A classic vegan mushroom risotto, topped with crispy sage and sage butter. So smooth and creamy without any cheese or butter!
This is perhaps the glossiest, silkiest vegan mushroom risotto you've ever come across. And yeah, the texture is banging but the flavour, omg the flavour! It's cooked in thyme infused vegan butter and topped with crispy sage leaves, so you know that herby vibe is OTC (off the chain, which is something I'd never actually say in real life, so don't judge me).
Vegan risottos are always a winner and we've long since fallen in love with my vegan caramelised onion risotto, my pesto arancini and honorary risotto member my vegan pumpkin orzo. But this one really takes the cake! It's already a classic and... *toot toodle tooot* whats that? Oh it's the sound of me blowing my own trumpet again...
What's in a vegan mushroom risotto?
I've seen non vegan mushroom risottos contain a whole bunch of animal products but namely parmesan and butter. I've made a few swapsies to keep things ultra umami and insanely delicious with a glossy, smooth mouthfeel
As always, the full recipe is at the bottom of the page, so check there for quantities.
- Dried mushrooms - The tastier the better! I love porcini but they're super expensive. It can be cheaper just to buy mixed forest mushrooms, which will still be super tasty.
- Stock Cubes - If you can get hold of mushroom stock, then use this! If not, vegan vegetable stock cubes will work fine.
- Nutritional yeast - This brings that nutty savoury flavour to your vegan mushroom risotto that you'd otherwise get from parmesan.
- Vegan butter - This helps along the texture of the dish and once we've infused it with some delicious herbs, it'll be even tastier!
- Sage & thyme leaves - For that herby boost!
- Onion & garlic - Get that risotto started right!
- Chestnut mushrooms - My favourite bulk mushroom for risottos.
- Risotto rice - I like to use arborio.
- Dry white wine - Optional but super important for flavour.
Now you know what goes into this vegan mushroom risotto, let's have a chat about how to make it!
How do I make vegan mushroom risotto?
If you've never made a vegan risotto before, this is a good place to start because it's a surprisingly simple recipe. Here are a few step by step shots to get you started!
1. Rehydrate your dried mushrooms! This process serves two purposes. Firstly it gets your dried mushrooms ready for the risotto and secondly it's the start of your vegan mushroom stock. Keep the soaking water and add some stock cubes.
2. Fry off the onions and mushrooms! All good risottos start with onions and garlic. I like to add my chestnut mushrooms next to fry some colour into their little cheeks! Don't be spooked by home many mushrooms are involved - they'll shrink!
3. Toast off the rice! We can add extra flavour to our risotto by toasting the rice in the pan for a minute. Just add it and stir everything up then let the rice sit. You're not looking to add any colour to the rice, but it will pick up extra flavour this way.
4. Cook in the stock! The final step is to just keep adding stock! It can feel like this process will take forever, but don't get distracted. Keep adding and keep stirring - and you're done! Top with some vegan parmesan and call it mushroom magic!
Hint: It can be tricky to know when a risotto is done, so make sure you're testing the rice grains towards the end of the cooking process. They should be al dente (have some bite) but shouldn't be gritty or chalky inside.
Subs and swaps
She's delicious, she's glossy, she's VERSATILE! She's literally got it all! I'm talking about my vegan mushroom risotto obviously. Here's some ingredients you might want to swap and switch:
- Mushrooms - Any type of dried mushroom works in this recipe, and realistically, any type of fresh mushroom works too. Shiitake? You got it! Portabello instead of chestnut? Bingo!
- Rice - I doubt you have a problem with rice if you're looking at a risotto recipe, but if you DO, just know that I see you! This recipe can also be made with pearl barley, which cooks similarly and even has that glossy glow of arborio rice.
- Vegan Cheese - I've tested this recipe with and without the vegan parmesan topping and it's still beautiful either way. You can simply leave out the parm or replace it for more nutritional yeast if you like!
I'd love to hear your suggestions for swaps, so please pop them in the comments. Thank you!
Level up that vegan mushroom risotto!
What did I tell you? This recipe is super versatile! Here are some suggestions for taking things to the next level!
- Mushroom powder power! - I've been using mushroom powder so much recently! It's insanely tasty but also super healthy. Stir a teaspoon into your mushroom stock to make things EVEN MORE mushroomy!
- My mate, Marmite! - You either love it or you hate it, but Marmite (aka yeast extract) will elevate the umami bounce of this risotto! Stir a teaspoon into your hot stock for a supercharged dish.
- Truffle trouble! - If you're insanely fancy, skip the sage butter and top this vegan mushroom risotto with a drizzle of truffle oil! Nothing could be more mushroomy! Heck, you could even shave fresh truffles on top! Phwoar!
And look, if you're already over this chat about risotto, it's not too late to cook something completely different. Look *fires up random recipe generator* you could make: A VEGAN COTTAGE PIE instead!
Get that kit ready!
A basic recipe only requires basic kit, so don't worry. You won't need much to make my vegan mushroom risotto! Here's your list to tick off:
- 1 x heatproof bowl
- 1 x measuring jug
- 1 x small saucepan
- 1 x large saucepan
Got leftovers? Risotto is notoriously NOT GOOD when heated up the next day - BUT don't fret! A super traditional way of using risotto leftovers is to make arancini (or little oranges in Italian!). It's just a ball of breadcrumbed and deep fried risotto. It's gonna change your life. Here's how to make arancini!
Vegan mushroom risotto FAQs
A: For a super creamy risotto you'll need to stir the rice very regularly while it cooks. Agitating the rice releases more of its starches, which hydrate and cook to make the sauce glossy and creamy.
A: Arborio rice is favoured as a great risotto rice in Italy and around the world, but there are other varieties which will work beautifully too. Carnaroli rice is famed for making especially creamy risotto while Vialone Nano produces a less sticky risotto.
A: Pick a bold flavoured mushroom for risotto. Porcini, chanterelle or morel will give your dish a huge amount of foresty flavour while shiitake will help to boost the umami!
A: No, risotto definitely does not require dairy. A super creamy textured risotto can be achieved without cheese or butter thanks to the starches inside risotto rice.
Vegan Mushroom Risotto
- 1 x heatproof bowl
- 1 x measuring jug
- 1 x small saucepan
- 1 x large saucepan
- 25 g dried mushrooms
- 1 ½ litres water (boiling hot)
- 2 stock cubes (ideally mushroom or vegetable)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 100 g vegan butter
- 16 sage leaves
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 sprigs thyme (de-stemmed)
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
- 500 g chestnut mushrooms (roughly diced)
- 300 g risotto rice (such as arborio)
- 100 ml dry white wine
- salt and pepper
- 25 g vegan parmesan (for serving)
- In a heat-proof bowl cover the dried mushrooms with the boiling water. Leave to hydrate for 10 minutes. Use a fork to scoop out the rehydrated mushrooms then carefully pour the soaking liquid into a measuring jug, leaving behind the gritty silt at the bottom of the bowl.25 g dried mushrooms, 1 ½ litres water
- Roughly chop the rehydrated mushrooms and set aside. To the mushroom soaking water, crumble the stock cubes and sprinkle the nutritional yeast then stir until fully dissolved. Transfer to a small saucepan and place over a low heat.2 stock cubes, 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add the vegan butter. Once hot, add the sage leaves and fry gently or until they've turned slightly more translucent and have stopped spitting in the butter. Remove the sage leaves with a fork and place on a layer of kitchen towel. Drain off the sage infused butter and reserve.16 sage leaves
- Add the remaining 50g vegan butter to the pan. Once hot, add the ground black pepper and thyme leaves and fry for a minute or until fragrant. Add the diced onion and fry for 5 minutes, stirring often, or until the onions are just starting to brown.100 g vegan butter, 2 sprigs thyme, 1 onion, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Add the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes before adding the fresh and rehydrated mushrooms. Fry for 2 minutes or until the fresh mushrooms are lightly cooked.3 cloves garlic, 500 g chestnut mushrooms
- Add the risotto rice and stir to coat. Allow the rice to toast in the pan for a minute before adding the wine followed by a ladle of the hot mushroom stock in the separate saucepan.300 g risotto rice, 100 ml dry white wine
- Reduce the heat under the risotto and cook, stirring constantly, until almost all the stock has been absorbed. Add another scoop of the stock and repeat. Do not leave the risotto unattended, just keep adding the stock little by little and cooking until absorbed.
- The risotto is ready when the rice is al dente - the grains should still have some bite but no gritty chalky texture in the centre. At this point, check for seasoning and add salt and more ground black pepper to taste.salt and pepper
- When ready to serve, top with a little vegan parmesan, a few of the crispy sage leave and a drizzle of the reserved sage butter.25 g vegan parmesan
A few lovely little twists on my usual recipe!