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Use Up Leftover Chicken or Turkey After Christmas Dinner to Make Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

I used to work in my family's restaurant and helped run it. I love good food, and I've cooked family meals for over 60 years.

Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

You've had your roast chicken or turkey Christmas dinner, and now you need some ideas for using up your chicken or turkey leftovers. Here is a tasty risotto recipe which is so easy that even a beginner could make it. It's so quick that you could be sitting down to eat it in 15 to 20 minutes.

Cooking Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

10 min

20 min

2 to 4 servings

Equipment Needed

  • Small saucepan for boiling rice
  • Small saucepan for making sauce
  • Frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Cup or bowl to mix cornflour
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Ingredients (Adjust Quantities to Your Liking)

  • 2 to 4 ounces chicken or turkey pieces, torn into small pieces
  • 2 to 4 cups rice, preferably arborio rice (one cup per person)
  • 2 to 4 ounces mushrooms, chopped or sliced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 pint milk (or any mix of milk, yogurt or cream, or goat's milk cheese)
  • Spices to taste (e.g. 1 or 2 cloves, 1/2 tsp. turmeric,1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. chilli flakes, 1/4 tsp. ginger)
  • Herbs to taste (e.g.1 clove garlic, 1/2 tsp. mixed herbs, marjoram)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons cornflour
  • 1 dessert spoon butter or olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fried onions (optional)


  1. Put rice in saucepan. Cover it in water and swirl it around to wash it. Pour away the water. Pour boiling water on the rice, using 2 cups of water to one cup of rice. Bring to the boil, stir once and gently simmer on very low heat for 10 minutes, adding the herbs and spices except for the garlic. Then remove from heat. At this stage, all the water should have been absorbed by the rice.
  2. Whilst the rice is cooking, you have 10 minutes to make the sauce and cook the other ingredients.
  3. To make the white sauce, heat most of the milk in the second saucepan, and whilst it is heating up, put the cornflour in a cup, add a small amount of milk and stir it into a smooth paste, add the rest of the milk, stir and pour it into the saucepan, heating slowly. and stirring all the time to allow the mixture to thicken without going lumpy. Squash out any lumps against the side of the pan. You can use plain yogurt, or, for a richer mixture, substitute some of the milk with cream or goats milk cheese. As soon as it has reached boiling point, take it off the heat.
  4. If using onions, slice thinly and fry gently in the frying pan for about three miinutes in the butter or olive oil to turn them translucent rather than crispy. Then add the garlic, finely chopped and crushed, and lastly add the sliced mushrooms, and fry for two or three minutes until they are soft.
  5. Then add the sauce and fried mushrooms and onions to the rice. Add the chicken or turkey pieces and peas to the rice, and heat everything gently for two or three minutes, to thaw the peas, stirring the mixture to ensure it is heated all through and that the ingredients are evenly distributed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then serve.
All the ingredients for chicken and mushroom risotto mixed in the saucepan just before serving

All the ingredients for chicken and mushroom risotto mixed in the saucepan just before serving

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© 2012 Diana Grant

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