Mushroom, bacon and pea risotto recipe

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Mushroom, bacon and pea risotto is a great dish if you're stuck with leftovers in the fridge, and it's the perfect alternative to a Carbonara or bacon and mushroom pasta

Mushroom, bacon and pea risotto
Serves4
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins

This cosy, warming mushroom, bacon and pea risotto is a brilliant easy family meal. 

Mushroom risotto is such a classic comfort food, but we thinking adding in bacon only makes it taste better. The peas add a lovely texture to the dish, and they look so pretty too. In order to keep it as healthy as possible, without compromising on taste, we've reduced the salt content by using low-salt bacon and stock. Both these ingredients traditionally have a lot of salt in - more than you need in this dish. Using a whole lemon rind is a great trick for adding extra flavour too. Rather than painstakingly zesting, you just chuck in the whole rind for flavour, then fish it out at the end of cooking before you serve up.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 75g low-salt lean back bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1l low-salt chicken stock
  • 350g Arborio rice
  • Ground black pepper
  • 60ml white wine
  • The whole rind of 1 lemon (a whole rind is easier to remove later)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 225g mushrooms, sliced
  • 75g frozen peas
  • 125g hard cheese (eg Parmesan), finely grated

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Method

  1. Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan and keep it at barely simmering point.
  2. Heat the oil in a large heavy based saucepan, add the onion, bacon, leek and 2tbsp water and cook for about 2-3 mins or until the mixture begins to soften.
  3. Stir in the rice and season well. Add the wine, lemon rind and lemon juice and two large tbsps of stock. Cook gently, stirring occasionally until the wine and stock is absorbed.
  4. Add the mushrooms and gradually add the simmering liquid, a spoonful at a time, let the mixture absorb the stock before adding each spoonful. Keep stirring and adding stock, this will take about 25 mins.
  5. When most of the stock has been added and the rice is creamy, add the peas and low-fat grated hard cheese and stir until the cheese begins to melt. Remove the lemon rind and season to taste.
  6. Serve the risotto with salad or rocket leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.

Top tip for mushroom, bacon and pea risotto

For a vegetarian version, swap the bacon for dried porcini mushrooms. Use a vegetable stock and ensure the cheese you add at the end is veggie friendly (not Parmesan).

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Octavia Lillywhite
Octavia Lillywhite

Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment.