Go Back
+ servings
pumpkin risotto in bowl with pumpkin behind it.
Print Recipe Pin
4.69 from 32 votes

Pumpkin Risotto (Instant Pot Method)

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. Substitute butternut squash if you can't find pumpkin.
Prep Time13 minutes
Cook Time27 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian, Vegetarian
Servings (change as needed): 8 sides (5 mains)


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 4 tsp fresh thyme (or use poultry seasoning or sage)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more at end if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups short grain Arborio rice or Carnaroli rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or cooking wine (or substitute with broth)
  • 4 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth (or use 1 litre box + 1/2 cup water)
  • 1 pound peeled, seeded uncooked pumpkin, diced in 1/2 inch/1.3 cm cubes, Note 1
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (or more to taste)
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped (optional)


  • SAUTÉ VEGETABLES/AROMATICS: Press the SAUTÉ function button. When indicator button says 'hot', add onions and oil. You can also add 1/3 of the diced pumpkin at this point if you like (Note 1). Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, salt, pepper, thyme and curry powder. Stir for 1 minute. Add rice and stir for 2 minutes to toast it (rice 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.



  1. Pumpkin notes: 
    • Any pumpkin will work. Some good options are small sugar pumpkins (also called pie pumpkins) and cinderella pumpkin (bright orange, sweet).
    • Here's a video on  how to clean a pumpkin for cooking purposes.
    • Some of the pumpkin will disintegrate in the instant pot 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 sauté part of the pumpkin (as noted in the recipe) with the onions.
    • You can substitute butternut squash for the pumpkin. It has a slight lower water content so reduce the liquid by 1/4 cup/59 ml (or don't worry about it and adjust with more cheese if needed).
  2. Risotto recipe variations:
    • Omit the spinach if you want. I just love the color and extra nutrition it adds to this instant pot risotto recipe. You can also stir in chopped parsley or chives instead.
    • You can also swap the butter with vegan butter.
    • Omit the Parmesan for a vegan version (and reduce the broth to 4-4 1/4 cups) or use a vegan-style parmesan cheese.
    • Try adding a tablespoon of maple syrup for some sweetness.
  3. To make ahead:
    • Fresh is best for risotto, but here are some options:
      • 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.
    • Store leftovers in fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
    • Reheat risotto over medium heat on the stove top or in the microwave, stirring part way through, and adding extra broth or water if needed. Don't freeze.
Nutrition values are estimates for generous portions.
Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 858mg | Potassium: 333mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5983IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 146mg | Iron: 3mg