Vegan Risotto: A Sunday Dinner Idea

Vegan risotto. Photo: Romjan Aly / Pixabay
Author Liubov Safonova
Category Columnists, Lifestyle, Town
Date March 30 2024
Reading Time 3 min.

Vegan Risotto: A Sunday Dinner Idea

A vegan dinner – more than just delicious! And it’s hardly a surprise anymore. But today, let’s talk about a special version: culinary critic Liubov Safonova suggests trying “non-chicken” risotto.

Vegan versions of risotto are often made with mushrooms. For example, in Tuscany, they love risotto with porcini mushrooms, while in Russia, risotto with chanterelles is popular. But what if you want to have a protein-rich dinner without the taste of mushrooms? We offer a modern British alternative – a version of risotto with “non-chicken” fillet. Strictly speaking, it’s also mushroom-based: most companies make this product from mycelium. However, it doesn’t have a pronounced mushroom taste, and, for example, a chicken lover probably won’t notice anything.


  1.  This dish should be cooked in a sauté pan or skillet with high sides and a thick bottom, preferably with a diameter of about 24-30 cm.
  2.  You’ll need special rice labeled “for risotto”: it won’t turn into mush but will remain firm and give the desired creamy texture.
  3.  In the recipe, we recommend using shallot onion, as it has the right balance of sweetness and sharpness, but if you only have regular onions, that’s fine.
  4. You can choose any vegan chicken, either in fillet format or pre-cut into cubes. Fillets are usually juicier, and you’ll need to spend a couple of minutes evaporating excess moisture. But since the whole process of making risotto involves reducing liquid, there’s no harm in that.
  5.  You can prepare vegetable broth yourself or use ready-made broth, ramen broth will do. If it’s quite salty, you may not need to add additional salt to the dish.
  6.  It’s very important not to stop stirring the risotto: it may be tiring to do this for 20 minutes, but the result is worth it.

Ingredients for 2 servings:

Extra virgin olive oil — 2-3 tablespoons (for frying);
Shallot onion — 1 medium-sized;
Garlic — 1 clove;
Vegan chicken — 1 package (350-400 grams);
White wine — 50 ml (the drier, the better);
Vegetable broth — 500 ml;
Risotto rice — 100-150 grams (half a cup);
Salt — half a teaspoon;
Basil — to taste.

Let’s cook:

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Immediately set the heat to medium: the oil shouldn’t overheat.
  2. Finely chop the shallot onion, distribute it evenly in the skillet, and sauté, stirring occasionally. The onion should become not golden but slightly translucent, this will take about 5 minutes.
  3. Grate the garlic clove on a fine grater or crush it into a paste with a garlic press. Add it to the onion.
  4. While the onion is cooking, dice the “non-chicken” fillets (if you bought “non-chicken” in pieces, it’s worth cutting them into small pieces). While maintaining medium heat, add the fillets to the onion and garlic, and continue stirring. The goal is not to brown it but to get rid of excess moisture.
  5.  Add the rice, salt, and mix well with the other ingredients. Continue stirring for about a minute until all the rice is coated with an oily film.
  6. Pour in the wine. It’s good if you manage to find slightly acidic wine: this will make the risotto more interesting. Wait until the wine evaporates.
  7. In 3-4 steps, add the broth. Stir vigorously after each addition, and add the next portion when the previous one has almost completely evaporated.
  8. When the broth is finished, taste the risotto: if you feel that the rice is not elastic but still slightly crunchy, add 50 ml of water. If everything is fine, you’ll get a delicate, creamy risotto, and the rice grains will have the texture of good milk chocolate.

When serving risotto, you can sprinkle it with hard cheese, but it’s not necessary: the combination of vegan chicken, shallot onion, and white wine gives the dish a delicacy that strong cheese can overshadow. However, finely chopped basil, on the contrary, will complement the finished risotto very well.