Creamy Brown Rice Risotto

BY : PUBLISHED : October 26th, 2022

This easy brown rice risotto with mushrooms turns the traditional risotto upside down! Using a “secret” ingredient to give regular brown rice a look and feel much like cooked arborio rice. I’m here to show you how to make risotto with brown rice for a simple weeknight meal.

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completed Creamy Brown Rice Risotto plated against a light surface

Traditional risotto is prepared using arborio rice, a special type of rice that’s high in starch. In this recipe, I wanted to use pantry staples I often have lying around the house. 

The 'cheesy' white bean puree pushes this recipe over the edge giving it the creamy consistency associated with risotto. 

If you love risotto, try this pumpkin risotto for a burst of fall flavors or for a more traditional version, you'll love this vegan veggie risotto! Risotto makes a great main course served with your favorite bread and a quick salad!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Healthy risotto recipe. Brown rice contains more fiber than white rice making it a great alternative for recipes when possible!
  • A hidden plant-based protein. Yes, since this risotto is made with white beans to give it a creamy, silky texture it also adds some protein to this dish!
  • One bowl meal the whole family will love! 
  • Quick and easy. Using brown rice means the cooking method is way easier so it cooks up with less fuss than regular risotto.
  • Perfect for meal prep. Need dinner to go together quickly? Cook parts of the dish ahead in order to have dinner on the table in just fifteen minutes. 

What Goes Into This Recipe

Brown rice mushroom risotto relies on quick pantry staple items with just a couple of fresh produce items you will need to pick up! Let’s look closer at the main ingredients.

ingredients for Creamy Brown Rice Risotto measured out against a white background
  • Brown rice: Regular old brown rice! You could also make this “faux” risotto with white rice. Be sure to adjust the cooking time if using white rice.
  • Vegetable broth: Using store-bought vegetable broth infuses more flavor into the rice than water alone.
  • Mushrooms: Opt for pre-sliced mushrooms to save some time! These add their delicious umami flavor to the brown rice risotto.
  • Olive oil: My favorite oil for making this dish but any neutral-flavored vegetable oil will work.
  • White beans: Opt for northern beans, cannellini beans, or other white beans. Using canned beans in this recipe makes it much easier. If you have home-cooked white beans, add 1 ½ cups in place of the can.
  • Nutritional yeast: This gives the dish its 'cheesy' flavor. If you don’t know much about this ingredient, check this guide to nutritional yeast for more info.
  • Garlic powder: An easy dry spice to add a bit of garlic flavor to your risotto. You can swap the powder for fresh cloves of garlic. Mince four cloves of garlic and cook it with the mushrooms.

How To Make Creamy Brown Rice

  • 1) Cook brown rice according to the package instructions. If you’re using brown rice in bulk, boil two cups of water per one cup of rice then let simmer with the lid on for about forty minutes or you can check out this guide here for more options. 
  • 2) Heat vegetable broth over medium heat in a small saucepan.
process of adding veggie broth to pan
  • 3) Combine the beans, one tablespoon of olive oil, two tablespoons of veggie stock, two tablespoons of nutritional yeast, and the salt in a food processor. Pulse or process until smooth, similar to hummus. Set it aside.
  • 4) In a large saucepan, heat the one tablespoon of olive oil and add the mushrooms with salt and pepper. Cook until lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • 5) Once the mushrooms are cooked, reduce the heat and add the cooked brown rice. Next, add the warmed vegetable stock and let simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. 
  • 6) Add the bean puree to the pan and stir to combine. Then add the garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • 7) Once the risotto is thickened to your liking, it’s ready to serve.

NOTE: You may not need to use the entire amount of puree, it is up to your discretion.

Expert Tips 

  • Save some time. Make the brown rice the day before and refrigerate. It will heat up quickly in the warm broth but you may need to allow a few extra minutes to heat.
  • Warm the vegetable stock. It may seem like an extra step but using warm stock heats up the entire dish more quickly and keeps the rice from overcooking and turning to mush.
  • If adding other vegetables. Add them in with the mushrooms to cook before adding the rice.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. To reheat, return it to a skillet and heat until warmed through. You may need to add some liquid to help it regain its creamy texture.
  • Wondering what to serve with brown rice risotto? I love this dish with lemon asparagus and savory tofu, or you can keep it simple with a kale salad.

FAQs

Can I add more vegetables to brown rice risotto?

Yes, you can! While I love the flavors of mushrooms paired with the nuttiness of brown rice you can swap them out or add some more in! When adding more veggies, opt for quick options such as thawed frozen peas, chopped fresh (or frozen) spinach, chopped green beans, or asparagus! 

What type of brown rice is best for making risotto?

You don’t need anything fancy here, simple brown rice will do. However, medium-grain brown rice will cook up a bit creamier than long-grain brown rice such as brown basmati rice. Thankfully in this recipe, the bean puree gives it plenty of creaminess so you can use either one!

Does this brown rice risotto need to be stirred constantly like regular risotto?

Nope! That’s what makes it perfect for lazy weeknight dinners! 

completed Creamy Brown Rice Risotto plated against a light surface

More Brown Rice Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

completed Creamy Brown Rice Risotto plated against a light surface

Creamy Brown Rice Risotto

Lauren Bossi
This easy brown rice risotto with mushrooms turns the traditional risotto upside down! Using a “secret” ingredient to give regular brown rice a look and feel much like cooked arborio rice. I’m here to show you how to make risotto with brown rice for a simple weeknight meal.
5 from 51 votes
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 258 kcal
METHOD Stovetop
DIET Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup of uncooked brown rice
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons of vegetable broth
  • 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 15 ounces of great northern or white beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Minced parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Cook brown rice according to the package instructions. If you’re using brown rice in bulk, boil 2 cups of water per 1 cup of rice then let simmer with the lid on for 40 minutes.
  • Heat vegetable broth over medium heat in a small saucepan.
  • At the same time, combine beans, 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of veggie stock, 2 Tablespoons of nutritional yeast, and salt in a food processor until smooth (like hummus). Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, heat mushrooms with 1 tablespoon of olive oil with salt and pepper until lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Once the mushrooms are cooked, reduce heat and add cooked brown rice. Then add the warmed vegetable stock and let simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Once the time is up, add bean puree to the pan and thoroughly combine. (Note: you may not need to use the entire amount of puree, it is up to your discretion.) Add garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Once risotto is thickened to your liking, remove from heat, top with parsley if using and serve.

Notes

  • Save some time. Make the brown rice the day before and refrigerate. It will heat up quickly in the warm broth but you may need to allow a few extra minutes to heat.
  • Warm the vegetable stock. It may seem like an extra step but using warm stock heats up the entire dish more quickly and keeps the rice from overcooking and turning to mush.
  • If adding other vegetables. Add them in with the mushrooms to cook before adding the rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 258kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 10gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 170mgPotassium: 583mgFiber: 6gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 83IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 64mgIron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

About Lauren Bossi

My name is Lauren Bossi; I run Track & Field at the University of Hartford in CT. I've got a passion for running and plant-based eats. When I'm not wandering around the aisles of the grocery store I enjoy cooking, baking, photography, pun-writing and tag-saling.

View all posts by Lauren Bossi

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Janaye says

    5 stars
    This is super delicious and good for any occasion!

  2. Beatriz says

    5 stars
    My favorite vegan risotto recipe ever 🙂

    • Andrea White says

      I am with you! So creamy and delicious!

  3. Gina H. says

    5 stars
    I'm not a huge mushroom fan, but the flavor of this dish is incredible. It's creamy, savory, and has the perfect texture of rice. Love!

  4. Erin says

    5 stars
    I love the idea of using brown rice in place of arborio! A way to enjoy this classic dish with a healthy sub!

    • Andrea White says

      So true! It makes it that much easier to whip up as well!

  5. Rachel says

    5 stars
    I had no idea you could make risotto with brown rice and now I'm hooked! It came out so creamy!

  6. Brandon says

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe. I added onion and garlic to sauté with the mushrooms, and wilted fresh spinach in it at the end. Like real, creamy risotto without the guilt!!

    • Andrea White says

      Love those additions!! Will definitely have to try that out!

  7. JC says

    5 stars
    I love risotto so much — and mushrooms! This recipe is perfect!

    • Andrea White says

      Agreed! Such an easy and delicious risotto recipe!

  8. Andrea White says

    5 stars
    the creamy texture comes out so spot on! so so good!

  9. Nora says

    5 stars
    Perfect for a weekday meal! The whole family enjoyed it!

    • Andrea White says

      So glad the family enjoyed it! 🙂 It's one of our faves too!

  10. Stephanie says

    5 stars
    Mine risotto turned out great after following your instructions - this will certainly be a regular dish in my house. The kids even ate it!

    • Andrea White says

      So glad it turned out well for you and the kiddos enjoyed it! It's such a yummy and easy recipe!

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