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Pumpkin Risotto Recipe: Perfect Comfort Food for Fall

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Scrumptious homemade Pumpkin Risotto

If you’re looking for a delicious and cozy fall meal, this pumpkin risotto recipe will be perfect for you. Packed with creamy arborio rice, pumpkin puree, white wine, and sage, this dish offers a rich and comforting flavor that easily becomes a favorite.

Making this risotto is simpler than you might expect. Using ingredients like pumpkin puree and parmesan cheese, you’ll achieve a creamy texture that’s hard to resist. Whether you’re preparing dinner for your family or inviting friends over for a special dinner, this recipe will surely impress everyone.

Forget about the constant stirring usually needed for risotto. This method allows you to create a luxurious dish with minimal effort. You’ll enjoy every bite of this seasonal treat, which is both vegetarian and gluten-free.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

To make pumpkin risotto, you need the following exact ingredients:


  • Arborio Rice: Essential for its creamy texture. Substitute: Carnaroli rice or sushi rice in a pinch.



  • Pumpkin Purée: Provides the key flavor. Substitute: Butternut squash purée.



  • Chicken Broth: Adds depth and richness. Substitute: Vegetable broth for a vegetarian version.



  • Onion: Enhances the base flavor. Substitute: Shallots or leeks.



  • Garlic: Adds a hint of spice. Substitute: Garlic powder.



  • White Wine: Adds acidity. Substitute: Additional broth, or a splash of lemon juice.



  • Parmesan Cheese: For a salty, nutty finish. Substitute: Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano.



  • Butter: Adds creaminess. Substitute: Olive oil or vegan margarine.



  • Olive Oil: For sautéing. Substitute: Canola oil or sunflower oil.



  • Salt and Pepper: Season to taste.


Optional Ingredients:


  • Bacon: Adds a smoky flavor. Substitute: Pancetta or omit for vegetarian.



  • Mushrooms: Enhances umami. Substitute: Any other favorite mushrooms or omit.



  • Thyme or Rosemary: For earthy notes. Substitute: Dried herbs if fresh aren’t available.


Quick Tips:

  • Keep broth warm to help it absorb into the rice faster.
  • Stir constantly to release starch from rice, which makes it creamy.
  • Taste as you go to adjust seasoning and ensure rice is cooked al dente.

Instructions

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 small pumpkin, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).



  2. Roast the Pumpkin: Toss the cubed pumpkin with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes until soft and caramelized.



  3. Prepare the Broth: In a large pot, bring the vegetable broth to a simmer. Keep it warm on low heat.



  4. Cook the Onion and Garlic: In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.



  5. Add Rice and Wine: Add the Arborio rice to the pot with the onion and garlic. Stir for a few minutes until the rice is slightly translucent. Pour in the white wine and cook until it’s mostly absorbed.



  6. Add Broth Gradually: Begin adding the warm vegetable broth one ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Wait until the liquid is almost absorbed before adding more.



  7. Incorporate Pumpkin: Once the rice is cooked (about 18-20 minutes), stir in the roasted pumpkin cubes. Mash some pieces into the risotto for a creamier texture.



  8. Finish with Cheese: Remove from heat and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let it sit for a couple of minutes before serving.



  9. Serve Warm: Enjoy your pumpkin risotto hot, optionally garnished with fresh herbs like parsley or sage.


Tips, Tricks & Storing

Tip 1: Sauté Your Rice
Sauté the rice in butter or oil until it becomes slightly translucent. This adds a nutty flavor and helps the rice cook evenly.

Tip 2: Warm Your Stock
Always use warm stock. This keeps the cooking process smooth and prevents the temperature from dropping each time you add more liquid.

Tip 3: Stir Frequently
Stirring the risotto often ensures it cooks evenly and releases its starches, giving it a creamy texture.

Using Wine
Adding a bit of white wine before the stock can deepen the flavors. Just pour it in after sautéing the rice, letting it absorb before proceeding with the stock.

Adding Pumpkins
Roast the pumpkin beforehand to caramelize its sugars. You can then blend it into a smooth puree before adding it to your risotto.

Tip 4: Par-Cooking
Start your risotto, then finish it later. Just cool it down quickly after the initial steps and restart with warm stock when ready to serve.

Storing

If you have leftovers, place them in an airtight container. Keep them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

For reheating, add a bit of extra stock or water to bring back the creamy consistency. Heat on the stove over medium heat, stirring often.

You can also freeze pumpkin risotto. Cool it completely and store in freezer-safe bags or containers. For best results, consume within a month. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Cheese Options:
Try Parmesan, Taleggio, or even Gorgonzola. Each adds a unique flavor.

Vegetarian Broth:
Swap the chicken broth with vegetable broth for a vegetarian option.

Wine:
Use white wine to deglaze the pan for extra depth in flavor.

Herbs and Spices:
Add fresh sage or thyme. A pinch of nutmeg complements pumpkin well.

Serving Suggestions

Garnish:

  • Crispy Sage Leaves
  • Toasted Pine Nuts
  • Drizzle of Balsamic Glaze

Sides:

  • Green Salad with vinaigrette
  • Garlic Bread

You can serve pumpkin risotto with roasted vegetables for a hearty meal. Enjoy!

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.