For some reason, making risotto at home can seem incredibly intimidating for even the most accomplished of home cooks. The dish has received something of a bad reputation for being fussy and complicated, however, at its core, this really isn’t the case. Forget any shortcuts, a basic risotto is easy to make the traditional way and doesn’t even take all that long. And for all of its simplicity, I’ve also developed a mushroom risotto recipe without wine, so that anyone can make this no matter what you may have in your pantry.
So it’s time to throw away any preconceived notions about risotto — it’s not a complicated dish to make! Just make sure to set aside an hour and know that when a recipe says to stir constantly, it means to stir constantly. Follow this easy mushroom risotto recipe (no wine needed) and enjoy the slow and meditative process of pouring and stirring until you are left with a lusciously creamy, deeply flavourful dish that will trump anything you can get at a restaurant.
There is something profoundly satisfying of taking the time to make a bit of a time-consuming dish (like my french onion soup recipe), but once you realise how easy it actually is, you are sure to add it into your repertoire to bust out whenever you may please. Especially since this is a mushroom risotto recipe without wine, you don’t even need anything particularly special (besides the right kind of rice) to make this dish even on a weeknight (if you’re able to set aside the time).
So without further ado, this is how you make this killer easy mushroom risotto that doesn’t require any wine and asks for no special techniques.
Before I jump right into this recipe, let me cover a few risotto-making tips that will make the execution of this dish a lot easier.
We will start with the most important thing — the rice. In order to make risotto, you’re going to need a short-grain Italian rice. You cannot make risotto with anything else as the starch content in risotto rices is much higher and, therefore, lead to the creamy consistency that we so associate with this classic Italian dish. Arborio rice is the variety that tends to be most widely available, but if you can get your hands on carnaroli rice, use that. This rice has a higher starch content and yields the best results in any risotto.
The second tip I have to offer is to ensure that all of your ingredients are prepped and at an arm’s reach before you start cooking. This means to grate your cheese, mince your garlic and have your rice completely measured out before you put the pan on the burner. There aren’t a lot of ingredients in risotto but it does require attentive, active cooking time and you don’t want to take the time away from stirring and attending to your dish to prepare an ingredient. Just do it in advance.
Another tip, you really need to make sure that your stock is hot and close by. Adding cold or room-temperature stock into your rice is going to bring the temperature of your rice down and screw up the consistency and cook time of the risotto. Keep your stock at a bare simmer on the burner just next to your risotto pan. Have a ladle at the ready so you can add the stock as soon as you need to.
And finally, make sure that you understand the time that this dish will take and budget for that. Don’t try to make this easy mushroom risotto recipe without wine on a busy weeknight when you need to have dinner on the table in 10 minutes – check out my 3-ingredient fettuccine Alfredo recipe for that! Or, if you want another Italian dish that typically has alcohol but does not in this case, check out my vodka-less penne alla vodka recipe!
This recipe isn’t difficult, but it does take time and attention. Make a night of if – set aside the time, pour yourself a glass of wine, and get into a bit of a meditative rhythm of stirring and pouring. Enjoy the process and take your time!
Mushroom Risotto Recipe (No Wine!)
Now that I’ve covered all you need to know before you begin making this risotto, now it’s time to get down to the recipe! And as I’ve stated above, the first and likely most important step is to get all of your ingredients together.
First off, pour your stock (reserving 150ml — about 1/2 cup — for use in just a bit) into a small saucepan and bring it to a bare simmer over low heat on the burner next to where you will be cooking. Cover and maintain at the same temperature until you’re going to need it.
Next, we’ll start with the mushrooms. You can use any kind of mushrooms you want in this risotto recipe so go ahead and see what looks good or what is in season at your farmer’s market or local supermarket. The key to the flavour of this mushroom risotto is getting a good amount of browning on the mushrooms.
Cut your mushrooms into slightly bigger than bite-sized pieces (I actually like to vary the size of my pieces to have a bit more variety in the final dish). In a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat, melt about fifteen grams of butter with about a tablespoon of olive oil.
Toss in your mushrooms and allow to cook until they first, begin to shrink and release a lot of moisture and then begin to take on a deep golden brown colour. Don’t be afraid of taking these too far — unless they look like they’re burning (in which case, simply turn down the heat), the more brown they get the more flavourful they will become. This whole process will take about ten minutes.
Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside (you’ll add them back in at the end of cooking). Melt your remaining butter and olive oil in the same pan over medium-low heat and then add in your onion along with a generous pinch of salt. Cook the onion until it has softened and turned slightly translucent but has not begun to brown, about five to ten minutes. Add your minced garlic and cook until it is just fragrant, only about thirty seconds.
Now comes one of the most important steps in this simple mushroom risotto recipe without wine. On top of your onion and garlic, pour your rice and toast the rice (stirring constantly!) until it begins to turn a bit translucent around the edges, about five minutes. This step is particularly important as it begins to break down the starches around the grains of rice so that you can easily get that coveted creamy consistency.
Now is the time that you would typically add wine, and if you have a dry white wine on hand, you can, by all means, add in 150ml (about 1/2 cup) of it now. However, there are many out there who are asking “can you make risotto without wine” and the answer is, of course, a yes!
You really want the acidity and complexity that a white wine can provide, and to obtain similar results, I recommend adding a touch of lemon juice (about a tablespoon) to your reserved room temperature vegetable or chicken stock.
Pour the stock and lemon juice mixture over the toasted rice and stir constantly, until the liquid has completely absorbed, about three to five minutes. Now it’s time to start with your stock additions.
Stirring constantly, pour in two ladles full (about 250ml or 1 cup in total) of stock into your rice. Stir the rice until the stock has been absorbed. A good indicator of this is when your spoon leaves a trail when you run it across the bottom of the pan. This will take about five minutes. Once the stock has been absorbed, pour in another two ladles full and repeat the process — and make sure not to stop stirring!
Continue this process, tasting every so often to check for the doneness of the rice, until the rice is toothsome or al dente. Turn off the heat, stir in your mushrooms and parmesan cheese, tase and adjust for seasoning, adding salt and pepper where needed.
This mushroom risotto without wine needs to be served immediately, so spoon it into bowls or a plate, top with a bit more cheese, if desired, and dig in. You’ve just made a top-quality risotto — enjoy the fruits of your labour!
- 1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock
- 15ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice
- 30g (2 tbsp) butter, divided
- 250g (9oz) mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 250g (1 cup) carnaroli or arborio rice
- 20g parmesan cheese, grated
- Salt & pepper
- Pour your vegetable stock into a small saucepan, reserving 150ml (about 1/2 cup) in a measuring cup. Add lemon juice to reserved stock and set aside. Bring remaining 850ml of stock to a bare simmer, cover, and keep hot until needed.
- Meanwhile, melt 15g (1 tbsp) of butter with about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they've shrunk considerably and have taken have turned a deep, golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.
- Melt remaining 15g (1 tbsp) of butter with another tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat in the same skillet and then add the onion. Cook onion until softened and translucent but no browning has occurred, about 5-10 minutes. Add in minced garlic and cook until very fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add your rice and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice looks mildly translucent around the exterior and gives off a faint nutty aroma, about 5 minutes.
- Stirring constantly, pour reserved stock and lemon juice mixture over the rice and cook until the liquid has completely evaporated, about 3-5 minutes.
- Now it's time for your stock additions. Stirring constantly, add two ladles full of hot stock over the rice. Stir, reducing the heat in order to keep it at a gentle until the stock has been mostly absorbed, about 5 minutes. You can tell when you're ready to add a new ladle of stock if you're able to drag your spoon across the pan and the rice leaves a trail.
- Add another two ladles of stock to the rice and continue stirring constantly until the stock has been absorbed. Repeat this step, tasting on occasion, until the rice is fully cooked through and al dente. You may not use all of your veggie stock (any leftover can be frozen!).
- Turn off the heat and stir in your mushrooms and parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust for seasoning, adding salt and pepper where needed.
- Spoon into bowls and serve immediately, grating more parmesan cheese on top for garnish.
*You can use chicken stock instead of vegetable stock if you don't care about making this vegetarian
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 391Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 1840mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 11g
Nutritional information is automatically generated and provided as guidance only. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
As you can see, making a delicious and simple mushroom risotto without wine doesn’t have to be a difficult, complicated or daunting task. Simply by following a few steps and setting aside enough time, you will end up with incomparable results!
Are you looking for risotto recipes without wine? Have any questions about this mushroom risotto? Let me know in the comments!