Black Rice Risotto with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions

Black Rice Risotto This one’s going to be a short post today because it’s 10 pm now and the only reason my tired eyes are open is because I can’t wait to share this recipe with you: my Black Rice Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions.

You know I am always looking for easy weeknight recipes to brown bag for lunch, and this one is one of my favorites so far. Black rice, if you’re not familiar with it, is a glutinous rice which makes it perfect for risottos. It cooks up purple rather than black and tastes nutty and quite delicious.

Black Rice Risotto

It’s also a nutritional star — much healthier than white and even its brown counterparts. It’s packed with antioxidants and ounce for ounce it has more protein and more iron.

But forget about all that for a moment and think of this: isn’t it a little special eating something that — if you were born a few centuries ago– you could have only eaten if you happened to be the emperor of China? True story.

So I promised a short post and a short post it will be. Enjoy the recipe, all, and if you feel just a little blue blooded after eating this incredible dish….well, you could always go to London and look up the queen.


Black Rice Risotto

Black Rice Risotto with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6
  • 1 cup black rice
  • 4-5 cups of hot water (vegetable stock is even better)
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 3 medium onion, one chopped and the other two thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ¼ cup of white wine (optional)
  • 12 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 2 tbsp white miso paste (optional)
  1. Make the cashew cheese for the risotto by blending together the cashews and the miso with enough water to make a smooth paste. If you don't have miso you could use 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, or leave it out altogether and just use the cashew paste.
  2. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a saucepan.
  3. Add the chopped onion, season with some salt, red pepper flakes and ground black pepper and saute until softened, about three to four minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, saute for a few seconds, then add the mushrooms and white wine.
  5. Turn up the flame to medium-high and cook until the wine has evaporated and the mushrooms have taken on a nice sheen.
  6. Add the black rice, season with more salt and pepper to taste, and saute for a minute. Now add ½ cup of water and let it cook until the water evaporates, stirring frequently. Just before the rice dries completely, add another ½ cup of water. Repeat, stirring the risotto frequently, until the rice is cooked but still has a bite to it. This process takes some time, so be patient.
  7. Now add the cashew cheese and mix well. The risotto should have a creamy, slightly soupy consistency when done. Add more salt if needed.
  8. Now heat the remaining 2 tsp of oil in another saucepan, add the sliced onions and sugar with a pinch of salt, and saute, stirring frequently, until the onions turn golden brown.
  9. Top the risotto with the caramelized onions and serve hot.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 246 Fat: 9.2 grams Sugar: 6 grams Fiber: 3.3 grams Protein: 7.7 grams

Black Rice Risotto


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  1. Ellen Lederman says

    Amazing! I would never have thought to use black rice for risotto—thought it HAD to be arborio (or the risotto police would get me). I love black rice and have plenty of it, thanks to big bags from Costco. Yum! Thanks for sharing….when you are exhausted. Get some R and R this weekend!
    The photo of the black rice risotto looks very much like a Korean black bean dish usually served on top of noodles (They usually put pork in it, but sometimes I can get them to leave it out.)

    • says

      Hi Ellen, black rice works very well in risotto because, like Arborio, it’s glutinous. And yes– I plan to get lots of rest this weekend, although it’s supposed to be beautiful out here so I might get more recreation. :)

  2. says

    Omg, never knew that we can make risotto with black rice, that bowl of black rice risotto is just mindblowing, love to finish that bowl.

  3. Hasita says

    Hi, any idea which retailers ship black rice to India? I tried it in several stores but no one knows what it is!

  4. says

    Hasita, depending on where you’re located in India, you might be able to get black rice at one of these places:
    – a health food store,
    – a store (or supplier) that deals in organic food including grains,
    – a big grocery store that stocks organic grains and/ or “novelty” food items.

    But if you can’t, I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a go at this recipe with red rice.

  5. says

    I notice that the recipe calls for 4-5 cups of water, but as I read the directions (i’m making it now, yeay), it only says to add a 1/2 c of water initially then another 1/2 cup of water to finish cooking. That’s only 1 cup, what happened to the other 3-4 cups?

    Thanks, this looks and smells amazing so far (i’m sure by the time the response is posted, i’ll have figured this out!) :)

    • says

      Hi Sasha, as the rice absorbs the water, add half cup more, and so on until you’ve used up all the water or your risotto is cooked. I guess I am too late but no doubt you figured it out. :) I will clarify in the recipe.

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