Crafting the Perfect Mushroom Risotto – Zenwise Crafting the Perfect Mushroom Risotto – Zenwise
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Crafting the Perfect Mushroom Risotto

Picture this: there's a crisp fall breeze in the air, you pour a nice glass of red wine, pop your favorite song on and press pause on your day to make a warming bowl of mushroom risotto.

Talk about gourmet comfort food! 

Risotto is a rice dish that has its roots in Northern Italy. There are many different types of risotto out there and surprisingly, it’s an easy dish to make your own.

People would have you believe that risotto of any kind is complicated, time-consuming, and basically impossible to make. But they would be wrong. This risotto dish comes together in less than 40 minutes and uses simple ingredients available at your local supermarket.

For our recipe, a mix of mushrooms brings an earthy, almost meaty flavor to this risotto without adding fat, calories, or sodium. Fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese elevate the flavors to a higher level making this a recipe you’ll want to make more than once, especially when you want to impress your guests.

You can serve this as an appetizer. Or, add a salad for a satisfying light dinner. It also is terrific as a side dish for chicken or fish.


The Zen of Cooking Risotto

The traditional way of cooking risotto is low and slow. Cook over low heat, adding the stock to the rice about a half cup at a time, stirring constantly until all the liquid is absorbed. Then, repeat with another ½ cup liquid , stir, and continue adding the stock bit by bit until it’s all used up. The end result is a risotto with a creamy texture rice that’s slightly al dente. This takes about 20 to 30 minutes – so put on your favorite tunes, relax, and enjoy the process. It’s worth it!

But if you don’t have time or patience to stand over a stove and stir, we included some speed directions. See the recipe for details.


Why We Love These Ingredients

Not only does this risotto taste amazing. Practically every ingredient is packed with remarkable health benefits!

Mushrooms are low in calories but high in antioxidants and immune-boosting compounds. They are also very gut friendly!  The polysaccharides in mushrooms have the ability to pass through stomach acids to stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

Mushrooms can keep cholesterol levels in check. They contain compounds that inhibit cholesterol production and block cholesterol from getting absorbed into the bloodstream.

What’s more, mushrooms are a protective powerhouse for cell health. Research shows that eating just 18 grams of mushrooms a day [about 2 medium-sized mushrooms] may lower your risk of cancer by as much as 45%.

Bone Broth is packed with collagen and protein, so it supports your metabolism, repairs joint damage, and promotes younger-looking skin. Bone broth also contains an amino acid called glutamine,  which maintains the health of the tissue that lines your gastrointestinal tract. It may also reduce inflammation throughout the gut.

Garlic contains antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral compounds that guard against infections, colds, and other pathogens.  It’s also an effective anti-inflammatory.

Thyme is a robust, shrubby herb with an intense aroma and flavor. It’s rich in a compound called thymol, which can neutralize some bacterial, fungal, or viral infections.

Meanwhile, parsley is packed with Vitamin K. Vitamin K helps blood to clot and also supports your bones.  In fact, a single tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley provides more than 70% of the recommended daily intake of this important nutrient.

Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help boost the immune system and improve blood circulation.  It’s also a go-to remedy in Europe for indigestion.

Finally, several studies show olive oil can lower your risk of heart problems. The active compounds in olive oil help lower blood pressure and keep your arteries from hardening. It also can reduce inflammation throughout your body. That’s especially important since many chronic diseases are caused by inflammation.


Some Pro Tips to Get You Started

You can use any mushrooms you like for this gourmet mushroom risotto. Use a combination of two or three different types of mushrooms, such as shiitake, porcini, baby bellas, or chanterelle.   

To clean the mushrooms, trim off tough or discolored bottoms of mushroom stems and any bruised spots or blemishes. (For shiitakes and oysters, remove the entire fibrous stem.)

For firm mushrooms such as portabellas, wipe dirt off with a damp paper towel or place in a colander, rinse thoroughly under cool running water, and pat dry with towels.

For delicate mushrooms that have lots of places for dirt to hide, such as chanterelles, submerge in a bowl of cool water and gently agitate with your hands to loosen any particles. Drain, rinse carefully under running water, and gently pat dry with a towel.

As far as the liquid we used bone broth but chicken broth works well too. You can also switch out the bone broth for veggie or mushroom broth to make this a vegetarian dish.

Let any leftover risotto cool completely then place in an airtight container and store it in the fridge. It will last for about a week. To reheat, place the risotto in a saucepan and add a cup of hot stock. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice becomes tender and warm. Risotto does not freeze very well. Freezing ruins the texture of the rice.

Let’s start cooking!


Mushroom Herb Risotto

This Mushroom Herb Risotto is rich, creamy, and uses simple ingredients.


Cook Time: 35 minutes 

Total Time: 40 minutes 

Servings: 4



  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1-1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh mushrooms cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio or medium-grain white rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 1/2 cups bone broth or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 TBSP chopped parsley
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1-1/2 tsp chopped rosemary
  • Salt and pepper



  1. Melt butter with olive oil in a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat; when hot, add onion and mushrooms and stir often until onion is limp and liquid has evaporated, 5 to 6 minutes.

  2. Add rice and stir until well coated and slightly transparent, about 3 minutes. Make sure it doesn’t stick. Add wine and stir until it's absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes.

  3. Cook the rice. Cooking over low to medium heat, add the stock to the rice – about ½ cup at a time. Stir constantly until all the liquid is absorbed, then repeat with another ½ cup of stock. Continue adding liquid and stirring until all the stock is absorbed and rice is tender. [for Speed directions, see below]

  4. Stir in mushrooms, parmesan cheese and herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with more fresh herbs and parmesan. Serve in deep pasta bowls and enjoy!


Speed directions: Add 4-1/2 cups broth to pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Then, reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring every few minutes to prevent sticking. Cook until rice is tender and absorbs all the liquid, about 15 to 20 minutes. If a creamier consistency is desired, stir in about 1/2 cup more broth.



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