Risotto was one of my favourite meals growing up. I remember going to restaurants as a child and being so excited to have a bite of my mum’s risotto. Sadly, it’s a dish typically filled with butter and cream, so it’s not something I get to enjoy often these days. That is, until I realized I could make this perfectly creamy vegan risotto at home that tastes just like the real deal!
This mushroom and spinach risotto is creamy, rich, and full of flavour. I’ve always thought of risotto as a ~fancy~ dish that must be complicated to make. Thankfully, that’s not the case at all. This risotto comes together in just one hour. It’s also dairy free, and naturally gluten-free, but you’d never know! (I tested it out with dairy-lovers so you can trust me on this one).
Risotto tips to keep in mind
- Make sure the vegetable broth that you cook the arborio rice in is hot. You’ll want to heat the broth up before you start cooking the rice and keep it hot and handy the whole time the risotto is cooking.
- Only add the hot broth in small increments, letting it fully absorb into the rice before adding more.
- Stir, stir, stir! It’s really important to stir consistently while the rice is cooking to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. It may seem daunting to stir for half an hour, but if you put on a podcast or your favourite tunes and just have fun with it, it actually becomes quite soothing.
- You’ll know the risotto is done cooking when you push your spoon through it and it slowly starts to come back together.
- Wait to stir in certain ingredients until the very end when the rice is done cooking and removed from heat. Stirring in the nutritional yeast, lemon juice and fresh parsley at this stage helps keep the flavours really fresh. A spoonful of vegan butter stirred in at this point also makes the risotto extra creamy and delicious. Mmm.
What flavour risotto should I try making next? Let me know in the comments! x
Creamy Vegan Mushroom and Spinach Risotto
This mushroom and spinach risotto is creamy, rich, and full of flavour. It's easier to make than you might think, and comes together in just one hour. It’s also dairy free, and naturally gluten-free, but you’d never know!
- 4 cups vegetable broth*
- 1 cup water
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
- 400 g brown mushrooms, roughly sliced (~5 cups)
- 2 Tbsp vegan butter, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp thyme, dried
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice (do not rinse)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 large handfuls spinach, roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley + more for garnish, optional
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- salt and peper, to taste
In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of vegetable broth and 1 cup of water to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Keep this heated broth handy as you cook the risotto.
In a separate large saucepan, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for approximately 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent. Reduce heat if they start to brown.
To the onion, add mushrooms, 1 tablespoon of the vegan butter, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are softened and most of the excess liquid from mushrooms has evaporated.
Next, stir in the arborio rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant. Add in the wine and let simmer for approximately 2 minutes until completely evaporated, making sure rice is not sticking to the bottom of the pan as it cooks.
Add one ladle (or a half cup) of the heated broth to the rice. While stirring consistently, allow the rice to cook until broth is fully absorbed. Repeat this process, adding the broth one ladle at a time, until rice is cooked through but still firm, and a very creamy sauce has formed. This should take approximately 30 minutes. You'll know it's done when you push a spoon through the risotto and it slowly start to come back together.
Stir chopped spinach into risotto until just wilted. Remove from heat. Stir in the other tablespoon of vegan butter, nutritional yeast, parsley and lemon juice. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley (optional) and serve immediately.
- Check vegetable broth label to ensure it’s vegan, and gluten-free if necessary for you.
- Nutritional information is approximate.
Did you enjoy this recipe? Comment, share it with your friends, and don’t forget to snap a picture for Instagram and tag #plantifuleating so I can see your creations!
Looking for another comforting main course recipe? Try this Vegan Autumn Lasagna with Tofu Ricotta & Pumpkin Cashew Cream!