Mushroom & Zucchini Risotto: Budget-Friendly Dinner

Mushroom & Zucchini Risotto
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Mushroom & Zucchini Risotto: Budget-Friendly Vegan Recipe

I was inspired to create my mushroom and zucchini risotto recipe by a lovely friend, Sarah. She and I have both had many times in our life when we’ve been “skint”. This is a British term for “no funds available!”. She is an artist, and I spent much of my early adult life as a struggling actress. When you have to make ends meet, you get really creative in the kitchen!

Anyway, I took Sarah’s original recipe (she is vegan), and added mung beans because I wanted this dish to have protein in it for the family. Mung beans from the bulk bins are inexpensive. And for this recipe I had to stick within my $4 budget…

As a nutritionist and health coach, I have many readers complaining that eating healthy is way too expensive. I’m here to set the record straight. It doesn’t have to be! And thusly, I’ve created a new playlist on my YouTube channel, where I will be showing viewers how to create a dinner for four people for $4. These recipes will be whole food plant-based, and super healthy. Make sure you subscribe to my channel now, so that you don’t miss any of these delicious recipes coming up.

The first one to roll out is this classic mushroom and zucchini risotto. But before you knee-jerk and think that a risotto is way too labor-intensive, I’ll here to tell you that this version is not. With a little prep, and a couple of cheats, you can make this risotto in less than ten minutes.


Serves 4

1/2 cup of veggie broth*

2 cups brown rice

1/2 cup dried mung beans

1 tbsp neutral cooking oil or 2 tbsp veggie broth

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

2 medium zucchini, cubed

8-10 brown and white mushrooms, stalks removed, and cubed

1 tbsp Tamari sauce

1 tbsp Bragg’s Amino Acids (optional)

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 bunch fresh cilantro or fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped


*The veggie broth is for you to use in place of oil if you are into oil-free cooking. You can use it to saute the onions instead of oil. Also, if you are re-heating your risotto, I recommend added about 1/4 cup of veggie broth so that it doesn’t get too dry.




Do-ahead: I always cook the rice ahead of time, and freeze it. I also chop my onions ahead of time and freeze them raw in glass containers.

Place the mung beans in a small heavy saucepan. Cover with water and simmer for about 12-15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Cook the rice. I use my InstantPot!

Heat the oil or broth in a large saute pan* and add the onions. Gently saute for about 5 minutes or until the start to lightly brown.

Add the zucchini and the mushrooms, and saute for about 3 minutes until cooked, but not too soft (they need a bit of bite).

Add the Tamari, Braggs and Seasoning.

Stir in the mung beans and the cilantro or parsley.

Drizzle with a good quality olive oil if you aren’t oil-free.


*My absolute favorite saute pan (that I use almost every day), is from 360 cookware. It’s pricey but is a lifetime investment. You can get 20% off the price by using the coupon code: SOPHIE20

And for another delicious vegan mushroom recipe, try my mouth watering Shitake Stuffed Mushrooms recipe.








Sophie Uliano is New York Times best-selling author and leading expert in the field of natural health and beauty, who takes a down-to-earth approach to beauty focusing on what's truly healthy. Join my masterclass to get started.