Savoury Vegan Risotto with Mushrooms and Spinach

Savoury Vegan Risotto with Mushrooms and Spinach

Pure decadence of a meal – thick, creamy, comforting and infused with garlic and nutty flavour. In my risotto, the creaminess comes from the cashew creme and the cheesiness from the nutritional yeast. Sheer elegance and deliciousness in a bowl. Naturally vegan, this risotto is gluten free and comes together under 40 minutes using less than 10 ingredients.

I created this recipe because I love risotto but wanted a vegan version that was just as delicious, creamy and rich as the authentic version but without all the butter, cream and cheese. I use Arborio rice which is available in any grocery store. Risotto is perfect as either an elegant side dish or eaten it on it’s own as a cozy comforting meal. So decadent and ever so easy and quick to make, you’ll want to add this recipe to your weekly repertoire.

I love a combination of mushrooms and spinach but you can use your favourite vegetables. I also like my spinach to be slightly wilted so I add it at the end when the risotto is cooked. This adds an element of freshness and crispness that compliments the tenderness of the risotto.

I use a homemade vegetable broth that adds extra deliciousness to the recipe but a good store-bought version will do the trick just as well. Typically thought of as an elegant winter comfort food, I make this one all year around.

Risotto with Mushrooms and Spinach
  1. Drain and puree the soaked cashews in a small amount of water or broth. I used about a 1/4 cup to make the cashew creme. Set aside.
  2. Bring the broth to boil in a small pan and set aside to use when cooking the rice.
  3. Place a large heavy bottom pan on medium heat. Add the oil.
  4. When the oil shimmers, add the chopped shallots and cook until translucent. Add garlic powder, sliced mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms begin to soften (about 3-4 minutes). Add the rice and stir to combine.
  5. Cook and stir constantly until the grains of rice are translucent around the edges, about 5 minutes. Sauteeing the rice before adding the broth will help the rice cook evenly so that the outside does not become mushy before the center is cooked.
  6. Begin adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time. Stir the rice almost constantly to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom and edges of the pan. When the broth is almost completely absorbed add the next 1/2 cup. Repeat this process until the rice is tender but not mushy. Add extra broth as required. Do not overcook.
  7. Remove pot from heat, add cashew creme, nutritional yeast, chopped spinach and stir until combined and the spinach is sightly wilted. Risotto should be creamy and fluid. Stir in more hot broth if needed to achieve the right consistency.
  8. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot and enjoy!