Quick risotto?  Isn’t that an oxymoron?!  We’ll make you a believer with this easy version of risotto, submitted by Susan Raider in Los Gatos, CA.  Susan writes, “This recipe is super simple, super delicious, and healthy.  My 12 year old daughter loves this and requests it often.”  The trick is using Trader Joe’s fully cooked frozen brown rice.  We playfully named this recipe faux-risotto because the texture isn’t as creamy as traditional risotto, but our tasters (including kids) gave it the thumbs up.

In the past, I’d always reserved risotto for special occasions, because it’s laborious and time-intensive.  Risotto is a famous Italian rice dish made with starchy Arborio rice, and you get that creamy consistency by cooking the rice slowly, adding a ladle of broth at a time, and stirring frequently to achieve that distinguishing creaminess.  Not an easy dish to make when you only have a few minutes to get dinner on the table.

If you ever wished you could make risotto in a snap, try this recipe!  You can even experiment with other vegetables such as asparagus, peas, corn, butternut squash, or leeks.  It’s easy enough to make after a hectic day, even during the middle of the week.  We enjoyed this dish with leftover roast chicken and a side of steamed broccolini.  Not bad for just a few minutes of work on a school night!


Superfast Lowat Mushroom Faux-Risotto

by Susan Raider


  • 1 bag TJ frozen brown rice
  • 1 pkg TJ diced onions (about 1.5 cups)
  • 1 pkg TJ sliced mushrooms, any variety
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (preferably Reggiano), plus more for garnish


  1. 1. Heat olive oil in a large fry pan.  Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms and thyme, and continue cooking until mushrooms are soft, stirring often.
  2. While vegetables are cooking, cook brown rice in microwave for three minutes, per package instructions.
  3. Add brown rice to mushroom mixture and stir.  Add white wine and cook, stirring frequently, until wine is absorbed.  The rice will have a”risottoish” look.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, stir, and cook for a half minute longer, allowing cheese to melt.
  4. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves 3