+ Well Nourished | Chicken and Mushroom Brown Rice Risotto

Chicken and Mushroom Brown Rice Risotto

This gluten free Chicken and Mushroom Brown Rice Risotto is a delicious, wholesome meal with so much more nutrition than its arborio cousin.  Dairy free, vegetarian and vegan options below.

I first made this many years ago.  A restaurateur friend of mine teased me about messing with a ‘classic.’  Once he tasted it he was grateful I dared to mess!  You’ll notice it is quite different from a traditional risotto in that the rice is pre-cooked.  It is easier in that you can precook the rice, prepare your meat and vegetables and it only takes 10 minutes to assemble and cook.

Why is it so healthy?
Try to use homemade stock.  In combination with the shitake mushrooms, it provides a real immune boost.  The brown rice is a fibre and vitamin B rich grain (especially if soaked prior to cooking).  The chicken and mushrooms add protein and the vegetables speak for themselves.

Serves 4

10gram dried porcini mushrooms
1 tablespoon of butter
1 large onion, diced
1 large clove of garlic, diced
1-2 sticks of celery finely diced
500 gram of chicken thighs, diced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced (an assortment is nice, swiss brown, shitake, oyster)
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme or lemon thyme leaves picked
1 zucchini, julienned or ribboned
Splash of white wine
2 cups of cooked brown rice
250 ml (1 cup) of chicken stock
1 cup of parmesan cheese (or half parmesan, half swiss cheese, grated)
1 cup of baby spinach leaves (optional)
Handful of parsley, chopped


  1. Cook your brown rice and set aside (this can be done early in the day).
  2. Place the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and just cover with a little boiling water.  Set aside.
  3. In a large non-stick pan, melt the butter over a low heat.  Add the onion, garlic, and celery and cook with the lid on for a few minutes just to sweat and soften (not too brown).
  4. Add the chicken and continue to cook for a few more minutes until the chicken just starts to turn opaque.
  5. Remove the porcini mushrooms from the water, reserving the soaking water.
  6. Chop the porcini mushrooms then add to the pan with the rest of the mushrooms, zucchini, and thyme leaves and cook for a few minutes until the mushroom starts to soften.
  7. Add the rice and a splash of white wine, followed by the stock, reserved porcini liquid and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often until the stock is almost all absorbed.
  8. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach and cheese. Once the spinach has wilted and the cheese melted through the dish, top with parsley and serve immediately.


Dairy free
Replace the butter with ghee or coconut oil and the cheese with cashew nut cream (savoury version).

Replace the chicken with an extra cup of mushrooms and a handful or two of walnuts. Replace the chicken broth with vegetable stock.

Use dairy free and vegetarian options.

 I prefer this Brown rice version more than regular risotto – do you agree?  Post your thoughts in the comments below.

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  • Kez

    Looks yummo, great idea using the cooked brown rice Georgia…love it!!

    • Thanks Kez, I prefer it to arborio, more texture and less time at the stove stirring! G x

  • Danni Reichel

    This looks yummy. I love risotto.

    • It is a personal favourite, hope you get to enjoy it too. G x

  • Kylie

    Hi Georgia, not sure what happened, can’t see my previous post 🙁 Just wondering if you possibly have the thermomix version of this recipe to make it even easier! Sounds yummy and have put it on the menu for this week. Thanks Kylie x

    • Because it only requires a few minutes to assemble and cook, I actually make this in the pan (I also much prefer pan cooked chicken than TM cooked chicken). But for TM short cuts to speed up the process : 1.Grate the cheesed in the TM for a few seconds speed 6 and set aside. 2. Chop the onion, garlic and celery for 5 sec, speed 5 and set aside. 3. Rinse rice well and cook the brown rice as you would white rice but for 20 minutes. If you need the zucchini to disappear then mince that with the onion too and add at the beginning. If you wanted to do it fully in the TM, just follow the basic risotto method but reduce the cook times given the rice is already cooked. Hope that helps, G x

  • Kim

    Made this tonight and it got the thumbs up from the whole family. My 6 year old even requested we have it lots, as it is yummy! Will definitely be a regular on our dinner menu. Thanks Georgia!

  • dajbau

    I finally got around to making it. It was absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • You’re very welcome. Thanks for the feedback, G x

  • Nat

    This is bloody delicious. I used Swissies in lieu of porcini. A def make and make again. and again. Nice one G x

  • Kelly Berghella

    Wow – cooked this for my Italian husband and in-laws who were a bit sceptical about using brown rice. They loved it, I doubled the recipe and we managed to eat it all 🙂 This was so much quicker and tastier than ‘normal’ risotto. Hubby said it was the best risotto he has ever had! Thanks again for a great recipe, love this site.

    • Feeling a bit proud right now. What an awesome compliment Kelly, thanks so much. I cooked this about 20 years ago for a friend who owned an Italian restaurant. He said it was great but I had a feeling he was just being kind!! I’m stoked thanks, G x

  • Tracey

    Made this last night, it was delicious! Even my 2 year old loved it! Although she thought the enoki mushrooms was cheese hehe, thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Kaarin Cotterill

    I’ve made risotto dozens of time but I found sweating the vegetables and chicken gave it a more rounded flavour. I made this recipe up for dinner and we all really loved it. I used brown basmati rice and it turned out fine.

  • Emily Jeavons

    do you soak the brown rice prior to cooking to break down the phytic acid?

    • 99% of the time I do Emily, it’s definitely optimal, but if for some reason I have whip it up without soaking, I will and still enjoy G x

  • The Glatisant

    The recipe is good – but you need to re-describe your friend who is actually a restaurateur not a restauranteur

  • Amy Lane

    What do you do with the reserved liquid from the porcini? Amy

    • Great question Amy – sorry, just updated the recipe to add it at the stock stage. G x

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