This creamy Mushroom Cauliflower Rice Risotto is a gluten-free alternative to regular risotto. It calls for just a few simple ingredients, and is ready in 20 minutes flat. Watch the video below to see how easy it is to make!
What is risotto?
Risotto is one of my favorite comfort food dishes. It’s a creamy Italian dish made from arborio rice. This type of rice can absorb three times its own volume! To make risotto, arborio rice is cooked with small amounts of broth slowly stirred in, allowing the liquid to be absorbed as you go. This labor of love can take upwards of 30 minutes to make. If you order this dish at a restaurant, they likely will inform you that the dish will take this amount of time before it is ready for you to enjoy.
Regular Risotto vs cauliflower risotto
Although cauliflower rice does not soak up liquid in the way arborio rice does, the cooking technique for this recipe is similar to risotto. Plus, the added touch of parmesan cheese at the end makes this dish just as creamy as the real thing.
This mushroom cauliflower rice risotto is so easy to make:
First, add your mushrooms, onions, and garlic to a pot
Cook these until caramelized. To get technical, caramelization is a chemical reaction called the Maillard reaction. This reaction helps release hundreds of rich, savory flavor compounds.
Caramelized mushrooms and onions are also delicious over veggie burgers, egg frittatas, and customizable power bowls.
Next, add in your cauliflower rice
You can buy cauliflower rice in the fresh or frozen section. You can also find shelf stable ones online. If you’d rather save money and buy a head of cauliflower, you can make your own and freeze any leftovers. I found that about half of one large cauliflower head makes the 4 cups cauliflower rice needed for this risotto recipe. Swapping arborio rice for cauliflower rice– cuts the calories, ups the fiber, and makes this recipe gluten-free.
Finally, stir in the cheese
Risotto typically calls for parmesan cheese, which I’m using here. You can also use a plant-based parmesan cheese to make this recipe dairy-free and vegan.
Ways to customize this cauliflower rice risotto
Serve this dish as is or alongside flakey salmon, a colorful salad, or crispy baked tofu. Feel free to swap out the frozen peas for other frozen veggies of your choice like mixed vegetables, broccoli, or asparagus. This dish is wonderful topped off with fresh herbs like chives, basil, or thyme leaves. It can also never hurt to add an extra sprinkle of parmesan cheese over top for extra creaminess!
Is this recipe vegan?
This recipe is vegan-friendly except for the parmesan cheese added at the end. To make this fully plant-based, substitute parmesan cheese for vegan parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast.
Check out these other healthy Italian inspired dishes:
- One-Pot Tuscan White Bean and Farro Soup
- Goat Cheese Caprese Dip
- Spaghetti with Basil Pesto Sauce
- Spicy Lentil Bolognese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 cup frozen peas or other frozen vegetables of your choice (asparagus cuts, broccoli florets, mixed vegetables)
- 4 cups cauliflower rice
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese or vegan parmesan cheese
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in mushrooms and onion and saute for 10 minutes until caramelized. Add in garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, until golden brown.
- Add in peas, cauliflower rice, and broth. Simmer for 10 minutes until vegetable broth reduces down slightly.
- Turn off heat and stir in parmesan cheese.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 160Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 400mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 5gProtein: 9g
This is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. Nutrition may vary depending on ingredients used. For more nutrition information, seek a professional registered dietitian's advice.