Enjoy all the creaminess of risotto but healthier with this buckwheat version that cooks in only 30 minutes. Mushrooms, Parmesan, thyme and white wine build the flavors in this buckwheat risotto and create a delicious, comforting entree for two.
Risotto is one of those decadent dinners we always enjoy. Creamy, slow cooked grains infused with the steady addition of a flavorful cooking liquid and aromatic ingredients is a pretty hard meal to resist.
This buckwheat risotto is everything you love about traditional risotto, but made with a nutritious seed instead of white rice. We love buckwheat around here, it cooks just like a grain, and delivers a nutty flavor and texture that perfectly replaces rice. As both a flour and a whole seed, it brings a healthy kick to recipes just like my buckwheat banana bread and this tasty risotto.
Why buckwheat is your new risotto go-to
- Using whole buckwheat brings fiber, protein, and other healthy perks to dinnertime.
- This is a quick 30 minute recipe!
- Naturally vegetarian, but also delicious served with proteins like chicken.
We’re taking our inspiration from the classic risotto flavors we love to create this creamy buckwheat version.
- Olive oil and butter – our recipe starts with a combination of two delicious fats, but if needed you can use just one or the other.
- Onion – white or yellow onions will work perfectly, or shallots if you don’t have onion.
- Garlic – An essential aromatic flavor, just two cloves will do.
- Mushrooms – Cremini was my mushroom of choice, but white button mushrooms, or even chopped Portobello mushrooms will work and provide a similar flavor.
- Fresh thyme – a tablespoon of fresh thyme can be substituted with one teaspoon of dried thyme leaves.
- Salt and pepper -we’ll add both to taste for perfectly flavored risotto.
- Buckwheat – You may see it sold as buckwheat groats, or whole buckwheat. Just be sure you’re buying the whole seed, not the flour.
- Vegetable broth – use a full flavored, quality broth for best flavor. If keeping this vegetarian isn’t important, chicken broth can also be used.
- Dry white wine – a ‘dry’ white wine is any unsweet white variety. The most popular for risotto are chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot Gris. When in doubt, choose one you like to drink for a risotto you will also like.
- Heavy cream – just a little cream helps create that lusciousness of risotto.
- Parmesan cheese – another big flavor, and a bit of extra creaminess. Other aged dry cheeses such as Asiago, Romano, or Grana Padano would also be delicious.
To get our creamy, healthy risotto on the table in just half an hour, we’ll start with a wide skillet over medium heat. When hot, add both the butter and olive oil to the pan.
First cook the onion just until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Then we’ll add garlic and stir until fragrant, followed by the mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook everything together for another few minutes to get them tender and delicious.
Next add in the buckwheat and let it toast in the pan with all the other ingredients for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now we’ll begin adding the broth. It’s important to add it slowly to create that risotto creaminess; only 1/2 cup at a time, stirring between each addition until the buckwheat has absorbed the liquid.
In 12 to 15 minutes, you should have added all your broth, and the buckwheat should be al dente. If your broth is taking longer than a few minutes to absorb between additions, or cooking away too quickly, adjust your heat so the buckwheat can cook properly.
Once it’s cooked, add the white wine and turn the heat up. Allow the wine to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes so all the alcohol has evaporated. Then add the cream and Parmesan, stirring to melt it into a now luscious risotto. Serve your buckwheat risotto right away with a healthy addition of extra Parmesan.
A main dish or a delicious side
We often enjoy our buckwheat risotto as a healthy vegetarian dinner in our house. There are certainly never leftovers!
If you’re cooking for more than two, you can also serve this up as a tasty side dish. I highly recommend any of these chicken recipes from the blog to create a filling dinner for the family any night of the week.
Creamy Buckwheat Risotto with Mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion , chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 6 oz. (170g) mushrooms ,sliced (I used cremini mushrooms)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- salt and black pepper , to taste
- 1 cup uncooked buckwheat
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish)
- Heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat in a skillet. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds more, until fragrant.
- Add the mushrooms, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the buckwheat and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
- Start adding the broth, ½ cup at a time, stirring. Only add the next portion of the broth when the previous has absorbed by buckwheat. Cook until the buckwheat is al dente, about 12-15 minutes.
- Pour in the wine and increase the heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, letting the alcohol evaporate. Add the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. Cook, stirring, until the cheese has melted. Serve garnished with the reserved Parmesan cheese.