mushroom-pea-leek-risotto in a bowl

Weeknight Dinner: Mushroom and Pea Risotto

Warm and comforting risotto comes together quickly and easily in less than 30 minutes.

Sometimes you just don’t feel like cooking. Especially during the pandemic. To me it often feels like burden. On those days, one pot meals like soup, risotto, stews and chili make life easy.

This risotto came together with items I received this week in my CSA box. Leeks, mushrooms, onions plus some frozen peas, make this a savory dish perfect for a fall or winter night.

Pair the risotto with a crusty bread and a simple salad and it’s plenty of food for 2 or 4 people. What’s even better is that the extra risotto can be made into a tasty snack on the weekend, risotto balls!


  • 8 Cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/4 Cup unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 Large or 2 medium leeks, washed, split and sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 Cups mushrooms chopped
  • 2 Cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or short-grain white rice
  • 2/3 Cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 Cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2/3 Cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional


  1. Bring the broth to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan. Set aside until ready to add to the risotto pot 1-2 ladles at a time. Keep the broth warm over very low heat.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add the onions, leeks and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the rice and let it toast for a few minutes.
  4. Add the wine; cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add 1 cup or 2 ladles of hot broth at a time; simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes.
  6. Continue to cook until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, adding more broth by cupfuls and stirring often, about 28 minutes (the rice will absorb 6 to 8 cups of broth). Continue until all broth is used and absorbed by the rice. Stir in the peas. Mix in the Parmesan and top with fresh basil.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

The recipe makes enough for 4 people.

Risotto Balls

Hot and creamy risotto balls are extra special treats when stuffed with fresh mozzarella

To Prepare the Risotto Balls:

  • Mix leftover risotto and 2 eggs in a bowl with 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese.
  • Using a small ice cream or melon ball scoop, scoop the cold risotto into your palm and roll into a ball.
  • Note: balls should be 2″ in diameter. The larger the ball the more likely to fall apart in frying.
  • Stuff the ball with a small piece of prosciutto or cheese (fontina, mozzarella, provolone)
  • Roll in bread crumbs (note panko does not work well here)
  • Deep fry in hot vegetable, canola or safflower oil until crisp, being careful not to burn yourself.
  • When cooked to golden brown, remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
  • Serve warm.

Need other weeknight inspiration? You can find more great ideas like: peasant pasta, mac and cheese, and steak salad under recipe.

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