August 4, 2021

Mushroom Leek Risotto

Mushrooms and leeks melt into creamy rice in this risotto, which feels hearty yet light at this mid-autumn juncture. Risotto is a warm and comforting meal for these ever-shorter days and longer, chilly nights.

I think many people find risotto to be an intimidating dish. Personally, I don’t find it to be complicated, it just requires some time and attention. There’s all sorts of recipes out there for short-cut methods such as baking it in the oven, or recipes that don’t call for frequent stirring. I actually love making traditional stove-top risotto because it requires my attention.

I find the act of stirring and attending to the pot of simmering rice meditative. Once all of the ingredients have been sauteed, and you reach the point of adding broth and stirring, the hardest parts of the dish are out of the way. You can stand at the stove and stir, letting your mind wander. Stare at the pot of simmering goodness instead of a screen. (Our eyes could all use a break right now.) For added relaxation, do as I do: when you pour the glass of wine into the risotto, pour one for yourself (if that’s your thing), and sip away while you stir. Risotto-making might become a pleasant weeknight activity for you, too.

I also enjoy risotto for its flexibility - this version highlights fall seasonal vegetables such as leeks and mushrooms, but risotto carries into every season. I guarantee I’ll be sharing more variations on risotto in the year ahead - I’ve made more versions than I can count, and I look forward to sharing them with you.

Ingredients assembled for Mushroom Leek Risotto
Assemble and prep all of your ingredients before you begin cooking. The first few steps of making risotto move quickly, so you'll want everything easily at hand.

Stages of cooking vegetables for Mushroom Leek Risotto
Sauté the vegetables, garlic, and herbs before adding the rice.

Adding broth one cup at a time to vegetables and rice
Add heated broth to the rice mixture, one cup at a time, stirring frequently after each addition.

Wooden spoon stirring rice and vegetable mixture in a large pot
Add more broth once the previous cup is mostly absorbed, about every 4-5 minutes.

Grated parmesan being stirred into cooked Mushroom Leek Risotto
Stir in parmesan cheese at the end.

Serve garnished with additional parmesan if you like!

Original publication date: November 2, 2020

Mushroom Leek Risotto

Mushrooms and leeks melt into creamy rice in this risotto, which feels hearty yet light for the ever-shorter days and longer, chilly nights of autumn.


Kira Freed - The Joyful Plateful











2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

3 leeks, white and light green parts, sliced into half-moon rings

8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced

4-6 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. fresh thyme, minced

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups arborio rice (or short-grain rice)

1/2 cup white wine

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 cup water

1 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese


  1. In a medium pot, combine vegetable broth and water, and heat to just under a simmer.
  2. In a large, heavy-bottom pot such as a Dutch oven, melt butter in olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add leeks to large pot with butter and olive oil, and saute until just beginning to soften, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add sliced mushrooms to leeks, and saute about another 3 minutes, until mushrooms begin to give off liquid. Add 1/2 tsp. salt at this point.
  5. Add minced garlic and thyme to vegetables, and saute until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds.
  6. Add rice to vegetables, and stir to coat rice. Stir frequently, about 1 minute.
  7. Reduce heat to medium. Add white wine to rice and vegetables, stirring to release bits from the bottom of the pot. (See note.) Stir until absorbed.
  8. Begin adding your heated vegetable broth, 1 cup at a time, to the rice mixture. After each addition, stir frequently to avoid sticking to the pot, and to develop the starches that will make the risotto creamy. The mixture should be at a gentle simmer at this point. Once broth is mostly absorbed, add another cup, and continue stirring - about every 4-5 minutes.
  9. After 20 minutes, begin testing the rice for doneness. The grains should be tender all the way through, with no firm bite at the center.
  10. Once rice is fully cooked, turn heat to low, add remaining salt and pepper, and parmesan cheese, and stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
  11. Serve risotto immediately, as this is when it is at its creamiest.  


  • You can substitute 1/2 cup additional broth or water for the white wine. If you omit the wine, add 1 Tbsp. lemon juice with the broth or water, for acidity.
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May 24, 2022
I don't normally comment on recipes but this has got to be the best thing I've ever made. It came together pretty easy and made five meals - perfect for meal prep for the week. I already can't wait to make it again.
January 22, 2022
Sherry Ruiter
I love this section!!!!!