Treat yourself to this indulgent and delicious Pumpkin Risotto … this crave-worthy recipe is packed with warm, savory flavors, and 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 my latest favorite. And it’s amazing! Rich, creamy, bursting with fall flavors, and easy to make, this is a pumpkin entree that I will be turning to again and again.
Of course, I knew that you’d love this yummy recipe, too! I’m sharing all the details below, so keep reading.
Have you ever made risotto?
Risotto is not difficult to make, but it does require patience. You basically need to be standing over the stove and stirring the rice as it cooks … I’d recommend grabbing a glass of wine and a book, then settling in.
Another thing about risotto? It can’t be made ahead of time, because it just won’t have the right texture. Not that I wouldn’t eat leftover risotto, I just wouldn’t serve it to guests.
This Pumpkin Risotto recipe is totally worth the effort though. Each creamy bite is filled with so much flavor, and it’s such a cozy, comforting dish.
Serve this recipe for a autumn or winter dinner party or make it on a lazy weekend … either way, you are going to fall in love with this dish!
I know that risotto seems like kind of a fancy dish, but it’s actually fairly easy to make with basic ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Fresh Pumpkin or Squash
- Fresh Garlic
- Arborio Rice
- White Wine (Optional)
- Vegetable Broth
- Pumpkin Puree
- Unsalted Butter
- Parmesan Cheese
- Fresh Sage
- Salt (I recommend using kosher salt.)
This roast Pumpkin Risotto recipe uses a combination of fresh pumpkin, which gets roasted, and pumpkin puree (the plain kind, NOT pumpkin pie filling). If you can’t find fresh pumpkin, free free to use butternut squash instead. When selecting a fresh pumpkin, make sure to use a sugar / pie pumpkin, not the jack o’ lantern kind, which will be too stringy.
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.
As far as wine goes, it’s important to use a dry white wine that you’d actually enjoy drinking. Avoid sweeter wines, like reisling, moscato, or gewürztraminer. 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.
You’ll also need
For this recipe, you’ll need a wood spoon and a ladle, a medium sauce pan, a baking sheet, and a large, heavy skillet. I used this 12-inch skillet, 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 this Risotto Vegan
This Pumpkin Risotto is easy to make vegan with a couple simple swaps. Simply use your favorite vegan butter and skip the Parmesan cheese.
For extra flavor, you could experiment by adding a little nutritional yeast in place of the Parmesan. I haven’t tried that, but if you do, let me know how it goes!
How to Make Pumpkin Risotto
Ready to get started? This recipe is easy to make, you just need a little patience.
Roasting the Pumpkin
You’ll begin by roasting the pumpkin (or squash). Cut it into cubes, then combine it on a baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil and salt to taste.
Roast the pumpkin for 20 minutes, then flip and cook for 15 to 20 minutes more. The pumpkin should be tender and starting to brown.
Season the pumpkin to taste, then set it aside until you’re ready to use it.
Making the Pumpkin Broth
While the pumpkin is roasting, combine six cups vegetable broth and one cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling) 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.
Starting the Risotto
Next, grab your largest skillet and saute the shallots in olive oil until they’re translucent. Then, stir in the garlic and nutmeg, and saute this mixture just until the garlic and nutmeg are fragrant (stirring constantly). It should only take about 30 seconds or so.
The rice comes next. Do not to rinse the rice. If you do, you’ll wash the starch away, and your risotto won’t be creamy.
Add the rice to your shallots, then cook it, stirring constantly. After a couple minutes, the rice should be coated in oil, and it will be starting to turn translucent around the edges.
Adding Wine and Broth to the Risotto
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.
You also want to stir the risotto after each addition of liquid. 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.
When the wine has absorbed into the rice, add one cup of pumpkin broth to your risotto. Stir the risotto until the broth has been absorbed. Continue adding broth this way, one cup at a time, until the risotto is done.
You’ll know it’s time to add more broth when the risotto pulls away from the bottom of the pan as you stir it. Do not let the rice get overly dry.
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 are 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 risotto 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.
Finishing the Pumpkin Risotto
To finish your risotto, add a small ladle of broth, the reserved roasted pumpkin, and the sliced sage. Mix this 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 the risotto seems a little thin, don’t worry. It will firm up as it cools.
Serve this creamy Pumpkin Risotto in bowls sprinkled with additional 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.
What to Serve with Pumpkin Risotto
This easy Pumpkin Risotto makes a wonderful fall or winter entree. Risotto makes a fairly heavy meal, so I’d recommend serving it with a light salad, like Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad, Quick Chopped 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.
Loved this risotto and looking for more savory pumpkin and squash recipes? Then try this Pumpkin Curry (so delicious!) or my Butternut Squash Lasagna, Black Bean and Butternut Squash Enchiladas, or Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese. Yum!
If you’re looking 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 super creamy!
Treat yourself to this delicious Pumpkin Risotto ... it's full of warm fall flavors!
- 4 cups cubed pumpkin or squash
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup diced shallot (about 2 large shallots)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 5 sage leaves, thinly sliced
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!