Easy Vegan Risotto with Mushrooms & Peas

by Alena
Jun 30, 2020
bowl of vegan risotto with mushroom, peas and a fork standing next to a linen on a marble surface
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It’s no secret that we love carbs around here, especially when they come in the form of creamy, rich, flavorful and healthy comfort food! Meet our easy and low-fat vegan risotto with mushrooms and peas.

This may not be the prettiest, but it’s undoubtedly a very filling dairy-free dinner that can be whipped up in about 30 minutes using only one pot and some patience.

Why? Well, this creamy goodness needs some attention and meditative stirring to get to the perfect texture. This doesn’t mean that vegan risotto is hard to make or that you can easily mess this up!

No need to be intimidated by the thought of preparing your very first mushroom and pea risotto.

It’s actually an accessible beginner recipe made from a couple of common staple foods that can easily be swapped for something else if you don’t find it anywhere in your kitchen.

Despite it being oil-free, it’s still luxuriously creamy, rich and oh-so-satisfying. Earthy mushrooms that perfectly soak up the deep herby flavor combined with bright spring peas, a touch of lemony zing plus a hint of cheesiness — do we have your attention now?

Vegan risotto. The comfort dinner to end all healthy comfort dinners.

Indulgent, family-friendly and undetectably dairy-free. It didn’t take us very long to create a fully whole food plant-based version of this Italian classic — if you’ve been hanging out around here, you’re probably already pretty familiar with our love for this cuisine.

From dairy-free lasagna to veggie-stuffed pizza rolls, whole wheat gnocchi and one-pot pasta marinara, we don’t mess around when it comes to carb-rich yet healthy Mediterranean comfort food!

This creamy vegan risotto is no different. While traditional recipes are usually dairy-heavy and loaded with oil, our delicious vegan version doesn’t require a bunch of fat to be satisfying (although you’re free to add some!).

We love the strong savory flavor and depth in this delicious weeknight dinner, which can actually be served year-round by incorporating seasonal vegetables! Find some ideas for that below.

woman holding bowl of vegan mushroom risotto in her hands

Is Risotto Vegan?

Traditional vegetable risotto is usually not vegan because it’s made with butter and cheese. It may even include some chicken broth and would therefore not even be vegetarian.

Some Italian restaurants may be able to prepare you a fully vegan risotto from scratch if you ask for it to be made with oil instead of butter, vegetable broth and no dairy cheese at all.

However, vegetable risotto is pretty easy to make vegan with just a few simple swaps! We personally love to create healthier versions of delicious recipes, so this mushroom and pea risotto will take things to the next level.

It even comes with some of the added non-dairy cheesiness that you’re probably hoping for! More on that later.

Dairy-Free Beginner Guide

Why Make a Low-Fat Mushroom Pea Risotto?

Many vegetable risottos are made with either butter, vegan butter or olive oil. While we understand that this may be part of traditional Italian recipes and their diet culture, there are several reasons why we love making a low-fat risotto without any olive oil.

Remember that heavy feeling in your belly that you associate with carbohydrate-rich meals? Well, have you ever had starchy goodness like rice without any added oil? If you have, you might notice that your bellyache culprit is not the starch, but the fat.

While vegan butter or olive oil does make for a richer vegan risotto, many of our readers are very health-conscious and perhaps even looking to reverse chronic disease. In that case, adding refined foods, especially oils, to your meals isn’t very helpful!

The ingredients for this dairy-free low-fat risotto were chosen carefully to offer both deliciously herby flavor and a luxurious texture while being low in calories, making this satiating dinner actually really weight loss-friendly.

Not only do we skip dairy cheese and butter to make this easy and creamy risotto, we don’t even need any olive oil!

Is Oil Good or Bad For You?
finished vegan mushroom risotto in pan and bowls on a white table

Why We Love This Easy Risotto Recipe

Not a trace of dairy is needed to cook this delicious Italian dish — every dinner guest is sure to be pleased by this starchy, creamy goodness.

tossing leeks in a pan full of sauteed vegetables

How to Make Vegan Risotto

If you want to make vegan risotto, you need to pick up some arborio rice, an Italian short-grain variety. This type of rice is cooked in vegetable broth until it creates that familiar ultra-creamy consistency — which will surely make you come back for a second serving of vegan risotto!

For our healthy low-fat version, we start by sautéing some garlic, onion and herbs in vegetable broth until fragrant. Then, add the other chopped vegetables, spices and rice, give it a good stir and let it simmer for around 25 minutes until heavenly creamy and cooked thoroughly.

Now, there are probably ways of perfecting the process of making vegan risotto, but we’re not into high-maintenance recipes — just make sure it doesn’t burn and absorbs the liquid evenly by stirring occasionally. This hands-on time can be surprisingly soothing and meditative, by the way.

The rice will become tender and slightly chewy once the time is over — and that’s it! It’s all ready to serve.

This tasty and satisfying vegan beginner recipe doesn’t require any special equipment or kitchen skills — perfect for anyone dabbling in plant-based eating or starting to cook for themselves.

Full Vegan Transition Guide
different ingredients for vegan mushroom risotto arranged in bowls on table

Main Ingredients for Mushroom and Pea Risotto

  • Rice — traditional risotto is made with arborio rice and we highly recommend using it!
  • Mushrooms — our recipe calls for simple button mushrooms, but oyster, trumpet, cremini or shiitake also work.
  • Peas — we like to use frozen peas for convenience but you can use any kind!
  • Leek, Garlic, Onion — these add some depth and savory flavor to the vegan risotto.
  • Vegetable Broth — where all the goodness is going to be cooked!
  • Soy Milk — creamy, protein-rich, healthy and you won’t even taste the soy.
  • Lemon, Vinegar, Nutritional Yeast — our flavorful dream team!

Vegan risotto can be made with so many delicious ingredients and add-ins that you can serve it all throughout the year using seasonal produce! Find some inspiration for that below.

We personally really love the mushrooms in this vegan risotto because they don’t just add a nice bite and earthy flavor to this dinner, they also offer some phosphorus, folate and selenium — some varieties even contain vitamin D.

pouring plant-based milk into black pan with vegan mushroom and pea risotto

Tips for the Best Vegan Risotto

If you have some more time and patience, it would be best to stir your mushroom and pea risotto every 30-60 seconds with a wooden spoon. But be careful not to over-stir!

It can also be worth it to add warm vegetable broth step by step while letting the rice absorb the liquid slowly and evenly.

Is This Recipe Gluten-Free?

Yes, rice is naturally gluten-free and we don’t add any ingredients containing gluten to this low-fat Italian recipe.

Therefore, it can be enjoyed by those with celiac disease — even though some types of rice are referred to as “glutinous”, which simply means that it’s sticky!

If you need it to be soy-free, you can use almond milk, coconut milk or cashew cream instead to make this tasty dairy-free risotto!

What Rice Should You Use

All types of Italian short-grain rice varieties can be used to make risotto. Arborio is most common, but you can also prepare this dish with Carnaroli, Vialone, Nano, and Baldo.

Make sure to never wash your rice when making vegetable risotto — every bit of rice starch helps make it creamier!

finished vegan mushroom risotto arranged in bowl with spoon next to a towel

How to Store Mushroom Risotto

While it’s controversial whether or not you can reheat leftovers containing cooked mushrooms, you should warm them to at least 158 degrees Fahrenheit when doing so.

We have stored this mushroom pea risotto in the fridge for about 3 days in the past and had no problem reheating and eating it with a splash of water (which can be done quickly in the microwave).

It can even be frozen, but again, you might want a dairy-free risotto without any mushrooms in that case. Also, be aware that the consistency of your stored risotto will change over time!

Add More Richness

If you’re looking for a really rich mushroom and pea risotto that tastes exactly like the non-vegan version, add some olive oil when sautéing your vegetables.

Once the vegan risotto has been cooked, stir in some vegan butter as well as vegan parmesan cheese — just because we personally follow a whole food plant-based diet, doesn’t mean that you can’t make a really rich and fun version for your family to enjoy!

Popular brands of dairy-free products include Earth Balance, Miyoko’s and Violife. 

You can also create more richness by adding some white wine to your vegan risotto while cooking, but this might not be the most kid-friendly choice — hello, delicious date night dinner!

How to Serve Mushroom Pea Risotto

We often enjoy our dairy-free mushroom and pea risotto on its own, but you can serve it alongside a green salad or roasted vegetables. Steamed green beans, broccoli or artichoke are good choices.

It’s also delicious with some crusty sourdough bread or grilled tofu as the risotto itself is rather low in protein.

Many people love to pair vegetable risotto with a good glass of Italian wine!

two white plates and a black non stick pan with vegan mushroom pea risotto on a table

Tasty Vegan Risotto Add-Ins

Vegetable risotto can be made with different kinds of seasonal produce to create many delicious varieties of this humble dish. Try these add-ins!

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Broad beans
  • Butternut squash
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Eggplant
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Zucchini

You can also make your dairy-free risotto in an Instant Pot as seen on The First Mess or bake it in the oven with roasted tomatoes as Ginny did here.

More Easy Vegan Dinner Ideas

Our website is full of easy-to-make, healthy and scrumptious plant-based recipes to be enjoyed for dinner! Maybe you want to try some of these next:

But now it’s time to make your own delicious vegan risotto at home! Maybe it’ll become your next favorite comfort food.

Have you made vegan mushroom and pea risotto before? Let us know in the comments, and feel free to rate our recipe or Pin it for later. You can also tag us on Instagram if you make it – we’d love to see your creations!

woman holding bowl of vegan mushroom risotto in her hands

Easy Vegan Mushroom Pea Risotto

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This creamy one-pot vegan risotto is made with mushrooms, peas, leeks and a few more whole food plant-based ingredients. Ready to enjoy in about 30 minutes, this easy and low-fat beginner recipe is so incredibly satisfying and versatile, and it can be enjoyed year-round.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups white button mushrooms, sliced (225 g)
  • ½ cup leek, chopped (100 g)
  • 1 cup Arborio rice (225 g)
  • 2-3 cups vegetable broth (480-720 ml)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen (160 g)
  • 1 cup soy milk (240 ml)
  • 1 tbsp white miso paste (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp Herbs de Provence

Instructions

  1. In a large pan, sauté onions, garlic and herbs in a splash of vegetable broth for a few minutes, stirring from time to time. 
  2. Add the mushrooms and leek to your pan and let everything heat up for another 3-4 minutes, adding more vegetable broth if needed.
  3. Now, put the Arborio rice, soy milk, vinegar as well as 2 cups of veggie broth into the pan and mix everything. This is where your miso paste needs to be added, should you use any. 
  4. Let everything simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the cooking liquid is soaked up. Make sure to stir your risotto every few minutes at least!
  5. Once your vegan risotto is all cooked, add in the peas, nutritional yeast and lemon juice for just a few minutes. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm and decorate with fresh herbs such as mint, basil or parsley if desired.

Notes

  • To create a beautiful creamy consistency, try to stir your vegan risotto every 30-60 seconds and scrape the sides.
  • Warm vegetable stock can help cook the rice quicker and more evenly.
  • For a cheesier mushroom and pea risotto, add more nutritional yeast or go for vegan parmesan!
  • No soy milk on hand? Blend up some almonds or cashews with water to create a thick 2-ingredient creamer you can use instead.
  • Cook until just “al dente” to avoid gummy risotto and simmer rather than boil it.
  • Find more tips & ideas in the article above.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 413Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3243mgCarbohydrates: 75gFiber: 14gSugar: 20gProtein: 22g

Did you make this recipe?

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Alena enjoying a bowl of fresh plant-based food and coffe in a restaurant
Alena Schowalter is a Certified Vegan Nutritionist (CPD) who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with her husband, she founded nutriciously in 2015 and has been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages towards a healthy plant-based diet. She’s received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy and social work. Alena enjoys discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature and creating new recipes.
dark grey spotted bowl with a variety of vegetables next to small bottle of green smoothie isolated on light background

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15 thoughts on “Easy Vegan Risotto with Mushrooms & Peas”

  1. This looks amazing. I cannot wait to try it! HOWEVER…..I NEED to know where you got your bowls from?! They are rustic and gorgeous and I HAVE to have them. :)

    Reply
    • Hey Leslie,
      thanks so much for your wonderful feedback! Happy that you know the bowls – we do, too. Unfortunately, we don’t own them and you need to ask our lovely photographer, Amanda, who shot this recipe, about them. You can find her here: http://mygoodnesskitchen.com/
      Best wishes!

      Reply
    • Hey Vince,
      thanks for your question. It’s always hard to tell how much food one person truly needs at one specific point in time :) as you can see, it’s 510 calories per portion which is usually a good amount to maintain or reach a healthy weight. Feel free to adjust to your hunger levels and personal goals!
      Best wishes,
      Alena

      Reply
  2. Hello. I am looking for a low or fat free version of risotto. But I fail to understand how can you “sauté” vegetables without any oil or butter? How do you achieve that result? Also, isn’t the step of frying the arborio in some oil, preferably olive oil, necessary for it to start it’s starch realeasing process?? I would love to have your views…

    Reply
  3. I can’t cook at all but I somehow managed to make this dish. It’s amazing! Quick, tasty and it’s hard to mess it up ;)

    Reply
    • Hey Liz,
      thanks for checking in and being interested in our recipe. We haven’t added any calories to most of our recipes so far because we don’t want to emphasize that anyone should count calories – rather, that it’s important to eat healthy food and listen to one’s own hunger signals. In the future, we might add more nutritional information to our recipes.
      Hope this was a satisfying answer for now!
      Best wishes

      Reply
  4. Where does all the sodium come from? Even if I don’t use the salt, I can’t eat this wonderful sounding dish. I would use low sodium broth or home made which will also bring it down. Other thoughts? ( Praying it is a typo)

    Reply
    • thanks so much for asking! The nutritional information you see at the bottom of the recipe was automatically calculated by the recipe tool and I don’t know why it says that there’s so much sodium – maybe it thought some of the ingredients have added salt, i.e. the soy milk, veggie broth, perhaps nutritional yeast? I assume that if you omit the table salt and look for low-sodium broth then you should be fine :)

      Reply

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