This creamy mushroom risotto recipe is the perfect comfort meal and easy to make at home. Serve this gluten-free risotto up with a fresh green salad and dinner is complete!
Rice dishes are not a favorite around here for the most part, but my family unanimously loves risotto. Risotto is a northern Italian rice dish that’s cooked to a creamy consistency. (No fluffing!) My risotto recipe has always been a basic dish made simply with butter, white wine, and onions and served as a side dish.
Well, I had an “aha” moment a few months back.
Creamy mushroom risotto
While visiting my family in California, I had the chance to have lunch with my favorite auntie and cousins at an Italian restaurant. Since I try to avoid wheat products, I was looking through their meager gluten-free options when I noticed an invitation to diners to substitute gluten-free risotto for the pasta in any dish.
All this time I’ve been sticking with my tried and true risotto recipe when I could have been so much more daring, like with this creamy mushroom risotto recipe with sausage that I whipped up the other night. It was a winner.
(Why those ingredients? Because I had them on hand and they sounded like they’d be great together.)
Now, this gluten-free risotto isn’t a fast dish. It does require you to stand at the stove and keep an eye on it as it cooks for about half an hour or so. But it’s not a difficult meal to make at home. Pour yourself a glass of wine, turn on some music, and embrace the aroma! I think you’ll find the effort worth it.
Related: Spanish Rice in the Instant Pot
Let’s talk about the broth
First off, if you have homemade broth on hand, definitely use it. Italians typically make their risotto using heated broth. To do this, simply pour the required amount of broth into a pot and bring it to a simmer. Ladle broth out of this pot into the risotto mixture. This always feels like an extra step to me — and an extra pot to wash — and I’ve found that this creamy mushroom risotto recipe works just fine by skipping this step. Beginning with hot broth can reduce the cooking time of the rice, though.
Making this creamy risotto
You’ll have two (or three, if you heat the broth) pans cooking for this recipe. The onions, sausage, and mushrooms come together in one, while you cook the arborio rice slowly in another. It takes about half an hour of “on” time to make this dish.
My friend Neyssa made this recipe (and took these gorgeous photos) and she told me she can’t believe she’d never made risotto before, but the “flavor is out of this world.”
Variations on this creamy mushroom risotto
This is just one recipe, but as it turns out, risotto is tremendously versatile. Try adding crispy bacon or pancetta along with caramelized onions. Or peas. Or shredded chicken with sun-dried tomatoes and basil. Simply follow the instructions above to make risotto, then add your choice of flavors and tidbits.
The cream and parmesan give the risotto a creamy consistency, but if you’re trying to avoid dairy, you can do without. If you like a really creamy consistency, feel free to double the amount of cream you use.
It is really a flexible dish!
★ Did you make this creamy mushroom risotto? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
Creamy Mushroom Risotto with Spinach and Sausage
This creamy risotto recipe is the perfect comfort meal and easy to make at home. Serve this gluten free risotto up with a fresh green salad and dinner is complete!
- 3 T. extra virgin olive oil (or butter, divided)
- 2 onions (medium, sliced)
- 2-3 link sausages (or about 1 cup of ground sausage)
- 1/2 cup mushrooms
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 7 cups chicken broth
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 handfuls fresh spinach
- Heat half the oil in a large frying pan. Add the sliced onions. Cook until they begin to brown. Remove sausage from casings, and add them to the pan along with mushrooms.
While this cooks, pour remaining oil in a large pan with dry risotto. Cook and stir for five minutes or until slightly toasted and transparent.
Stir wine into risotto.
- As soon as the wine is absorbed, add about one cup of broth. As the broth is absorbed, continue to add more broth in increments of about 1/2-3/4 cup at a time, allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding more. (No need to measure this!)
- Once all of the broth has been incorporated, stir in the heavy cream, parmesan, and spinach, along with the sausage and mushroom mixture. Top with grated parmesan and fresh spinach shreds if desired.
Risotto is typically made using heated broth. To do this, simply pour the required amount of broth into a pot and bring it to a simmer. Ladle hot broth out of this pot into the risotto mixture. This always feels like an extra step to me -- and an extra pot to wash -- and I've found that the recipe works just fine by skipping this step. Beginning with hot broth can reduce the cooking time of the rice, though.
The heavy cream and parmesan give the risotto a creamy consistency, but if you're trying to avoid dairy, you can do without. If you love dairy and like an extra creamy risotto, you can double the amount of cream.