Try this spelt and mushroom risotto then check out our vegetable risotto, healthy risotto, vegetarian lasagne, vegetarian moussaka and more vegetarian recipes.

What are the benefits of spelt?

olive nutritionist Kerry Torrens says: "Packed with energising and immune-strengthening vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B3, zinc and iron, spelt is an ancient form of wheat. It supplies more protein than conventional wheat, including gluten (making spelt unsuitable for those with coeliac disease).

However, the gluten in spelt is more water-soluble, making it easier to digest. This spelt and mushroom risotto uses pearled spelt, which means the outer layer of bran has been removed – this speeds up the cooking process and allows the grain to soak up all the delicious flavours.


  • 20g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 250g pearled spelt
  • a glass (optional) white wine
  • 500ml vegetable stock, hot
  • 2 tbsp soft cheese
  • 25g Italian hard cheese, finely grated, plus extra to serve
  • a small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves torn
  • 1 lemon, zested and a squeeze of juice


  • STEP 1

    Put the dried porcini into a small bowl and pour over 250ml of just-boiled water.

  • STEP 2

    Heat 1 tbsp of the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a high heat and add the chestnut mushrooms. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until all of the moisture has evaporated and they are caramelised. Reduce the heat and add the remaining oil, the onion, garlic and a little seasoning, and cook gently for 5 minutes until soft. Add the spelt and mix until fully coated in oil. Pour in the wine, if using, and cook until reduced by 1⁄2.

  • STEP 3

    Drain the porcini, keeping the liquid, chop and stir into the risotto. Add the porcini liquid to the stock and stir into the risotto a ladleful at a time. Cook for 25 minutes or until the spelt is tender. Stir through the soft and hard cheeses, followed by the parsley.

  • STEP 4

    To serve, divide between bowls, squeeze over a little lemon juice, scatter over the lemon zest, and extra cheese, if you like.


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