Mushrooms and Sundried Tomatoes Risotto

For a cheap and cheerful midweek supper, this risotto is an easy-to-make meal for singletons, couples and families alike.


Serves 2

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

100g mushrooms, cleaned and chopped

100g sundried tomatoes, chopped

100g risotto rice (or plain white or brown rice are fine, too)

Drizzle of oil from the jar of sundried tomatoes

800ml vegetable stock

1 tbsp basil


  • Put the chopped onion in a frying pan, adding a splash of water to prevent the onion from sticking to the pan plus a pinch of salt cooking it until soft and translucent in appearance.

Dawn: A pinch of slat prevents the onion turning a brown colour while it is softening and helps show off the final appearance of this glistening jewel of a dish to its full advantage.

  • Next, add the chopped mushrooms and sundried tomatoes with a drizzle of the oil they have come in, and cook for about 5 minutes or until the mushrooms have turned soft in texture.
  • Wash the rice and add to the pan, stirring until it is covered in the oil.
  • Then add a ladle at a time of the vegetable stock, continuously stirring the ingredients together until the liquid has been absorbed into the rice mixture. Add a ladle at a time until all the stock has been used and the combined ingredients look creamy in consistency.
  • Season with salt and pepper.

Dawn: The rice will have become plump so you’ll know it’s cooked. Serve with either warm crusty bread in warm bowls or with a mixed green leaf salad or fresh vegetables.

I’ve used risotto rice here but you can use any rice that you have in your cupboards and this is a very easy, cheap and tasty supper to make. And for families of, say 4, simply double up the ingredients.

Risotto originates from northern Italy and is traditionally served as a starter dish Bon appetite!

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Rustic Chicken, Mushroom and Red Onion Risotto


Getting the most out of our food in terms of flavours and numbers of meals we can squeeze from one staple ingredient is very important to us, here at Love Food HQ and this dish is no exception! We’re using left-overs from our traditional Sunday roast chicken that we did a few days ago and creating this tasty alternative dish for you.


Serves 4

200g of the leftover roast chicken

1 red onion, peeled, sliced and chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled, sliced and crushed

115g of mushrooms, peeled and sliced

175g of pearl barley

500ml of vegetable or chicken stock

Salt and pepper for seasoning


  • In a large, non-stick frying pan, place the onion and a splash of water; heat and allow the onion to cook for approximately 5-10 minutes until it begins to look transparent. Now add the garlic and cook for a further 1-2 minutes while it releases its aroma amongst the onion.
  • Add the mushrooms, pearl barley and the stock of your choice. It’s important to add the stock a ladleful at a time, allowing it to be absorbed before adding more stock while stirring the ingredients continuously until the pearl barley is tender. This takes about 20 minutes in total.
  • About 10 minutes into cooking the pearl barley, add the chicken pieces that you pulled from the leftover roast chicken. Gently stir the chicken into the risotto; season and serve in warmed bowls.

Andrew: In case you missed the delicious roast chicken recipe, here it is for you try this weekend:

Dawn: Yes, along with our ‘How to Make Chicken Stock’ recipe which is in our growing and newly launched “Essentials” section with a super quick link to it is here:

Andrew: I like this risotto idea, Dawn. Pearl barley rather than rice or the traditional arborio rice. 

Dawn: Yes, the pearl barley gives a lovely nutty taste to the dish that I particularly like. And, of course, pearl barley is quick to cook, you don’t need to soak it beforehand, it’s a good source of fibre and is an excellent low fat, low cholesterol food.

Andrew: All in all, a really nut-ritious and economical winner!

Dawn: Yes, Andrew – nut-ritious, indeedy. 

For more recipes, nutritional tips and advice to help you get more from your weekly food budget, follow the Cooking Duo’s blog here and their Twitter account over at @Love_Food_UK.