Creamy vegan risotto with mushrooms and sausage isn’t difficult to make. But it does take a bit of babying. The effort is totally worth it – bite after luxurious bite.
Thank you to Herbivorous Butcher for sponsoring today’s post! The contents, photos, and opinions expressed are fully my own.
This time of year, it’s hard to fight against the pull of cozy. A warm home, thick slippers, and a couple of purring cats are endlessly persuasive when the air is biting and gray.
So what’s a person to do on special occasions or when you’d like a romantic date night but can’t bear to fight the cold? Bring the fun of going out to the comfort of your own kitchen with creamy vegan risotto.
This vegan risotto recipe features mushrooms, cashew cream, and seitan sausage from The Herbivorous Butcher.
Regular readers know that I’m a longtime fan of Herbivorous Butcher. No visit to the Twin Cities is complete without a stop at their brick and mortar location. Their plant-based meats & cheeses are artisanal quality.
Not only can you purchase their vegan meats & cheeses in their Minneapolis store, you can buy their products online and have them shipped to your door. They ship to all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico.
They have sausage on their a la carte menu. (I used garlic sausage, but feel free to grab whichever one appeals to you!)
Arborio rice & cashew cream adds extra creaminess
Risotto has “special occasion” written all over it, because it does take a little more attention than your standard weeknight rice dish. (Perfect for vegan Christmas dinner!) However, it’s not complicated to make. It just means that you have to focus on the one thing you’re doing.
For this risotto, I used Arborio rice. It is a plump grain that holds its shape, and has a starchiness that lends itself to risotto.
But this vegan risotto is not just creamy from the rice alone. I also finish it with cashew cream. It’s almost like vegan risotto meets mushroom alfredo.
It makes for a really indulgent, full-bodied dish that feels downright decadent.
How to make it
Start by browning bite-sized pieces of seitan sausage in a large skillet. Then move them to a plate for later.
Then sauté mushrooms in the skillet until they release their juices and brown. Push them to one side of the skillet, and add onions and garlic. Sauté until fragrant.
Add the Arborio rice, thyme, rosemary, and pepper. Get everything fully coated.
Then it’s time to start slowly adding in vegetable broth – one or two ladles at a time from a pot of warm vegetable broth on the stove.
With each ladling of broth, allow the rice to fully soak it up before adding another. Keep stirring. As it cooks, the risotto will start to thicken.
Keep adding ladle after ladle of broth until you run out. This will take about 25 minutes. By the time you finish, the rice should be al dente.
Add cashew cream to the pan (made with raw cashews and water). Also add the seitan sausage back into the pan. Combine everything and let it cook for about a minute more.
The risotto should be creamy and luxurious, but not overly wet.
Serve this creamy vegan risotto with seitan filet mignon, and a green vegetable like steamed broccoli or grilled asparagus.
Have leftovers? Repurpose your risotto into vegan arancini. Leftovers have never been better.
Enjoy creamy vegan risotto on its own, with roasted vegetables, or alongside Herbivorous Butcher filet. (Yep, that’s vegan too!)
Creamy vegan risotto with mushrooms & sausage
- ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons raw cashews*
- ½ cup water
- 3 ½ cups vegetable broth**
- 2 teaspoons organic canola oil or other neutral-flavored high heat oil, divided
- 1 cup 6 ounces chopped seitan sausage (I used Herbivorous Butcher garlic sausage), small to medium bite-sized pieces
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms sliced
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup chopped yellow onions
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- Pepper to taste
- Make the cashew cream. Put the raw cashews into a high speed blender with ½ cup of water. Blend until it is completely smooth, a thick cashew cream. Set aside.
- Bring a small pot of vegetable broth to a low heat on the stove. You'll come back to it in a bit.
- Bring a large non-stick skillet to a medium heat with one teaspoon of oil. Brown the seitan sausage pieces in the skillet to give them some color on both sides. This should just take a couple of minutes. Remove the sausage pieces from the skillet, and transfer them to a plate for later.
- Add a half teaspoon of oil to the skillet, as well as the sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Allow the mushrooms to release their liquid and brown in the skillet. Once the mushrooms are brown on one side, flip them. (Moving the mushrooms too often will slow their browning.)
- Once the mushrooms have some nice color, push them to one side of the skillet. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon of oil to the empty side of the skillet, along with chopped onions & garlic. Saute the onions and garlic for a couple minutes, until fragrant. Then stir them together with the mushrooms.
- Add Arborio rice, dried thyme, dried rosemary, and a grind of black pepper to the skillet. Use a spatula to fully incorporate all of the ingredients. Cook for a minute or so.
- Now it's time to start incorporating the warm broth. Add one or two ladles of warm broth to the skillet. Stir the Arborio rice mixture almost constantly. The ingredients in the skillet should be at a low simmer. You don't want everything to boil off quickly, but you also don't want the heat so low that it takes forever to cook.
- Once the rice has fully absorbed the first round of broth, add another ladleful and allow that to be absorbed, continuing to stir often. Keep going in this manner - ladle by ladle - until all of the broth is used. (Once the broth is gone out of the small pot, remember to turn off the heat.) As it cooks, the risotto will start to thicken. It should take about 25 minutes for all of the broth to be absorbed into the rice. Take a bite. The rice should be perfectly al dente. (It's unlikely, but if it still feels too hard, you can add a splash more of water to the rice until it reaches the right texture.)
- Now it's time to add the cashew cream. Pour the cashew cream into the skillet, and fully combine. Add the browned sausage to the skillet as well. Allow the risotto to cook for a minute or so longer, and for the sausage to warm up again. The risotto should be velvety and rich. Taste for salt & pepper, and add more if necessary. Serve right away.
Recipe video music: https://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music
Originally posted January 2019. Content updated October 2019 to remove Valentine’s Day pack information, since it’s not currently available.
This is a sponsored post with a brand that I use in my own home. Posts like these help me keep fresh recipes coming your way!