Mushroom Quinoa Risotto (Quinotto)

A twist on the classic risotto, this quinotto recipe aka. quinoa risotto stars quinoa instead of rice to make a fabulous Italian-inspired dish. You will love this easy and healthy meatless meal for sure!

overhead shot of Mushroom Quinoa Risotto on a white plate

Between the light nutty taste of the quinoa, the earthy flavor of the mushrooms and the lemon zing, you will love this easy and healthy Mushroom Quinoa Risotto for sure!

What’s the difference between a risotto and a quinotto aka. quinoa risotto?

Classic Italian Risotto is made with Arborio or Carnaroli and the other with quinoa so the main difference is in the taste and texture. Quinoa risotto has a light nutty flavor and a more “airy” texture.

As you’ll see just below, making a quinotto is very similar to making a classic risotto, only easier!

How to make a quinotto aka. quinoa risotto?

You start by toasting the quinoa grains in a little bit of butter (or oil) to bring out the flavor. Then the onion and garlic go in.

In this quinoa risotto recipe, I do not deglaze with wine but you could if you want to mimic an Italian risotto.

After that, it’s time to actually start cooking the quinoa with chicken or veggie stock, one cup at a time, until it’s fully cooked and full of flavor.

The texture should be more “wet” and creamy than when you normally cook quinoa (it’s a risotto after all!). Once it’s cooked, you add in the extra ingredients – sauteed mushrooms in this recipe.

Making a quinotto is simpler than making a classic risotto because it requires less babysitting and less stirring.

You do have to cook the quinoa one cup at a time, but it’s more forgiving. If you’ve been reluctant to try risotto before because it sounded too complicated, give this quinoa risotto recipe a try!

close-up of a plate of Mushroom Quinoa Risotto with a spoon on the side

Can you sub the mushrooms for something else? // Can you make another “flavor”?

For sure you can! Mushroom is a very classic risotto addition, but the sky is the limit. Anything you’d do for a risotto, you can do for a quinoa risotto.

Here are a few recipe variations:

  • shrimps + cilantro
  • sausage + tomato (or sausage + eggplant!)
  • leeks + shallots
  • salmon + asparagus
  • chicken + mushrooms (yep, them again!)
  • pumpkin + sage

Is quinoa risotto healthier than risotto? 

It sure is! At least this version. Risotto rice is just that – rice.

Although it’s filling, it’s not as nutritious as quinoa which is very rich in protein and contains twice as much fiber as most other grains (just to name a few of its health benefits!) – it truly is a nutrition star!

Also, risotto is usually made with a lot of butter and cheese which, don’t get me wrong, is delicious but not the healthiest option.

The great news is that this quinoa risotto still delivers 100% in the flavor department but we’re using a lot less than in the traditional risotto recipe.

You can totally make this quinoa risotto dairy free if you’d like! Just like risotto, this quinotto is also naturally gluten-free if you make sure to use gluten-free stock and soy sauce (tamari).

Enjoy! 🙂

overhead shot of a plate of Mushroom Quinoa Risotto sprinkled with chives

If you tried this mushroom quinoa risotto, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!

Mushroom Quinoa Risotto on a white plate
4.78 from 9 votes

Mushroom Quinoa Risotto (Quinotto)

A twist on the classic risotto, this quinotto recipe aka quinoa risotto stars quinoa instead of rice to make a fabulous Italian-inspired dish. Between the light nutty taste of the quinoa, the earthy flavor of the mushrooms and the lemon zing, you will love this easy and healthy meatless meal for sure!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword meatless, mushroom risotto, quinoa risotto
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 607 kcal
Author Marie


  • 3 cups mixed mushrooms sliced (you can use a mix of Swiss brown, oyster, shiitake, and black funghi)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups quinoa dry
  • 1 tablespoon butter or refined coconut oil
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 brown onion finely sliced
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken stock vegetable stock for vegetarian
  • 1/2 bunch of chives finely chopped (save a tablespoon or two for serving)
  • 1 lemon juice and zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari to keep gluten free
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan or nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a medium skillet, sauté the sliced mushrooms with a little bit of olive oil until they are cooked but still a bit firm. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  2. In a large pot on medium-high heat, toast the quinoa in butter (or oil, if using), stirring regularly, until fragrant.

  3. Add minced garlic and sliced onion and sauté until softened.

  4. Turn down the heat and cup by cup, add stock, stirring regularly.

  5. Once all the liquid has been reduced, add the rest of the ingredients: reserved mushrooms, chives, lemon juice and zest, thyme, vinegar, soy sauce (or tamari if using) and Parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast if using). Stir well for a few minutes, and then remove from the heat.
  6. Serve immediately with extra chives and parmesan.

Recipe Notes

TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE: use tamari instead of soy sauce and make sure the stock is gluten free too. 

TO MAKE VEGAN AND DAIRY FREE: use coconut oil instead of butter, vegetable stock instead of chicken and nutritional yeast instead of parmesan. 

Adapted from Move Nourish Believe

Nutrition Facts
Mushroom Quinoa Risotto (Quinotto)
Amount Per Serving (1.5 cup)
Calories 607 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 32mg11%
Sodium 972mg42%
Potassium 1429mg41%
Carbohydrates 83g28%
Fiber 11g46%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 730IU15%
Vitamin C 25.2mg31%
Calcium 291mg29%
Iron 6.1mg34%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Follow Not Enough Cinnamon on Instagram and show me what you've been making from the blog!
Tag me @NECinnamon and use the hashtag #NotEnoughCinnamon

posted in
All Seasons Recipes Clean Eating Dairy Free Fall Recipes Gluten free Italian Inspired Main Dishes Recipes Vegan Vegetarian
  1. I’m loving this lighter version of risotto! This is perfect for summer. I haven’t cooked with quinoa much, but this sounds like something I need to try ASAP!

  2. This looks and sounds absolutely delicious and healthy too ! I can easily integrate your Quinotto into my current diet program 🙂

  3. I have never eaten Quinoa before as I have lots of food sensitivities following bowel surgery many years ago.
    First time around I always follow the recipe to the letter and then tweak it next time I cook it.
    I did everything according to your recipe – except that I added chicken.
    It was delicious – although next time I will use the white wine vinegar, tamari sauce and lemon juice/zest to taste rather than the quantities recommended as they overpowered the dish a little.
    All in all though it was a great dish!!!

    1. Hi Darrin. Yes, you could rinse it to make sure it does not taste soapy! I made it without rinsing and found it perfect. But if you want to make sure rinse the quinoa twice and drain very very well.

  4. Hi Marie, this was an easy recipe to make & very tasty! I used white mushrooms so I imagine it would have even more flavor with other types. I used beef broth but found I need 1-1.5c more. Maybe I had the heat too high. Great as leftovers also. Thanks for sharing your creations with us!

    1. Hi Jen. Thanks for reaching out. Absolutely – go ahead and go with your guts when cooking! Especially when it comes to liquid – your mushrooms might not have had as much liquid as mine! Cheers.

  5. This recipe sounds amazing. Thinking about making it for Thanksgiving. Can it be made a day or 2 in advance and then warmed up on Turkey day??

    1. Hi Jenifer. Mmmm I’m not sure, I would say not. But you can cook the quinoa in advance and store it in the fridge. It will keep refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating