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Bacon Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions

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Shake up your side dishes with this Bacon Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions! Ideal for company, but make this gourmet rice dish for your family, too.

An Italian inspired rice dish, like this Mushroom Risotto Recipe, is a fabulous change of pace from bread, potatoes, polenta and other starchy side dishes!

Bacon Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions in a small white bowl with a garnish of thyme

Bacon Mushroom Risotto

Growing up we had a special pan just for rice. Nothing fancy, but it was THE rice pan. Fluffy  buttered rice was a frequent side dish and I often rotate a simple rice pilaf into my menu planning.

But for special occasions, or just because, this lovely bacon mushroom risotto with caramelized onions offers a marvelous change of pace. Plus now I have an official “rice” pan, this gorgeous Lagostina Risottiera, which was perfectly designed for risotto and made in Italy! Scroll down to see how you can win one of your own.Bacon Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions | A rich, gourmet rice dish!

Tips for Making Risotto

First you must know that making risotto takes time. It’s a labor of love, so take note. Risotto is wonderful when you have family or friends gathered in the kitchen. There is lots of stirring, especially when you are caramelizing onions, too. So having company makes for loads of fun. Here are some risotto making tips I’ve learned along the way:

  • Warm your stock and keep it just under a simmer on the burner next to your risotto pan. Warm stock will make the process go more quickly since room temperature or cold stock will cool down the rice mid-cooking.
  • Add the stock in 1-1 1/2 cup increments. Add enough to just cover the rice. This allows the rice to absorb the liquid at the proper rate and develop the classic risotto creaminess.
  • Do not walk away from the risotto while it’s cooking. It needs to be stirred frequently.
  • Your onions, bacon, mushrooms should all be cooked ahead of time, and added in at the end, along with the cheese. This allows the rice to cook properly.
  • You can cook the above add-ins ahead of time to shorten the process at meal time.  From the time you start adding the liquid to fully cooked risotto is about 20 minutes.
  • Risotto should not be made in a skillet. Use the proper sized pot like this Lagostina Risottiera for the best results!
Overhead view of a small bowl of Bacon Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions


Bacon Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions | A rich, gourmet rice dish!

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Bacon Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions

A gourmet rice dish that will wow your family and friends!

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Sauteing, Simmering
  • Cuisine: Italian, Italian-American


  • 1/2 pound thick bacon, cut into a large dice
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled, cut in half and sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 quarts chicken broth, I use Pacific brand
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more to serve, if desired
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired


In a large skillet, cook the bacon pieces until crisp. Remove to plate lined with paper towels. Keep bacon grease in pan.

Add the mushrooms to pan and cook until softened and lightly browned. Remove to plate with the bacon. Wipe the pan clean of bacon grease.

In the same pan, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onions and cook over medium high heat until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and browned, about 20 minutes. Add white wine and cook until all liquid evaporates. Transfer the onions to the plate with the bacon and mushrooms.

Heat the chicken broth in a saucepan. After it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low so just to keep warm.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the Risottiera (or a large saucepan). Add the garlic and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add enough broth to cover the rice, about 1 1/2 cups, and stir over medium heat until the broth is absorbed.

Continue adding broth, about 1 1/2 cups at a time, and cook, stirring, until it has been completely absorbed before adding more. The rice is done when rice is tender and a creamy sauce has developed.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the onions, bacon, thyme and 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve warm with additional Parmesan.


Recipe adapted from Food and Wine.


  • Calories: 500kcal
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Sodium: 941mg
  • Fat: 23g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 54g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 17g
  • Cholesterol: 31mg



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63 comments on “Bacon Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions”

  1. I would make a pasta dish.

  2. This looks like a good pan to have. I am definitely going to make this risotto. Yum.

  3. I’m not sure what I would make first but I’m looking for recipes. My cousin’s husband would also love this, he lives for Italian food.

  4. That looks and sounds delicious! Definitely pinning to try later! I would love to try out my seafood risotto in this. With salmon and scallops!

  5. I have an easy Greek casserole recipe that I’d make in this. 🙂

  6. I would make home fries. your risotto looks yummy though, so I may make that.

  7. I would make a Jambalaya

  8. I’d probably make loaded baked potato soup first

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