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This thick and creamy Mushroom Risotto with peas and Parmesan cheese is an elegant and satisfying vegetarian entrée, or a simple side dish to serve with steak, seafood and chicken. Best of all, the easy Mushroom Risotto is baked in the oven for a hands-off recipe that doesn’t require constant stirring on the stovetop. You get all of the delicious flavor and the creamy texture of a traditional risotto — with only half of the work!

Mushroom and parmesan risotto recipe in a blue ceramic bowl with parsley garnish

Vegetarian Mushroom Risotto

Risotto has a reputation as a difficult or fancy dish to prepare at home; however, that couldn’t be further from the truth! In a traditional recipe, it can be time-consuming to stand at the stove and stir the pot; however, this oven-baked method completely eliminates that step! There’s a reason that a simple Parmesan Risotto recipe with mushrooms and peas has been a staple of Italian cuisine for generations!

What is Risotto?

The risotto technique is a method of cooking certain varieties of Italian rice whose kernel is coated by a soft starch known as amylopectin. When prepared appropriately, the starch on these specific types of rice dissolves, binding the kernels together and fusing them with the other ingredients in the dish. The end result is creamy risotto — with no cream!

The Origin of Risotto

The history of risotto dates back to the origins of rice in Italy. Rice was first introduced to Italy and Spain by the Arabs during the Middle Ages. The humid climate of the Mediterranean proved to be ideal for growing shorter-grained rices, so these products quickly became a profitable, sought-after item.

In Milan, popular slow-cooking techniques were combined with the local rice, enhancing the rich flavors and spices of the region (especially saffron) and creating a dish known as Risotto alla Milanese. Italians quickly realized that risotto was a delicious way to use the shorter-grained rice, whether it was served as an accompaniment to entrees like Ossobucco, or served on its own.

Favorite Risotto Recipes

Risotto is prepared in dozens of ways, as the rice can take on the flavor base of almost any ingredients that are added to the dish. Chopped onion sautéed in butter is the most common foundation for risotto’s flavor base; yet popular risotto recipes also include cheese, seafood (such as shrimp), meat, vegetables and legumes.

Close overhead shot of a bowl of mushroom pea risotto with a fork in it

The Best Rice for Mushroom Risotto

Arborio is widely considered the best rice for risotto, since it absorbs a lot of liquid without losing its fine texture. The high starch content in Arborio rice yields the creamy sauce that is the hallmark of a classic risotto recipe. Most grocery stores in the US sell Arborio in the same section that you can find other popular varieties of rice.

Many Italians recommend Carnaroli for risotto recipes, which is a newer type of rice that they cultivated in recent decades. Carnaroli has a higher starch content than Arborio and gives risotto an even richer, creamier texture. You can find Carnaroli rice online or in specialty food shops in the United States.

Canister of arborio rice

Can risotto rice go out of date?

Yes! Rice will keep well for about one year from harvest. When we purchase a container of rice at the grocery store, however, it’s hard to know when the rice was actually harvested. As a result, it’s best to use rice as soon as possible. If you don’t eat rice regularly, purchase it in smaller quantities. Store rice in an airtight container in the pantry at room temperature, or freeze rice for up to 3 months.

Can risotto be made with long grain rice?

No, long grain rice has different structural properties than Arborio, Carnaroli and other short-grain varieties. As a result, the long grain rice will not create the starchy, creamy sauce that defines a true risotto.

Horizontal shot of a bowl of the best mushroom parmesan risotto with peas

Ingredients for Mushroom Risotto with Peas

Here’s a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for this dish. As always, the exact measurements and specific cooking instructions are included in the recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Butter: to sauté the onions, mushrooms and garlic; adds flavor to the rice.
  • Onion: a classic ingredient for a traditional Italian risotto base.
  • Fresh mushrooms: I use sliced baby portabella mushrooms since that’s what’s available at my store. You can use any variety of mushrooms that you prefer. Good options include button mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, or even wild mushrooms like chanterelles, porcini mushrooms or morels. A blend of mushrooms would be perfect! If you’d like to add some dry mushrooms, I recommend re-hydrating them before including them in the risotto.
  • Garlic and fresh thyme: for flavor; you can omit the thyme or substitute with other herbs, if desired.
  • Arborio rice: this short-grain rice is an essential ingredient for risotto; do not substitute with long-grain rice.
  • Broth: I use low-sodium chicken broth, but you can also use vegetable broth for a vegetarian risotto.
  • White wine: a dry, unsweet wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc) is ideal. Pick a wine that tastes good enough to drink! If you would rather make your risotto without wine, just substitute with additional broth.
  • Peas: an optional ingredient that you can omit if you don’t care for peas. See the recipe variations below for other vegetables and meats that can replace the peas.
  • Parmesan cheese: makes the risotto even creamier and more flavorful. You can’t beat cheesy rice!
  • Parsley: an optional garnish and a bright finishing touch at the end.
Process shot showing how to make easy mushroom risotto

How to Make Mushroom Risotto

This recipe uses the less-traditional oven-baked method to yield a pot of creamy mushroom risotto with minimal effort! If you don’t have the time or patience to stand at the stovetop stirring a pan of rice and gradually ladling in the broth, then you’ll appreciate the ease of baked risotto.

  1. Sauté the onions in butter.
  2. Add mushrooms, then eventually the garlic and thyme.
  3. Stir in the rice and toast in the pan for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the wine and broth, then season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake the risotto (covered) in a 400° F oven until the rice is tender, about 45 minutes.
  6. Stir in the peas, Parmesan and parsley. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve immediately!
Horizontal overhead shot of a Dutch oven full of baked risotto

What to Serve with Mushroom Risotto

This mushroom pea risotto is an incredibly versatile recipe, which is hearty enough to stand on its own as an elegant main dish, but also goes well as a side dish with everything from salmon to shrimp, scallops, steak, chicken and lamb. Here are a few easy entrees to pair with the risotto:

And don’t forget something green on the side! Nice options include a simple salad dressed in Italian Balsamic Vinaigrette or Sauteed Spinach with Garlic.

Close up side shot of a bowl of easy mushroom risotto with peas

Storage Tips

  • Mushroom risotto is best served warm, immediately from the pan. It will dry out and firm up as it sits, so this is not a great make-ahead option.
  • If you have leftovers, risotto will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Do not freeze risotto. The texture of the cooked rice is grainy and mushy when thawed.
  • How to Reheat Risotto: Place the risotto in a saucepan over low heat. It will be hard and dry initially, so you’ll need to add liquid (broth, water or wine will work) to soften and rehydrate the leftover risotto. Cook and stir over low heat, adding liquid as necessary, until the risotto reaches a moist, soft, warm consistency.
Overhead shot of a bowl of a mushroom and parmesan risotto recipe on a wooden table

Recipe Variations

There are a number of different ingredients that can go in risotto. Use this method as a base to create your own flavorful recipe! Here are a few ideas for alternative mix-ins:

  • Mushroom Asparagus Risotto: add cooked, diced asparagus to the risotto at the very end (instead of the peas).
  • Meat or Shellfish: add shredded, cooked chicken, cooked shrimp, bacon, or browned sausage to the risotto at the very end (instead of the peas). This would be a great way to take advantage of a store-bought rotisserie chicken or to use up leftover meat from a previous meal.
  • Wild Mushroom Risotto: if available, use wild mushrooms instead of the baby portabella mushrooms shown here. The wild mushrooms will add great flavor and texture to the dish. If fresh wild mushrooms are not available, reconstituted dried mushrooms can be used instead. Place 3 ounces of dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with warm water. Allow to sit for about 30 minutes, or until all of the mushrooms are soft.
  • Mushroom Risotto without Wine: substitute an additional ½ cup of broth for the wine.
  • Red wine instead of white wine. Beware, though — it will turn your risotto a pale shade of pink!
  • Mushroom Spinach Risotto: instead of the peas, add a package of thawed, frozen chopped spinach at the end. Make sure to squeeze the spinach dry before stirring it into the pot.

Tips for the Best Mushroom Risotto Recipe

  • Which pan to use for risotto: Prepare the risotto in a heavy-bottomed pot (such as a Dutch oven) or other heavy oven-proof skillet with a tight-fitting lid that can retain sufficient heat to cook the rice relatively quickly, but without scorching it. Aluminum and other lightweight pans will not work well.
  • I prefer the flavor of chicken broth in this recipe, but for a vegetarian meal you can substitute with vegetable broth.
  • If you want to use a 4-cup container of broth and you don’t want to open another container for that extra 1 cup, you can use 4 cups of broth plus 1 cup of water.
  • Always use Arborio (or another short-grain Italian rice). Do not substitute with regular long-grain white rice.
  • How much Rice Per Person: It’s safe to assume about 4 ounces of uncooked rice (about ⅓ cup) per person if you’re serving the risotto as a main dish. If you’re offering the risotto as a side, you will need about 2 ounces of uncooked rice per person (or about ¼ cup).
  • The Best Wine for Risotto: Use a dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. Remember to cook with high-quality wines that you actually like to drink!
  • Finish the dish with a squeeze of lemon juice or some grated lemon zest for a nice, fresh touch.
Side shot of a bowl of easy mushroom risotto in front of a Dutch oven with a brick wall

More Mushroom Recipes to Try

Mushroom and parmesan risotto recipe in a blue ceramic bowl with parsley garnish

Easy Mushroom Risotto {Oven-Baked and No-Stir!}

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 – 8 people (as a side dish) or 3-4 people as a main course
Calories 254 kcal
This thick and creamy Mushroom Risotto with peas and Parmesan cheese is an elegant and satisfying vegetarian entrée, or a simple side dish to serve with steak, seafood and chicken!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • ½ of a medium onion, finely-diced
  • 1 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked short-grain Arborio rice
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth for a vegetarian dish
  • ½ cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed (optional)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400° F. In a large Dutch oven or an oven-proof skillet with a tight-fitting lid, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook until just tender, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high and add the sliced mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until they begin to sweat, about 3 minutes, then add garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring, until the rice is well coated in the pan juices, about 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and broth, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer, then cover with the lid and transfer the dish to the oven. Bake until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 45 minutes.
  • Remove dish from oven, carefully take off the lid, and stir in the peas (if using), Parmesan, and parsley until creamy. I like to use a fork to fluff the rice as I stir, which helps prevent it from clumping together. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Which pan to use for risotto: Prepare the risotto in a heavy-bottomed pot (such as a Dutch oven) or other heavy skillet with a tight-fitting lid that can retain sufficient heat to cook the rice relatively quickly, but without scorching it. Aluminum and other lightweight pans will not work well.
  • I prefer the flavor of chicken broth in this recipe, but for a vegetarian meal you can substitute with vegetable broth.
  • If you prefer to use a 4-cup container of broth and you don’t want to open another container for that extra 1 cup, you can use 4 cups of broth plus 1 cup of water.
  • Always use Arborio (or another short-grain Italian rice). Do not substitute with regular long-grain white rice.
  • How much Rice Per Person: It’s safe to assume about 4 ounces of uncooked rice (about ⅓ cup) per person if you’re serving the risotto as a main dish. If you’re offering the risotto as a side, you will need about 2 ounces of uncooked rice per person (or about ¼ cup).
  • The Best Wine for Risotto: Use a dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. Remember to cook with high-quality wines that you actually like to drink!
  • Finish the dish with a squeeze of lemon juice or some grated lemon zest for a nice, fresh touch.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the recipeCalories: 254kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 11gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 170mgPotassium: 403mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 388IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 88mgIron: 3mg
Keyword: baked risotto, easy mushroom risotto, mushroom risotto, vegetarian mushroom risotto
Course: Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This came out absolutely perfect! Creamy with TONS of flavor. I used diced asparagus instead of peas because hubs doesn’t do peas. I can’t wait to make it again!