This recipe is the perfect mushroom risotto with a touch of bacon, spinach, and Parmesan create a creamy, traditional meal that can be served as a main dish or side.
What’s not to love about the flavor combination of bacon, mushrooms, and cheese? It’s a favorite around here and this risotto recipe is flavor packed with a creamy texture! Although I have heard that risotto is hard to make, this recipe has been my go-to for years and very forgiving. The key is just slow and steady, and the flavors will blend perfectly!
So, what is risotto? Risotto is a rustic Italian dish that consists of rice cooked to a creamy consistency in a warm broth. The stirring releases starches which make the rice creamy and delicious!
How to Make Mushroom Risotto
You can actually use any kind of veggie with this recipe. Mushroom and spinach are a great combination for risotto, plus the bacon is always a great flavor. However, you could use additional cheese varieties, peppers, or other veggies too.
The steps for making bacon mushroom risotto are pretty straight forward:
- Toast the rice – After heating the oil, Stir in rice and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in Sherry and cook 1 minute or until nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.
- Add the broth 1 cup at a time – Stir in 1 cup broth, cook until the liquid is nearly absorbed, and stir. Repeat with the remaining stock, 1 cup at a time before adding the next (about 25 minutes total).
Tips for making Bacon Mushroom Risotto
And, not to boast, but I am seriously raising the bar with this creamy, dreamy risotto. There are a few tricks to producing the perfect creaminess.
- Heat the chicken stock before adding to the rice. The heat allows the broth to soak in consistently.
- Don’t rush it! It is tempting to pour all of the chicken stock in at one time but you will end up with a lump of, well, I don’t know how to put it but it won’t be good.
- The rice does need to be stirred frequently. It’s not hard though, just stir often and add the stock a bit at a time. That’s it!
Frequently asked questions:
Traditionally, Arborio rice is used to make risotto recipes. It’s shaped a bit like a flattened, fat rice grain. Arborio rice is an Italian short grain rice that is more starchy than regular rice so as it cooks, it creates a creamy consistency.
You can use other rice varieties, but it won’t have the same creamy texture. I would not recommend instant rice because it will absorb the broth too much. Whatever veggies you choose, they should be pre-cooked separately from the rice and added at the end.
You can make risotto ahead of time, and I would leave the last cup of warmed broth, bacon, spinach, and cheese out. When ready, reheat in a pan with the reserved broth until warm and wilt the spinach. Add additional bacon topping. The reheating will be a bit thicker in consistency.
This dish makes excellent leftovers as well. Refrigerate leftovers and reheat in the microwave or a pan. The consistency may be thicker due to the broth continuing to soak into the Arborio.
Just like a mushroom pasta dish, this risotto is a rich, creamy, decadent recipe, that elevated any dish it is paired with!
Try serving it with a simple grilled or baked chicken to really let the risotto shine!
A crispy, tangy salad like classic greek salad or Cobb Salad are flavorful accompaniments as well. If you want a vegetable side, then a simple steamed broccoli or baked carrots also makes for a colorful side dish.
Looking for more warm Italian dinner ideas? Check these recipes out:
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Bacon Mushroom Risotto
- 5 slices bacon diced
- 1 cup yellow onion diced
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp thyme
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced button or baby bella is fine
- 1 cup Arborio rice uncooked
- ⅓ cup dry sherry
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups spinach stems removed
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- Warm chicken broth over low heat.
- In a large dutch oven over medium heat, add bacon. Cook until crisp and stir occasionally, about 8-10 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towels.
- Add onions, oil, thyme, and garlic to drippings. Cook for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant. Sir in mushrooms. Cook until onion is translucent and mushrooms darken, about 8 minutes.
- Stir in rice and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in Sherry and cook 1 minute or until nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.
- Stir in 1 cup broth, cook until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stir occasionally. Repeat with the remaining stock, 1 cup at a time before adding the next (about 25 minutes total).
- Stir in spinach, cook for 1-2 minutes until the leaves wilt. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and bacon. Salt and pepper to taste.
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