Creamy Mushroom Broccoli Risotto with Panko Parmesan Crisps


The past couple of weeks, I’ve made a dent on my very long list of Things-To-Cook from Scratch, crossing out homemade bread, caramel popcorn, granola and risotto. You could say I’m feeling very adventurous these days.

I made this a couple of weeks ago and it was pretty dang good. I put it on top of some greens and together they worked out quite well. I know…what the heck of a combination is that, risotto with a bed of greens? Well, it just came up because we had leafy greens to eat or they will go bad. Are you guys like that, too? I hate throwing out food especially since we go to Whole Foods, which is not exactly cheap. During these times, we are lucky to be enjoying good food so I try to get what we buy onto the plate and into our mouths where we meant to put them. Admittedly, if Dan and I were to let ourselves go buy what we want, we’d easily rack up $300 a week in groceries. And that’s just for the two of us. It’s so easy to get carried away in the supermarket when they make everything just look so enticing.

So there, that’s the story behind that. Many of the concoctions we’ve had has some similar reasoning somewhere.

I loved the risotto, which is a given since I enjoy rice dishes. Dan loved it in spite of him not being a mushroom person (as I’ve mentioned many times). I hope you don’t think I’m dissing him, I just want to let you know in case you are serving someone with the same taste preference, that perhaps they just might like it.

The yellow hole-y chips on the risotto are parmesan crisps. They’re a combination of grated parmesan and panko breading that I thought of adding to bring a variation in texture to the dish. Too much creaminess can be so unappealing.

I used a cookie cutter to “shape” them.

The ‘stenciled’ crisps did not turn out as good as I planned, but they looked pretty decent. I’m glad I skipped using some other intricate shape. It would just be a loss.

If you don’t have panko bread, just make the crisps out out plain parmesan. This would not be an issue. I just added panko as an experiment. :-)

Here’s the recipe for you to try. And be sure to let me know how yours turns out. We do love getting feedback (just not spam, please).

Creamy Mushroom Broccoli Risotto
with Panko Parmesan Crisps


  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 3 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 cups baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 1/4 cup broccoli flowers, cut in small pieces
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cups no fat, low-sodium chicken broth, simmered
  • 1 cup water (added to chicken broth for simmering)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (you can use 1/4 cup for a less creamy risotto)
  • 4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • salt
  • pepper
  • lemon wedge (optional, for flavor)


  1. In a medium-sized sauce pan, saute onion and garlic in 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil pre-heated in medium heat. Cook until onion bits are translucent. Don’t let it go brown.
  2. Add mushrooms, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and saute for 3 minutes before adding the broccoli flowers. Cook for another 3 minutes before transferring into a separate bowl.
  3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and increase heat to medium-high. Pour arborio rice and toast it for 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon butter before the rice completely absorbs the all oil. Heat for another minute. Decrease heat to medium.
  4. Add a ladle of simmering broth and chopped celery into the rice and stir to keep the rice from sticking to the pan. Add broth 1/2 cup at a time and wait for it to be absorbed by the rice before pouring the next batch until the second to the last half cup.
  5. Pour the last half cup of broth with mushrooms, broccoli and a tablespoon of butter. By the time the broth has been absorbed, the rice should be translucent and cooked to a chewy consistency.
  6. After the last half cup of broth has been absorbed decrease to medium-low heat, pour heavy cream and simmer for about 3-5 minutes until thick and creamy, not dry.
  7. Turn off heat and fold in 1 tablespoon of butter and 4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese.
  8. Serve on its own or try it on a bed of greens and topped with panko parmesan crisps.

Panko Parmesan Crisps


  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp panko bread crumbs


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Mix together the two ingredients.
  2. On a cookie sheet lined with a silpat mat, pour a thin layer of the mixture into your desired shape. For our crisps, I used a small moon-shaped cookie cutter to ‘shape’ the crisp. I placed 1/2 tablespoon per crisp.
  3. Place in the oven and bake for 3-5 minutes. 3 minutes would be enough to melt it and shape it with just a hint of golden brown edges. 5 minutes would be a nice brown. Be sure to closely watch the crisps as they cook especially once they get past the 3 minute mark.
  4. Take out of the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before peeling off the silpat sheet.
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  • March 9, 2009 9:32 am

    I love Risotto and I’m glad you made it. I think once you learn how easy it is you will keep making it and trying new flavor combos. My current favorite is Italian Sausage, Sun Dried Tomato, and goat cheese.

    • joy
      March 10, 2009 8:27 pm

      I’ve been putting this in the back burner, and you’re absolutely right — once you learn how easy it is, you can’t stop. That sounds like a delicious combo. What do you use for broth?

  • March 9, 2009 9:45 am

    Thats my only downside of shopping at Whole Foods or Central Market.
    Many of things you get go bad super fast with no preservatives so you gotta get to thinking on your feet to use them. I guess its good because you get better quality and tasting food and get to use your brain on ways to cook and plan meals too. My favorite risotto right now is with artichoke hearts, asparagus and bacon.

    • joy
      March 10, 2009 8:29 pm

      I know, you can’t really buy a lot. We buy food about twice a week because they go bad fast. It’s a challenge, yes, but at the same time we know we’re eating quality food. I want to try risotto with asparagus next. I’ve never cooked with artichoke hearts before. Hmm, something to consider next.

  • March 9, 2009 11:52 am

    That looks great! We have some arborio rice, some mushrooms, and of course Parmesan. Maybe we’ll make this.

    Nates last blog post..Broiled Salmon Collar Recipe

    • joy
      March 10, 2009 10:50 pm

      Thanks! Definitely try making risotto, you’ll love it. :)

  • March 9, 2009 2:34 pm

    Mmmm, a nice creamy risotto. So comforting. We could eat that for days.

    The Duo Dishess last blog post..No Need for Takeout

    • joy
      March 10, 2009 8:29 pm

      It didn’t last us long!

  • March 9, 2009 5:00 pm

    What a great risotto dish – love all the flavors here. Also love the crisps addition!

    Kristens last blog post..Moms Perogative (Penne and Chicken Tenderloins with Spiced Tomato Sauce)

    • joy
      March 10, 2009 8:30 pm

      Thanks! I’m really glad I made the crisps even if it was extra work.

  • March 12, 2009 2:57 pm

    came here from Dine and Dish!! i love risotto..last week i tried a carrot and squash risotto..not as good as i thought it would be! :(
    totally loved the idea of the crisps!

    SuperChefs last blog post..Date and Walnut Loaf

    • joy
      March 13, 2009 10:12 am

      Awww…was it because of the squash, you think?

  • March 15, 2009 9:01 pm

    Love making those parmesan crisps. The unusual combination in your dish sounds good to me ;)

    Judes last blog post..Irish Soda Bread Recipe

    • joy
      March 16, 2009 7:45 am

      Thanks for the feedback, Jude! :)

  • March 17, 2009 5:45 pm

    I love the idea of making the parmesan crisps with the risotto.

    • joy
      March 18, 2009 2:38 am

      Thanks! It’s inspired by those salads I eat at restaurants where they have the crispy parmesan.

  • March 19, 2009 7:30 pm

    We love risotto, it has to be one of the most versatile dishes. I love how small the pieces of broccoli and mushrooms are as well the celery, it makes the dish look so elegant!

    Chez Uss last blog post..Blue Cheese Souffle

    • joy
      March 25, 2009 8:15 am

      Aw, thanks. I tried to veer away from the big and chunky Asian portions of broccoli — you know, the ones that are even too big to take in one bite. Hehe.

  • March 23, 2009 8:18 pm

    Dear dan and Joy!
    Greetings from Shizuoka, Japan!
    Small world, …. the Missus asked last Sunday to make Parmesan crisps!
    She didn’t agree much with my creation,… but you gave me an idea!
    Interestingly enough, Americans seem to be comfortable with using the word “panko” (Japanese for breadcrumbs). Before I came to Japan, I had never bought any but made them!
    Great pics and superlative posting!

    Robert-Gilles Martineaus last blog post..Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’09/18)

    • joy
      March 25, 2009 8:19 am

      Hello Robert-Gilles! Great to hear from you all the way from Japan! Glad you tried the crisps. Without the panko is good, too. I didn’t know that “panko” = breadcrumbs. Ooops! What bread did you make it from? Just curious, because from looking at the crumbs I don’t know what kind of bread is used. They look like they’re bits from fried tempura batter.

      Thank you for your kind words — much appreciated. :)

  • March 25, 2009 7:01 pm

    Dear Joy!
    Greetings again!
    The breadcrumbs in Japan are made from real sandwich bread crumbled and dried in large machines.
    I find it interesting they use the word “panko”, which definitely appeals American customers. As far as I know, the word is not used in Europe!
    “Panko” is extensively used here, either in its American form, or even finer for deep-fried chicken for example!

    Robert-Gilles Martineaus last blog post..The Pride of Shizuoka: Sakura Ebi/Cherry shrimp!

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