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Lemon Risotto with Grilled Vegetables (Instant Pot)

Creamy risotto without the constant hands-on stirring? Yes!

Instant pot lemon risotto with grilled vegetables takes minimal effort for exceptional results. Ready in 30 minutes.

Lemon Risotto with Grilled Vegetables (Instant Pot). Creamy, lemony, cheesy risotto loaded with spinach and vegetables, ready in 30 minutes

The Instant Pot is not the be-all and end-all for everything in my opinion, but it does make a great risotto in less time and, specifically, much less hands-on time. The traditional method requires standing and continuous stirring the rice for a good 20 minutes.

I used two recipes for inspiration –  Lexi’s Clean Kitchen and Hip Pressure Cooking.  After 3 tries, I landed on the tweaks and additions I’m happy with.

The instant pot risotto recipe below starts with that signature creamy texture. flavored with lemon, onions, garlic, thyme and, if you like, Parmesan. You can certainly stop here. It’s delicious as is with the lemon shining through.

But if you want to step it up a notch, add the fresh baby spinach and grilled vegetables. Beautiful color and added nutrition.

The end result is a healthy, comforting weeknight side or main dish. And it’s certainly company-worthy.

Enjoy this dish on its own or as a side to Lemon Butter Herb Baked Trout, Easy Maple-Lime Salmon, Maple Balsamic Rainbow Trout, marinated flank steak or Mediterranean-Style Marinated Chicken.

Tips for Instant Pot Lemon Risotto

  • This recipe has a higher ratio of liquid to rice than a traditional risotto to balance the Parmesan and vegetables. I like my risotto a bit looser and creamier. So if I include the optional Parmesan, I add a bit more broth at the end to make it creamier. It’s all a matter of preference.
  • Make sure the wine is completely evaporated before you turn on the Pressure Cooker.
  • Saute the onions to the translucent stage before pressure cooking – don’t skip this step.
  • A grill basket makes the grilling easy. If you don’t have one, grill larger pieces, then cut them into smaller pieces before adding them to the risotto.
  • If you don’t have a grill, roast the vegetables in the oven at 425F for 15-20 minutes.

Tailor To Your Taste

  • Use any grilled vegetables you like. You can use one vegetable or a combination of 2-4 different ones. Good options are peppers, green or red onions, mushrooms, zucchini, asparagus.
  • Sprinkle with fresh herbs before serving – thyme, oregano, chives, parsley.
  • Use baby kale instead of spinach.
  • Skip the Parmesan for a dairy free version.


  • Skip the grilled vegetables. Add chopped herbs instead if you like.
  • Buy grated Parmesan cheese (if using).

Make Ahead

  • Purists may say you have to make a risotto right before serving. With this method, I find it’s perfectly delicious when warmed up in the microwave with some extra broth or water to loosen it up. Alternatively, keep in on Warm in your instant pot for up to an hour. Stir in extra broth before serving if needed.
  • Lemon risotto can be a great potluck dish. Prepare the dish (I suggest using the full 4 1/4 cups broth as the risotto thickens on standing), then microwave for a minute or two or as needed, stirring part way through.

How to make instant pot risotto with vegetables

spinach, broth, wine, seasonings, rice, lemon, chopped vegetables
Get all ingredients ready to go: chopped veggies, lemon, arborio rice, broth, wine, onions, spinach, butter, thyme, garlic, salt. (the picture above shows amounts for half the recipe)
grilled vegetables in grill basket on the grill
Grill veggies in grill basket (or grill in large pieces, then cut them into smaller pieces).
rice onion. butter, thyme and liquids in instant pot
Saute onions, garlic, rice then wine. Add broth, butter, thyme and salt.
instant pot risotto finished cooking in instant pot
Pressure cook for 6 minutes. Then do a quick release.
instant pot risotto mixed with grilled veggies in instant pot
Stir in spinach until wilted. Then lemon juice, zest and grilled veggies.

one forkful of instant pot risotto with grilled vegetables

vegetable risotto in a bowl
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5 from 9 votes

Lemon Risotto with Grilled Vegetables (Instant Pot)

Creamy risotto without the constant hands-on stirring? Yes! Instant pot lemon risotto with grilled vegetables takes minimal effort for exceptional results. Ready in 30 minutes.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 - 8 sides
Author: Cheryl


For Grilled Veggies

  • 10 cups vegetables, chopped Note 1
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

For Risotto

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 3 teaspoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 1/2 cup Arborio short grain rice
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4 tablespoon butter (half stick)
  • 4 cup broth (chicken or vegetable) plus 1/4 cup more if needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt if needed (depends on broth used)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cup fresh baby spinach or kale, roughly chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (Optional)


  • Preheat grill to Medium High.
  • PREPARE AND GRILL VEGETABLES: Cut vegetables into small pieces and toss with oil, salt and pepper to taste. Place in grill basket. Grill for 8-12 minutes, stirring once or twice until tender. Set aside. (I turn off BBQ and leave lid on to keep warm). Note 2.
  • MAKE RISOTTO - STEP 1 SAUTE: While vegetables are grilling, press SAUTE on Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker. Once heated, add oil, onions and garlic. Stir for 2 minutes. Add rice and stir for 2 minutes to toast (it will stay white). Add white wine and stir until completely evaporated (30 seconds). Add about a cup of broth and stir for 1 minute.
  • MAKE RISOTTO - STEP 2 PRESSURE COOK: Turn Instant pot to OFF. Add rest of broth, butter and thyme. Secure lid. Turn VALVE to sealing. Turn PRESSURE or MANUAL setting on. Set for 6 minutes. Count down will start when pressure has built up (about 8-10 minutes). Once time is finished (instant pot will automatically change setting to Keep Warm), do a Quick Release of pressure by turning valve to VENTING (keep fingers away from vent). When pressure is fully released, remove lid.
  • FINISH RISOTTO: Stir risotto. It will be loose at first. Stir in spinach until wilted (30 seconds). Stir in lemon juice, zest, Parmesan (if using) and grilled vegetables. Add more broth if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add salt if needed. Transfer to serving bowl and serve immediately topped with additional Parmesan if desired.

Recipe Notes

  1. Vegetables: good options are green onions, red onions, peppers (any color), asparagus, zucchini, mushrooms 
  2. If you don't have a grill or grill basket: If you don't have a grill, roast vegetables on a pan lined with foil and sprayed with oil for 15 minutes at 425F. If you don't have a grill basket, grill larger pieces then cut them up after. 
  3. To make ahead:  Keep warm in instant pot for up to an hour or microwave for a minute or two, stirring half way through.  For both options, you may need to add extra broth to loosen the risotto. 
Nutrition values are estimates for generous sized portions - almost a cup of cooked risotto per person - and don't include the optional  Parmesan cheese. 


Calories: 515kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 1235mg | Potassium: 783mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 16921IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 6mg
Tried this recipe?We'd love you to rate it above under 'rate this recipe' or in the comment section below. Thanks!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Made this tonight -first time using Instant Pot. Took me extra time to figure out the Instant Pot part – but ultimately yum. I’m sure it would take me half the time next time. The butter and the lemon make it. I think any greens i think would work. used fresh fenugreek ( which i saw for the first time at Loblaws – none of the staff knew what it was – it had a label) .Used pearl barley instead of arborio rice. Also great.

    1. Hi Kathy. As I said, the instant pot isn’t great for everything in my opinion, especially if you’re not a fan of stewy things, but I do love it for risottos, other rice dishes, ribs (like our famous Montreal ribs – so good!), soups (like our French onion soup and curried lentil soup), and pasta sauces (like our vegetarian bolognese). All generally quicker to make the traditional methods. It even makes a good roast chicken. And many things I haven’t tried like yogurt and slow cooker recipes. So is it worth buying? I suggest checking out a list of instant pot recipes to see if you like enough of them. Hope that helps.