I love the flavor of chorizo and this vegetarian mushroom “chorizo” risotto brings that PLUS the liquid gold that is normally associated with traditional chorizo. In combination with lots of delicious mushrooms, this spicy manchego risotto recipe is simply perfection.
This spicy risotto recipe has a few key components that riff on a traditional risotto:
- Chorizo spice blend
- Lots of mushrooms
- Manchego cheese
What is manchego cheese?
Manchego cheese is from the La Mancha region of Spain and is from the milk of Manchega sheep.
There are strict requirements for the cheese to be certified as authentically Manchego. For instance, it must be produced on a registered farm within approved provinces in the La Mancha region. It must come only from the milk of Manchega sheep (who are raised on the registered farms). There are production requirements too, including dictating the size of the mold for pressing the cheese. In terms of aging, Manchego makers age it for a minimum of 60 days and a maximum of 2 years.
Manchego cheese melts phenomenally well making it a great addition to risotto. It melts quickly meaning you can throw it in the risotto after you’ve taken it off the heat and it will melt right away.
How to make vegetarian mushroom “chorizo” risotto:
I love a traditional Italian mushroom risotto, but since I had that delicious manchego cheese on hand, I decided to finely mince mushrooms and season them with spices traditionally associated with Spanish dry chorizo (and a few wild card spices!), including:
- Smoked, sweet, and hot paprika
- Ground white pepper
- Lots of garlic powder
- A dash of crushed red pepper
To make this risotto, first prepare your ingredients. It takes a bit of time to dice up the mushrooms, so start with that. Once you finish prepping the ingredients, start the risotto.
First, sauté the shallot until it softens. Next, add the mushrooms–in batches if needed. Cook the mushrooms until they turn golden brown in places. Create a bit of open space in the center of the mushrooms and melt butter. Pour the spice mixture into the butter and let it sizzle briefly and then stir to coat the mushrooms in the mixture. Add the rice and toss to coat.
From there, simply alternate adding water or stock and stirring the risotto vigorously until all of the liquid absorbs into the rice, and the risotto is thick and creamy.
Looking for more vegetarian recipes? Check my archives!
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Vegetarian Mushroom “Chorizo” Risotto
- Large pot
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots peeled and small-diced
- 16 ounces mixed mushrooms trimmed and finely diced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon hot paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper to taste
- 1 cup carnaroli or arborio rice
- 5–6 cups warm stock or water more or less depending on your rice
- ½ cup freshly grated manchego cheese plus more for serving
- ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves minced; optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté the shallot:
- Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes until softened.
Cook the mushrooms:
- Add the mushrooms–in batches if needed–to the shallot and cook for 8-9 minutes until they are golden brown around the edges. Season with salt and pepper. If you cooked the mushrooms in batches, return all of them to the pot.
Bloom the spices:
- Create an open space in the center of the mushrooms and add the butter. Once it is melted and frothy, add the sweet, smoked, and hot paprika along with the garlic powder, white pepper, and crushed red pepper. Stir the mixture into the butter for 30 seconds and then toss to coat the mushrooms completely in the spice mixture.
Cook the rice:
- Add the carnaroli rice to the mushrooms and toss to coat. Season everything lightly with salt.
Cook the risotto:
- Add 1 cup of warm water or stock to the rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and stir to agitate the rice.
- For the next 30–35 minutes. alternate adding water or stock and stirring the rice until the liquid becomes thick and the rice softens. Stirring the risotto regularly will allow the rice to release starch and thicken the liquid but stirring too much will add air to the risotto and make it gluey, so no need to stir every second during cooking!
- Once the liquid has been absorbed and the risotto is thick and creamy, turn off the heat. Taste the risotto once more and season again to your preferences.
Melt the manchego cheese:
- Off the heat, stir the manchego cheese into the risotto until melted.
- Divide the cooked risotto between bowls and garnish with more manchego cheese, black pepper, and fresh parsley. Enjoy!