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February 21, 2022

How to Make Vegan Risotto

How to make vegan risotto that's just as flavorful as any non-vegan risotto! Vegan risotto is easy to make and comes together in around 30 minutes. Perfect for a quick yet decadent meal.

How to make Vegan Risotto

Making a vegan risotto that tastes good is not hard at all!

Even if you're a risotto beginner you can make this dish with success.

This risotto recipe is great because it gives you all the things you need to make a stunning recipe.

Then, once you've got the hang of making risotto, you can experiment with your flavors. Add in beet puree or pumpkin puree to the broth. Or come up with a different vegetable stir-in.

Once you've mastered the basics the possibilities are endless!

How to make Vegan Risotto

Why I love this Vegan Mushroom Risotto

  • Dietary needs — Risotto is naturally gluten-free because it's made from rice. This recipe is also vegan, dairy-free, oil-free, and sugar-free.
  • Risotto that's not complicated — this is a basic risotto recipe with some added mushrooms for flavor. Risotto can seem intimidating, but this recipe is really approachable even if you've never cooked a risotto before
  • Full of flavor — just because this recipe is easy doesn't mean it's bland! There is tons of flavor in this vegan risotto

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

  • Vegetable Broth: Vegetable broth or stock can make or break a recipe, especially risotto, where the broth is the liquid that is cooking the rice and contributing to the overall flavor. You want to look for a broth that has many different vegetables, but no other added ingredients like preservatives or sugar. My go to is this brand.
  • Shallots: Shallots are like a cross between onion and garlic. They add some beautiful texture and flavor to the risotto. If you don't have shallots you can omit them or use more garlic.
  • Garlic: garlic adds some great flavor. Use fresh for best results. You could sub freeze dried garlic but I don't recommend using garlic powder.
  • Dry White Wine: Wine adds flavor and acidity to the risotto. Dry white is perfect for this particular risotto, since we don't need to add any sweetness or color. A pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc will work fine - and it doesn't have to be a fancy brand.
  • Arborio Rice: Arborio rice is a very starchy rice which is why it's used in risotto recipes. The classic creamy texture of risotto comes from a combination of the cooking technique and using the correct rice. You must use arborio rice for this risotto.
  • Add-In Vegetables: For this risotto we're using mushrooms. Mushrooms add some texture and earthy flavor to the risotto. In this recipe you'll cook them together with thyme for a burst of flavor that you'll stir in at the end. You can experiment with other vegetable add ins - cook the veg on the side and then stir them in at the end.
  • Fresh Thyme: I love thyme - it's earthy, lemony, minty flavor that adds so much depth to this dish. You can experiment with other herbs like sage or parsley to create different variations of a vegan risotto.
  • Salt and Pepper: use at the end to adjust the flavor to your liking.

Vegan Risotto Ingredients

How to make Vegan Risotto

Step 1. Heat the vegetable broth on low. Keep warm throughout the process.

This is very important because you don't want to add a cold broth to rice that you are trying to warm.

How to make vegan risotto: step 1

Step 2. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable broth to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add the garlic. Cook 30 seconds. Add rice, stirring to coat, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed.

How to make vegan risotto: step 2

Step 3. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.

How to make vegan risotto: step 3

Step 4. In a separate pan cook the mushrooms and thyme. Sauté using a bit of the vegetable broth mixture for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft.

How to make vegan risotto: step 4

Step 5. Remove the rice from heat, and stir in mushrooms. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

How to make Vegan Risotto

Step 6. Spoon into bowls, top with additional sage, and enjoy.

How to make vegan risotto: step 6

Risotto Tips & Tricks

Don't rinse the rice

The reason risotto becomes so creamy is the starchiness of the rice. If you rinse the rice beforehand you rinse some of the starch off, resulting in a dry, crunchy risotto - not good.

Leave your rice as-is when cooking a risotto.

Keep the broth over low heat while you cook

Especially for risotto newbies, this step is super helpful. Warm broth helps the rice cook evenly. Imagine adding cold broth to the pan - some of the rice will drop in temperature and cook slower while other parts of the rice will continue cooking at a higher temperature. Eventually this will lead to uneven cooking.

For best results, keep the broth simmering on the stove while you cook to ensure even cooking. Or, if you don't have enough burners, heat up the broth in the microwave.

Watch for burning at the beginning

Since this risotto is oil-free, be extra careful not to burn your rice when you toast it in the pan.

There will be some moisture from the shallots, but the rice will not need as long to toast as it would if you used oil.

Just keep stirring

You definitely don't need to stir continuously for 30 minutes, but stirring early and often is a good rule of thumb, especially if this is your first risotto.

The starch from the rice is released when you stir, so more stirring = more creaminess.

Leave a toothiness to the rice

The exact texture of your rice is up to personal preference, but risotto is classically cooked with a little toughness left in the grains.

A traditional risotto has a little bite to it. Not enough to where the rice is undercooked and unpleasant to eat though. You want a happy medium between mush and tooth.

Recipe Prayer

Thank you God for this risotto. Thank you for teaching us how to cook good food that is also good for our bodies. Amen.

How to make Vegan Risotto

Related Recipes

Love risotto? I've got a delicious Pumpkin Sage Risotto recipe for you to try next.

If you have leftover arborio rice make this Rice Pudding as a delicious dessert!

Tried this recipe?

Please leave a review in the comments section below. You can also stay in touch with me on social media by following me on Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok or by subscribing to my newsletter.

How to Make Vegan Risotto

How to make vegan risotto that's just as flavorful as any non-vegan risotto! Vegan risotto is easy to make and comes together in around 30 minutes. Perfect for a quick yet decadent meal.

Author:

Elizabeth

Serves:

6

Prep:

10

min

cook:

25

min

total:

35

min

Ingredients

  • 6 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 2 Shallots, sliced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine - like pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc
  • 1 1/2 Cups Arborio Rice
  • 2 Pounds Cremini Mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon Thyme
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable broth on low. Keep warm throughout the process.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable broth to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add the garlic. Cook 30 seconds. Add rice, stirring to coat, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed.
  3. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. In a separate pan cook the mushrooms and thyme. Sauté using a bit of the vegetable broth mixture for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft.
  5. Remove the rice from heat, and stir in mushrooms. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Spoon into bowls, top with additional sage, and enjoy.
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April 28, 2022
Jean Mastin
Elizabeth: Thank you so much for making my meal times wonderful again. I am 86 yrs plus, and was finding eating dull and dreary. Now it is " scrum delicious time to eat". . Blessings de Jean
Hi Jean - Thanks so much for your kind words. I'm so glad you are enjoying my recipes. Please let me know if you ever have recipe requests or if there's anything else I can do to keep your meals delicious!
April 9, 2022
Katie
Can you leave nutritional info for your recipes? Serving size/calories would be so helpful! Trying mushroom lentil stew tonight! and looking forward to crispy chickpea stuffed sweet potatoes very soon. Thanks for creating healthy, attractive recipes!
Hi Katie - so excited to hear that you are trying some of my recipes! I'd love to hear how they go. I haven't posted nutritional information for my recipes because I know it can be difficult for some people with disordered eating to see nutrition facts. I've gotten a lot of requests to add them recently, so I'm working on a solution that can provide information for those who want it but not be triggering for others. In the meantime, if you're curious about the nutrient info about a particular recipe, I recommend using Cronometer. It's a website/app to track and understand nutrient info and I think it does a great job of emphasizing all the nutrients (not just macros). I hope this helps! Please let me know if I can help in any other way.
April 9, 2022
Vickey
U mentioned date sugar on this recipe but it’s not in the instructions. I know u add it but just in case u wanna add to instructions. Love ur recipes! Thank u. I’m thinking of going to vegan a little nervous tho lol
Hi Vickey - thanks so much for catching that! I am updating the post now. So happy to hear you enjoy my recipes. And exciting that you are thinking about going vegan!! If there's anything that I can do to help, please let me know.
March 28, 2022
Sr Maureen Egan
I'd love to try this soup. What are the nutritional values, like how much fat does it contain, carbs, etc.
Hi Sr Maureen - I usually don't post macronutrient information because I know each person has their own goals and I don't want to encourage or discourage anyone's specific goals. But I often use Cronometer as a tool to understand the nutritional profile of my recipes. I plugged the ingredient information for this recipe into Cronometer and got the following nutrient information per serving: 521 calories, 44g fat, 23g carbs, 16g protein. I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions and if you try the recipe!
March 26, 2022
Margareta Ahle
This curry is absolutely delicious.
Thank you so much! It's one of my favorites :)
March 23, 2022
Martha maloney
Thank you I have been doing the fruit and oatmeal, etc for years and I love it. I will try the pears. I refrigerate my left over oatmeal and with a touch of milk or fruit juice liquid it’s fine the next day. Just a warning about tofu; it interferes with some medicines especially Thyroid medicine. Thank you for the short prayers, there are lovely.
Hi Martha - thank you so much for your kind words. I'm glad you like the prayers! As someone who doesn't take any medications I have no issues with eating tofu and encouraging others to eat it too (it's a great source of protein!). That said, you should always consult with your doctor about possible interactions with medications. I have plenty of recipes without tofu, so hopefully you can find things that work for you!
March 3, 2022
Susan Cunningham
I made this for Ash Wednesday and it was delicious. It was also simple and not much work time once the mushrooms and onions were cut.
Hi Susan - I'm so glad you liked it!
March 1, 2022
Jade
When you say shape into a rectangular loaf, what dimensions? 1/2 thick by 8 inches long or?
My loaf was about 7" long and 4" wide with about 1" of height. Then I sliced it 1/2" thick along the long end to get 12ish biscotti. I will clarify this in the post! Let me know if this makes sense and if you have any other questions.
January 16, 2022
Tracy Henry
Made this tonight. Absolutely delicious Elizabeth. You got this one just right!
Oh yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed it :)
January 16, 2022
L Collins
Hi Could you please confirm two things:1. The amount of salt. Seems like too much. 2. The directions say there is lemon juice in the dressing but it’s not listed under ingredients. ThanksL.
Hi there! Confirming that the two teaspoons of salt in the dressing is correct. I didn't salt the cauliflower when roasting it or the salad after it was done, so this amount of salt was perfect. If you're concerned about it you can decrease the amount of salt in the dressing and then add more at the end if you need it. As for the lemon juice, SO sorry about that! It was a typo in my directions and I've removed it now. Hope this helps :)
December 20, 2021
Martha
This looks lovely! Do you have a recipe for the red pepper hummus also? Thank you!
Hi Martha! I don't have a recipe for red pepper hummus on my site. I suggest taking a traditional hummus recipe and blending in roasted red pepper.
November 22, 2021
Amanda J Lehmann
I tried these and they were delicious! A bit dense but flavorful and the "buckeye" blend of peanut and chocolate was on point! Recommend!
Yay! I'm so glad you liked them! -- Elizabeth
December 6, 2021
Grace
Hi, these look amazing. I was wondering, could I used powdered peanut butter in place of creamy for the recipe? thanks
Hi Grace! There is already some powdered peanut butter in this recipe, so adding more might make the texture more gluey. Also, the real peanut butter adds some fat, which helps create flavor. That said, if you want to use powdered peanut butter, I would suggest mixing it with a high-fat liquid like coconut cream and then measuring out 2/3 cup. Hope this helps! Let me know how it goes :) -- Elizabeth
November 15, 2021
Becky
You mention using vegetable broth in your introduction but it isn’t included in the recipe
Hi Becky - thanks for pointing this out. I have removed mention of vegetable broth from this post. You do not need any vegetable broth. The mushrooms will release natural liquid which will prevent any sticking. -- Elizabeth
September 23, 2021
Tracy Henry
Hi Elizabeth, LOVE you recipes. Please keep them coming. :)I was wondering, can you share what is the vegan chocolate bar you used in this recipe?
August 28, 2021
Henry (Hank) Mader
thank you for the oil free recipe. I'm getting introduced to wild Bolete mushrooms here in Colorado, and everyone sautes Bolete's in butter or olive oil. I'm on a veggie, oil free regimen for heart health reasons. and your recipe suggestion may fill the bill. I can't wait to give it a try.
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This is so fun! Loving your creamy photography :)
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This looks incredible! So yummy and pretty photography