Mushroom Risotto with Fresh Thyme Recipe

This risotto goes well with my Lemony Buttermilk Baked Chicken.  It also is great with grilled steaks and seafood.  Mushroom Risotto make an elegant main course for a dinner party.  It is not difficult to make and the flavor is amazing.

This delicious Mushroom Risotto with Fresh Thyme recipe, comments, and photo were shared with me by Karen Calanchini, Food Stylist and Photographer, of Redding, CA.

Mushroom Risotto served on a white dinner plate

Learn How To Make Risotto Ahead of Time
– With this technique, that is used by restaurant chefs, you never have to stand at the stove, stirring, for 20 minutes while your guests wonder where you have gone.  You can make any kind of risotto you want using this method.

More delicious Pasta, Rice, and Main Dish Recipes.

Mushroom Risotto with Fresh Thyme Recipe:
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
22 mins
Total Time
37 mins

Before making risotto, please read the web page on Making Perfect Risotto. Lots of hints and tips to help you.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Mushroom Risotto with Fresh Thyme Recipe
Servings: 2 servings
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken broth*
  • 4 sprigs thyme, fresh
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large leeks (white and light green parts), cleaned
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 ounces mushrooms (combination of white mushroom and crimini mushrooms), sliced
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons arborio rice**
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (I used dry Vermouth)
  • Coarse salt or sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly-grated
  1. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high, combine chicken broth, thyme, and bay leaf.  Bring just to a boil, reduce heat to low, and keep warm over low heat.  It is important to add hot chicken broth, not cold, to the rice during the cooking process.  Adding cold broth to hot rice results in a hard, uncooked kernel in the center of the grain.  Have chicken broth ready, at a low simmer in a covered saucepan before beginning to make your risotto.

  2. In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil.  Add leeks and garlic; saute until the leeks soften.  Add the mushrooms and cook until they soften.  Add arborio rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the edges of the rice are translucent, approximately 4 minutes.  

  3. Cooking the rice in hot butter or oil before adding liquid helps the rice to absorb the liquids slowly with becoming soggy.  This is called "Toasting the Rice." Toasting the rice quickly heats up the grain's exterior (toast until the rice is hot to the touch and the color should remain pearly white, not turn brown.

  4. Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, until wine has been completely absorbed by the rice or evaporated.  Remove the thyme and bay leaf from the stock and discard.

  5. Add 1/2 cup of hot chicken broth, stirring until almost absorbed. Continue cooking and stirring, adding a little bit of hot chicken broth (1/2 cup at a time), until the chicken broth is absorbed and until the rice is tender (but still firm to the bite), about 15 to 20 minutes.

  6. NOTE: This risotto needs to be stirred continually until the broth is absorbed because leeks, which are drier to cook with than onions, will stick to the bottom of the pan if you do not continually stir.  

  7. Run your wooden spoon across the bottom of the pot to determine when each addition of broth is almost completely absorbed.

  8. During the last minutes of cooking, salt and pepper to taste and add Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.  At this point the rice should have a creamy consistency (it should be tender, but firm to the bite).  Remove from heat.

  9. NOTE: To test the risotto for proper consistency, spoon a little into a bowl and shake it lightly from side to side.  The risotto should spread out very gently of its own accord.  If the rice just stands still, it is too dry, so add a little more stock.  If a puddle of liquid forms around the rice, you have added too much stock.  Spoon some liquid off, or just let the risotto sit for a few more seconds off the heat to absorb the excess stock.

  10. Makes 2 servings.

Recipe Notes

*  Learn how easy it is to make your own homemade chicken broth/stock.  The quantity of liquid suggested in the recipe when making risotto is always approximate.  In actual cooking, you should be prepared to use more, or sometimes less, as the risotto itself requires.

** Arborio (are-BORE-ee-oh) - is a pearly, round medium grain rice that is readily available in the United States.  It's outer coating contains the highest starch level of any Italian variety, which ensures creamy texture in risottos.

Risotto Etiquette

In Italy, risotto is serve mounded, steaming hot, in the center of warmed individual shallow bowls.

Among the myths associated with risotto, there is the one that you must eat it piping hot, as it comes from the pot!

Unlike pasta, risotto tastes better when it has rested on your plate a minute or so.  When Italians are served risotto, they often spread it on their plate from the center toward the rim, to dissipate some of the steam.

Using a fork or a spoon, push the grains of cooked rice out slightly toward the edge of the bowl, eating only from the pulled out ring of rice.

Continue spreading from the center and eating around the edges in a circle.  This will keep the risotto hot as you enjoy your risotto.

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