Vegan Chicken and Mushroom Risotto
Before I become vegan I loved to make chicken and mushroom risotto for my friends. And since going vegan, I haven’t really found a good chicken substitute that I thought would do it justice, until now. This vegan Chicken and Mushroom Risotto recipe is easy, but needs a lot of love due to the time it takes to make well.
The Vegan Chicken
I’ve been using the Natures Kitchen Chicken Style Meat Free Tenders from Coles for a while now and I’ve only recently realised how versatile they are. Previously I’d just cooked them as per the packet instructions, and sure they were good. But now that I’m using them in my actual cooking I’ve realised how absolutely delicious this these vegan chicken tenders can be.
The other day I made a salad and put these grilled vegan chicken tenders on top, but I made sure I cut them up first and drizzled them with the salad dressing. They are really good at absorbing moisture once you cut them, so they soak up the dressing and become really flavourful.
When it comes to mushrooms for this vegan chicken and mushroom risotto, I tend to explore what’s fresh and available at my local markets. Today I used Swiss Brown and Shimeji Mushrooms. The Swiss Brown goes by different names depending on where you are, so check the wikipedia link if the name doesn’t sound familiar.
I love mushrooms. Not just for their flavour and nutritional value, but the meaty texture they bring to a dish, particularly if they aren’t cooked too much, as is the case here. They also add good colour and presentation to the dish.
If you wanted even more mushroom flavour, you could use a quality mushroom broth for this recipe. I’ve done it before with half mushroom and half vegetable stock, and it was the perfect combination. Mushroom broth is harder to find and expensive, so it’s purely a luxury and not needed to make this great tasting dish.
The Vegan Chicken and Mushroom Risotto
I have a few go-t0 risotto recipes. I love making a big batch and keeping it in the fridge for leftovers. When I’m feeling particularly carb-focused (which is most of the time haha) I love to put it on crunchy toast for breakfast.
I’ll admit I’ve never made Arancini before, but I want to try that soon. If anyone has a good vegan arancini recipe, please comment on this article. I feel like if the chicken was in smaller chunks in this risotto, it’d make a good arancini. Might have to give it a go with my leftovers.
I hope you enjoy this vegan chicken and mushroom risotto as much as I did. Let me know in the comments and please share any tips on how you’ve modified the recipe to our own liking or dietary requirements.
Vegan Chicken and Mushroom Risotto
- 1.5 litres vegetable stock or you could use half mushroom stock and half vegetable stock
- 4 tbsp olive oil divided in half
- 250 grams mock chicken I use the natures kitchen chicken style meat free tenders from Coles
- 300 grams mixed mushrooms roughly chopped into bite size pieces
- 4 tbsp white wine vinegar divided in half
- 1 brown onion peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 3 tbsp parsley chopped
- 1.5 cups arborio rice
- 0.5 lemon juiced
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tbsp truffle oil optional but adds great flavour
- salt and pepper to season
- Pour the stock into a medium sized saucepan and heat on high until simmering, then drop the heat to low and keep covered/warm.
- Whilst the stock warms up, use a grill pan to grill the vegan chicken tenders on each side. I used some spray olive oil to stop them sticking. When they are heated/cooked through and have nice grill marks on both sides remove from the heat. Slice into chunks, place in a bowl, drizzle some warm stock over them and then cover to keep them moist.
- In a large frying pan add half of the olive oil and heat on medium high. Once the oil is hot, add the mushroom and sauté for a minute or so, tossing them occasionally.
- Splash 2 tbsp of the white wine vinegar over the mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes, tossing to cook them evenly. Then remove from the heat and set aside in a bowl.
- In a larger pot, heat the remaining oil over medium high heat. Once hot, toss in the onion, and sauté for 2 minutes or until translucent.
- Add the garlic and parsley and stir, allowing to cook for a further 2 minutes. If it looks like the garlic is burning, reduce the heat and keep stirring.
- Add the rice to the pot and stir, coating it with the oil and onion mixture. Allow to cook for 2 or so minutes without letting it burn, it should start to change colour.
- Splash the remaining white wine vinegar over the rice and stir, cooking for a further minute or so.
- Start to ladle the stock into the risotto and reduce the heat to medium. Start with a full ladle and once that's absorbed, start adding half of a ladle full at a time, stirring continuously and allowing each ladle full to be absorbed before adding another. This process can take a while depending on how much rice you've used, but keep going as the risotto comes together.
- Test the risotto after about 20 minutes to see how it is. If it's still got a little bit of grittiness to it, but you're out of stock, you can start using water. You want it to be firm but cooked through. 1.5L should be plenty for 1.5 cups of rice.
- Once the risotto is nearly cooked, toss in the vegan chicken pieces, the mushrooms, the nutritional yeast flakes and the lemon. Stir well.
- Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper as desired. It's best to wait until the end to season as some stocks are saltier than others.
- Finally, add the vegan butter, stir through and remove from the heat.
- Serve hot with truffle oil drizzled over the top and garnish of your choice. I fried some sage leaves and cooked some vegan garlic bread to go with my vegan chicken and mushroom risotto.