Instant Pot Wild Mushroom Risotto ~ this earthy risotto is one of my all time favorites for a quick weeknight meal or a romantic dinner by the fire. Wild mushrooms, dry sherry, and fresh thyme provide glorious flavor, and the Instant Pot does its thing in 6 minutes.
If you’ve left your Valentine’s Day meal planning to the last minute you’re about to get a reprieve… this Instant Pot Risotto is righteous, romantic, and ready in minutes…with none of that slaving over a hot stove stuff.
If you’re skeptical ~ are you skeptical? Don’t be! I’ve written about this before, and it’s hands down the biggest discovery I’ve had in the kitchen in the last year. The Instant Pot makes the best risotto that’s ever come out of my kitchen, in 6 minutes. The rice is perfectly al dente and creamy, in fact I think it has a better texture and deeper flavor than when I make it on the stove. I double dog dare any of you to prove me wrong!
Note: if you don’t have an instant pot and still want this dish, try my Easy Mushroom Risotto, it’s a stove top recipe.
Risotto is quite filling, so all you have to add is a nice salad and a little wine. Red lovers go for a Pinot Noir, white fans try a Chardonnay or Pinot Gris. The meal is restaurant quality for a tiny fraction of the price, and in record time. Wow is this good.
Be sure to look for quality Parm, aka make sure it’s labeled Parmigiano-Reggiano. Yes, it’s pricy, but a little goes a long way with this super flavorful cheese, and it will last a good long while in the cheese drawer of your fridge. The alternative? Cheap Parmesan cheese will give your risotto an air of old socks. Not what we’re going for :)
Gruyere, I know, also pricey, would work well here, too.
Now let’s talk dried wild mushrooms. Why do I use them? The answer has everything to do with flavor and texture. Drying intensifies both…think about the difference between a fresh apricot and a dried apricot.
Mushrooms are fascinating…they’re classified as fungi, which means they’re neither animal nor vegetable, they’re not even considered to be plants! They’re all alone in a class by themselves, and there are thousands upon thousands of edible varieties. Mushrooms have an equally unique flavor that falls into the umami category.
My meat loving husband swears that he loves mushrooms as much as steak. And it’s true, mushrooms are very close in texture and flavor to red meat, so they are a great choice if you’re trying to cut back on red meat consumption (something we all need to do!)
Sometimes you’ll find fresh wild mushrooms next to the regular cultivated kind (the white buttons, etc) but more often you’re likely to find them in dried form, usually in small 1/2 ounce packages. In order to use them you need to re-hydrate them in hot water. This plumps and softens the mushrooms and creates an earthy broth at the same time. After I chop the mushrooms I’ll strain the soaking liquid and use it in my recipe, so you get double duty out of these shriveled guys.
While the Instant Pot is cooking I quickly sauté some fresh Cremini mushrooms in a skillet so I’ll have a nice garnish for the top of my risotto. You could also throw them right into the Instant Pot, but I think it looks nicer this way.
Please make the small effort to use fresh thyme in this dish, it makes all the difference. You can find fresh herbs all year round in the produce section. I tie some of the thyme in a bundle to throw into the instant pot, and then strip the leaves to stir into the risotto after it has cooked. The shallots, mushrooms, sherry, and thyme is a classic French pairing that’s so easy to enjoy at home.
- 1 ounce dried wild mushrooms (or two 1/2 ounce packages)
- 1/2 ounce package fresh thyme, divided
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 large shallot, peeled and minced
- 1 large clove of garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/3 cup dry sherry (you can also use white wine, but steer clear of cooking wine)
- 15 ounce can beef broth (you can use chicken broth as well)
- optional: 1 tsp Kitchen Bouquet gravy browning sauce, which just gives the risotto a deeper richer color.
- 1/2 cup grated good quality Parmesan plus more for garnish
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- optional: a final drizzle of truffle oil
- Pour boiling water over the mushrooms and let them soak for 30 minutes. Push the mushrooms down into the water if they float. You may need to put a plate over the top to keep them submerged. I put mine in a large mason jar. Drain and reserve the liquid and then strain it through cheesecloth or through a coffee filter to remove any sediment. Set aside. Give the soaked mushrooms a rough chop.
- Take about half of the thyme sprigs and tie them in a bundle with a piece of string. Strip the other stems to make about 2 tablespoons of leaves. Set both aside.
- Meanwhile put the butter and oil into the Instant Pot and press sauté. Sauté the shallots and garlic on the 'normal' setting for a few minutes, stirring often, until they've softened. Add the rice and stir for another minute.
- Add the sherry to the pot and stir until it gets absorbed. Press OFF.
- Add 1/2 cup of the mushroom liquid and the beef broth to the pot, along with the chopped wild mushrooms, stirring to combine everything. Add the Kitchen Bouquet to the pot now, if you are using. Add the salt and pepper, along with the bundle of thyme and push it down into the liquid. Lock the lid and set the vent to SEAL. Set the Instant Pot to PRESSURE COOK on HIGH, for 6 minutes.
- While the risotto is cooking, sauté the fresh mushrooms in the butter until they soften and begin to brown.
- When the Instant Pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally (don't touch the valve) for 5 minutes, then turn the valve to VENT. When the pressure is all released, open the pot. Carefully remove the bundle of thyme and discard. Stir the cheese and loose thyme leaves into the risotto. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the risotto topped with the sautéed mushrooms, a final shower of Parmesan cheese, and, if you're going all out, a drizzle of truffle oil.
If you like a very loose or brothy risotto, you might want to have some extra broth on hand to add at the end. Make sure it's hot.
Make this wild mushroom risotto your own ~
- Don’t have an instant pot? You can certainly do this on the stove. Plan on about 30 minutes standing there stirring, though. You’ll need about 6 cups of stock or stock mixed with water, and you’ll ladle it slowly into the rice while you stir. When each addition of stock has been absorbed, add another until the rice is creamy and just tender.
- Make this vegetarian or vegan with mushroom or vegetable stock and vegan cheese.
- If you don’t want to use alcohol, just use broth in that step. But I highly recommend using the sherry (or other white wine) because it really adds to the flavor of the risotto.
- If you like your risotto extra rich and creamy, stir in some mascarpone cheese at the end. You can even make your own, I’ll show you how ~ How to Make Homemade Mascarpone Cheese.
Thanks for pinning my wild mushroom risotto!