Creamy and rich this Mushroom and Pea Risotto is a great vegetarian family meal. Perfect for a weeknight dinner, date night or a special weekend meal. The earthy mushrooms are cooked in garlic and butter which adds an extra richness to this classic risotto!
Risotto is a classic Italian recipe, it's very versatile so it can be as simple or luxurious as you want it to be. I make risotto often, whether it's a creamy courgette risotto or a simple mushroom risotto they always go down a treat with my family.
This easy mushroom pea risotto is deliciously rich and creamy, made with arborio rice, garlic butter, mushrooms and frozen peas. But the secret to a delicious risotto is in the creamy texture. Your risotto needs to be creamy, not stodgy and the rice needs to be a little al dente, not soggy. This recipe delivers on all fronts.
🛒 What Do You Need?
- Rice - I use arborio rice for all my risottos. You can use carnaroli rice if you prefer. I have made this recipe with both and the arborio rice gave better results. It can be a personal choice though, if you prefer your risotto sticky and dense then carnaroli is for you.
- Shallots - For this recipe, I use Echalion shallots, also known as “banana” shallots. You could use a regular brown onion if you want. The reason I use shallots for this recipe is because they have a milder more subtle flavour to regular onions and they cook a little bit quicker.
- Mushrooms - You can use a mix of mushrooms here if you want. I like to use chestnut mushrooms, similar to cremini mushrooms which have a better flavour and texture than plain white mushrooms. Wild mushrooms would work very well in this recipe too. Fresh mushrooms are best for this recipe but you could use dried mushrooms if you like. Dried porcini mushrooms would work very well.
- Frozen Peas - Frozen green peas are best for this recipe as you can just add them in at the end of cooking and they will cook in the heat of the risotto but not become overcooked. You can use fresh peas though if that's what you have.
- Stock - I use a stock made from vegetable bouillon. You can use vegetable stock cubes, buy ready-made vegetable stock, or vegetable broth, or make your own stock if you want.
- White Wine - A good quality white wine is best for this recipe, I used a very dry white wine. You can omit the wine if you need to. I have made this without wine and added a tablespoon of white wine vinegar instead. This gave very good results as well.
- Cheese - Traditionally Parmesan cheese is used to make risotto, and if you are in the US you may find that the Parmesan in your supermarket is vegetarian. However, authentic Parmesan is not vegetarian so I use Pecorino Romano, which is a sheep's milk cheese. Pecorino has an intense and slightly nutty flavour which can be similar to Parmesan. You could also use Grana Padano if you like.
- Crème Fraîche - I use a full-fat crème fraîche for this, you can use half-fat if you want. Stirring in crème fraîche at the end makes this risotto extra creamy and rich.
🔪 How To Make It
Please see the recipe card below for full instructions and the ingredients list.
1. Start by cooking the shallots in a little oil, over medium heat. They should be soft but not browned. Next, add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Then add the arborio rice and cook until the rice is hot. Once the rice is toasty turn up the heat and add the wine. Once the wine has been absorbed turn the heat down to medium-low heat and start adding the warm stock one ladle at a time, stirring until the rice absorbs the stock before you add the next ladle. Add the thyme after the first ladle of stock.
2. Meanwhile cook the mushrooms. Melt the butter in a pan then add the mushrooms and the garlic, cook without stirring often until they release their juices. Finish off the mushrooms with some chopped parsley and set aside.
3. Once all the hot stock has been absorbed into the rice add the frozen peas. Stir them into the rice and once they are cooked stir in the cheese. Once the cheese has melted turn off the heat. Add the butter and stir the risotto very quickly. The risotto should have a creamy consistency by now.
4. Finally add the mushrooms and their juices to the risotto. Stir briefly. Serve immediately with toasted pinenuts and extra grated cheese if you like.
👩🍳 Top Tips
- Heat - Turn the heat up a bit when you add the risotto rice. This seals the starch in the rice and adds a toasty, nutty flavour, which adds even more flavour to your risotto.
- Cook the mushrooms - Cooking the mushrooms separately ensures that the mushrooms don't get overcooked.
- Sizzle - Turn up the heat a bit before you add the wine, it should sizzle as soon as it hits the pan.
🍽 How To Serve It
We love this as a main meal, I usually add toasted pinenuts and extra grated cheese. A squeeze of lemon is also a good addition. You can also serve this risotto with a side salad, a simple green salad is good or a vegetarian Caesar Salad.
Yes, you can. I often cook risotto without wine. I use a tablespoon of white wine vinegar instead of wine. You will still get a really good creamy risotto without wine.
Risotto can be served as a starter or as a main. We usually have it as a main dish.
Risotto is best when it's fresh but you can reheat it if you have any leftovers. Once the risotto has cooled completely keep it in the fridge in an airtight container and use it within 2-3 days. When you need to reheat it, take it out of the fridge and wait for it to be at room temperature before you reheat it. Add the risotto to a pan, add some stock or water to the pan and stir for about 2-5 minutes. Make sure that it is piping hot and evenly reheated.
I do not recommend freezing risotto as it can end up very stodgy or dry.
More Tasty Vegetarian Dinners
Mushroom and Pea Risotto
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 medium Echalion shallots (banana shallots) finely chopped/diced
- 3 cloves of garlic (two for the risotto one for the mushrooms) put through a garlic press or finely minced
- 400 g (2 ¼ cups) of arborio rice dry weight
- 75 ml (⅓ of a cup) of white wine
- 1.4 litres of (approx 5 cups) of hot vegetable stock made with boiling water and 4 ¼ tablespoons of vegetable bouillon.
- 4 or 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 60 g (approx ¼ of a cup) of butter divided into two equal portions
- 500 g (1 lb) of chestnut mushrooms (brown mushrooms) wiped clean and sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoon crème fraîche
- 70 g (approx ¾ of a cup) finely grated Pecorino Romano plus more for serving
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (divided into two portions)
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 40 g (¼ of a cup) of pine nuts toasted (optional)
- 130 g (1 cup) frozen peas I used frozen garden peas
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium to low heat in a large sautè pan.Add the chopped shallots along with a pinch of salt and cook until they are translucent and springy. Add two cloves of garlic that have been put through a garlic press and cook for a minute.
- Turn up the heat a little bit then add all of the rice. Stir the rice into the chopped shallots and garlic and cook for a few minutes until the rice is hot.Pour in the white wine, the wine should sizzle the minute it hits the pan. Stir continuously until the rice absorbs all of the wine.
- Now turn down the heat slightly and add a ladle full of stock to the rice. Add the thyme to the rice now. Stir the rice often and once the rice absorbs the stock repeat adding one ladle at a time until all the stock has been absorbed. Season with salt and pepper.
- While the risotto is cooking cook the mushrooms.Melt half the butter in a frying pan. Add the sliced mushrooms and 1 clove of minced garlic. Cook the mushrooms until they release their juices and they are brown. You may need to do this in two batches depending on the size of your pan.Toss the mushrooms in the pan rather than stirring them.Once the mushrooms are cooked stir in one tablespoon of chopped parsley.Set the mushrooms aside until you are ready to use them, but keep them warm by covering the pan.
- Once the rice has absorbed all the stock add the frozen peas and stir them into the risotto. Cook for a minute or two until the peas are hot. Check the seasoning now, add more salt or pepper if needed.Next, add the grated cheese, stir until the cheese is melted. Now turn off the heat and add the remaining butter and stir the risotto quickly until the butter is melted. You can now stir in two tablespoons of crème fraîche.
- Finally, add the mushrooms and their juices to the risotto and stir well.Serve immediately with toasted pine nuts and extra cheese if you like.
- Heat - Turn the heat up a bit when you add the rice. This seals the starch in the rice and adds a toasty, nutty flavour to the rice, which adds even more flavour to your risotto. When you add the wine, it should sizzle as soon as it hits the pan.
- Rice - I use arborio rice for all my risotto, I find it is the best rice for risotto. You can use carnaroli if you prefer. I have made this recipe with both and the arborio rice gave better results. It can be a personal choice though, if you prefer your risotto sticky and dense then carnaroli is for you.
- Mushrooms - Cooking the mushrooms separately ensures that the mushrooms don't get overcooked. I used chestnut (brown/crimini) mushrooms, you can use other mushrooms if you like. Plain white or wild mushrooms will work really well.
- Reheating - this risotto is best fresh but you can reheat it if you have any leftovers. Once the risotto has cooled keep it in the fridge and use it within 2-3 days. When you need to reheat it, take it out of the fridge and wait for it to be at room temperature before you reheat it. Add the risotto to a pan, add some stock or water to the pan and string for about 2-5 minutes. Make sure that it is piping hot and evenly reheated.
- Freezing - I don't recommend freezing risotto as it can end up very stodgy or dry.
- Nutritional Information - is calculated using an online nutrition tool and is approximate. It is based on one serving of four and includes pine nuts.
- Weights and measurements - For US readers, I use Cuisipro measuring cups and spoons, and a Pyrex measuring jug for liquids. These are the industry standard. Cup/spoon volumes can differ from brand to brand, for accuracy, I recommend weighing all ingredients if possible for best results.
*First published Oct 2021, updates June 2023 for housekeeping.