This vegan mushroom and pea risotto recipe is a recipe that I always make double of, firstly becuase it is so cozy and delicious. And secondly so I can make a yummy Italian treat called Arancini, which is basically risotto, that has been turned into a round patty, then, crumbed & baked or fried. My advice is to double this pea and mushroom risotto recipe and make my vegan Arancini recipe too.
How do you make this mushroom and pea risotto recipe vegan without parmesan cheese? Well, the answer is a combination of Miso and nutritional yeast. That paste that makes miso soup so delicious has quite a lot to give. It's deeply savory, and has a subtle hint of sweetness that when combined with the cheesy nutty flavour of nutritional yeast becomes a gorgeous way to imitate parmesan cheese in something like risotto or a cheesy sauce. Such as my go-to Simple Vegan Bechamel Sauce. If you're a risotto lover, you should also try out this Butternut Squash & Crispy Sage Risotto, it's the perfect Autumnal dish.
- Arborio or Carnaroli Rice -Risotto is made with short-grain rice grown in the north of Italy. It becomes creamy when cooked, but still retains a little bit of bite and texture.
- Fresh Wild Mushrooms- I like to use a mixture of wild and chestnut (cremini) mushrooms for the ultimate in rich mushroomy flavour, but baby bella, shitake or any other favourite mushroom or combination will work wonderfully.
- Dried Mushrooms- I choose a mixture of dried wild mushrooms, but I have also used dried shitake mushrooms when I ran out! These get infused with the stock for extra 'oomph' then removed and chopped finely to go through the risotto.
- Peas- Frozen peas are perfect to use in this recipe. They're convenient, sweet and easy to use. Just stir in just before serving to gently cook through.
- Onion- Use a medium-sized mild yellow/white onion. Or substitute with one leek.
- Vegetable Stock-a good quality vegetable bouillon or stock cube is perfect to use, or you can use any other vegetable stock. I like to soak the dried mushrooms in the stock for an extra mushroomy flavour.
- White Wine- choose a light vegan wine. If you don't want to open a bottle of wine or don't drink, you can use 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of sugar.
- Olive Oil- for sauteeing the onion.
- Miso- For the tangy umami taste that becomes part of the vegan substitute for using parmesan cheese.
- Nutritional Yeast- combined with the miso paste this makes a great cheesy flavour. Perfect for using instead of parmesan cheese making this risotto vegan and dairy free!
👩🍳How to cook risotto
I think sometimes people get a bit scared of risotto because they think it will take AGGGES and be complicated. But really it's just a bit of stirring and ladling of stock in every now and then. There are recipes out there for no-stir risotto, but frankly, they never turn out quite as creamy and unctuous. If you have kitchen helpers (kiddos who are learning to cook or friends over?) get them involved with the stirring and ladelling of the risotto while you get on with other tasks. Or just sip some wine and bop around to some music while you do it.
Here are my how-to instructions with pictures for this mushroom and pea risotto. Head to the recipe card below for the full ingredient list with quantities.
- First - prepare your stock. Add the dried mushrooms to the boullion and water and bring to a slow simmer. You'll scoop the mushrooms out later to stir into the risotto.
2. In a large pan, gently sautee your diced onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent.
3. Add the rice and stir to coat in the oil. Add in your wine to the risotto, and stir to absorb. (Or use the vinegar/sugar combination if you are not using wine.)
4. Now, carefully scoop out a ladle full of stock (don't get the mushrooms, you need those later) and stir into the risotto.
Wait until the stock absorbs into the rice then stir in another ladle of stock.
5. Keep ladling and stirring until the rice is soft but still with a little bit. (should take between 15- 20 minutes)
6. In the meantime, sautee your fresh mushrooms in a pan with plenty of olive oil, garlic and the herbs.
7. Remove the dried mushrooms from the depleting stock pot and chop up finely. Add to the risotto.
8. Finally just before the rice is ready to serve. Stir in the frozen green peas, miso and nutritional yeast. Taste and add more miso, cracked black pepper or nutritional yeast if desired.
To Serve: top the risotto with the sauteed mushrooms and a sprinkle of parsley.
This risotto is best eaten on the day. If you have leftovers you can store in the fridge for up to 24 hours then reheat to piping hot.
Alternatively you can freeze the risotto. To do this cool, then freeze immediately. Reheat to piping hot.
If you wish, you can make mushroom arancini out of the leftovers. Again, be sure to make within 24hours and heat to piping hot.
A few simple substitutions can be made:
- No Wine If you do not want to use wine in this recipe, I suggest using ⅓ cup of water which has been mixed 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of sugar. This creates the acidic/sweet profile that wine adds.
- No nutritional yeast- add a teaspoon of mustard or just leave it out. Alternatively, mix in some of your favourite vegan cheese.
- No Miso- add some extra nutritional yeast, or choose to add some vegan cheese.
- Other types of rice- you need short grain rice for successful risotto- pudding rice, paella rice or sushi rice would all be ok to use if you can't find arborio or carnaroli rice.
For the best risotto use short grain rice such as arborio or carnaroli. They are starchy and create a creamy base that still keeps the individual rice grains with a little bite.
You can try with another short grain rice (such as sushi rice). Risotto does not work very well with long-grain rice as it does not become super creamy.
It takes no longer than 20 minutes from when you start cooking the onions to when the rice is creamy and ready.
Boil a kettle and add some more water. Keep adding a ladle at a time until the rice is cooked.
This helps keep the temperature of the rice cooking, if you add cold stock, it takes longer to bring it up to temperature and makes the cooking time go slower!
You need to keep an eye on the risotto, ladle in a scoop of stock, stir well then get on with something else. Once the stock is absorbed, repeat.
The rice itself is quite creamy. I also use olive oil, which helps with the mouth-feel becoming creamy. The nutritional yeast and miso create a slightly creamy texture when combined with the rice too.
Yes this risotto is naturally gluten free.
🥗 Other Recipes & Serving Suggestions
I like to serve a simple salad alongside my mushroom and pea risotto:
- Harissa Roasted Chickpea & Tomato Salad
- Vegan Caesar Salad with Crunchy Chickpea Croutons (Gluten Free!)
- Vegan Salade Nicoise
And if you like the sound of this risotto, you must try one of my other seasonal risotto recipes. Of course if you have extra risotto left over, you must make arancini!
Vegan Mushroom and Pea Risotto
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
- 300 g (1 ½ cups) risotto rice (arborio or carnaroli)
- 50 g (3 tablespoon) dried mushrooms
- 1 large onion ( finely chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 130 g (1 cup) frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1300 ml (5 ½ cups) vegetable stock (use a good quality stock cube or boullion if you don't have fresh. )
- 175 ml (¾ cups) white wine (or use 1 tablespoon cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar in 160ml water.)
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon white miso
- Salt & Pepper to season
For the Sauteed Mushrooms to top the risotto.
- 200 g (2 cups) chestnut mushrooms (or a mixture of wild and chestnut mushrooms)
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 2 tablespoon white wine
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic (roughly sliced)
- salt & pepper to taste
- chilli flakes to taste (optional)
- Pour the stock into a medium saucepan, and add the dried mushrooms.50 g dried mushrooms, 1300 ml vegetable stock
- Bring to a simmer and let the mushrooms steep in it, squishing them around so they let out all their delicious mushroomy essence. Keep them in the stock until later when you'll need them.
- In a big saucepan, warm the olive oil gently, then add the onions & garlic cook until translucent.1 large onion, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- Add the rice and stir until slicked with the oil & mixed in with the onions & garlic.300 g risotto rice
- Add the white wine & stir until soaked into the rice.175 ml white wine
- Then. And this is the CRUCIAL bit with risotto. Add in a ladle of the stock. And stir until soaked in over a lowish heat.
- And repeat the step above.
- Now is a good time to start cooking the mushrooms to top the risotto. See instructions below.
- Keep repeating the ladling of the stock and stirring until the rice becomes soft and creamy.
- Pull the dried out of the broth, squeezing them hard to get the moisture out & the last of their juicy flavour, and chop the caps really finely.
- If you start running out of stock, add more hot water from the kettle to the stock pot.
- The rice should be just getting soft, and getting risotto-y on the outside, but still be a bit chalky in the middle.
- Chop up the dried mushrooms and add them into the risotto.50 g dried mushrooms
- Add the peas and stir.130 g frozen peas
- Let the peas cook & the spinach wilt.
- Check the rice is fully cooked through.
- If it isn't,add more stock & stir.
- Now. Add in the miso and nutritional yeast and stir well.2 tablespoon nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoon white miso
- Taste- and add extra miso/salt/pepper/nutritional yeast to taste.Salt & Pepper to season
For the mushrooms to top the risotto.
- In a large pan sautee two garlic cloves in olive oil.1 teaspoon olive oil, 2 cloves garlic
- Add in the fresh mushrooms, thyme, a sprinkle of salt and cook down.200 g chestnut mushrooms, 1 teaspoon thyme, chilli flakes to taste
- Add a splash of white wine and let it cook off.2 tablespoon white wine
- Then season to taste with salt & pepper and use to top off the risotto with.salt & pepper to taste
- To serve, pile up the risotto in a bowl and top with the mushrooms.