Bowl of risotto with sautéed mushrooms on top

Exotic Mushroom Risotto

If you’re looking for a bowl of comfort that you can whip up in under and hour, look no further than our Exotic Mushroom Risotto.

We love a risotto in this house, and mushrooms are one of our go-to ingredients. Mushrooms are a rich, low-calorie source of fibre, protein and antioxidants. They are a good source of B-vitamins, selenium, magnesium and phosphorous. Much research has been done lately on the health benefits of mushrooms. Recent studies suggest they may help protect us from Alzheimer’s, cancer and diabetes. The humble mushroom is emerging as king of the superfoods!

What kind of mushrooms can I use to make Exotic Mushroom Risotto?

Collection of exotic mushrooms
Collection of exotic mushrooms.

You can use any kind of mushroom to make this risotto. Many exotic varieties are now grown commercially and are available at the supermarket or fresh produce market. Often we’ll just use button mushrooms or Swiss browns.

Wild mushrooms are our favourite, but have a very short season. Last autumn we foraged for pine mushrooms on the Mornington Peninsula. Also known as saffron milk-caps, pine mushrooms have a rich orange sap that give the mushrooms their distinctive colour. We made stock from the pine mushrooms that was a deep reddish-brown colour and tasted divine.

Basket of pine mushrooms aka saffron milk caps.
Pine mushrooms aka saffron milk caps.

Lions-mane mushrooms are delicious and have some of the highest known health benefits, but are expensive to buy. Recently we bought a lions-mane mushroom-growing kit from Aussie Mushroom Supplies. Even though we didn’t follow the growing instructions to the letter, we managed to grow a crop of mushrooms. We harvested them yesterday, which is what inspired us to make exotic mushroom risotto.

Lion's mane mushroom growing in kit.
The lion’s mane mushroom we grew from a kit.

Over to you! Let us know in the comments below if you tried making this recipe. What mushrooms did you use? how did it turn out? Did you make any other tweaks to make it your own?

Dean & Karen

Exotic Mushroom Risotto

The rich, earthy flavours of mushroom in a bowl of comfort food.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: dinner, entreé, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: autumn, comfort food, dinner party, egg-free, eggless, family favourite, family friendly, flexible, meat free Mondays
Servings: 4 people


  • 1 litre stock mushroom, vegetable or chicken
  • 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil plus extra
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms mixture of exotic and button
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 brown onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • cups arborio rice
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen peas optional
  • 2 cups baby spinach or chopped spinach
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • ¾ cup parmesan finely grated


  • Place stock in a saucepan and bring it to a low simmer. Keep the lid on to avoid losing too much in evaporation.
  • Heat olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan and sauté mushrooms until golden. Remove and set aside on paper towel.
  • Add butter to pan and more olive oil if needed. When butter has stopped frothing add onion to pan and cook over a medium heat for three of four minutes. Add garlic and cook until onion is soft and clear.
  • Add rice and stir until rice is well coated in the garlicky oil.
  • Add three or four ladles of stock and stir briskly. Cover the pan and let the rice cook until all the stock is absorbed before adding another three or four ladles. Continue to do this, testing the rice for 'doneness' until most of the stock is finished and the rice is al denté. It should be soft with just a hint of resistance when you bite it. The mixture should be thick without being dry.
  • When rice is almost cooked add the peas (if using) and the spinach. The spinach will only take a minute to wilt. Stir in the cooked mushrooms, reserving a few to scatter on top.
  • Stir in the parmesan and remove from heat. Finally, add the finely grated lemon zest and stir in the juice gradually, tasting as you go until it is the right balance of richness and acidity for your taste.
  • Top with reserved mushrooms and sprinkle a little extra parmesan on top.

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