The Best Vegan Mushroom Risotto

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The best vegan mushroom risotto you'll ever try! Creamy, velvety, and bursting with savory goodness, it's just like classic risotto but dairy-free and vegan. Includes tips to help you nail the perfect vegan risotto every time.
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Total 1 hour
5 from 188 votes

One of my all-time favorite comfort foods is risotto, and this Vegan Mushroom Risotto has been my favorite version the last few years.

With the perfect velvety and creamy texture and layers of deep savoriness from browned mushrooms and miso butter, it’s a show stopping dish to serve guests or on date night.

Plus, this post is packed with all the tips and tricks for making excellent risotto I’ve learned since the first time I made it (16 years ago in my college apartment!).

Table of Contents
1. Why this recipe works
2. Ingredient notes
3. Step-by-step instructions
4. Tips for making this recipe
5. Frequently Asked Questions
6. Recipe card with notes

creamy, velvety vegan mushroom risotto in a green bowl with spoon dug in on a dark green table.

Why this recipe works

The perfect risotto texture.

TLDR: This vegan risotto has peak risotto texture: velvety and creamy, not soggy and mushy, thanks to a few key techniques.

After making risotto for over 15 years, I’ve picked up a lot of tricks and cleared up a lot of myths!

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Myth 1: Stir risotto constantly.

Reality: This can make risotto gluey or gummy. Instead, this risotto gets stirred about every 30 seconds, leaving it with a perfectly velvety but not gluey consistency.

Myth 2: Cook risotto until completely soft.

Reality: Risotto is rice, not porridge. It should be creamy and somewhat soft but not overly soft. This risotto is also cooked until al dente, leaving you with a creamy but lovely texture that almost melts in your mouth but doesn’t feel like baby food.

Myth 3: You can cook the vegetables and rice together.

Reality: Doing so (1) it makes it difficult to stir the rice, so your rice texture won’t turn out great and (2) the vegetables (here, mushrooms) get soggy and overcook.

Instead, this risotto recipe cooks the mushrooms separately so they retain their lovely meaty texture (and the rice also gets to keep its beautiful velvety texture).

Serious savory flavor.

Traditional risotto has a generous amount of umami from the dairy-based butter and parmesan cheese (sometimes, more than 1 cheese is added). To make up for that, I rely on a few ingredients.

Miso butter: It’s made with vegan butter and white miso paste, and it mimics the rich savoriness found in dairy-based ingredients so well, turning this vegan risotto an outrageous flavor bomb.

It’s also simple to make: just cream softened vegan butter with room temperature miso with a fork!

Lots of mushrooms! Mushrooms are a natural source of umami, so the more, the better (within reason). I also like to use a few varieties of mushrooms that have a meatier taste/feeling, like shiitakes, maitakes, and oyster mushrooms.

creamy vegan risotto with mushrooms in a ceramic bowl on a blue surface.

Ingredient notes

Ingredients in bowls for vegan mushroom risotto, each ingredient labeled.

Mushrooms. We use a lot of mushrooms (20 ounces, to be exact) in this recipe! You definitely don’t need to use all of the mushroom varieties I use, but aim for at least 2 different kinds of mushrooms for texture and taste variety.

Tips for buying: If you can, look for varieties besides standard white button mushrooms (the least flavorful). More on this in the FAQ section.

White Miso Paste. Miso is one those superstar ingredients that adds so much savory oomph to vegan dishes in a wholesome way. It’s a fermented soybean paste, so it’s a rich source of naturally occuring umami.

Tips for buying: I use white miso (AKA shiro miso), the mildest kind of miso. If you can only find darker miso (e.g, red miso), add a bit less to prevent overwhelming the other flavors.

Vegan Butter. The miso butter takes this recipe from good to wow-worthy mushroom risotto. It adds an indescribably rich flavor and mouthfeel tha’ll have your taste buds screaming “THERE’S A PARTY IN MY MOUTH!”

Tips for buying: Earth Balance buttery sticks are a widely available vegan butter. I also like Miyoko’s butter (cashew-based so it cooks a bit differently) and Country Crock Plant Butter.

Leeks. Many risotto dishes start by sautéing onions or shallots, but my preference is leeks because the mushroom-leek combination is irresistible: nutty and earthy meets sweet, mild, delicate flavors in an electric fusion.

Substitute: About 2 small yellow onions or 6 large shallots.

Arborio Rice or Carnaroli Rice. Arborio, a medium-grain white rice, is most commonly used for risotto, at least in the U.S., as it’s widely available. It works great here.

If you can find Carnaroli rice (a short-grain rice) it makes for the creamiest risotto (it’s known as the “king of risotto” rice!). It releases its starch mostly slowly, which makes for a super-creamy risotto.

And on practical grounds, it’s harder to overcook than Arborio rice. Find it online or at specialty stores/Italian grocers.

White Wine. Most risotto recipes add a dry white wine after the rice is toasted. It enhances all the other flavors and adds a subtle punch of acidity to cut through the creamy richness.

Substitute: Don’t consume alcohol? (1) Skip this step and start adding the veg broth to the pot after toasting the rice. OR, (2) replace some of the acidity by adding a nice splash of white wine vinegar when you ladle in the broth (any time during the risotto process).

Vegetable Broth. I typically make risotto with store-bought vegetable broth to keep things quick. If you make or have homemade broth, it’s always a welcome addition.

Flavor boost tip 1: For incredible meaty flavors to complement the mushrooms, use a vegan “chicken” broth seasoning or something like Better than Bullion. These are quite salty, so I usually use a bit less of them than called for on the package instructions.

Flavor boost tip 2: And for truly phenomenal risotto, make this recipe with the homemade Mushroom Broth from my cookbook, The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook!

beautiful food photo of wild mushroom varieties, including chanterelle mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, and shiitake mushrooms.

Step-by-step instructions

Slice and tear your mushrooms.

Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat with some olive oil. Once hot, add the mushrooms. Cook for 8-9 minutes, stirring only occasionally, until nicely browned.

Reduce heat to medium. Add the thyme and half of the garlic; season with salt. Cook for 2-4 minutes, then add in the miso butter.

Stir the miso butter into the mushrooms to incorporate. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside.

Dice the leeks and wash them (see FAQ section for instructions). 

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or deep sauté pan. Add the leeks and remaining garlic. Cook 2-3 minutes until leeks have just softened.

Add the rice and toast for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Deglaze the pot with the white wine and cook for a few minutes until the smell of booze wears off.

Start ladling in the vegetable broth, 1 cup at a time. Stir frequently but not constantly. Add another cup of broth once most of the liquid has been absorbed and stir again.

Repeat the process of ladling in broth and stirring until the rice is somewhat soft but still al dente (see Tips section on how to determine when risotto is done).

Add the sauteed miso mushrooms to the risotto.

Stir the mushrooms to combine. Add vegan parmesan (optional) and season to taste with salt/pepper. Serve immediately.

vegan risotto with mushrooms in a large dutch oven with a wooden spoon dug into the risotto.

Tips for making the best vegan risotto

Making risotto can be intimidating, but once you get familiar with these tips, it’s pretty straightforward. And you don’t need dairy to make risotto creamy. Rather properly cooking the rice–as outlined in the tips below–is the secret!

Use hot vegetable broth.

Warm up your broth in a separate saucepan on the stove. No need to vigorously boil, but make sure you’re adding hot broth to cook the rice. Adding cold or room temp broth –>> the rice cooks unevenly (i.e., some rice grains will be firm and others will be soft).

And add the broth gradually.

Don’t be tempted to pour in the broth all at once. When rice is flooded with a ton of liquid, it’s akin to just boiling rice. Boiled rice does not equal creamy risotto.

In contrast, ladling in the broth over time forces the rice grains to get cozy and agitate each other, unlocking the natural starch found in medium or short-grain rice. Starches release = creaminess.

Deglaze the pot.

When you pour the wine into the rice, use the liquid to scrape up any bits of food stuck to the bottom of the pot. This not only infuses more flavor into the risotto but also makes it easier to stir, ensuring the rice doesn’t stick.

Stir often but not constantly. Don’t stir risotto constantly. Instead, aim to stir it about every 30 seconds. Stirring constantly aerates the rice >> gluey texture.

Once the broth is mostly absorbed, that’s when you add the next ladle of broth.

Cook until al dente, not overcooked and mushy. There’s a misconception that risotto should be very soft and requires 45 minutes of stirring. Not so.

Risotto should be creamy and somewhat soft but still al dente. After you add the first ladle of broth, it shouldn’t take much longer than 20 minutes.

Not sure what al dente should taste/feel like? Do the smear test outlined in this article.

Place a grain of rice on a cutting board and smush it with your finger. The grain should smear fairly smooth but you should still be able to see a bit of the white, al dente center of the rice.

Get those mushrooms meaty browned.

A lot of mushroom risotto recipes just briefly cook the mushrooms for 4 to 5 minutes. BUT, if you want the mushrooms to shine, you gotta allow them to sear and brown beautifully. Use medium-high heat and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. This is also one of the secrets behind my fan-favorite Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff.

a blue dutch oven filled with vegan risotto with mushrooms with a wooden spoon dug into the risotto.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you tell when risotto is done?

Generally, it shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes after you add the first ladle of broth. The risotto should be creamy and somewhat soft but still have a bite to it. But the time will vary a bit based on the type of pot you use, the heat level, the temperate of your broth, etc. so you need to cook with your eyes and senses.

Still not sure? Use the smear test:
Place a grain of rice on a cutting board and smush it with your finger. The grain should smear fairly smooth but you should still be able to see a bit of the white, al dente center of the rice. Check out this risotto smear guide test for photos.

What kind of mushrooms are best for this risotto?

If you can, use a variety of mushrooms so you get textural (and taste) contrast. 

I typically use some amount of cremini mushrooms: they’re inexpensive and more flavorful than white button mushrooms. And then I throw in with some more exotic varieties like shiitake (available at most grocery stores), oyster, maitake, beech, king trumpet, and/or chanterelles depending on what’s available.

You can usually find these kinds of mushrooms at farmers markets, well-stocked grocery stores like Whole Foods and Sprouts, as well as farmers markets and Asian grocery stores. 

What kind of white wine should I use for risotto?

A crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, or Pinot Grigio.

To look up vegan-friendly wines, use Some vegan-friendly brands that are commonly available include Layer Cake Wines, Santa Margherita, Justin, Bonterra, Decoy, and Murphy Goode. 

How do you clean leeks?

Leeks are dirty things so wash properly! First, peel away the papery outer layer or two. Trim off the roots. Lob off the dark green tops. Freeze them for soups or stews.

Slice the leeks vertically in half (in quarters, if large), then dice them. Add to a large bowl of cold water.
Use your hands to swish the leeks around in the water to loosen dirt.

Then use your hands or a slotted spoon to scoop the leeks out of the water (don’t drain the leeks, or the loosened dirt will go back in the leeks).

Dry on a large dish towel.

How do you clean mushrooms?

Wipe off any dirt patches with a dry thin dish towel or paper towel (or pastry brush, if you have the time). Some varieties like button mushrooms have quite a bit dirt, but many varieties are grown in indoor farms and are quite clean. 

Washing your mushrooms is not only unnecessary but also makes them water-logged and impossible to dry.

Can you make this mushroom risotto in the Instant Pot?

Yes! I have a similar recipe for instant pot mushroom risotto in my cookbook, The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook!

How should I store this vegan risotto?

For an extra pop of umami, a sprinkling of vegan parmesan cheese is nice if you have it.

This dish is satisfying enough to serve on its own, but if you want a side dish, try something light and green: blanched broccolini or broccoli, grilled or roasted asparagus, or a simple green salad with a vinaigrette.

For something a little fancier, try this Beet and Fennel Salad or Maple Roasted Carrots.

How do you store and reheat vegan risotto?

As with most risottos, this dish is best enjoyed immediately.

But, if you’re cooking for just 1 or 2, store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. Heat the risotto up in a saucepan on the stove and add some vegetable broth or water (~ 1/4 cup (60 mL) for every 1 cup of risotto). Heat until warm, stirring occasionally and adding a bit more broth as needed to loosen up the texture.

I do not recommend freezing risotto. It significantly changes the texture and hardens, which is the opposite of what you want with risotto.

Watch the video!

Vegan Mushroom Risotto - The most seductive dish
Vegan Mushroom Risotto - The most seductive dish

I hope you give this incredibly delicious Vegan Mushroom Risotto a try! If you do, please leave a rating and review below with your feedback and tag me on Instagram with your remakes!

The Best Vegan Mushroom Risotto

5 from 188 votes
The best vegan mushroom risotto you'll ever try! Creamy, velvety, and bursting with savory goodness, it's just like classic risotto but dairy-free and vegan. Includes tips to help you nail the perfect vegan risotto every time.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Serving size: 6


  • 4 tablespoons (56g) vegan butter, softened at room temp
  • 2 tablespoons (30-35g) white miso paste, softened at room temp (note 1)
  • 20 ounces (570g) mixed mushrooms, sliced or torn (note 2)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves minced and divided in half
  • 6 to 8 cups (1.5 to 1.9 L) vegetable broth (note 3)
  • 2 large leeks (white & light green parts only), cleaned and diced (note 4)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups (~370g) Carnaroli rice or Arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) dry white wine (note 5)
  • 1/4 cup (30g) vegan parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 handful Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped (for garnish)


  • Read the recipe notes below before starting!
  • Take the vegan butter and miso out of the fridge and place in a small bowl to soften. Once softened, use a fork to cream them together until well combined.
  • Add the vegetable broth to a saucepan. Once it comes to a rapid simmer, adjust the heat to keep the broth warm/hot at a gentle simmer.
  • Cook the mushrooms. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil (if using stainless steel or cast iron, use more oil). 
    Once the oil is shimmering, add the mushrooms. Cook undisturbed for a few minutes to develop some browning. Cook for a total of 8 to 9 minutes, until nicely browned, stirring only occasionally.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Add the chopped thyme and HALF of the minced garlic to the mushrooms. Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
    Add the creamed miso butter and stir into the mushrooms, stirring frequently to coat the mushrooms for 2 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Cook the risotto. Heat a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed deep sauté pan over medium heat (note 6). Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot, add the leeks and remaining garlic. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the leeks have just softened.
  • Add the rice and stir quickly until all the grains are well-coated and the rice smells slightly toasty, 60 to 90 seconds.
    Pour in the wine, and stir to scrape any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot, cooking until the wine is nearly evaporated and the smell of booze has dissipated, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Ladle in 1 cup (240 mL) of warm vegetable broth and stir frequently but not constantly. Once the rice has absorbed the liquid, add the next round of broth, 1 cup at a time.
    Continue this process stirring about every 30 seconds and adding more broth when most of the liquid has been absorbed.
    It should take about 20 minutes from the time you add the first ladle of broth, or until the risotto is slightly firm and creamy, but not too soft or mushy.
  • To test for doneness: you can place the rice on a flat surface and smear downwards with your finger. It should be fairly smooth but you should still be able to see a bit of the white, al dente center of the rice. (note 7).
  • Add cooked mushrooms to the risotto, and stir to warm through.
    Remove from the heat, and stir in vegan parmesan, if using. Taste for seasonings, adding salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately.


1. White miso can be found at well-stocked grocery stores and Asian markets. If using a darker miso, like red miso, use less as it’s stronger. 
2. Mushroom varieties I like: cremini (inexpensive) + 2 to 3 fancier varieties, like oyster, maitake, shiitake, king oyster, beech, and chanterelle. 
3. Heat 8 cups broth to be safe, but you may not use the entire amount. My favorite store-bought veggie broth is Organic Imagine
4. To clean leeks, peel away papery outer layers, then dice. Add to a bowl of cold water and swish the leeks around with your hands. Scoop the leeks out with your hands or a slotted spoon and dry on towels. 
5. To omit the wine, skip to adding the veggie broth. OR, add a splash of white wine vinegar at any stage when ladling in the broth. 
6. When using a Dutch oven or similar pan, you need to use a bit more oil and elbow grease to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. If you use use the same pan to cook the mushrooms and the risotto, be sure to clean it out after frying the mushrooms and before cooking the risotto.  
7. To tell if risotto is done: check out the smear test

Calories: 460kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 483mg | Potassium: 455mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1023IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 5mg

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260 comments on The Best Vegan Mushroom Risotto

  1. Genevieve

    5 stars
    Easy to make and so delicious. You won’t know you eat mushroom and vegan food.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Genevieve, thank you so much for your kind review!

  2. Catherine

    Hello, this recipe looks delicious and I’d like to make it for a dinner party. For 12 servings, would you recommend simply doubling all ingredients?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Catherine, thanks for the lovely comment! Yes, just double it! Just make sure your pot is large enough to fit a double serving :)

  3. Madhu Singh

    5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely delicious and so flavourful! I also added asparagus and broccoli and it worked well. Simply the best vegan risotto recipe

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re so happy that the risotto turned out well for you, Madhu. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and for trying out the recipe!

  4. Virginia

    5 stars
    This was mind blowing good!! Yes it’s 100 percent worth the time and effort to deliver on a restaurant quality meal. My husband was completely impressed!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Your positive feedback is the best reward for our hard work. Thank you, Virginia!

  5. Cynthia

    5 stars
    Oh my lord, this is amazing! My husband told me this recipe should be in regular rotation. And he’s not a big fan of rice, so well done you! Thanks very much.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lovely feedback, Cynthia!

  6. Menaka G

    5 stars
    This is the 1st time i made risotto and i was in for a big surpriseee! I also made some tofu bacon and sprinkled it on top for extra protein. The taste is perfect and also the instructions are clear step by step!
    Thank you once again. You make the vegan journey a little more amazing :)

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Sounds like a great combo, Menaka! Thanks for trying the recipe and leaving a sweet comment :)

  7. Saskia

    5 stars
    Hello Nisha, I learned from a cook that you have to stir only one time once you have added the broth ( for white rice 2x the amount , for brown , 2,5 times the amount ) and then leave it alone for 18( white rice ) ,( brown between 38 and 48 minutes depending on the type of rice ) ) minutes , then stir, add if necesarry extra broth ( it should be light watery since it will cook a bit further ) , add the extra butter and or parmesian cheese, put the lid on and let it rest for 2 minutes . Then serve .
    I made the broth from a mixture of mushroompowder ( reishi or other …) soy sauce or tamari and miso ( genmai , the black one ) , I skipped the white miso/ butter.
    The version with buckwheat instead of white rice is also a very nice alternative , the combination of the nutty flavor of the buckwheat and the mushrooms are very nice , the same methode as the white rice , 18 minutes, 2 minutes resting time , 2x amount broth .

    I love your recipes !! What I love most is your perfect ratios of herbs and spices , when you follow the recipe exactly you are always right , Nisha is a name that has become familiar in my house , since I cook so many dishes from you , I love your Indian dishes the most !!
    The only thing I don´t eat is sugar or syrup or replacements , so sometimes I have to be a bit inventive ( datepaste, bananapuree., nothing …) I also cook glutenfree, it´s nice you pay a lot of intention on that , thank you .

    Thank you for being who you are and letting us enjoy your skills !! and showing your nice relationship with your parents .

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lovely comment, Saskia! I’ll pass the comment along to Nisha :)

  8. Suzanne Dovi

    5 stars
    My husband does not like mushrooms and he loved this recipe. So sooo good. You are a food genius. Thank you.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Your review made our day, Suzanne! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and for trying out the recipe.

  9. Nancy R

    5 stars
    I’ve made vegetarian risottos for years and my mushroom risotto always gets raves. But THIS risotto may be the best I’ve ever made. Rich, creamy, umami delight. It’s a fantastic recipe, and the miso butter is a great hack for all sorts of other things. Thank you!!! I did cook the rice much longer than 20 minutes; it took about 40 to be done, but that didn’t surprise me, that’s typical of risotto.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Nancy, Thank you for your thoughtful review! We’re so happy to hear that you enjoyed the risotto.

  10. Helen

    5 stars
    Stunning recipe! Made this last night and my partner had seconds which means it is very tasty as he is very good with portion control! I will make some risotto cakes/arancini with the leftovers later in the week. Love your recipes always Nisha!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hey Helen! Wow, I can feel your enthusiasm about this recipe through the screen! Love it! Thanks for the review :)

  11. Suee33

    5 stars
    I made this last night, it was great. I use the Instant Pot takes 7 minutes.
    I love the White Miso in the Myokos butter.
    Thank you for the great recipe, it is a keeper. I did not use the leeks, did not have any.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Suee, thank you so much for your kind review!

  12. Heidi Jones

    5 stars
    I made this recipe today and it turned out perfectly! I really like the notes included at the end of the recipe. I’m sure it’s why my first attempt at risotto turned out so well.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thank you for the kind review, Heidi! :)

  13. Rosie

    5 stars
    Best risotto ever! Very easy recipe to follow – miso makes it!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Rosie, Thank you for your thoughtful review! We’re so happy to hear that you enjoyed the risotto :)

  14. Manuella C.

    5 stars
    Easy to make and super delicious! 😋

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lovely feedback, Manuella!

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