Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions


Thanks to you, I now have a huge craving for an old flame- Barney Butter. Just when I thought I had left him in the dust…!

Maybe a long distance relationship could work, afterall?

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Aside from Barney Butter and my mouth, there isn’t a better combination than caramelized onions and sautéed Cremini mushrooms. Before I taught myself how to cook, I would have told you there is no better combination than canned mushrooms and pizza sauce, but luckily, I have branched out a bit and discovered a love for things that do not come in a can.

[For the record, I will forever love canned mushrooms. I just can’t help myself!]

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Anyways, when I stumbled upon this Vegan Mushroom Risotto recipe over at The Kitchn, I had to compose myself until I could get to the grocery store for the ingredients. My heart was all a flutter and it filled my every thought. I even found myself obsessively glancing at the picture to make sure it looked as good as I remembered.

Yes, it surely does.

I bought some local Cremini mushrooms, fresh and perfect…

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It is a good day.

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It is not a good day for Eric because he will not touch a mushroom with a ten foot pole!  He really doesn’t know what he’s missing out on.

I married him despite this.

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To be honest, I’m pretty happy to have this dish all to myself. It is quite a bit of work to make and the fact that I got to enjoy it for a few meals was a nice reward. Sharing is overrated, anyways. If your partner does enjoy mushrooms though, this would be a fun meal to make together! And if you are like me, you will ask the man to do all the prep work that you loathe, like chopping onions and garlic.

I’m just nice like that I guess.

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The changes I made to the original recipe are the following:

  • I used barley instead of white rice
  • I used 1 pound of Cremini mushrooms instead of 1/2 pound
  • I used 3 cloves garlic instead of 4
  • I used 3.5 cups liquid veggie broth instead of 2 cups (I had to adjust for the barley)
  • I omitted the white wine as I didn’t have any
  • I used 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar instead of 2
  • I cut the oil down
  • I did not use vegan cream cheese
  • I changed the procedure (the original recipe calls for baking in the oven!)


It still  turned out incredible despite the changes!

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I think next time I will try pearled barley because the pot barley seems to give me stomach pains (hard to digest with the outer husk!).

Make sure that you add the vegetable broth slowly as different grains will absorb different amounts of liquid. You will basically have to eyeball it as it cooks and add more liquid as needed. If you are using white rice, you might only need 2-2.5 cups of vegetable broth.

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Rinse the dirty lil buggers!

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Chop 2 small onions and 3 cloves garlic.

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Add in sliced mushrooms, and cook for another 5-10 minutes.

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Add in seasonings…salt, rosemary sprig, pepper.

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Now add in the 1 cup of grains and the vegetable broth…gradually.

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Cover and cook for about 20-25 minutes, stirring often and adding more vegetable broth when necessary so it doesn’t burn. If it starts drying out, you need more liquid!

Meanwhile, make the caramelized onions…mmm.

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Watch the onions closely…I burned some of mine because I got distracted by shiny objects. It happens.

When the risotto is ready, stir a spoonful of Earth Balance (or butter) in and serve immediately.

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This recipe takes about 45 minutes of active prep work and another 20-25 minutes to cook. It is quite labourious, but if you make it with someone else it will go much faster!

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Top with lots of caramelized onions.

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When I took my first bite, I forgot about all the chopping and stirring and I said, Yup, it was all worth it.

It is thick, rich, and satisfying with a strong mushroom flavour and pop of sweetness from the caramelized onions. C-O-M-F-O-R-T-F-O-O-D.

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You should also check out the original recipe by The Kitchn’s Faith Durand– it was baked in the oven! I may have to try this next time, but since I didn’t use white rice I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. I made it the traditional way on the stove top just to be safe. If you guys experiment with baking different grains let me know. I’m hoping a quicker cooking brown rice works too!

What food combinations do you LOVE to pair together?

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{ 118 comments… read them below or add one }

Alayna @ Thyme Bombe February 8, 2011

Oh wow, I LOVE onions and I LOVE mushrooms, sounds perfect for me! I haven’t made a risotto in a long time, this one looks amazing.


Anna February 8, 2011

This looks amazing! Perfect for a cold evening :)


Liz @ Tip Top Shape February 8, 2011

Mmm, this looks fantastic!!! I love risotto!! Actually just did an entire post on it and how to use up leftovers! I’ve never made mushroom risotto before, though.


Kat @ Cupcake Kat February 8, 2011

Yummy! This looks awesome I love mushrooms (why do some people not like mushrooms?)
The other night I made your recipe for Roast Sweet Potato and Black Bean Warm Salad and that was delicious. I may have to try this too!


Sabine @ thefruitpursuit February 9, 2011

what a coincidence I made that ast night too :D pretty darn good huh?


Gina February 8, 2011

Caramelized onions are my favorite! I’m just usually too impatient to let them cook that long.


Leslie Paquette February 8, 2011

Looks delicious and I LOVE mushrooms. I will definitely make this soon. Thanks!!


Felicia (a taste of health with balance) February 8, 2011

i lovee mushrooms with onions, what a delicious side dish or meal!


Alex @ Healing Beauty February 8, 2011

I adore mushrooms, I think they are so delicious and hearty.


Emily February 8, 2011

This looks delicious! I just tried risotto for the first time last week but wanted to do another grain other than white rice. I am excited to try your version :)


Emily @ One Sweet Vegan February 8, 2011

My husband would love this recipe. He’s crazy about mushrooms. I came so close to making butternut squash risotto tonight, but didn’t feel up to a lot of cooking. Maybe tomorrow. And, I’ll keep this recipe in mind for a nice treat for my husband!


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is February 8, 2011

I absolutely LOVE sauteed mushrooms and caramelized onions!


Alexia @ Dimple Snatcher February 8, 2011

MY WORD. To me mushrooms are like meat. It’s only recently I’ve forayed into their magic.


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 8, 2011



hippierunner February 8, 2011

The mushrooms look so pretty! I wish everyone knew to love them, they’re so good!


Amanda (Eating Up) February 8, 2011

I’m so happy I converted to being a mushroom fan!


Kimberly (Bowl of Fruit) February 8, 2011

Although I wasn’t in any mood to cook, I saw the sauteed onions and had to read for the recipe. This recipe sounds delicious – my two favorite food are mushroom and onions – and I can’t wait to try it. Your blog was the one that encouraged me to make risotto many months ago.


Leanne @healthfulpursuit February 8, 2011

The mushrooms are so beautiful, and the caramelized onions do it for me. Put them in anything and I’ll eat it. To make it gluten free I bet millet, or quinoa would work really well too. Great recipe!


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 8, 2011

mmm I will have to try quinoa


felicia February 8, 2011

oh my goodness! that looks delicious. And I have a bag of pearled barley sitting in the pantry. LOVE!


Richelle February 8, 2011

Oh wow, I need to make this soon. It looks amazing!


Moni'sMeals February 8, 2011

looks great, my husband would love this…maybe V-Day!

Food Combos I eat almost everyday:
chocolate and pbutter
bananas and oats
cheese and crackers


maggie February 8, 2011

I can’t wait to make this — risotto, mushrooms, caramelized onions…all favorites.
BUT you shouldn’t wash your mushrooms!!! Goes against all reason, I know, but I was always taught to wipe them dry (or with a damp paper towel) of any dirt, never put them in water. They’re little sponges, they lose a lot of their natural flavor and pick up a watery taste when you wash ’em. A quick rinse probably won’t hurt, but don’t soak them!


LauraLee @ Old Fashioned Vegan February 8, 2011

Yup, definitely making this! I am sucker for both caramelized onions and mushrooms. Drool….


Tanya February 8, 2011

Hmm… my food combinations would be fresh apples with peanut butter, or (since I’m not vegan) toast with a gently poached egg and some melted cheddar :) And I love mushrooms out of a can, too: major salty fix!


Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter February 8, 2011

That looks amazing! Total comfort food right there. I don’t know if I could marry a guy who didn’t like almond butter, but I guess that would mean that he wouldn’t be creeping in on my stash!


Casey @ Insatiably Healthy February 8, 2011

goat cheese and dates! or apple and brie.
I absolutely love mushrooms and onions too! Though I tend to add tofu into the texture combination as well.


Caz February 8, 2011

I’ve made a baked barley risotto before and it took FOREVER to cook. It was the first time I made baked risotto, and the first time I used barley (I don’t remember if it was pearled or not). But it literally took hours. This isn’t a problem if you’re expecting it, but I think we ate at 11pm that evening.


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 9, 2011

Yea that was exactly the reason why I did not bake the risotto..pot barley takes a LONG time to cook. I might try the baking method with a quick cooking brown rice and see how that ‘pans’ out :)


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) February 8, 2011

Food combos i love
Wine + crackers
Coffee + Cookies
Chocolate + more chocolate.

Kidding…kind of :)

This looks fabulous, Angela!

Super creamy, hearty yet elegant…and my hubs wont touch mushrooms with a 10 foot pole either…good thing i am a sneaky chef sometimes :)


Runeatrepeat February 8, 2011

Food combo? Um, Peanut Butter and ANYTHING :)


Ashley @ Taste for Healthy February 8, 2011

I definitely need to get some barley!!


Jolene ( February 9, 2011

Risotto is one of my favourite dishes. I always make mushroom risotto (with a little white wine in it), but I have never thought to add caramelized onions. That would definitely kick the flavour up a few notches!


Camille February 9, 2011

Faaabulous! This looks awesome!


Amanda February 9, 2011

Oh man….. now I have a craving for mushrooms & risotto. I love sauteed mushrooms, I can just eat them out of the pan all night.


Bronwyn February 9, 2011

OMG. Deliciousness looking. I am going to make a risotto for sure now in a week or so. I love mushrooms (canned, cooked, raw) and caramelized onions. oh. so hungry now.


Sophia @ Raven Waves February 9, 2011

I’m so not a mushroom girl…but this recipe is really making me want to try them!! Looks so delicious, and you can never go wrong with risotto!


Monique February 9, 2011

i have a new roommate who loves food. so we have been having fun sharing the grocery bill and trying new things. i have an exotic palate, while shes got a willing one. sooo its been fun. i just found out she hasnt had risotto before. we will be making this.


Ellie@fitforthesoul February 9, 2011

This dish has all my fave ingredients and combos! Crazy how you became so good at cooking on your own :D Oh and btw! Your banana oatcake was amazingggggg! My whole fam enjoyed it too.


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 9, 2011

:) Glad you like the oat cake!


Erika @ Health and Happiness in LA February 9, 2011

Holy moly this looks amazing. I love onions and mushrooms together, but I don’t know if I’d be able to resist throwing in some broccoli.


Amy Martin February 9, 2011

I needed this recipe YESTERDAY! I decided to make my very first mushroom risotto and it was so bad my husband wouldn’t eat it…he ALWAYS eats it! :(


Megan February 9, 2011

It is quite serendipitous that you shared this post today! I met my husband at Whole Foods after work today and he was on a mission, a Mushroom Risotto Mission! He wouldn’t stop talking about it until he got ALL the ingredients. He plans to make it tomorrow. I plan to share your recipe – it looks sooooo yummy.

And take heart: it took me 28 years on this earth before I would even try mushrooms or mushroom risotto, and it was at the constant urging of the hubby. There might be hope for Eric yet!


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table February 9, 2011

The use of barely here makes me think “savory oatmeal.” And that makes me want it even more. :)


Pearl (Crunch and Chew) February 9, 2011

This looks delicious! I pity those with mushroom allergies :(


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