Creamy risotto rice, mixed with flavour packed dried mushrooms, iron rich spinach and topped with some Parmesan and parsley. Mushroom and Spinach Risotto is hearty, cold weather comfort food at its best. An easy one pot weeknight meal, but special enough for date night too.
When it comes to risotto, you can't go wrong with mushroom - it's a classic. Mushrooms have a really meaty texture whilst still keeping this risotto vegetarian and the option to be vegan. We have given a mushroom risotto a vitamin boost by adding iron rich spinach.
Everything is done in one pot and less washing up is a win for us! This is super comforting and feels far more indulgent than it actually is.
Why should you try it?
- Vegetarian comfort food - You don't need meat for a comforting dish. The mushrooms give it a really meaty texture, but keeping this vegetarian, with a vegan option.
- A one pot recipe - Who doesn't love less washing up!
- Cooked in just 30 minutes - Risottos are a little time consuming, but they are totally worth it.
- Easy to adapt - Use this recipe as a guide and then adapt it with what mushrooms and cheese you already have.
- Nutrient dense - Mushrooms and spinach are both nutrient powerhouses and you can easily add extra vegetables to this mushroom and spinach risotto too.
- Olive oil
- Risotto rice - Also called Arborio rice, this is the best rice to use to make a mushroom risotto, as it is high enough in amylose to maintain an al dente texture, even after a long cooking time. However, there are other options that we have discussed below.
- Shallots - you can swap these for a medium diced onion, however the shallots add a nice sweetness to the dish.
- Garlic - this adds lots of flavour, and who doesn't love garlic mushrooms? Either crush your own garlic cloves, or use a teaspoon of the jarred garlic that you can keep in the fridge.
- Dried mushrooms - these are a store cupboard staple for us, even though they are a bit of a luxury. They are great for adding to risottos and pasta dishes, however you can use fresh mushrooms instead.
- Homemade vegetable stock - you could swap this for chicken stock (although this wouldn't make it vegetarian) or mushroom stock for some extra mushroom flavour. If using store bought stock, try to use the best quality you can, as you will be able to taste the difference.
- Lemon juice
- Fresh parsley - you can swap this for fresh chives instead.
- Spinach - a great way to add some extra greens, however you could swap it for kale.
- Shaved Parmesan - for serving (optional). If you want to keep this mushroom and spinach risotto strictly vegetarian, then choose a vegetarian alternative (tip: most supermarket own Parmesan is actually vegetarian). You could use a mature cheddar or even some Stilton instead.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make mushroom and spinach risotto - Step by step
One: Add the olive oil to a large pan and then add the shallots, celery and garlic and gently cook for 3 minutes.
Two: Add the rice, salt and pepper, stir and cook for 1 minute.
Three: Drain the mushrooms and add to the pan with a ladle of the stock. Keep adding a ladle of stock at a time and waiting until the rice has absorbed the stock before adding another until you have used all the stock. This should take around 20-25 minutes.
Four: Add the spinach.
Five: Stir the spinach and lemon juice in and serve with fresh parsley and Parmesan on top.
We have added plenty of vegetables to this mushroom and spinach risotto and left out the cream and just used a little cheese - but you could leave that out.
Spinach, which belongs to the same family as chard, beetroot and quinoa (the chenopodiaceae family), has a similar bitter and salty flavour, and it is so versatile. Spinach is a great source of iron, which can really boost your energy levels. Iron has a key role in the function of red blood cells, and these help to transport oxygen around the body, which supports energy production.
Spinach is also great for heart health. It is naturally rich in compounds called nitrates and these may help improve blood flow and pressure by relaxing the blood vessels. Spinach is also a great source of vitamin K, magnesium and calcium.
Mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D, and are actually one of the only non-animal sources of the vitamin. Whether grown inside or outside, they are exposed to UV light which increases their concentration of vitamin D. Mushrooms are really nutritious too and a great source of B vitamins and potassium.
As the mushrooms are the star of this mushroom and spinach risotto, we wanted to use a a selection of different mushrooms as they all have such a unique taste and texture. You could just use standard white mushrooms, but why would you when there is such an amazing selection of mushrooms out there?
We went with Shiitake, Forest mushrooms and Porccini (sometimes called Penny Bun mushrooms) and used dried mushrooms because they are so handy to keep in the cupboard and just need to be re-hydrated.
It saves us having to worry about having fresh mushrooms that might have gone past their best, and speciality mushrooms can be hard to find sometimes. But, you can substitute dried mushrooms for fresh ones if you prefer.
You could swap the risotto rice for brown rice or even quinoa but the cook time and texture would of course be different. Add plenty of spinach and/or kale towards the end for a vitamin boost.
You could swap the spinach for other greens like kale, chard, cabbage or pak choi (bok choy). A good opportunity to use up some leftover greens.
You could also fry up some courgette (zucchini), aubergine (eggplant) and chopped bell peppers at the same time as the shallots, to pack it out with some more vegetables.
What to serve with Mushroom and Spinach Risotto
This mushroom and spinach risotto is pretty much a full meal already, however we are always a fan of serving extra vegetables on the side where we can. Looking for some side dishes to go with this mushroom risotto? Why not try these:
- Roasted Lemon Asparagus
- Cheesy Garlic Bread
- Buttered Leeks
- Baked Carrot Fries
- Garlic Spring Greens
- Beetroot and Goats Cheese Salad
- Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli
- Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- Garlic and Parsley Roasted Carrots
Store: Risotto is always best made fresh, however if you do have some leftover then you can store it covered in the fridge for up to two days.
Freeze: We wouldn’t recommend freezing risotto, because the rice becomes really hard when frozen and the texture just isn’t right when it is defrosted and reheated.
Reheat: You can reheat it in a pan until it is piping hot throughout. You might need to add a little bit of stock to it to loosen it up.
The best thing you can do with leftover risotto is make arancini. Mix risotto with some lemon juice, grated cheddar, sun dried tomatoes and herbs and then form into little balls. Dip them in flour, then egg and then breadcrumbs and then deep fry them. They make a delicious, although heavy, starter.
Yes, you can, and we have! Although the majority of the alcohol cooks off when you add it, when we are cooking a meal that we will share with the kids, we leave the wine out. It doesn't quite have the same rich flavour, but it's still delicious.
If you want to add some white wine, swap 100ml of the stock for a good quality white wine.
When it comes to risotto, arborio rice is the best to use because it is high enough in amylose to maintain an al dente texture, even after cooking it for a long time. However, if you want to use any alternative like basmati or sushi rice, then you will need to add some cream or cornstarch to the dish, as they are less starchy and therefore you don't get as creamy a result.
Never rinse risotto rice before cooking it, as it strips the starch from it which means you won't get a really creamy risotto.
If you leave the cheese out, or use an alternative, then this can be vegan.
As long as everything is labelled as gluten free and there is no cross contamination, then this is gluten free.
• Keep this mushroom and spinach risotto vegan by skipping the Parmesan or using a vegetarian alternative. You could also stir through some oat creme fraiche to add a bit of creaminess.
• This is a good way to use up leftover cheese and herbs, so feel free to mix them up. Goats cheese and chives also goes well in this recipe. Stilton also goes really well in a mushroom risotto.
• Add a sprinkling of pine nuts before serving for some extra texture.
• Swap the risotto rice for brown rice or quinoa, but be mindful that the cooking times would vary.
• Add some extra flavour by stirring in some chopped sun dried tomatoes before serving.
• You can add some white wine to this dish to give it some more flavour. Simply swap 100ml of the stock for a good quality white wine.
• The trick to a good risotto is adding a little stock at a time.
• Keep stirring the risotto so the rice cooks evenly.
More risotto recipes
Mushroom and Spinach Risotto
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
- 150 g Risotto (arborio) rice
- 1 Celery - diced
- 4 Shallots - peeled and diced
- 2 Garlic clove - crushed
- 30 g Dried mushrooms - soaked for 30 minutes
- 500 ml Homemade vegetable stock
- 0.5 Lemon - (juice only)
- 4 tablespoon Fresh parsley - chopped
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- 2 handful Spinach
- 20 g Parmesan - shavings; to serve (optional)
- Add the olive oil to a large pan and then add the shallots, celery and garlic and gently cook for 3 minutes.2 tablespoon Olive oil, 1 Celery, 4 Shallots, 2 Garlic clove
- Add the rice, salt and pepper, stir and cook for 1 minute.150 g Risotto (arborio) rice, 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- Drain the mushrooms and add to the pan with a ladle of the stock. Keep adding a ladle of stock at a time and waiting until the rice has absorbed the stock before adding another until you have used all the stock. This should take around 20-25 minutes.30 g Dried mushrooms, 500 ml Homemade vegetable stock
- Add the spinach.2 handful Spinach
- Stir the spinach and lemon juice in and serve with fresh parsley and parmesan on top.0.5 Lemon, 4 tablespoon Fresh parsley, 20 g Parmesan
- Keep this mushroom and spinach risotto vegan by skipping the Parmesan or using a vegetarian alternative. You could also stir through some oat creme fraiche to add a bit of creaminess.
- This is a good way to use up leftover cheese and herbs, so feel free to mix them up. Goats cheese and chives also goes well in this recipe. Stilton also goes really well in a mushroom risotto.
- Add a sprinkling of pine nuts before serving for some extra texture.
- Swap the risotto rice for brown rice or quinoa, but be mindful that the cooking times would vary.
- Add some extra flavour by stirring in some chopped sun dried tomatoes before serving.
- You can add some white wine to this dish to give it some more flavour. Simply swap 100ml of the stock for a good quality white wine.
- The trick to a good risotto is adding a little stock at a time.
- Keep stirring the risotto so the rice cooks evenly.