Header shot of a bowl of vegetarian mushroom marsala risotto topped with parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

Vegetarian Mushroom Marsala Risotto

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I’m pretty excited about this vegetarian mushroom marsala risotto recipe. It’d been rattling around in my brain for eons, but I kept putting it off because it felt intimidating. Here’s the thing, though. I’ve made risotto before. The process is time consuming and labor intensive, but it’s really not that bad. It’s just… one of those things that we (or maybe just I) build up as being difficult and time consuming. Here’s the thing about those sorts of recipes, though. Once you muster the strength to actually make them, they’re so rewarding. You get a delicious meal, and you get to feel amazing about having made it yourself. This was no exception.

I opted to make a mushroom marsala risotto because I’ve always been a fan of the Italian-American dish chicken marsala and this felt like a great way to make it vegetarian friendly! Since I was removing the star player, I decided to go hard on the shrooms. I also thought rice would be a fantastic way to make it feel substantial and satisfying. And boy was I right. This risotto is creamy and dreamy. It also makes quite a lot, so it’s great for dinner parties and meal prep.

Why such a large portion!?

Most risotto recipes I’ve seen call for 1.5 cups of arborio rice. I, however, used a whopping 2 cups. It yielded about 8 servings. Using the customary 1.5 cups of rice felt silly to me, though, as a standard box contains 2 cups. Why keep an extra half a cup for no good reason? What would I even do with half a cup of this very specific rice? It’d sit in the cabinet for 2 years and then probably get thrown out. So I used it all and made an extra large batch. It made the process more worthwhile. I’ve been eating risotto for days and I regret nothing.

Any special reheating instructions?

Not really. I like to spoon a portion into a bowl and pop it into the microwave for about a minute and a half (in 30 second increments). The texture of your reheated risotto won’t be quite the same. Less saucy, as the rice will soak a lot of the moisture up. It’ll still be delicious, though!

Notes on ingredients and process:

When making risotto, you need to use a short grain rice that’s high in starch like arborio. You don’t need to rinse the rice before using it, either. We want to keep that starch right where it is.

The thing people find intimidating about this dish is that you need to spoon one ladle of stock over the rice at a time, stirring until it’s absorbed before adding the next. Repeat this process until the rice is cooked through and swimming in a nice, silky sauce. It’s a lot of stirring, and a lot of standing over a hot pot, but it’s not hard.


Vegetarian Mushroom Marsala Risotto

Course dinner, entree, lunch, Main Course
Keyword marsala, mushroom, rice dish, risotto, vegetarian, Vegetarian Mushroom Marsala Risotto
Servings 8


  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 Shallots (Minced)
  • 2 cloves Garlic (Minced)
  • 1 lb Baby bella mushrooms (Roughly chopped)
  • 4 sprigs Thyme (Leaves from)
  • 3 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper (Freshly ground)
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup Dry Marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup Heavy cream
  • 5-6 cups Vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted butter
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese (Freshly grated)


  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley (Chopped)
  • More parmesan (Freshly grated)


  • Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the shallots and garlic until translucent. Then add the mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms are tender.
  • Add the rice and stir. Then add the wine and cook until it has all evaporated. 
  • Pour in the cream and stir. Heat to a simmer, and start adding the vegetable stock one ladle at a time, stirring until it is all absorbed before adding more. Continue this process until the stock is absorbed and the rice is al dente. This should take between 20 and 30 minutes.
  • Stir in butter and parmesan. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Then divide into bowls (store anything you don't want to eat immediately in an airtight container in the fridge). Top with chopped Italian parsley and more freshly grated parmesan and serve immediately. 

See, that wasn’t so bad. If you make this mushroom marsala risotto, I truly hope you love it. Either way, let me know what you think in the comments or on Instagram! I always love hearing from you and seeing your creations.

Looking for more veggie friendly main courses? Check out my white cheddar and lavender stovetop mac and cheese or my harissa roasted acorn squash with couscous and yogurt sauce!

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