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Creamy Vegan Mushroom & Watercress Risotto

vegan mushroom risotto in bowl

This vegan mushroom risotto is simple and delicious. Chewy rice with umami mushrooms and spicy watercress is a match made in heaven. I love to cook this dish to enjoy alfresco. It’s best appreciated with friends, wine and a little sleep…

vegan mushroom risotto close up in pan

Risotto might be my favourite rice dish ever. There’s something so incredibly comforting about the plump grains of rice. Bathed in thick stock and massaged into stodgy heaven. Risotto is genuinely remarkable.

vegan mushroom risotto with person holding bowl

I’ve long been a proponent of mushroom risotto. The dark umami flavour of mushrooms is wonderful with risotto rice. I’ve used a mixture of chestnut mushrooms and dried porcini in this recipe. I’ve found this combo works the best to give the maximum flavour for your money.

However, you can toss in whatever mushrooms you have lying around. Every so often, I manage to get my hands on deliciously hand foraged wild mushrooms. This mushroom risotto is the recipe I turn to when I have a glut of beautiful wild mushrooms. I like to use some in the rice while cooking and then plate the risotto with seared mushrooms with a bit of garlic and olive oil. Simply delicious.

vegan mushroom risotto in pan

Now I know it’s not entirely revolutionary to use mushrooms in risotto. It’s kind of a classic pairing. What you might be less familiar with is the use of watercress.

This often-overlooked salad leaf is one of the unsung heroes of the leafy spring greens. In season from April through to the end of Autumn, it’s versatile and easy to grow. The peppery and fresh taste is perfect for this vegan mushroom risotto.

vegan mushroom risotto with watercress close

I plate the rice with a generous helping of watercress, giving it a spicy zing. It elevates the earthy flavour of the mushrooms and helps make the stodgy rice taste a little less heavy. A fresh note at the end of a mouthful of chewy grains is just what the doctor ordered.

vegan mushroom risotto side angle

This risotto rice is sensational throughout the seasons; however, I prefer to enjoy this dish in spring and early summer. It’s the perfect dish to enjoy for a weekend lunch in the garden or on the terrace. I recommend enjoying the risotto with a generous glass of white wine and an afternoon snooze!

More risotto recipes for you to enjoy:

Creamy Vegan Mushroom & Watercress Risotto

A simple and delicious vegan risotto. The chewy rice with the umami mushrooms and fresh watercress is divine. This dish is perfect for whatever occasion.
vegan mushroom risotto in bowl
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Course Main Course, Rice

This meal is around 84% less polluting than the average UK meal.

Eating this recipe will save around 2.47 KG CO2e per person.

That’s equivalent to the emissions produced driving 20.43 KM in a modern car.

How do I calculate this?


  • 300 g Risotto rice
  • 500 g Chestnut mushrooms (thinly sliced)
  • 2 Large onions (finely diced)
  • 1 Clove Garlic (minced)
  • 30 g Dried shiitake mushrooms (sliced)
  • 200 ml White wine
  • 50 g Watercress
  • 4 Tablespoons Nutritional yeast
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1.5 Litres Vegetable stock


  • Place the 30g of dried shiitake mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with 200ml of freshly boiled water. Leave to soak for 5-10 minutes until the mushrooms are soft.
  • Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a wide and deep saucepan over medium. Toss in the diced onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until the onion is soft.
  • Add the dried shiitake mushrooms and soaking broth into the pan. Toss in the 500g of sliced chestnut mushrooms and pour over the 200ml of white wine. Increase the heat of the pan. Fry the mushrooms, stirring often until the white has completely reduced.
  • Season the mushrooms with a teaspoon of sea salt and then tip in the 300g of risotto rice. Stir to combine the rice with the mushrooms and onion.
  • Add a few ladles of the vegetable stock (just enough to cover the rice) and bring the pan to a simmer. Stir the rice until all the stock is absorbed. Continue adding stock a ladleful at a time for 20-30 mins, stirring continually, until all liquid is absorbed and the rice is soft and fluffy.
  • Remove the rice from the heat and stir through the 4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Plate the risotto with some fresh watercress scattered over each dish.

Hi i'm Hugo

I started Lowly to help more people discover sustainable food. Planet-friendly food doesn’t have to be bland and boring. My recipes celebrate how diverse and flavourful it truly is.

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January 9, 2023 at 10:29 am

Thoroughly enjoyed this recipe. In fact everybody said they’d like it again soon. (I added roasted cherry tomatoes, but only because I like red and green in a meal!). Thank you very much for the recipe.


    February 2, 2023 at 2:23 pm

    Amazing! The roasted cherry toms sound like a perfect addition.