkey Mushroom Risotto