Cremini Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto + Love Your Leftovers
Mushroom Risotto   Love Your Leftovers
Mushroom Risotto + Love Your Leftovers
Mushroom Risotto + Love Your Leftovers

We keep a small, white two-shelf bookcase in our dining room that I bought almost 10 years ago at a thrift store in Illinois. It was green when I bought it and cost $20, and painting it white was probably the first home/decorating-type project I ever tried. For a long while after I painted it, sitting on newspapers in my parents’ basement, it stayed down there, surrounded by my mom’s collection of artificial flowers and cabinets of Christmas decorations. It didn’t have a place. But then three years ago when I moved to Nashville, that cabinet came out of hiding and became the home of all my cookbooks, like it was the thing it was always meant to do, and now it is a continually curated collection of our cookbooks—curated because they barely fit in the case and we’re always deciding which ones should be moved or given away to make room for others. We had family in town this weekend, and Saturday night standing near the table filled with cream puffs and doughnuts, my sister-in-law asked me which cookbooks I’ve been enjoying most lately. One of the first ones I talked about was Love Your Leftovers.

Written by Nick Evans of Macheesmo, a site I’ve been following for more than five years, Love Your Leftovers wows me for a few reasons. First, it’s a brilliant concept. There are 14 staple recipes (i.e., roast chicken, baked potatoes, homemade bread, beef stock), each with a series of variations on that theme. The idea is that you do one big prep recipe, like make a bunch of baked potatoes one night, and then use that prep work to make meals all week, like a spinach potato casserole or weeknight gnocchi. Second, it’s super inspiring. Whether you use the book to actually plan your weekly menus, as the last chapter of the book demonstrates, or you use the book to drum up new ideas for a fridge full of leftovers, it provides fresh inspiration whenever you need it. When we came home from Florida with a bag full of purple potatoes, it was almost mindless to bake them and use them for gnocchi the next day. After Tim’s family left from this weekend’s visit, it was so simple to pull out the beef broth we made last week and use it in risotto tonight.

Mushroom Risotto + Love Your Leftovers

Because we’re such fans of Nick’s book and because we think some of you will be excited about it too, we’re thrilled that his publisher is giving away two copies to you guys this week. To enter the contest, use the Rafflecopter below. Winners will be announced at the end of the week (probably on Saturday). For more information on the book, check out Nick’s trailer here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cremini Mushroom Risotto


Serving Size: 4 to 6


    the night before:
  • 1.5 cups arborio rice
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • to make the risotto:
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 1.25 pounds fresh cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup diced white onion (from about 1/2 large or 1 medium onion)
  • 1/2 cup white wine or lager
  • 1/2 cup shredded Pecorino cheese (or Parmesan)
  • Chopped parsley (or basil), to garnish


The night before making the risotto:

Place arborio rice in a bowl, cover with water, and add apple cider vinegar. Cover with a paper towel and let sit at room temperature overnight.

To make the risotto:

Strain and rinse the rice. In a large stockpot over medium heat, combine water and beef stock, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Set a large skillet on another burner and melt two tablespoons of coconut oil over medium heat. Once hot, add mushrooms and cook until slightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove mushrooms to a bowl.

Add onions to the pan the mushrooms were in, adding another tablespoon of coconut oil if the pan is dry, and cook until the onions start to soften.

Add rice to the pan and toast for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine or beer, letting it deglaze the pan of anything stuck to the skillet. Once the liquids have evaporated, it's time to start adding from the pot of beef stock.

Add 3/4 cups of beef stock at a time, stirring the mixture frequently while the stock evaporates. As soon as the pan is dry, add stock; repeat this process until the rice is cooked through but still has a slight bite. Nick says this should take about 6 to 8 cups of stock and around 30 to 40 minutes total. You know the risotto is done by tasting it -- Once the rice has the right texture (soft but not mushy), you can stop adding liquids and add the prepared mushrooms. Cook for another few minutes until everything is well combined, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve risotto warm, with Pecorino and chopped herbs (parsley or basil) to garnish. Enjoy!


  1. says

    Although we have risotto fairly regularly (and, in the spirit of this post, it’s our main way of using up leftovers), I’ve never tried soaking the rice the night before; do you find that it makes a difference?

    • says

      Good question! The main reason we soaked the rice is to make it easier to digest; it’s not *necessary* but we’re kind of in the habit of doing it with all our grains or legumes. One thing that did make a big difference with this risotto recipe to me though was cooking it all in a large skillet rather than a stockpot. I think because of the larger surface area being exposed to heat, everything cooked much faster!

      • says

        Thanks Shanna! I’ll definitely give it a try next time we have risotto. The skillet tip is really useful too – anything that cuts the time from pan to eating can only be a good thing!

  2. says

    Ya know, I’ve still never made risotto. It scares me, and it always just seemed like high-maintenance, mushy rice to me, but as I typed that I just thought, “But I kind of like mushy rice…” Also, I love mushrooms, so I think I finally just need to do this already.

  3. says

    i can’t wait to have my own kitchen next year so that I can really start using all my cookbooks! I read cookbooks like they are bedtime stories so I’m always looking for an excuse to expand my collection. Also being able to turn leftovers into something more than just “leftovers” is something I, as a college student, can appreciate!

  4. says

    There’s something so comforting about risotto. Love the idea of this cookbook – it gives you freedom to become a real cook while still creating recipes with economy in mind!

  5. says

    Risotto tops my list of comforting, special foods to make. Even the process is steadying–just stir, pour, stir. Although I’ll use your tip about making it in a large skillet instead of pot. At some point you just want to eat. :)

  6. says

    This is so random … I just stumbled across his web site today through something else, and it just happens to be the day his book launches, and you happen to be doing a giveaway! It was all so meant to be! The premise of this book sounds absolutely perfect. I definitely plan to get my hands on it at some point.

  7. says

    I have a milk crate on my kitchen counter that has my favorite cookbooks. I feel like I hurt their feelings when one has to be moved to the big bookshelf in the other room. Also, this is a great concept for a cookbook. Love it when people think outside the food box but still make it work for everyone. Can’t wait to check it out.

    Pretty risotto. :)

  8. Lindsey says

    So inspired to read this book now! I bought a big jar or arborio rice a little while ago with the best of intentions of trying to make risotto for the first time, but I always thought it was too complicated for a weeknight meal…until now!

  9. Kelley says

    Mmmm, risotto, it’s been too long since I’ve stirred you. :) Thanks for fresh inspiration, as always!

  10. Tabitha says

    The skillet idea is such a great one! I’ve made risotto a couple times, and I inevitably got a steam/ chicken broth facial from standing over a big pot for so long. I’m not the biggest fan of mushrooms, but maybe this risotto will make me a believer.

  11. Rachael M. says

    I LOVE risotto! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I love to freeze leftovers whenever possible because to be honest, although I love cooking, I love being lazy more. 😉 lol

  12. Bethany says

    One big prep and meals all week? I hope I win – that sounds like our life right now. Only, I feel like I repeat too much. It would be great to have something fresh to play with in the kitchen.

  13. says

    brilliant cookbook idea! I love leftover nights at our house… everything almost always ends up in one bowl, eaten on the couch. Cremini risotto sounds a little nicer 😉

  14. says

    I love this concept. I feel like I read about using leftovers creatively a fair amount, but I’ve never seen the information so well compiled and laid out. This books sounds like a joy.

  15. Kira Brown says

    YUM! I started some perpetual broth earlier this week (thanks to your post!) and I’m going to make this risotto for our bible study pot luck tomorrow night.

  16. jacquie says

    they aren’t leftovers but just a start on lunch the next day or a dinner later in the week

  17. says

    Thank you for introducing me to this new-to-me book. I will definitely write it on my book wishlist. The risotto recipe sounds interesting as well; I’ve never heard or pre-soaking the rice but your answer to Kathryn helped me to understand why this is done. Will definitely make this risotto. Firstly, because I’m eager to try the method, and secondly, because mushroom risotto definitely is one of my favorite risotto variations!

    Hope you have a great weekend,

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