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Mushroom & Spinach Quinoa “Risotto”


I don’t know about you, but ever since watching shows like Top Chef and Hell’s Kitchen, I’ve been intimidated to try my hand at making risotto. It sounds pretty labor intensive and time consuming.

mushroom and spinach quinoa risotto on a plate

Hence, why I prefer to make this “cheater’s risotto.” It’s takes half the time to prepare, when compared to the traditional version, and it’s pretty difficult to mess up! Rather than using rice, which can take up to 45 minutes to cook, this dish features quinoa, which is a complete source of protein and is ready to eat in just 15 minutes. Paired with an easy mushroom sauce that can be whipped up as the quinoa is cooking, this dish has the creaminess of risotto, without the need for constant stirring and ladling.

This recipe is also pretty forgiving, so feel free to experiment with any additions you like, to make it your own. We like things spicy in our home, so I usually stir in a dash of sriracha right before serving, but I have a feeling that fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme would be delicious in it, too!

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Mushroom & Spinach Quinoa Risotto
Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups water
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce*
1/2 cup water
salt and black pepper
1 cup spinach, roughly chopped

*For a soy-free dish, try using coconut aminos instead.

Directions:

Combine the quinoa and 2 cups of water in a sauce pot over high heat, bring it to a boil, then cover and reduce the temperature to low. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed.

While the quinoa is cooking, melt the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute the onion for 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and mushrooms and continue to saute until the vegetables are tender, about 5 more minutes. Transfer half of the cooked veggies into a blender, and blend with the 1/2 cup of water and tamari (or soy sauce) to create a silky smooth sauce. preparing spinach and mushroom quinoa risotto

Once the quinoa is cooked, add it to the skillet with the cooked veggies and stir in the sauce. Add in the fresh spinach and stir well until the spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, then serve warm.

spinach and mushroom quinoa risotto on a plate

4.71 from 17 votes
Mushroom & Spinach Quinoa "Risotto"
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

A protein-rich alternative to risotto that takes half the time!

Course: Main Course
Servings: 2
Calories: 384 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion , chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup spinach , roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Combine the quinoa and water in a sauce pot over high heat, bring it to a boil, then cover and reduce the temperature to low. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, melt the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute the onion for 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and mushrooms and continue to saute until the vegetables are tender, about 5 more minutes. Transfer half of the cooked veggies into a blender, and blend with the water and tamari to create a silky smooth sauce.
  3. Once the quinoa is cooked, add it to the skillet with the cooked veggies and stir in the sauce. Add in the fresh spinach and season with salt and pepper, stirring well until the spinach is wilted. Serve warm.

Enjoy!

Reader Feedback: Have you ever tried making real risotto?

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Comments

Tom @ Raise Your Garden

No, I’ve never tried making real risotto before. I might get yelled at but my wife does most of the cooking in the home and no she’s never made it either. I know quinoa is healthier than rice and I my doctor has told me I need to make some better decisions and that would be one of them. I love mushrooms and spinach and pretty much everything and I like the quick and easy part! I love spicy so putting the sriracha is a must.

Maryanne

This looks and sounds awesome. The only thing I would do differently is soak the quinoa overnight to help with digestion! Awesome recipe and one that I will try VERY soon! Thanks for sharing!

Maureen Squire

Yes I make mushroom and garlic risotto all the time and its very easy. It does take some time about 1/2 hour. It’s imperative you use arborio rice though. I found the recipe online and found it’s a great dish to feed alot of people. One cup quadruples in size so its quite economical.

MamaMarkle

Hi Megan! I follow your blog and use your recipes regularly. I had to tell you that when I saw this post today, I ran right out to the store to pick up some mushrooms. I made this “risotto” for tonight’s dinner and it was fantastic! My husband hates mushrooms, but he even ate every crumb on his plate. (Though, I made some balsamic glazed chicken for him too, so I’m sure that helped a smidgen lol). Thank you for yet another home run!

    Megan

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      Kathy

      Could I make this ahead of time (several hours) and reheat in oven or microwave before serving?

Alex Newell ND

Yes I make “real” Risotto but sometimes I look at the click and the time I should have put the rice on was 30 minutes ago! So having a short cut is great and I’ll try this soon. I might also try this with a shorter short cut and see how this works, if it does, with cous cous! 🙂

Kirsty

I quite often make real risotto….I love the process of stirring and adding the stock little by little and seeing the dish come together! I’ve also made risotto using pearl barley (so yummy!) but as I have recently gone gluten free, this seems like a fantastic alternative….quick, easy and very tasty. I will def be giving this one a go! Thanks Megan! 🙂

Penny O

Added to MyFitnessPal with Detoxinista preceding.

Abbi*tarian

Thank you! This looks great :0). Though I’m still determined to eventually get the energy to master “real risotto”, I love this “cheating” method! Easy, healthy & delicious are what I’m all about! Labor-intensive food is something I like to do for just special/necessary occasions or when family, friends or I am really in the mood for it! Btw, I noticed this recipe & the vegan “egg”-salad have gorgeous photos! Did your replacement camera arrive?!

    Megan

    Thanks! These photos were actually taken with my old camera, but the new one did arrive yesterday. Now, I just have to learn how to use it!

Wendy

Absolutely DELICIOUS!!! Eating it out of the pan as I type. It’s THAT good!

stephanie

Oh, I am so excited! Your recipes NEVER disappoint! Thank you for this!!!!!

Jami

This looks like dinner tonight!! Your recipes are AMAZING and I look forward to every one of them. I can’t begin to tell you how much your recipes have made the transition to plant based diet EASY. THANK YOU!!

Christine

I’ve tried many of your recipes and love them. I am always looking for new ways to serve quinoa. We don’t have rice very often, since mine takes 55 mins. to cook. I’m looking forward to trying this. I have found my family more receptive to quinoa if I cook it with veggies, spices and also using broth instead of water.

Ja'Net

Great! Easy to fix and stay great!

Erin

Delicious, easy to make, and a big hit with the hubby. Thanks!

Luisa

Hi Megan,
What would be an alternative to mushroom (I’m allergic)?
Thanks

Mary

Meghan- Love all your recipes, especially this one! I made it as soon as I saw it and it was delicious! I added a bit more sea salt than I should have but it was so good! Thank you.

Chef Michael

Meghan,
I aboltley love what you are doing, however, I was wondering why you did not use a vegetable stock when cooking the Quinoa? I found Quinoa some 25 years ago in Ecuador while staying at my wife’s family home in Banos,in the Andes, have been using it ever since. I will work this recipe in the next two day, you know I will mess with it LOL, sounds great keep up the great work.

Lusia the only thing that has the texture and will adsorb flavor would be Tofu extra firm.

    Megan

    I never use vegetable stock in anything, mostly because I’m too cheap to buy it and too lazy to make it! Since I tend to add so many vegetables to my recipes, I don’t feel that any flavor is lacking, but you’re always welcome to use stock if you prefer.

Sara

Wow! Made this tonight for dinner for my non-vegan boyfriend who loves mushrooms.This was amazing!! I did use vegan ‘no chicken’ broth instead of water for the quinoa. I was tempted to add cashews or macadamia nuts into the blender when I made the sauce. I thought making it ‘creamy’ would be a good idea. But I’m so glad I didn’t and followed your recipe exactly. This was so delicious!!! Will be making again for sure. Thank you!

Mike

I just made this and I’m eating it right now. It’s delicious! I used vegetable stock (Better the Bullion in the jar) instead of water, and so didn’t have to add salt.

There are precious few recipes for Quinoa, and I’m very glad I found this one!

Rita

How do I alter this recipe for a dinner party for ten people?

M Williams

Holy Smokes!! This recipe was fantastic! I followed it exactly as stated and my husband and I couldn’t believe we were eating such a terrific meal in our home. I’m looking forward to trying some more of your recipes. Delish!!

Karen

Delish!! I made this recipe last night for dinner and was so happy with the results. It was just the right amount of creamy, and the mushroom sauce was so good. I omitted the onion since I didn’t have any on hand, and I’m not a big onion fan anyway and I think it came out great. My husband practically licked the bowl!

Ursula asy to make

Really delicious and also simple to make. My meat-loving husband was very impressed as well. Thanks 🙂

Vee

Wow I just made this tonight but had red quinoa on hand since husband bought it for me in the bulk section. I love all quinoa but I hate onions so I omitted them from the recipe. Still came out absolutely delicious with Jared sliced mushrooms. I just wish this made more sauce I’ll have to double up … The sauce reminds me of a cream of mushroom can but with healthier ingredients. Anyway thanks for the recipe we enjoyed it and the red quinoa we used made iuser so pretty.

Kathy

I love this recipe! It is great to make when I want something hearty, but I want something healthy and I don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen making my meal. Also, it is delicious and has lots of protein without any meat. It’s a win – win!

Big Al

Made this with 100g of white quinoa and 500ml of organic vegetable stock (1 Kallo stock cube). Also added 3 good sized sprigs of thyme to the sauce. The result was absolutely delicious 🙂
Next time I might try using miso paste in stead of tamari and maybe some chipotle paste for a smokey kick.

Thanks for the recipe, this will be another top notch vegan recipe to go on rotation.

jean

As someone who has to go through the laborious process of making risotto often (husband’s fav) I was excited to try this. I soaked dried porcini mushrooms ahead of time. I added them to the sauteed mushrooms and used the soaking liquid as my ‘water’. I cooked the quinoa with veg bouillon , and added onion salt to the mixture. The end result was still very plain tasting. So, I added some lemon juice and lemon rind (I freeze the pulp of juiced lemons and limes to add to cooking/baking), and celery for texture. I also roasted some pistachios to make it a more interesting texture. I finished with some fresh basil and parsley. However, it was the accompaniment of sliced and roasted egg plant that made this dish a winner in the end. I will have the leftovers tomorrow with a fried egg on top. Thank you.

Ana

We are just enjoying the result! It is delicious! Thank you!

Dixie

This looks really good and want to try it this weekend. Does anyone have suggestions for a substitute for the spinach? Love it but can have it.

    Amy

    Kale or any firm greens.

Rachel

I just tried this recipe tonight and was blown away that something with so few ingredients could have so much flavor! Since I wanted to get some leftovers out of this meal, I added coconut creamer (and a little extra soy sauce) to make more sauce. It was delicious and didn’t really alter the flavor.

Thanks for the great recipes. You’ve made my relatively new dairy-free diet so much easier.

Sheri

One of my favorite recipes I have tried so far! I love it.

Antonia

Delicious recipe. I added some dried shutaki mushrooms that I had soaking over night and sliced them up and added them. Plus used the water they were soaking in instead of just water for the stock. I would probably add more liquid as I had it over a couple days and it was a bit dry upon reheating. Very filling and tasty meal .

Amber

i just tried it and it was so good! im not that great at cooking, but this was easy to make and tasted wonderful 🙂

Amy

Yum! I added some shredded carrots and green onion at the end for color and more texture.

kevin

Great recipe! Its fast and nutritious while also a delicious way to serve mushrooms and quinoa. Thank you, Megan!

Maria Rebello

Superb! Loved every bit.

Allison

I’m a sucker for easy/filling/delicious recipes! Skipped the blender step and made this in the the instant pot and added peas at the end! Came out awesome! 🙂

JoN C.

I added the spinach to the pan before I put it in the blender along with not adding any water just a 1/4 cup of white wine. I also swapped out the quinoa with white basmati rice. Taste amazing!

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