This wild mushroom risotto from Giada de Laurentiis has intense mushroom flavor, thanks to the addition of both fresh mushrooms and dried porcini, along with plenty of Parmesan cheese.
The secret to the intense mushroom flavor in this wild mushroom risotto recipe? Not only are mushrooms themselves part of the mix but the risotto is cooked with mushroom-flavored broth.
See, in order to use dried porcini mushrooms—or any dried mushrooms, for that matter—you have to reconstitute them by allowing them to sit in hot water for a few minutes, absorbing some of the water and plumping up. Then the mushrooms are ready to cook with and you have all this leftover flavorful liquid. By all means, take advantage of it.
Here, it works as a flavor booster to the chicken stock, but you can also use it as the base of a wonderful creamy mushroom soup or sauce.–Giada De Laurentiis
Why our testers loved this
Our testers loved that this classic risotto had “a rich taste from dried and fresh mushrooms” and a “high ratio of mushrooms to rice” which deliver plenty of earthy umami flavor.
Notes on ingredients
- Chicken stock–If you want to make this recipe vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth or stock.
- Button mushrooms–These should be easy to find at any supermarket, but feel free to use cremini mushrooms instead, if you prefer.
- Arborio rice–This is a short-grain rice that breaks down to yield the classic creamy texture that risotto is known for. Don’t rinse your rice before cooking as you want all of the starch to be incorporated into your dish.
How to make this recipe
- Rehydrate the dried mushrooms. Bring the stock to a simmer, add the dried mushrooms and let them steep off the heat for 5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms, reserving the stock, and finely chop.
- Sauté the vegetables. Cook the onions, mushrooms, and garlic in butter until tender. Stir in the rice, then add the wine and cook until it’s absorbed.
- Cook the risotto. Adding a cup of broth at a time and stirring almost constantly, cook the rice until creamy and tender. Stir in the peas, if using.
- Serve the risotto. Mix in the Parmesan and season to taste. Serve, topped with more Parmesan, if desired.
What is risotto?
Risotto is a creamy Italian rice dish made with arborio rice that is cooked in broth and finished with Parmesan cheese. It requires almost constant stirring during cooking to achieve the creamy texture that it’s widely known for.
Can I make this with a different type of dried mushroom?
Yes. Dried porcini mushrooms have a wonderful flavor, but can also be very pricey. Try this with shiitakes, oyster mushrooms, or chanterelles.
- Don’t throw out any leftover mushroom stock. It makes a wonderful addition to mushroom bolognese or wild mushroom stuffing, in place of regular chicken stock.
- Store leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days. To reheat, bring 1/4 cup of stock or water to a boil and stir into the rice until loosened and warmed through.
- Use leftover risotto to make fried risotto balls (arancini).
- This recipe is suitable for a gluten-free diet. To make it vegetarian, use vegetable stock in place of chicken stock.
More great risotto recipes
☞ If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David
Wild Mushroom Risotto
- 6 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
- 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups finely chopped onions
- 10 ounces button mushrooms finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup frozen peas thawed (optional)
- 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Bring the stock to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan. Remove from the heat, add the porcini mushrooms, cover, and let steep until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms from the liquid and finely chop them. Cover the stock and keep warm over very low heat.
- Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the chopped porcini mushrooms, button mushrooms, and garlic, and saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the rice, making certain each grain of rice is coated with butter. Add the wine and cook, stirring often, until it’s absorbed, about 2 minutes.
- Add 1 cup hot stock and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the liquid has been absorbed, about 3 minutes. Add another cup stock and continue to cook, stirring often. Repeat, taking your time and stirring frequently, until you've used about 5 3/4 to 5 cups of the stock and the rice is barely tender and the mixture is creamy, about 28 minutes. If desired, add some or all of the remaining stock to achieve your preferred consistency.
- Stir in the peas, if using. Mix in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with more Parmesan, if desired.
- Substitutions–Though porcini are perhaps the most flavorful of dried mushrooms, they’re also among the most expensive. The richness of this risotto makes it worth every penny you spend. Although truthfully? We suspect the recipe would also be quite lovely with just about any dried mushroom.
- Storage–The risotto will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat by mixing in 1/4 cup hot stock until loosened and heated through.
- Dietary–This recipe is suitable for a gluten-free diet. To make it vegetarian, use vegetable broth in place of the chicken stock.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
The techniques for making this risotto are no different than most other risottos. As usual, it just takes some patience to add and stir the broth in several additions, but it is so worth it!
One thing that makes this risotto so tasty and special is that the mushrooms are rehydrated in the broth so that the broth is infused with earthy mushroom flavor. In other mushroom risotto recipes, you would usually use fresh mushrooms and/or dried mushrooms rehydrated in warm water. Giada’s technique definitely incorporates much more flavor.
Also, there’s fairly high ratio of mushrooms to rice, which also sets it apart from other mushroom risotto recipes. It was an excellent dish that can be served as a side dish, a main course, or an appetizer.
This is a classic risotto with a rich taste from dried and fresh mushrooms. Soaking the mushrooms only takes a few minutes but adds greatly to the flavor. It may need slightly more stock than called for (1/2 to 1 cup more) and this may take a few minutes longer to absorb.
Dry vermouth works well for the wine. The peas provide a cool visual note but don’t greatly contribute to the flavor. Use plenty of Parmesan.