Mushroom and spinach risotto is a quick and easy rice and vegetable recipe perfect any night of the week! This Italian style recipe is one which the whole family will love. Vegetarian comfort food at its finest. Learn from my tips and tricks to master the perfect spinach and mushroom risotto which works every time you make it! You can call it your 'Winner Winner Risotto for Dinner' 🤣👌.
The Crumbed Mushrooms delight in using these vegetables in the kitchen and make a melt in your mouth appetizer.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Vegetarian: perfect for night's that you have decided are 'meatless'. Or for Meatless Mondays or for night's when you want something a little different.
- Comfort food: we have got butter, garlic, wine and cheese listed in the ingredients. They combine to create all kinds of yum, right 😉👍.
- Taste and texture: there is a lot of lovely textures in this recipe from the buttery mushrooms to the dried thyme and slick green onions. Every mouthful provides an array of diversity that your tastebuds will love.
- Aromatic and fragrant: as there is no meat used in the recipe, there is deliberate intent in the creation of the combination of ingredients to bring so much flavor and delight that you won't even notice that there is no meat!
- Freezer friendly: you can make a batch of this risotto on the weekend when you have more time. Then simply let it cool and freeze into dinner sized portions to make your Monday to Friday fly by!
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Olive oil: one of the techniques in making risotto is to ensure that the rice gets added to the pan and coated with a little of the oil/butter mixture.
- Salt and pepper: we use a little salt and black pepper for seasoning in the recipe. You can also use the pepper to garnish the dish for serving at the end.
- Garlic: chunky minced is my trusty go to. You can also use fresh garlic cloves if you prefer. 2-3 finely chopped will do the trick.
- Parmesan cheese: freshly grated with a microplane zester. It's bold, sharp taste is unmistakeable in a hearty risotto.
- Stock cubes: these will fall apart easily, so when you are ready to add them, hold them over the pan and crush them with your fingers.
- Butter: we use this to help cook the mushrooms and green onions. Paired with the olive oil, it makes a slick base to add the rice to.
- Dried thyme: a herb that goes exceptionally well with mushrooms. You also get to really feel the texture of this dried herb in the risotto making it the perfect choice for the recipe.
- Mushrooms: I recommend using small (super cute too!) button mushrooms. You can leave some whole, chop some in half, then fully slice some into pieces. This variety also helps to create the variety of textures we discover in the recipe.
- White wine: a pinot gris or pinto grigio is an excellent choice. It doesn't matter if you use a cheap wine (mine cost $8 for the bottle). No need for any fancy wine for this dish.
- Green onions: we cook these in the oil and butter combo and they soften exquisitely. We mainly want the firm white and onion bits not so much the tubular green bits at the top.
- Spinach: fresh baby spinach leaves are perfect. We barely cook them in the recipe as we only need for them to wilt towards the end of the cook time.
- Pine nuts: give us a little texture in the dish. We toast these to start with then remove them and add them back in the latter stages of the cooking process.
- Arborio rice: this is the rice to always use for risotto. It absorbs the liquids in the pan and has a little bite to it (texturally, not heat wise).
- Vegetable stock: this forms the basis of the liquids that will be absorbed by the rice. We want to boil it and add it to the risotto when it is hot, hot, hot (temperature wise, not heat wise).
Tasty Tip: I like to provide you with a number of substitutions and variations giving you an array of options when making the recipe. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section (further below) before jumping into the instructions on how to make the recipe which are coming next 😉👌.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by toasting the pine nuts and we do not need oil for this step.
- Toast the pine nuts (Photo 1)
- Bring stock to the boil (Photo 2)
- Add oil, butter, garlic, mushrooms green onions (Photo 3)
- Add salt, pepper and stock cubes (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Mushroom and Spinach Risotto
We start to make the risotto by placing a large pan be it saute pan, fry pan or skillet on the stove.
Turn the heat to high, add the pine nuts and toast them for 2 - 3 minutes. Once they are golden brown, transfer them to a small bowl.
Next add the olive oil, butter, garlic, mushrooms and green onions to the pan. Then sprinkle in the salt, pepper, dried thyme and stock cubes over the top. We want to cook this mixture for around 3 minutes. The onions will soften and the mushrooms change to a more pale grey colour.
- Add the arborio rice (Photo 5)
- Pour in the wine (Photo 6)
- Ladle in the hot stock (Photo 7)
- Add the spinach leaves (Photo 8)
Next pour the arborio rice into the pan and stir with the wooden spoon so that the rice gets smothered in the oily butter mixture.
Once that is done, pour in the white wine and let it sizzle.
Next, take a ladle and scoop out some of the boiling vegetable stock.
Stir this stock into the dish, before adding more and repeat until all of the stock has been absorbed by the rice.
When there is no liquids still visible at the edges of the pan, add the spinach leaves to the risotto and allow these to wilt.
Stir to combine these in the rice and mushroom mixture.
- Add the parmesan cheese (Photo 9)
Once this is done sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top of the risotto and then gently stir to fold it into the mix.
- Add cooked pine nuts (Photo 10)
Next sprinkle the pine nuts over the top of the dish and then gently stir to mix them throughout the risotto.
Once that is done, you can get ready to garnish the dish with some black pepper and freshly grated parmesan cheese. You can see this combination in the photo below.
- Garnish the risotto with pepper and cheese (Photo 11)
Now that all of the hard work is done, you can grab some bowls, forks and spoons, a heat protective mat for the table and then pop the risotto into the middle of the table and give everyone a yell that 'dinner is ready!'.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
Of course, at the end of the day, if all you want is a bowl full of risotto then that my friend is a ok!
You will still want to ensure it is garnished and the sitting down to enjoy it will be the best part (get the kids to clean up 😉!).
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftover risotto in a sealed airtight container in the fridge.
Leftovers can be kept for 3 days and need to be reheated before being consumed.
How to Reheat
Reheat the risotto in the microwave by placing it in a bowl with a layer of cling film over the top.
Heat on high for 2 - 3 minutes, then test to see that it is heated all the way through to the centre or heat for a little longer.
How to Freeze
Allow leftovers of the dish to fully cool.
Then portion into air tight containers.
Frozen portions of the risotto can be kept in the freezer for 3 months.
They are best then fully thawed before being reheated.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- You can use another type of nut for example pistachio or walnuts to the equivalent amount.
- In place of the parmesan cheese, you can use pecorino romano cheese.
- You can use larger portobello mushrooms and slice them before cooking if you want to try these larger more robust chewy mushrooms.
- You can use 1 small brown onion in place of the green onions if you wish to.
- If you want to use chicken stock in place of the vegetable stock you can, it won't be a vegetarian recipe anymore though.
- Dried chives can be used in place of the dried thyme.
- You can sprinkle some crumbled feta or blue cheese over the top of the dish for serving.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- When toasting the nuts, you don't need to use oil.
- The nuts will toast quickly so stay close and keep an eye on them.
- The stock gets heated in a separate pan on the stove and added spoonful by spoonful to the risotto.
- You will find yourself stirring the dish regularly during the cook time. This is a necessary step as risotto is not as 'hands off' as some other recipes.
- All of the liquids need to be absorbed by the rice before adding the spinach. Once there is no visible liquids at the sides or centre, then is the right time to add it.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What can I add to risotto to make it taste better?
Ensuring that your risotto has cheese and wine as a starting point will give it the flavor combination needed to ensure it tastes delicious.
Do you rinse risotto before cooking?
No, we don't want to rinse the arborio rice before adding it to the risotto. The starch in the rice is an essential factor in absorbing the liquids and creating a soft, chewy risotto.
Should you stir risotto while cooking?
Yes, stirring risotto is an essential step when making the recipe. This will ensure that the risotto doesn't stick to the base of the pan as well as the rice being consistently mixed in with the liquids.
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
As long as you have options up your sleeve you can get dinner sorted with ease. Here are some recipes to give you these options. The recipes chosen have a variety of tastes, textures, cook times and proteins.
- Spaghetti with Alfredo Sauce
- Pesto Rigatoni
- Pulled Brisket (Baked then Grilled)
- Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
- Pesto Pappardelle
- Italian Braised Beef Ribs
- Easy Zucchini And Carrot Fritters
- Bacon And Corn Fritters
It is time to get our risotto on my friend, with buttery, cheesy, wine filled yum on the plate. You can also find all of my dinner recipes in the one spot.
Mushroom and Spinach Risotto
- 1 Bowl to transfer the toasted pine nuts into
- 1 Large saute pan
- 1 Wooden spoon
- 1 Medium sauce pan
- 1 Ladle
- ½ cup pine nuts Note 1
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 40 grams/3 tbs butter unsalted
- 1 tablespoon garlic chunky, minced
- 6 green onions roots and tips trimmed, finely sliced
- 200 grams/7 oz mushrooms some sliced in halves, some fully sliced and some whole
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 vegetable stock cubes
- 2 cups arborio rice Note 2
- 1 cup/250 ml white wine Note 3
- 1 litre/4 cups cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- ½ cup parmesan cheese finely grated using a microplane zester
- black pepper
- parmesan cheese finely grated using a microplane zester
- parsely finely chopped
- Pine nuts: place a large saute pan on the stove, turn the heat to high and add the pine nuts. Allow these to toast for 2 - 3 minutes, then transfer to a small bowl.
- Vegetable stock: place a medium sauce pan on a separate element on the stove, pour in the stock and let it come to the boil.
- Oil and butter: add the olive oil, butter, garlic, green onions, mushrooms, salt, pepper and dried thyme to the pan. Hold the 2 stock cubes over the dish and use your fingers to crush them into the pan. Cook this combination, stirring as you go for 2 - 3 minutes.
- Rice and wine: pour in the arborio rice and use the wooden spoon to mix and coat it in the oil onion mixture. Then pour the white wine over the top.
- Boiling vegetable stock: take a ladle and scoop out some of the boiling vegetable stock and add this to the rice mixture. Stir until it is absorbed and then continue to add the stock spoonful at a time until it is fully absorbed by the rice.
- Spinach: when the stock has been absorbed and there is no liquid visible on the sides or surface of the risotto add the spinach leaves and gently stir them in.
- Parmesan cheese: after the spinach has wilted and been mixed in, sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top of the dish and gently stir to combine.
- Pine nuts: next sprinkle the toasted pine nuts over the top of the risotto and stir to allow them to be mixed in.
- Garnish: generously sprinkle freshly cracked black pepper over the surface of the dish and then grate some parmesan cheese over the top. As a final touch, you can also sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley over the top. It adds a lovely few pops of bright green colour. Provide bowls, forks and spoons for serving.
- Note 1 - Pine nuts: you don't need to use oil to toast these. The heat of the pan will be enough to cook them. Keep an eye on them as they can go from untoasted to toasted very quickly. Use a wooden spoon to move them around in the pan as you toast them.
- Note 2 - Arborio rice: this is the 'risotto rice'. It is highly absorbent and a little chewy. You will need to use this rice and there is no alternative that works as well as it does. You will find it in the rice and pasta section of the supermarket.
- Note 3 - White wine: I recommend a pinto gris or pinto grigio. It doesn't have to be an expensive wine. The bottle I usually use for the recipe only costs $8. (Bargain right 😉👌).
Note: Original post from October 2017. Updated post with new photos and minor alterations to the recipe July 2023. If you want the original recipe give me a shout 😉👍.