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.
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? →
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.
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 →
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.
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!
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!
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!
- Broad beans
- Butternut squash
- Fresh tomatoes
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Sweet potatoes
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!
- 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
- In a large pan, sauté onions, garlic and herbs in a splash of vegetable broth for a few minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Add the mushrooms and leek to your pan and let everything heat up for another 3-4 minutes, adding more vegetable broth if needed.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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