The oven does all the hard work when you make this creamy baked mushroom risotto. Serve with homemade chive pesto for a delicious vegetarian dinner.
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If risotto is not a regular on your table, you’re missing out on one of the most comforting rice dishes you can make. Risotto has a reputation for being tricky to get just right, so you may not feel confident cooking it. Or you may be avoiding it because it’s a hands-on dish that needs constant stirring. If that sounds familiar, then this easy oven risotto is for you.
Risotto recipes use arborio rice. This medium-grain rice variety has a higher starch content than white rice. The rice grains absorb the flavours of the liquid they are cooked in and release starch as they cook. Unlike other rice dishes, the rice is never rinsed before cooking risotto because rinsing removes the starch that gives risotto its creaminess. The traditional process of making risotto also requires lots of stirring to help release the starch from the rice as it cooks. The good news is that you can still make a great-tasting risotto in your oven – no stirring required.
The start of this recipe is different to a regular risotto recipe because you don’t need to get the stock simmering on the stove first, but you do need to remember to preheat the oven to 150°C (or 130°C if you’re using a fan-forced oven). While the oven heats up, start cooking the vegetables on the stovetop in a flameproof casserole pan. If you don’t have a flameproof casserole pan, don’t worry - you can start the recipe in a frying pan on the stove and then transfer everything to an ovenproof dish when you’re ready to bake.
The risotto base can be as simple as onion and garlic, but this recipe also has sliced leek and fennel for extra aromatic flavour. Once the vegetable base is cooked, transfer it to a bowl to make room for cooking the sliced mushrooms. You can make a basic oven risotto without mushrooms, but the combination of brown mushrooms and dried porcini mushrooms adds a rich flavour to this vegetable risotto.
Here’s where this risotto gets much easier than a regular stovetop risotto. Just combine the vegetables, wine and stock in the pan with the rice, pop on the lid and put it in the oven to bake for an hour. This lets the rice mixture cook slowly and absorb all the liquid without the need for stirring. When the rice is tender, remove it from the oven and leave it covered for another 5 minutes to create the perfect texture.
The basic oven risotto is delicious on its own, but it’s easy to make it special with a homemade pesto. This one uses a mixture of rocket and chives for the greens and toasted slivered almonds for extra texture and flavour. It’s quick and easy to make in a food processor – just process the rocket, chives, garlic, parmesan and almonds until finely chopped, then drizzle in olive oil with the motor running to combine.
To add extra flavour and creaminess to the risotto, stir in parmesan and mascarpone, saving some mascarpone to dollop on top with the pesto. Serve in bowls topped with grated parmesan and chopped chives.
This easy oven risotto is a great risotto recipe to add to your repertoire. Want more risotto inspo? For another easy alternative to traditional stovetop risotto, try our slow cooker risotto recipe. Or keep it simple with our 4-ingredient chicken risotto and 5-ingredient vegetable risotto, and head to our What’s for dinner? collection for more easy dinner ideas. Did you know you can use kitchen scraps to flavour the stock for risotto? Try our waste-wise seafood risotto and chicken and mushroom risotto. Plus, use up leftover risotto in our mushroom arancini recipe.
Energy: 2418kJ/578 Cals (28%)
Protein: 13g (26%)
Fat: 30g (43%)
Sat fat: 10g (42%)
Carb: 58g (19%)
Sugar: 4g (4%)
Fibre: 5g (17%)
Sodium: 1075mg (54%)