How To Make Restaurant-Style Mushroom Risotto

Oct 19, 2020 | Recipes

Hello, and happy Monday! Today on Chef’s Notes, we will look at how to make a favourite dish among restaurant-goers the world over. Today, you are going to learn how to make Restaurant-Style Mushroom Risotto. One of the best things about learning to make Mushroom Risotto is that you’ll be able to use the same technique to make any risotto you’d like. Now, we’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get to it.

What Is Risotto

Okay, first of all, what is Risotto? Well, that is a fantastic question. Thank you for asking it. When most people think of risotto, they think of rice. That’s not wrong, but it’s not fully right either. Though most commonly made with rice, Risotto is more of a cooking technique than one particular dish. The technique of risotto is to slowly and gradually cook a starchy ingredient by adding liquid in small amounts and stirring. This technique’s main purpose is to draw starch out of the main ingredient to give the dish a creamy texture. Cheaters will add cream to their risotto to achieve the creaminess. But that is very wrong. Ninety percent of the creaminess should come from the starch in the main ingredient. The other ten percent should come from butter and parmesan cheese. Risotto can be made with rice, barley, diced potato, or even oats.

Risotto Rice

There are two main types of rice used to make risotto. They are Arborio Rice and Carnaroli Rice. These rice are both short-grained and high in starch. They get very plump and tender when cooked. The high starch content makes them both perfect for risotto. You can find both rice types at most grocery stores, either in the rice and grain aisle or Italian food section. For my example risotto, I used President’s Choice Arborio Rice.

The Mushrooms

You can’t have Mushroom Risotto without mushrooms. Where I live, there is currently a limited selection of mushroom types, so I used cremini and button mushroom in my example risotto. You can use any kind of mushrooms you’d like. I suggest cremini, oyster, and king oyster mushrooms for great flavour and texture variety.

Mushroom stock

One of the key components for making risotto is stock. You can use chicken, beef, or vegetable stock. Or, since this is a Mushroom Risotto recipe, a mushroom stock may be a good idea. You can buy one, or make one very simply. Take the mushrooms’ stems and put them in a pot with two litres of water and a few sprigs of herbs of your choice. Bring the pot to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer for twenty to thirty minutes. You’ve just made mushroom stock.

Cooking the mushrooms

You don’t want to throw raw mushrooms into your risotto because they will get soggy and slimy. So, you have to precook them. You can cook the mushrooms in the oven by tossing them with olive oil, spreading them on a baking sheet and roasting them at 400°f for about 20 minutes. But, unless you are making a large batch of risotto, don’t bother doing that. Get a frying pan nice and hot over medium-high heat, add in a tablespoon each of olive oil and butter, and add them in the mushrooms. They should be quartered, or chopped, or sliced. Cook the mushrooms, about half a pound in total, with a bit of garlic until they are golden brown. Season them with salt and pepper, then take them out of the pan and set them aside. If the pan isn’t too dirty, you can use it to make your risotto. Otherwise, rinse it first.

Risotto Base

Risotto base is composed of five ingredinets. It is onion, garlic, rice, wine, and stock in that order. There are a couple of key points to keep in mind. First of all, when cutting your onions and garlic, you want them to be no bigger than a grain of rice, ideally. Don’t judge yourself too harshly, but do the best you can. Second of all, the pan should be hot when the onions go in, but not so hot that the onions burn. Remember the onions are cut very small and will burn quickly. The final point to keep in mind is that the stock needs to be hot. You can make the stock a head of time, or use store-bought, but make sure it is hot before using it to make your risotto. Adding cold stock to the risotto will cool the pan down, shock the rice and slow the cooking the down.

To make Risotto

Getting started

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add in a tablespoon each of olive oil and butter. Once the butter melts and starts to foam, add in the onion (1/2 cup). Cook the onion, stirring, for one minute, then add in the garlic (1 tbsp) and cook for about one more minute. Don’t burn the onion and garlic!

Adding the rice

Next up, add in the rice (1/2 cup). Use a quarter cup of rice per serving. Cook the rice with the onion and garlic for a minute or two or until the rice grains turn translucent and pearly. Then add in white wine (1/2 cup) and cook until it has all been absorbed by the rice while stirring. Oh yeah, there is going to be a lot of stirring.

Adding liquid

From this point on, it’s the same process over and over until the rice is cooked. Take a ladle or two of hot stock, add it to the rice and gently stir until all of the liquid has been absorbed, then add more and repeat. This is going to take about twenty minutes in total. You may be asking yourself why you don’t just add all the liquid at one? Well, because then you would make pilaf and not risotto. If you want that creamy, silky risotto texture, this is how you get it. The rice is done when it is plump and tender but not mushy. It should still have a tiny bit of chew to it.

From this point, any garnish can be add to the risotto. We are using mushroom but you could easily add seafood, peas, raddicho, whatever you want. What you’ve just made is risotto base, now you can make it any kind of risotto you want.

Make it Mushroom

To turn the risotto base into mushroom risotto, we need only to add in the mushroom. So, add in the pan-roasted mushrooms, a few fresh herbs (I used thyme, but rosemary or tarragon would work as well) along with a handful of parmesan cheese (about 1/2 a cup) and a tablespoon of butter. Season the risotto with salt and pepper to taste, and serve topped with a little more parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.

Restaurant-Style Mushroom Risotto

For some reason making risotto at home never taste quite as good as the stuff you get in restuarants. Well, no more. This recipe is for restaurant-style mushroom risotto. Enjoy!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian Food, Mushrooms, Risotto, Vegetarian
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Chef’s Notes


  • 1/2 lb Mixed Mushrooms, quartered save the stems
  • 4 Sage leaves
  • 2 L Water
  • 1/2 cup Onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp Garlic, minced split
  • 3 tbsp Butter split
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil split
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, freshly grated
  • 2 tsp Thyme, fresh chopped or rosemary
  • 1/2 cup White Wine


  • Take the mushroom stems and put them in a pot with the water and sage. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Heat a medium frying pan over medium-high heat and add in one tablespoon each olive oil and butter. Once the butter starts to foam add in the quartered mushrooms along with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the mushrooms until they are golden brown then take off the heat and set aside.
  • Put the pan you cooked the mushrooms in, back on medium heat and add in another tablespoon of butter and olive oil. Add the onions and cook for 1 mintue then add in the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Pour the rice into the frying pan and cook, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes or until the rice is translucent and pearly.
  • Add the wine into the pan and cook until it has been fully absorbed by the rice.
  • Now, add 1 to 2 ladles full of the mushroom stock to the pan and stir slowly unitl it has all been absorbed by the rice. Continue this process of adding liquid and stirring for about 20 minutes or until the rice is tender. Don't add more liquid until the first amount has been absorbed.
  • Add the mushrooms, thyme, parmesan cheese, and the final tablespoon of butter to the risotto then season to taste with satl and pepper.
  • Garnish the risotto with a drizzle of olive oil, shaved parmesan cheese, and some fresh herbs.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Good risotto should be able to stand up on it’s own while slowly falling away at the sides. The rice should be tender but still have a bit of a chew, and there should be an over-all creaminess to the dish. It seems like the kind of thing that is very complicated and that takes years of parctise, but if you can make porridge, you can make risotto. It’s pretty much the same thing only one is made with oats and one is made with rice. Give this a shot, play with it, make it your own, and let me know what you come up with. I always love to see and hear about what you all have made and what you think of the recipes. Have a great day, I’ll see you on Wednesday for General Tso chicken.

Thank you for reading the post. If you liked it, remember to share it on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter by clicking the icon to the left of the page. Did you know that has almost 400 posts just like this one? Don’t ever miss a post again. Become a Chef’s Notes member right here. You will be notified of every new post. And if you would like to know more about me, click the link below to read my story.


  1. Carolyn Burkey

    Can risotto be made in the morning and served at 5:00 without ruining it?

  2. Chef Ben Kelly

    Hello Carolyn, that’s a good question. You can precook the risotto. Essentially, you follow all the steps up until the last few additions of liquid. You can the rice to be slightly undercooked. Then cool it as quickly as you can. When it’s time to serve it, just heat it back up and keep cooking from where you left off.

  3. Carolyn Burkey

    Comment *Thank you for answering my question. Am looking forward to making your recipe for risotto.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!