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Creamy and comforting, this Pumpkin Risotto will have you licking your plates clean! Arborio rice is cooked slowly with onions, garlic, pumpkin, broth and spices until soft. Finished with parmesan cheese, heavy cream and pepper for a velvety finish. It’s a fabulous main course or side dish for Fall.
I have been making this Pumpkin Risotto recipe for years every Fall and am so excited to share this recipe with you today! Just like a traditional Risotto, this is made in the same way, stirring the grains of rice with chicken broth bit by bit until soft and tender. Pumpkin puree and a few warm spices like thyme and nutmeg keep this flavorful. It really is the perfect vegetarian main course or side dish for my Smothered Baked Pork Chops or Baked Salmon with Garlic Butter Bread Crumbs.
I am going pretty hardcore with Pumpkin-ing all the things including savory side dishes like…Pumpkin Risotto! Pumpkin + Risotto = Pumpkin Risotto
A traditional risotto is a creamy, buttery, cheesy rice cooked by slowly adding broth into the pan and stirring the whole way until its tender. It’s a labor of love because it takes 35-45 minutes start to finish. The cook time is all active time since you’re babysitting the rice, adding in broth as needed. But man oh man is it worth every second of stirring. Generally, risotto is finished with a splash of heavy cream or a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. This Pumpkin Risotto is no different, finishing with a little bit of both and a nice sprinkling of pepper too because its just delicious.
Main Ingredients needed for Pumpkin Risotto
Even though this is a recipe that needs constant management, it’s not rocket science in the least. It’s just a new way to cook rice instead of the plain set it, forget it on the stove or rice cooker. The ingredients list reflects simplicity because at its core, Pumpkin Risotto is just like regular risotto with a few extra ingredients added in.
- Arborio Rice– to make risotto, this is the kind of rice to use. This is the kind I buy and it works great, but honestly any brand is fine.
- Onions + Garlic– for major flavor. If you cut these small, they tend to dissolve right into the risotto.
- Chicken or Vegetable Broth– this is what the rice will soak up. If you want this to be truly vegetarian, use the veggie broth. If you are a meat eater, chicken broth is just fine. Just be sure its a good quality broth that tastes good on its own.
- Pumpkin Puree– I use unsweetened Libby’s Pumpkin Puree. Not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling (that comes sweetened and spiced).
- Thyme, Poultry Seasoning, Nutmeg– a yummy blend of seasonings that flavors the risotto
- Salt and pepper– definitely taste as you go. This will probably need more salt than you think. Also, I LOVE extra black pepper stirred in right at the end.
- Heavy Cream + Parmesan Cheese– Add these in at the end for a creamy, salty finish. SO good!
How to make Pumpkin Risotto
Risotto is a fancy sounding dish. When things sound fancy, people tend to shy away from making them when most of the time, they are easier than you think. This is one of those cases. It’s so much easier than you think!
- Saute onions and garlic in butter until tender.
- Stir in arborio rice and stir to toast the grains and coat them in the butter.
- Pour in 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, pumpkin puree and spices. Stir and cook until broth has been mostly absorbed.
- Continue adding in broth and stirring until 3-4 cups of broth has been absorbed and rice is cooked to your liking.
- Stir in heavy cream and parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
My Risotto is too thick! What do I do?
As this Pumpkin Risotto cooks, the rice will continue to absorb any liquid around it. The same is true about it cooling down. As it cools, it will thicken. Risotto should be made so its like rice in a creamy sauce. If yours is too thick, simply add in more broth to thin it out and heat it up. These two things will work wonders for this recipe!
What to Serve with Pumpkin Risotto
Here are a few of my favorite Fall recipes that would work perfectly with this recipe!
- Harvest Apple Blue Cheese Salad
- Apple Pecan Salad with Bacon (so good!)
- Simple Sunday Meatloaf
- Baked Chicken Legs
- Honey Garlic Grilled Shrimp
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/8 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmeggiano reggiano cheese
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- Preheat large skillet with high sides over medium heat. Melt butter and saute onions until translucent, 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Pour in arborio rice and stir to coat all grains in the butter.
- Pour in the pumpkin puree and about one cup of chicken stock as well as all the spices. Stir until water has been absorbed.
- Continue in this fashion until no stock is left and risotto is thick.
- Right before serving, add in cheese and cream. Serve immediately with more cheese, if desired.