Treat yourself to this indulgent and delicious Pumpkin Risotto! This crave-worthy recipe is loaded of warm, seasonal flavors you fall in love with. Best of all, it's so easy to make!
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Fall and pumpkin are synonymous for me ... once the calendar turns to September, I start craving all things pumpkin, all the time! And while I can never resist a sweet pumpkin dessert, lately I've been craving more savory pumpkin recipes, like roasted pumpkin or even curry.
This mouthwatering Pumpkin Risotto is always a favorite! Rich, creamy, bursting with warm autumn flavors, and easy to make, this is a recipe you'll find yourself turning to again and again all fall long.
Homemade risotto takes a little patience, but it's totally worth the effort! Each bite is filled with so much flavor, and it's such a cozy, comforting dish.
Serve this recipe for a fall or winter dinner party or make it on a lazy weekend ... either way, you are going to fall in love with this dish!
Ready to get started? Just keep scrolling for all the details!
Risotto fells fancy, but it's actually fairly easy to make and uses easy to find ingredients! Here's what you'll need:
- Pumpkin - This recipe uses a combination of fresh pumpkin, which gets roasted, and pumpkin puree. Make sure to use a small sugar / pie pumpkin, not the jack o' lantern kind, which is too stringy. If you can't find fresh pumpkin, free free to use butternut squash instead.
- Shallots + Garlic - A base of sautéed shallots and fresh garlic adds tons of flavor to this recipe.
- Nutmeg - Warm nutmeg pairs perfectly with the pumpkin to create a cozy taste you'll love.
- Rice - In order to make risotto, you need to use the right kind of rice. I used Arborio Rice, which is easy to find in most grocery stores. However, other types of starchy Italian rice, such as Carnaroli (which seems to be most chef's fave) or Vialone Nano, will also work.
- Wine - Make sure to choose a dry white wine that you'd actually enjoy drinking. I used an unoaked chardonnay, but any crisp white wine (such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc) will work. You can also skip the wine altogether and use more broth instead.
- Broth - You'll combine the pumpkin puree with the broth and gradually add it to the rice as it cooks. I like to make my own using vegetable bouillon or Better Than Bouillon ... that way, I always have some on hand.
- Olive Oil + Butter - You'll use a combination of butter and extra virgin olive oil when preparing the recipe. I prefer unsalted butter.
- Parmesan Cheese - Just before serving you'll mix in freshly shredded parmesan, which adds tons of flavor.
- Sage - A little fresh sage is the perfect finishing touch!
- Salt - I recommend using kosher salt.
This Pumpkin Sage Risotto is vegetarian, however you can easily make it vegan with a couple simple swaps. Simply use your favorite vegan butter and skip the Parmesan cheese. For a cheesy flavor, you could experiment by adding a little nutritional yeast in place of the Parmesan. I haven't tried that yet, but if you do, let me know how it goes!
You'll Also Need
To make the recipe, you'll need a wood spoon and a ladle, a medium sauce pan for the broth, a sheet pan to roast the pumpkin (these sturdy baking sheets are my favorite), and a large skillet with tall sides to cook the rice. I used this 12-inch frying pan, and it was nearly full to the top when the risotto was done. Do not use anything smaller, or it will overflow!
How to Make Pumpkin Risotto
Ready to get started? This recipe is easy to make, you just need a little patience. You'll find a detailed recipe card below, but here's an overview of the steps:
- Roast the pumpkin. Start by peeling the pumpkin and cutting it into cubes. Then combine it on a baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil and salt. Roast the pumpkin for 20 minutes, then flip and cook until it's tender and starting to brown. Season the pumpkin to taste, then set it aside until you're ready to use it.
- Make the pumpkin broth. While the pumpkin is roasting, combine the vegetable broth and pumpkin puree in a sauce pan. Bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low ... you want to keep it hot while the risotto cooks.
- Sauté the shallots and garlic. Next, grab your largest skillet and sauté the shallots in olive oil until they're translucent. Then, stir in the garlic and nutmeg, and cook this mixture just until it's fragrant, about 30 seconds or so.
- Mix in the rice. Stir the rice into your shallots, then cook it, stirring constantly for a couple minutes. When you're done, it should be coated in oil, and it will be starting to turn translucent around the edges. Tip: do not rinse the rice. If you do, you'll wash the starch away, and your risotto won't be creamy.
- Stir in the wine. Pour the wine into your rice next, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. If you cook the risotto over too high of heat, any liquid you add will evaporate before the rice can absorb it. Cook the rice, stirring constantly until it has absorbed the wine.
- Add the broth. When the wine has been absorbed, add one cup of pumpkin broth to your risotto. Stir the risotto until the broth has been mostly absorbed. Continue adding broth this way, one cup at a time, until the risotto is tender. As you stir, the rice will release its starch, making your risotto creamy. It's okay to take a break from stirring here and there. But for the most part, you should be standing over the pot, stirring the risotto every 30 seconds or so as it cooks.
- Finish and serve. To finish your risotto, add a small ladle of broth, the reserved roasted pumpkin, and the sliced sage. Mix everything together, then stir in the Parmesan cheese and season the risotto to taste with salt.
The finished risotto should have a loose, creamy texture. It should be pourable, but not runny. If it seems a little thin, don't worry ... it will firm up as it cools. If it's too thick, add an extra splash of broth.
Serve this creamy Pumpkin Risotto in bowls sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. It makes four large main dish servings or six smaller ones. You can also serve it as a side dish or as a separate course in a larger meal.
Tip: When you're cutting up the pumpkin, don't forget to save the seeds to make the BEST Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!
How much broth will you need?
This recipe calls for six cups of broth, but you may not need it all. It's hard to predict exactly how much broth you'll need when cooking risotto, or how long it will take to cook. There are many factors—such as the length of your rice, or how dry the rice is, and the heat you're cooking the risotto at—that will all affect the cooking time.
The most important thing is to take your time. You'll know the risotto is done when the rice is tender, but al dente ... basically, the rice should be slightly firm and have a little bite. It should not be mushy.
I'd recommend starting to test the rice after adding four cups of broth. Then, you can continue adding the broth, stirring, and testing your risotto until it's perfectly al dente. Add smaller amounts of broth, if needed, toward the end.
This Roasted Pumpkin Risotto makes a wonderful fall or winter entree. It's a fairly heavy meal, so I'd recommend serving it with a light salad, like a Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad, Quick Chopped Salad, Garden Salad, or Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad.
For dessert, why not continue the theme with a pumpkin dessert, like this Layered Pumpkin Mousse or this Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt? This Cranberry Cheesecake Parfait is another delicious seasonal recipe that would also be wonderful.
Looking for more savory pumpkin ideas? Try one of these tasty recipe next:
- Pumpkin Couscous
- Pumpkin Lentil Curry
- Pumpkin Coconut Curry
- Pumpkin Pizza
- Roasted Pumpkin Soup
- Vegan Pumpkin Chili
- Roasted Pumpkin Salad
Searching for a no fuss risotto recipe? My Instant Pot Risotto definitely fits the bill ... there's no standing over the stove required, yet it's still turns out super creamy!
- 4 cups cubed pumpkin (or winter squash)
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ¾ cup diced shallot (about 2 large shallots)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 5 sage leaves, thinly sliced
- kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place cubed pumpkin on large baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season to taste with salt; toss to coat.
- Roast pumpkin for 15 minutes. Flip, then roast for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until pumpkin is tender. Set aside.
- While pumpkin is roasting, combine broth and pumpkin puree in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low. Keep pot partially covered.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add shallots and cook until translucent.
- Add garlic and nutmeg to shallots; cook until fragrant, stirring constantly (about 30 seconds).
- Stir rice into shallot mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until rice is coated in oil and edges are translucent (about 2 minutes).
- Add wine to rice. Reduce heat to a very gentle simmer, then stir constantly until wine is absorbed.
- Add 1 cup broth to rice. Stir continuously until broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth in 1 cup increments, stirring in between, until broth is absorbed and rice is tender (al dente). You may not use all of the broth.
- When rice is al dente, stir in one small ladle of broth, along with butter, roasted pumpkin, and sage. Add Parmesan, then season risotto to taste with salt.
- Serve risotto immediately, sprinkled with additional Parmesan, if desired. Enjoy!