Easy Creamy Mushroom Risotto Recipe with White Wine

Bruce has been perfecting mushroom risotto for over two decades. While this creamy rice dish is beloved by many, few dare to try making it themselves. Why? Because there’s a myth that homemade risotto is tough to tackle. The only way some enjoy this comfort food is at fancy restaurants. Good news: This easy mushroom risotto recipe will have you enjoying this dish at home!

Here’s the scoop: mushroom risotto needs just a handful of ingredients – arborio rice, butter, olive oil, shallots, garlic, dry white wine, Parmesan cheese, vegetable broth, and, of course, fresh mushrooms. Keep it simple with button mushrooms or jazz it up with wild mushrooms – your call! Grab your wooden spoon and get ready for some stirring action. It’s a bit of work, but trust us, it’s worth it.

What you will need to make this Mushroom Risotto:

Each ingredient in mushroom risotto serves a specific purpose, contributing to the flavor, texture, and overall richness of the dish:

  1. Chicken broth: Provides the base flavor and liquid for cooking the rice. Keeping the broth over a low heat helps
  2. Butter: Adds richness and creaminess to the risotto. Butter also helps to emulsify the rice, creating a smooth and velvety texture.
  3. Olive oil: Used for sautéing the shallots, garlic, and mushrooms to a golden brown. Olive oil adds a subtle fruity flavor and helps to enhance the aroma of the dish.
  4. Shallot: Adds a delicate onion flavor to the risotto. Shallots have a milder taste compared to a yellow onion, which allows them to complement the earthy flavor of the mushrooms without overpowering them.
  5. Garlic: Enhances the savory flavor profile of the dish. Garlic adds depth and complexity to the risotto, balancing the richness of the other ingredients.
  6. Arborio rice: The key ingredient in risotto, Arborio rice is a short-grain rice known for its high starch content. This starch releases slowly during cooking, creating the creamy consistency that is characteristic of risotto.
  7. White wine: Adds acidity and brightness to the risotto. The wine helps to deglaze the pan, releasing any flavorful browned bits, and also imparts a subtle sweetness to the dish.
  8. Parmesan cheese: Adds a nutty and salty flavor to the risotto. Parmesan cheese also contributes to the creamy texture of the dish when it melts into the rice.
  9. Heavy cream: Provides additional richness and creaminess to the risotto. Heavy cream helps to bind the ingredients together and adds a luxurious mouthfeel to the dish.
  10. Mushrooms: The star ingredient of mushroom risotto, mushrooms add an earthy and umami-rich flavor. The sauted mushrooms also provide texture and depth to the dish, making it more satisfying and hearty. Different varieties of mushrooms can be used to enhance the complexity of the flavor profile.

What is arborio rice?

Arborio rice is a type of short-grain rice primarily cultivated in Italy, particularly in the Po Valley region. It is renowned for its high starch content and plump, oval-shaped grains. Arborio rice is a staple ingredient in risotto, a classic Italian dish known for its creamy texture and rich flavor.

The high starch content of Arborio rice is crucial for making risotto because it allows the rice to release starch slowly during cooking. This gradual release of starch creates the creamy consistency that is characteristic of risotto. Additionally, Arborio rice has a firm texture that retains its shape well during cooking, resulting in a slightly al dente finish.

Arborio rice is versatile and can be used in various other dishes besides risotto, such as rice pudding or rice salads. However, its unique characteristics make it particularly well-suited for risotto preparation.

How is arborio rice different than regular rice?

Arborio rice is a type of short-grain rice primarily cultivated in Italy, particularly in the Po Valley region. It is renowned for its high starch content and plump, oval-shaped grains. The key differences between Arborio rice and regular long-grain rice are as follows:

  1. Starch Content: Arborio rice has a higher starch content compared to regular long-grain rice varieties. This high starch content is essential for creating the creamy texture characteristic of risotto dishes. As Arborio rice cooks, the starches release into the cooking liquid, creating a creamy consistency without becoming mushy.
  2. Grain Shape and Texture: Arborio rice grains are short, round, and plump, with a pearly white color. In contrast, regular long-grain rice varieties, such as jasmine or basmati rice, have slender, elongated grains. The shape and texture of Arborio rice contribute to its ability to absorb liquid gradually while maintaining its firmness, resulting in a creamy yet slightly al dente texture in risotto.
  3. Cooking Method: Arborio rice requires a specific cooking method to achieve the desired creamy consistency in risotto. This involves gradually adding hot liquid (such as broth or wine) to the rice while stirring continuously. The gradual addition of liquid encourages the release of starches from the rice grains, creating a creamy sauce that coats the rice. Regular long-grain rice is typically cooked using absorption or steaming methods and does not require the same level of stirring and attention as Arborio rice.
  4. Application: Arborio rice is primarily used in Italian cuisine, particularly for making risotto dishes. Its creamy texture and ability to absorb flavors make it ideal for risotto recipes. Regular long-grain rice varieties are more versatile and can be used in a wide range of dishes, including pilafs, stir-fries, and rice salads.

Overall, Arborio rice’s unique characteristics, including its high starch content, short-grain shape, and creamy texture, distinguish it from regular long-grain rice varieties and make it a preferred choice for risotto preparation.

Can I use something other than arborio rice to make this mushroom risotto?

While Arborio is the type of rice that is the traditional choice for making risotto due to its high starch content and ability to release creamy texture, you can still use other types of short-grain rice or even alternative grains to make mushroom risotto. Here are some options:

  1. Carnaroli rice: Similar to Arborio rice, Carnaroli rice is another popular choice for risotto. It has a higher starch content and a firmer texture, resulting in a creamy yet slightly al dente risotto.
  2. Vialone Nano rice: Another Italian short-grain rice variety, Vialone Nano, is often used for risotto. It has a slightly smaller grain size compared to Arborio and Carnaroli, but it still produces a creamy and flavorful risotto.
  3. Baldo rice: This medium-grain rice is also suitable for making risotto. It has a lower starch content compared to Arborio or Carnaroli rice, so the risotto may be less creamy, but it can still result in a delicious dish.
  4. Sushi rice: While sushi rice is typically used for making sushi, its sticky texture can also work well for risotto. Keep in mind that sushi rice may produce a slightly different texture compared to traditional risotto rice varieties.
  5. Pearl barley: If you’re looking for a non-rice alternative, pearl barley can be used to make a risotto-like dish. Barley has a chewy texture and nutty flavor, which can complement the earthy taste of mushrooms.
  6. Farro: Another alternative grain, farro, can be used to make a hearty and flavorful risotto. Farro has a chewy texture and a slightly nutty taste, which can add depth to the dish.

While using alternative grains may result in a slightly different texture or flavor compared to traditional risotto made with Arborio rice, they can still yield delicious and satisfying mushroom risotto dishes. Experimenting with different grains can also add variety and nutritional benefits to your meals. Adjust cooking times and liquid ratios according to the specific grain you choose to ensure the best results.

What kind of mushrooms should I use?

For mushroom risotto, you can use a variety of mushrooms to add complexity and depth to the dish. Some commonly used mushrooms for risotto include:

  1. Cremini mushrooms: Also known as baby portobello mushrooms, creminis have a slightly earthy and nutty flavor that complements the creamy texture of risotto well.
  2. Portobello mushrooms: These large, meaty mushrooms have a robust flavor and a dense texture. They add a hearty and savory element to the risotto. You can also use baby bella mushrooms.
  3. Button mushrooms: Button mushrooms have a mild flavor and a firm texture. They work well in risotto and are readily available in most grocery stores.
  4. Porcini mushrooms: Dried porcini mushrooms have a strong, earthy flavor that can add depth and richness to mushroom risotto. Rehydrate them in warm water before adding them to the dish.
  5. Shiitake mushrooms: Shiitake mushrooms have a meaty texture and a distinctive umami flavor. They add complexity to the risotto and pair well with other mushrooms.
  6. Oyster mushrooms: Oyster mushrooms have a delicate flavor and a tender texture. They add a subtle sweetness to the risotto and can enhance its overall aroma.
  7. Chanterelle mushrooms: Chanterelles have a fruity and peppery flavor, along with a delicate texture. They are prized for their unique taste and can elevate the flavor profile of mushroom risotto.

You can use a combination of these mushrooms to create a more complex and flavorful risotto, or choose one or two varieties based on your personal preference and availability. Experimenting with different mushrooms can add excitement and depth to your mushroom risotto recipe.

Why do I need to heat the broth for the mushroom risotto?

Heating the broth before using it in risotto serves several important purposes:

  1. Maintains Temperature: Adding hot broth to the risotto helps maintain a consistent cooking temperature throughout the entire time of the cooking process. This prevents temperature fluctuations that could affect the rice’s texture and the overall cooking time.
  2. Ensures Even Cooking: When you add hot broth to the rice, it begins to cook immediately, allowing for more even absorption of liquid and cooking of the grains. This results in a more uniform texture throughout the risotto.
  3. Facilitates Starch Release: Heating the broth helps to jump-start the release of starch from the rice grains. As the rice absorbs the hot liquid, the starches begin to gelatinize, contributing to the creamy consistency of the risotto.
  4. Enhances Flavor Infusion: Hot broth encourages faster and more efficient extraction of flavors from any aromatics or seasonings added to the broth. This results in a more flavorful risotto with well-infused broth.
  5. Saves Time: Using hot broth reduces the overall cooking time of the risotto because the rice doesn’t have to spend as much time heating up the liquid before it can start absorbing it.

Overall, heating the broth before adding it to risotto helps ensure a smoother cooking process, better texture, and more flavorful results. It’s a simple step that can make a significant difference in the outcome of your risotto.

What can I serve this risotto with?

Mushroom risotto is a versatile dish that pairs well with a variety of complementary flavors and textures. Here are some delicious options to serve alongside mushroom risotto:

  1. Protein Options:
    • Grilled or pan-seared chicken breast: Seasoned with herbs like rosemary or thyme to complement the earthy flavors of the risotto.
    • Seared scallops or shrimp: Their delicate sweetness contrasts nicely with the savory richness of the risotto.
    • Roasted salmon fillets: The richness of salmon pairs beautifully with the creamy texture of the risotto.
    • Grilled steak slices: A hearty and flavorful option that adds depth to the meal.
  2. Vegetable Sides:
    • Roasted asparagus spears: Their tender texture and slightly nutty flavor complement the creamy risotto.
    • Sautéed spinach or Swiss chard: A simple and nutritious side that adds color and freshness to the plate.
    • Grilled or roasted vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, or eggplant: Their smoky flavors and tender textures make a delightful accompaniment.
    • Steamed broccoli or green beans: Light and vibrant options that provide a refreshing contrast to the rich risotto.
  3. Salads:
    • Arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette: The peppery arugula and tangy dressing provide a refreshing contrast to the creamy risotto.
    • Caprese salad: Fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil drizzled with balsamic glaze create a light and flavorful side dish.
    • Mixed green salad with a variety of vegetables: Customize with your favorite veggies and dress with a simple vinaigrette for a refreshing accompaniment.
  4. Breads and Rolls:
    • Garlic bread or breadsticks: Serve warm with a crispy exterior and soft, buttery interior for dipping into the creamy risotto.
    • Focaccia or ciabatta bread: Rustic Italian bread varieties that pair well with the flavors of the risotto.
    • Dinner rolls or baguette slices: Simple and versatile options that provide a comforting addition to the meal.
  5. Wine Pairings:
    • A crisp white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc complements the creamy texture and earthy flavors of the risotto.
    • For red wine lovers, a light-bodied red like Pinot Noir or Chianti pairs well with mushroom risotto, especially if it includes meatier mushrooms like portobello or shiitake.

Consider your preferences and dietary restrictions when choosing accompaniments, and don’t hesitate to get creative with flavors and textures to create a well-balanced and satisfying meal.





Bowl of mushroom risotto with scallops and dill on top and a bright orange napkin

Mushroom Risotto

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Stove
Cuisine: Stove
Keyword: Stove
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 733kcal
Author: Bruce and Dina Miller


Ingredients for Mushroom Risotto

  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot diced
  • 5 gloves garlic shredded
  • 1 ¼ cups arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • 16 0 z Cremini mushrooms stems removed and tops cut into quarters
  • 4 Tablespoons butter


Directions for Mushroom Risotto:

  • Heat the chicken broth to a simmer. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 12-inch skillet. Add in the olive oil and stir. Toss in the shallot and heat until softened, about 2 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the arborio rice and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and reduce until the liquid is almost gone.
  • Pour in 1/3 of the heated chicken broth and stir. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Periodically stir the rice to prevent sticking. Repeat the chicken broth step 2 more times.
  • Start the mushrooms while the chicken broth is being absorbed. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the mushrooms. Toss the mushrooms to coat them all. Add fresh cracked pepper. Sauté over medium heat until the mushrooms have reduced by half.
  • Cut the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter into equal pieces and press them into the risotto to melt. Add in the sauteed mushrooms. Cook for 2 minutes until warmed through. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top and stir it in. Cook for 1-2 minutes until melted. Stir in the heavy cream, season with pepper, and serve.


If re-heating any leftovers, be sure to add some additional liquid.


Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 733kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 1511mg | Potassium: 207mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1315IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 261mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


If you love risotto, check out these out!


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Spring Pea Risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto

Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

Hi, we are Bruce and Dina Miller. We love to cook every night. We enjoy making a few healthy dishes, and also comfort food. We love crafting cocktails too! Come take a look, we would love to share our recipes with you.


  1. Elaine & James Reply

    Love the umami flavour profile! We can’t wait to try this!👌

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply

      Elaine and James,

      Thank you! This sure is a favorite! Have the best week!

      Dina and Bruce

  2. Pingback:Pea Risotto

  3. Harriet Young Reply

    5 stars
    Yum, this was really delicious! What a great comforting risotto. Thank you!

  4. Sisley Reply

    5 stars
    I love a mushroom risotto and this one is so delicious.

  5. Ned Reply

    5 stars
    Fancy, delicious, and easy to make are my favorites in an awesome dish and this met every one of those! Thank you so much! Can’t wait to make it again!

  6. dana Reply

    5 stars
    Love the idea of using different mushrooms in this! Turned out beautifully. We served ours with scallops as well and it was awesome. Thank you!

  7. Tara Reply

    5 stars
    Oh yum! This mushroom risotto sounds perfect for a date night at home. Such a wonderful combination of flavors.

  8. Andrea Reply

    5 stars
    This flavor packed mushroom risotto looks and sounds delicious. I appreciate all the serving suggestions. We’ll probably try them all.

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