Beginners Creamy One-Pan Mushroom and Parmesan Risotto with Fresh Herbs

Few things are as comforting and satisfying as this earthy, creamy mushroom and parmesan risotto. Rich, hearty and all made in one pan make this recipe both satisfying and easy to clean. Post meal food comas are a common risotto side effect, so quick clean up is a MAJOR plus.

Make no mistake my beginning risotto chefs, making risotto is not quite as easy as it looks. For every two risottos I’ve made taste delicious, there were two that came out like wallpaper paste. Just like my parents always told me – practice makes perfect, and let me tell you risotto making is no exception. Don’t get discouraged if your first couple attempts are an utter failure, and don’t give up. Once you master the risotto, you will be a forever skill like learning to change a tire and you’ll forget why it was so hard to being with. See below for some tips to help you be successful your first time out of the gate and lets see if we can minimize some initial disasters.


So what is risotto anyway? Although often used interchangeably, risotto actually refers to the name of the cooking method rather than just the name of the dish. Risotto usually begins by using a short-grain rice, and HOT adding liquid (like stock) in slowly, cooking a little at a time, until the liquid is completely absorbed, producing a creamy, rich rice dish. Pilaf, on the other hand, is a method that begins much in the same way as a risotto but takes a turn when the liquid is added all at once and cooked until absorbed.


Not all rice is optimal for creating your perfect risotto. Put away your long grain types like jasmine rice and save them for another day. Short-grain rice is your rice of choice for when making risotto because of its high starch content. This keeps the rice from absorbing too much liquid and helps it remain sticky and dense. Medium-grain rice can also be used but are for more advanced preparations. Here are some short-grain (and medium-grain) varietal options to choose from:

Arborio (are-BORE-ee-oh) – probably the most popular and easiest to find. This is also the most forgiving and best for risotto novices and beginners alike. Lets stick right here in our Arborio lane for our first several attempts.

Carnaroli (car-noh-ROH-lee) – the variety preferred by most chefs. It’s more difficult to find but will make some pretty tops risotto. It’s slightly longer and has a higher starch content than Arborio for maximum creamy mind-blowing risotto. More intermediate level risotto making.

Violoni Nano (vee-ah-LOW-nah-no) – this rice is grown in the Veneto region and by law requires no chemicals in treating the rice. This is the Super Bowl of risotto making rice. It is less forgiving and requires a risotto masters. Beginners beware.


  • DO NOT RINSE THE RICE – Unlike other long-grain rice recipes, we want to keep all the starch in that we can. Don’t rinse your risotto rice.
  • PREP EVERYTHING BEFORE BEGINNING – This pan is going to require your full attention, so make sure all of your prep is completed before you being cooking, that way, the pan has your full focus and attention! This will make the process much more enjoyable and less stressful.
  • USE HOT STOCK – Using cold stock will only cool down your pan and stop the cooking process. NO GOOD. Only use hot stock.
  • DESIGNATED STIRRER – One person stirring just the right amount. This is where risotto usually goes wrong. Stir too much and it gets gluey. Don’t stir enough it sticks to the bottom of the pan and burns. It takes a keen eye to monitor.
  • DON’T USE TOO MUCH STOCK – A general rule of thumb is approximately 4 cups of stock for every 1 cup of rice used.
  • ADD CHEESE AT THE VERY END – Only add cheese after the rice is completely cooked. The cheese is simply a flavor enhancer here, there is no need to cook it with the rice and in fact this can make oily and weird. Let’s not make it weird ok?
  • USE GOOD WINE & DRINK IT WITH THE RISOTTO – Use a dry wine and enjoy a glass of whatever you used in the recipe for next level taste bud explosion. May drink a glass with the meal and during meal preparation naturally. Remember that pan needs your focus and attention so don’t drink too much! I’ve also lost some risotto dishes with this novice mistake.

Now that you’ve got a big old bag of Arborio rice in your pantry but you don’t want to make risotto every night, what else to do with the rice? Try making rice pudding or paella! In a pinch and can’t find Arborio? Try using the other short-grain rice sweetheart – sushi rice. It’s trickier to work with so be careful not to over cook it, but will yield a similar result.

Hope you enjoy this beginners creamy mushroom one pan risotto with herbs recipe! Looking forward to seeing your creations. Perfection takes practice here, so don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t turn out perfectly at first. Try, Try AGAIN!


Beginners Creamy One-Pan Mushroom and Parmesan Risotto with Fresh Herbs

This one pan mushroom risotto, is creamy and earthy and also pairs with a variety of different wines from Sauvignon Blanc to Pinot Noir.

  • Author: Pip
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 40-50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 – 1.25 hours
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 1 1/2 cup Arborio Rice
  • 67 cups (vegetable or chicken) stock, simmering
  • 2 cups assorted mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups white onion, diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cups white wine
  • 3/4 cups parmesan cheese, grated
  • 5 T unsalted butter
  • 3 T herbs (thyme, parsley etc…)
  • 2 T EVOO
  • salt and white pepper to taste


  1. Sauté mushrooms in olive oil with a little salt and set aside.
  2. In same pan sauté onion and garlic in 2 T oil until soft and translucent.
  3. Add rice and cook for 5 minutes, stirring and coating all rice grains with oil.
  4. Add wine and cook until liquid is evaporated. 
  5. Slowly add hot broth 1/2 cup at a time until completely absorbed into the rice, constantly stirring, repeat until broth is gone and rice is cooked.
  6. Once all broth in incorporated, and the rice is al dente, add butter until melted and incorporated. 
  7. Add parmesan cheese, cooked mushrooms and finally add herbs.
  8. Serve hot.


Pip Tip: There is a lot of time spent in front of the stove when preparing this recipe. It helps to have everything prepared and measured before hand.

Pip Tip: I like to use a rubber spatula to stir the risotto.

Pip Tip: Make vegetarian but subbing out the chicken stock for vegetable or mushroom stock


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 699
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 2131mg
  • Fat: 33g
  • Saturated Fat: 17
  • Carbohydrates: 68g
  • Fiber: 3.9g
  • Protein: 23g
  • Cholesterol: 67g

Keywords: Mushroom risotto, Italian, rice, risotto, mushrooms, one pot meals, vegetarian, gluten free

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Beginners Creamy One-Pan Mushroom and Parmesan Risotto with Fresh Herbs