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Pumpkin Risotto Recipe (Instant Pot)

This rich, creamy, flavor packed Pumpkin Risotto recipe in the instant pot is pure comfort food. It’s a knockout vegetarian dinner for Fall or Winter. Sub in butternut squash if you can’t find pumpkin. 

I find that the Instant Pot does a very good job with risotto with the added benefit of not having to stand there and stir for half an hour.
 

Pumpkin Risotto (Instant Pot)

Two tricks to a good instant pot risotto recipe:

1. The flavor: You can play around with the seasonings as I did. I use thyme mostly, but lately I’ve been using poultry seasoning and highly recommend it. Poultry seasoning is a combination of sage, thyme, rosemary, marjoram nutmeg and pepper – all of which complement pumpkin perfectly.

2. Getting the right consistency: Mostly this comes from the proportion of rice and liquids, but you can cheat quite easily by adding more Parmesan (to make it thicker) or more broth (to make it looser) at the end.

Regarding the pumpkin, I wouldn’t start with a whole pumpkin as you only need one pound. Some stores sell chunks in a package. When I see that, I grab it. Otherwise, I use butternut squash instead.

Ultimately, this pumpkin risotto recipe is creamy, but not mushy, and the pumpkin, herb and cheese flavors shine through. It’s a satisfying vegetarian, gluten free meal on its own or as a side for fish, turkey or chicken. And I love how it looks so Fall-ish.

Also check out our super easy slow cooker pumpkin risotto recipe

What to serve with pumpkin risotto

Try serving the risotto with our root vegetable soup or as a side with roasted salmon stuffed with herbs or marinated grilled chicken. It’s also delicious as a main dish with a nice salad. 

Tailor To Your Taste

Here are some variations and substitutes you can try.

Pumpkin

  • Feel free to substitute butternut squash for the pumpkin. It has a slight lower water content so reduce the liquid by 1/4 cup (or don’t worry about it and adjust with more cheese if needed).
  • Some of the pumpkin disintegrates and mixes into the risotto when cooked, but a few chunks remain. If you like more chunks, dice the pumpkin into slightly larger pieces and don’t saute part of the pumpkin with the onions. This trick is included in the recipe. 

Seasonings

  • Instead of thyme, try sage or poultry seasoning. You can omit the curry if you want. Just taste and add something else you like.
  • Try adding a tablespoon of maple syrup for some sweetness.

Add ins

  • Omit the spinach if you want. I just love the color and extra nutrition it adds. Or stir in chopped parsley or chives instead.
  • Omit the Parmesan for a vegan version (and reduce the broth to 4-4 1/4 cups).

Wine

  • Substitute the wine with 1/4 cup/59ml extra broth or water.

Make Ahead

  • Risotto is best served fresh, but if it needs to hang around for awhile, you can leave it on warm for a bit in the Instant Pot and stir in extra broth before serving to loosen it up if you need. (It always thickens on standing.)
  • If you have leftovers, store them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Don’t freeze.

Other instant pot risotto recipes you might enjoy

How to make pumpkin risotto (in the instant pot)

Pumpkin, broth, wine, spinach, onion, butter, garlic, arborio rice
Pumpkin, broth, wine, spinach, onion, butter, garlic, arborio rice, oil, salt, pepper, curry powder, thyme
chopped pumpkin, garlic, onion
Dice pumpkin (1/2 inch) and chop garlic and onions
Pumpkin and onion sauteing in instant pot
Saute onion, garlic and part of pumpkin
Pumpkin, rice and onion in instant pot
Saute rice, then add wine.
pumpkin risotto finished cooking in instant pot 1
Add broth and remaining pumpkin. Pressure cook for 6 minutes.

cheese, butter and spinach added to cooked Pumpkin Risotto in instant pot

Stir in spinach, butter, Parmesan

pumpkin risotto in instant pot 3

pumpkin risotto in a bowl beside a pumpkin

spoonful of Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkin Risotto in bowl beside pumpkin f
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4.5 from 18 votes

Pumpkin Risotto Recipe (Instant Pot)

This rich, creamy, flavor-packed Instant Pot Pumpkin Risotto recipe is pure comfort food that tastes amazing. It's a knockout vegetarian dinner for Fall or Winter. Substitute butternut squash if you can't find pumpkin.
Prep Time13 mins
Cook Time27 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian, Vegetarian
Servings: 5 mains (or 8 sides)
Author: Cheryl

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 3 tsp minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme or 4 tsp fresh (or use poultry seasoning)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (plus more at end if needed)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white or cooking wine
  • 4 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth (or use 1 litre box + 1/2 cup water)
  • 1 lb peeled, seeded uncooked pumpkin, diced in half inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (or more to taste)
  • 2 cup fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped (optional)

Instructions

  • SAUTE VEGETABLES/AROMATICS: Press SAUTE on Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker. Once heated, add oil and onions. You can also 1/3 of diced pumpkin at this point if you like. Saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, salt, pepper, thyme and curry powder. Stir for 1 more minute. Add rice and stir for 2 minutes to toast (it will stay white). Add white wine and stir until completely evaporated - 1 minute.
  • PRESSURE COOK RISOTTO: Turn Instant pot to OFF. Add broth and remaining squash, Secure lid. Turn VALVE to sealing. Turn PRESSURE or MANUAL setting on to High level. Set for 6 minutes using + and - buttons. Count down will start when pressure has built up (in about 10-12 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 butter and Parmesan and spinach if using. Stir until spinach is wilted (30 seconds). If too thick, add more broth or water if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings (e.g. add another 1/2 teaspoon salt if needed, more thyme, curry, etc). Transfer to serving bowl and serve immediately topped with additional Parmesan if desired.

Notes

Variations and substitutions:
  1. Pumpkin
    • You can substitute butternut squash for the pumpkin. It has a slight lower water content so reduce the liquid by 1/4 cup (or don't worry about it and adjust with more cheese if needed).
    • Some of the pumpkin disintegrates and mixes into the risotto when cooked, but a few chunks remain. If you like more chunks, dice the pumpkin into slightly larger pieces and don't saute part of the pumpkin (as noted in the recipe) with the onions.
  2. Seasonings
    • Instead of thyme, try sage or poultry seasoning. You can omit the curry if you want. Just taste and add something else you like.
    • Try adding a tablespoon of maple syrup for some sweetness.
  3. Add ins
    • Omit the spinach if you want. I just love the color and extra nutrition it adds. Or stir in chopped parsley or chives instead.
    • Omit the Parmesan for a vegan version (and reduce the broth to 4-4 1/4 cups).
  4. Wine
    • Substitute the wine with 1/4 cup extra broth or water.
To make ahead: Keep  on WARM setting in Instant Pot for 30-45 minutes. Stir and add both to loosen if needed. Or if using later, turn off instant pot and warm in microwave before serving, stirring in extra broth as needed. Can keep in fridge for up to 3 days.
 
 
Nutrition values are estimates for generous portions.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin Risotto Recipe (Instant Pot)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 497 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 22mg7%
Sodium 1374mg60%
Potassium 514mg15%
Carbohydrates 78g26%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 9569IU191%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Calcium 229mg23%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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This pumpkin risotto recipe has been updated from 2018 with additional tips and images. 

6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is AMAZING! So delicious and tastes creamy. Definitely one of our new favs. Highly recommend. Love love LOVE it.

  2. Hi I’d love to try this. Would it work if I halved the recipe? Would you use the same cooking time? Also could I swap the wine for extra stock? I don’t have wine. Thank you.

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