The 9 Best Mushroom Risotto Sides

What are the best side dishes with Mushroom Risotto? This versatile dish can be served many ways. It can be used as a main dish with various side dish options from chicken with lemon, fish, scallops or shrimp, various vegetables and fresh salads. 

You will want to decide whether your meal is to be light or hearty, and then determine which sides will suit your intended purpose. The end result should be a balanced meal served with robust red wines or fuller-bodied white wines. 

The right side served with your freshly prepared mushroom risotto should balance out the flavors in the risotto without hiding them completely. This is a terrific dish that can be made better with the right accompanying sides. After some practice, this dish will surely become a go-to favorite when needing to whip up something extraordinary without having to find exotic ingredients to do it.

Creamy Lemon Chicken

Risotto is a delicious but somewhat rich dish that can benefit from something a bit tangy and citrusy to complement those richer flavors. A zesty Creamy Lemon Chicken side dish is the perfect accompaniment to mushroom risotto. Best of all, although it sounds like something served in posh restaurants, this side is quite simple to make.

To prepare this side, start with a chicken breast that you wrap up in tin foil along with a generous scoop of butter and half of a lemon. Carefully seal this little package up and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes.

As the chicken bakes, the lemon releases its delicious and tangy juices. The foil ensures that steam will help to infuse the chicken breast creating a lovely and flavorful sauce that can be mixed right into your risotto or served separately as a side.

Gambas Pil Pil – Shrimp

Similar to scallops, Gambas Pil Pil is an excellent side dish to pair with Mushroom Risotto. This food from the sea dish may sound exotic and difficult to make, it really is not. Gambas are just the Spanish word for shrimp. The main savory flavors in this light but tempting dish include finely chopped parsley, garlic, oil and chili.

For a fancy side dish display, butterfly the shrimp prior to flash frying them in a toasty hot pan. Be sure to use a sharp knife to do this. Do it the European way and serve this side in miniature pots made of cast iron for added elegance and flair.

Beef Bourgeon

Beef Bourgeon is a hearty dish that pairs well with mushroom risotto especially during those long and cold winter months. Start with 3 to 4 pounds of boneless beef chuck and about 4 ounces of bacon, or roughly 4 slices. 

Add 2 cups beef broth and 1 heaping tablespoon of tomato paste. You will also need 4 ounces of pearl onions frozen, 2 cloves of garlic, a sprig of fresh thyme for garnish and about 8 ounces of white button mushrooms. Take 4 large carrots and cut them in an oblique fashion after peeling.

To prepare, preheat oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit and pat dry your beef. Season well with salt and pepper to taste making sure you season all sides of the beef for the best flavor. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven or other pan until nicely crisped. Cool and crumble afterwards. 

The leftover bacon grease is used to sear your beef with its smoky flavor. Go slowly so the beef has time to soak up all the bacon flavor until the beef develops a nice crunchy crust. Remove the beef setting it aside for later. 

Add garlic to your pan and stir well for about 30 seconds to get all the flavors blended. Add the salt and pepper, broth, tomato paste and thyme stirring it with the other pan ingredients. Bring mixture to boil then lower heat to a medium temperature. Cook 10 more minutes until liquid evaporates some. 

Return the beef to the pot, and add the carrots, onions and button mushrooms. Cover and bake in your 300-degree heated oven for roughly 3 ½ hours turning beef every half hour to ensure even cooking throughout. When done, lift out roast and serve over buttered noodles, potatoes or rice. 

Link Sausages

When you want some meat in your mushroom risotto, link sausages can be just the thing. These can be bought fresh from your neighborhood butcher, or you can simply use store bought ones. This is super easy and complements the Risotto perfectly but is lighter than a heavy side of beef. 

Cook up your sausage any way you please. Sear first in a pan that can then be placed directly into the oven for finishing the dish. 

Cheesy Broccoli Baked to a Crisp

Broccoli that is smothered with fresh cheddar cheese and baked to a crisp is ideal for a vegetarian option to serve with Mushroom Risotto. You can add your own favorite herbs and spices to make your side dish a bit unique and tasty.

This works best with fresh broccoli that isn’t too hard or too soggy. Wash the broccoli and cut up the florets. Bake in the oven until the cheese melts down into the entire dish of veggies. Serve hot for best taste and appearance. The dish is lighter than other sides making it perfect for warmer weather or for meals that are not heavy.

Crispy Garlic Bread

Freshy made and crispy garlic bread make an excellent choice for serving alongside mushroom risotto. Since the risotto has its own flavorful juicy sauces, the crisp bread can be used to soak up all the goodness from the dish. 

Purchase a store-bought loaf of French or baguette and slice evenly along the back of the bread. Stuff these thin openings with crushed garlic, parsley and butter mixture and bake for about 5 minutes in a preheated oven. Serve with your risotto while the bread is hot for the best taste and texture.

Caprese Salad with Fresh Cherry Tomatoes

Caprese Salad is one of the easiest of Italian style salads to make and uses only a few choice and fresh ingredients. This is an excellent side for mushroom risotto and making sure that the simple ingredients are at their peak of freshness. This helps to ensure that all the sweet and savory flavors come forth without beating down the rich taste explosions from your risotto.

To prepare Caprese Salad, choose sweet tomatoes or take advantage of the in-season cherry tomatoes when their juicy flavor is at its best. Selecting several types of cherry tomatoes will give your side a more colorful appearance. 

The recipe calls for about 2 pints of varied shades of cherry tomatoes halved. Remember to only select the freshest for the best end result. Also pick up one 8-ounce container of fresh mozzarella cheese balls. The cheese may also be cubed for a different look if desired. You will also need 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin and 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar. Add one cup fresh small basil leaves, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.

This recipe takes only one step. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl stirring in the basil leaves last. The salad is delicious served immediately and tastes better when served at room temperature rather than chilled. 

Simple yet so delicious and good for your health as an added incentive.

Baked Asparagus with Lemon and Parmesan Cheese

The slightly bitter asparagus was a favorite of Egyptian kings and has stood the test of time in many cultures around the world. This vegetable is a fantastic accompaniment to mushroom risotto. The asparagus can be steamed, broiled, baked and pan fried making it truly versatile. We like to bake the asparagus until its tender.

To prepare Baked Asparagus:

Asparagus can be served alone, or it can be baked after drizzling olive oil over the veggies inside a plastic bag with a spritz of fresh lemon juice then shaken until the asparagus is nicely coated. Season the veggies with salt and pepper to taste. Note, butter may also be used as a substitute for oil, and parmesan cheese can be sprinkled over the spears for a delicious cheesy taste. 

Preheat oven to about 400 degrees fahrenheit, spread out the oil and lemon coated asparagus spears evenly in one layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes and remove when at the desired level of tenderness or bake a bit longer for a crispier version.

The asparagus may also be seasoned lightly with Italian herbs, like garlic, and is a tasty side for risotto. Try with lamb or fish as an alternative.

Best Wine Pairings for Mushroom Risotto

Knowing what wine pairings go with Mushroom Risotto helps to coordinate your meal plan perfectly. For beef side dishes, a red wine will be the better choice. White wines pair well with chicken and risotto and lends some balance to the palette against the flavors of the poultry and herbs used in the Risotto.

In general, almost any wine will taste better when served with Mushroom Risotto. Most wine experts tend to lean towards earthier red wines. A few to consider are Nebbiolo or Pinot Noir. However, fuller bodied white wines work wonderfully with this dish as well. Pinot Gris is one option and Chardonnay due to its delightful lighter oak tones.

Risotto also is an ideal dish to display some of your better wines because the flavors in the risotto will usually not be too strong that it overshadows the more delicate flavors and notes that fine wines are revered for having. 

Risotto is a perfect dish for showing off your favorite complex flavored wines, and ordinary folks just wanting to share good food and a glass of vino will be ecstatic to know that even cheaper wines tend to taste better making this dish something every cook should have in their wheelhouse for unexpected company.

Best Sauces for Mushroom Risotto

Cheese sauces can increase the flavor of more bland style Risotto dishes. This is also a good choice with chicken, seafood or beef. Some cooks like to add a buttery garlic sauce to risotto pairings, as this can bring out the more subtle flavors nicely without being overwhelming.

People who adore bell peppers will enjoy a creamy mushroom risotto inside of the cored peppers and served with an easy-to-make and healthy tomato sauce with zucchini. This is a versatile dish that is quite tasty yet requires little cooking skill to master. We love this zesty sauce when the weather begins to get cooler, but it can be served anytime of the year.

There are all sorts of combination recipes for various sauces that will match well with a mushroom risotto. These include a tantalizing oyster sauce for seafood dishes among many others. Play around with spices and ingredients to get an unusual combo that tastes delicious. Try saffron for a more Asian inspired sauce or whip up some creamy spinach and apple sauce for a bit of tangy taste that blends so well with the mushrooms in the risotto.