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Vegan Cauliflower and Mushroom Risotto Recipe


Vegan Cauliflower and Mushroom Risotto Recipe
vegan risotto
Image ©Doris Lin 2012, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Who says you need chicken broth, butter, cheese or any animal products to make risotto?

The rice in a traditional Italian risotto is soft and creamy on the outside, but the center of each grain is still al dente - a little bit firm. While it will still be delicious heated up the next day, the texture will not be the same.

Risotto needs constant attention and stirring. Don't walk away from the stove. If you have to answer the phone, turn off the stove, take the pot off the heat and come back as soon as possible.

This risotto is especially good for getting kids to eat their vegetables. When it's chopped up into small pieces, the cauliflower blends in with the rice, so they'll be eating cauliflower without even realizing it. And if you're giving it to kids, you might want to skip the parsley.

In this recipe, the rice gets its flavor from the vegetable broth, so make sure to use a broth that you love. It can be homemade or you can use store-bought broth.


  • Half of a yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 3 cups arborio or other short grain rice
  • half of a head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 quarts of vegetable broth (approx.)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley (optional)
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling (optional)

In a large pot, saute the garlic and onion in the oil until the onion is soft. Add the rice and the mushrooms, and saute the rice for a few minutes until it becomes translucent, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, so that every grain is coated in the oil. In another pot, heat up your vegetable broth, and keep a ladle handy.

Add the cauliflower, then add two ladles of broth to the rice and stir constantly until the broth is absorbed - just a minute or two - but don't let the rice dry out or it will burn. Keep adding the broth to the rice two ladle-fuls at a time, stirring between each addition, and waiting until the broth is absorbed before adding more. Constant stirring makes the risotto creamy. If your broth is unsalted, this would be a good time to add a teaspoon of salt to the rice. When the rice seems to be geting soft, about 15 minutes after you started adding the broth, taste it and adjust the salt and pepper.

When the rice is done, take the pot off the heat, drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil over it and stir in the chopped parsley.

There are plenty of reasons to stop eating dairy and go vegan. Dairy is bad for people, cows and the environment. Many people don't realize that veal is a by-product of the dairy industry because the cows have to be kept constantly pregnant to get them to produce milk. But aside from the cruelty and suffering, breeding, buying, and keeping cows for their milk violates their right to live free of human use and exploitation.

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