Mushroom Pea Risotto is the perfect sip and stir dish. Rich, creamy, and made with two kinds of mushrooms, this easy and classic risotto recipe takes a little bit of time but is definitely worth the effort.
What is Risotto?
Risotto is a classic Italian recipe and a specialty of Northern Italy. It’s rich and creamy, and that creamy texture is achieved without using any cream. Instead, by using a starchy, short-grain rice called Arborio rice. The starch from the rice is what contributes that delicious creaminess.
I hope that you’ll give risotto making a try if you haven’t before. It may seem complicated to make, but it really isn’t. Just relax and be ready to hang out at the stove for a while. You’ll be glad you did.
If you love risotto, you might want to check out Farro Risotto with Winter Squash, too.
Why We Love Homemade Risotto
- This delicious risotto is made with simple ingredients and a very easy cooking process.
- Risotto is a perfect side dish for any kind of protein, or just as a meal in itself.
- Because this very creamy risotto is not a pasta dish, but rather a rice dish, it's naturally gluten free.
Here's What You Need to Make It
- Mushrooms: I used both dried porcini mushrooms and fresh cremini mushrooms (also called baby bella mushrooms) mushrooms for this creamy mushroom pea risotto recipe. Using the dried mushrooms intensifies the mushroom flavor. However, feel free to use any mix of mushrooms or just a single variety.
- Rice: The best rice for risotto is Arborio. The plump grains of Arborio rice have a lot of starch, which dissolves well in cooking, while the grains retain an al dente chewiness. Two other short grain rice varieties that are ideal for risotto are Carnaroli and Vialone Nano. Arborio is the one that you will easily find in grocery stores.
- Wine: I cooked with (and had a glass of) dry white wine. Remember, there's a lot of "sit and stir" time while cooking your mushroom risotto. So it just makes sense to have your favorite glass of wine in one hand. For this reason use the wine you enjoy. I like to use Pinot Grigio, or sauvignon blanc. But any dry white wine will work.
- Vegetables: I used both shallots and peas for this recipe. You can substitute finely chopped onion for shallots if desired. Fresh peas or frozen peas will work equally well. Run frozen peas under cold water to speed up thawing.
- Broth or Stock: I prefer low sodium stock for this risotto recipe since it does include the saltiness of parmesan cheese. Vegetable broth, or chicken stock or broth will work just as well.
- Parmesan Cheese Freshly grated parmesan is a must for this classic risotto recipe. Avoid using the pre-grated cheese.
- Other ingredients: Other staples you'll need are olive oil butter, garlic, lemon juice, fresh thyme, and fresh parsley.
How to Make It, Step By Step
- Simmer the stock. In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add the dried mushrooms to the simmering stock.
- Heat oil and butter in a large sauté pan.
- Sauté the shallots and mushrooms. Remove the porcini mushrooms from the stock and add them to the pan.
- Add the wine. Bring back to a simmer.
- Add the rice. Cooking and stirring until the liquid is absorbed. Continue with the stock, adding it in one cup increments, each time cooking and stirring until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients. Add Parmesan, peas, lemon juice and thyme.
- Garnish and serve.
Cooking mushroom risotto, while it does require some time and patience, is extremely easy! Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:
- Don't rinse the rice. Most rice dishes require you to rinse the rice to remove the excess starch. This is so the rice isn't sticky. With risotto, however, we want the starch. The high starch content gives this delicious dish its signature creamy texture.
- Chop dried mushrooms before hydrating them. They are much easier to chop when they're still dried. After chopping, rinse the mushrooms well to remove any grit.
- Mise En Place Have all ingredients measured, chopped and prepped and close at hand before you begin.
- Use a wide, heavy bottomed pan with room to stir.
- Keep the broth hot. Have your broth at a simmer over very low heat. Cover it with a lid to reduce evaporation.
- Don't rush the cooking process. A good risotto is easy to make, but it takes time and patience. You cook risotto on the stovetop by adding liquid to the rice in increments, each time cooking until the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Keep the pan at a simmer at all times.
- Just keep stirring. Some recipes state that it isn't necessary to stir constantly. And technically it isn't. Your risotto will probably still taste good if you only stir it occasionally. However, if you want it to be more than just good, stir constantly. Why? "The rice expands as it absorbs the hot broth and the friction of the constant stirring softens the outer layer of the grain, resulting in a creamy consistency." ---The Joy of Cooking. That creamy consistency is exactly what risotto is all about. So grab a glass of wine, settle in, and stir! You'll be glad you did.
- Don't over cook. The risotto should be creamy but not mushy. Cook until the rice is tender but still has some bite (al dente).
- Patience! It couldn’t be more simple. And the results are worth every minute spent at the stove.
A large, heavy saucepan is essential for risotto. The large surface space helps the rice to cook evenly. It also provides plenty of space for stirring.
For this mushroom risotto recipe, I like to use a combination of dried porcini mushrooms, and fresh cremini mushrooms. Soaking the dried mushrooms in the simmering cooking broth adds a rich, intense mushroom flavour, while the fresh mushrooms create texture and flavour.
Yes, you can make this recipe ahead. Just cook it only partially (about halfway). Allow it to cool before refrigerating. When you want to finish it, continue the rest of the cooking.
Risotto is best enjoyed right away. However you can keep it in the fridge, in an airtight container for up to 2 days. To reheat, add the risotto to a small amount of simmering stock, broth, or water.
This is not a vegetarian recipe because of the Parmesan cheese. Parmesan and many other hard cheeses are made using rennet. What is rennet? You can use a vegetarian hard cheese instead, or use nutritional yeast, or simply omit the Parmesan.
Yes, you can make this recipe vegan by replacing the Parmesan with nutritional yeast, and replacing the butter with more olive oil.
Yes, to make mushroom pea risotto without wine, just replace it with more broth. You may want to add a little more lemon juice to provide the tanginess.
What to serve with mushroom pea risotto? We love it as a meal in itself, maybe with garlic bread or a salad. Make risotto the main meal and serve some vegetable sides like Sautéed Green Beans With Garlic & Lemon, or Brown Sugar Roasted Carrots
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a rating in the comments below and let us know how it turned out. Did you make any changes? We would love for you to share and your feedback is important! Thank you for visiting The Food Blog!
Mushroom Pea Risotto
- 7 cups chicken or vegetable stock low sodium
- 1 14 g package dried porcini mushrooms chopped and rinsed
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 shallots finely chopped ½ cup
- 2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1.5 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ¾ cup peas fresh, or frozen & thawed
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- black pepper and salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer
- Rinse dried, chopped porcini mushrooms well, then add to the simmering stock
- In a large saucepan, over medium heat melt the butter and add the olive oil
- Add the shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.
- With a slotted spoon, remove porcini mushrooms from the stock and add them to the pan with the shallots.
- Add the cremini mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes, until mushrooms are browned and tender.
- Add the wine and bring to a simmer.
- Stir in the rice and cook, stirring, until liquid is absorbed.
- Add one cup of hot stock. Cook, stirring often until liquid is absorbed
- Continue adding hot stock as above, each time cooking and stirring until the rice has absorbed the liquid.
- When the rice is tender and the mixture is creamy, remove from heat and stir in Parmesan, peas, lemon juice, and thyme.
- Taste and season with black pepper and salt if necessary.
- Garnish with parsley before serving immediately