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Pumpkin Risotto {Super Creamy & Comforting}

Pumpkin Risotto {Super Creamy & Comforting}

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This classic Italian pumpkin risotto is an absolute must-make during cold season.

Its super creamy texture, incredible slightly sweet but delicate flavor make pumpkin risotto an ultimate comfort food to warm you up.

Pumpkin flesh makes risotto creamier and enriches it with its sweet and delicate flavor, making it the perfect meal for those cold winter nights, when you’d just like to roll up in a blanket and eat in front of the TV.

pumpkin risotto in a plate

About This Pumpkin Risotto

  • Perfectly creamy risotto that simply melts in your mouth.
  • It’s made with super easy vegetable broth that gives it an incredible flavor.
  • Homemade risotto made from scratch in less than 30 minutes.
  • Healthy AND delicious.
  • Pumpkin risotto is meatless yet very filing and satisfying.
  • It’s a great lunch or dinner for 2 but it’s also perfect for big family gatherings.
  • A perfect way to use pumpkin.

Pumpkin Risotto Ingredients

pumpkin risotto ingredients

The secret to making the most delicious and flavorful pumpkin risotto is in the ingredients you choose.

Risotto Rice

The best type of rice for risotto is Carnaroli or Arborio. Last one is easier to find, while Carnaroli is easier to cook with.

Which kind of pumpkin is best for risotto?

While in many countries people tend to distinguish pumpkin from squash, in Italy the word “zucca” refers to both. As a result, when making risotto, there are many more varieties to choose from than you might have expected. 

In Italy, people often choose Delica pumpkins. This variety has Japanese origins, but it is locally cultivated in Lombardy, Veneto, and Emilia Romagna. It is probably the most cultivated variety in Italy.

Delica pumpkins have green-greyish skin, sweet, dense, orange flesh. Its high amount of sugars provides an intense, buttery flavor that is perfect for risotto.

Mantua Pumpkin variety is also very popular for all kinds of recipes, including pumpkin risotto. It is traditionally cultivated in the homonymous province – Mantua. Its sweet flesh is hard and dry and it’s excellent for risotto and stuffings.

Last, but not least, comes butternut squash, which is very popular in Anglo-Saxon countries. In Italy, there is a long-shaped variant that is called Violina because when you cut it in half it looks like a violin case. 

Its creamy texture when cooked is perfect to make pumpkin risotto. It is also often used to make minestrone, soups, and cream soups.

Having said that, you can use any variary of pumpkin or butternut squash that you have available. Just a few more other varieties to consider: red kuri, kabocha, buttercup squash and more.

Vegetable Stock

Good, flavorful vegetable stock (that is also very easy to make!) is another key to the best pumpkin risotto recipe. All you need is a potato, a carrot, half onion, rosemary spring and a bay leaf.Of course, like for any risotto you’ll also need white wine, half onion or shallot, butter, Parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil.

How To Make Pumpkin Risotto – Step by Step

Prepare Vegetable Stock

Set aside 1/2 of the onion and a rosemary sprig (you’ll use them later in risotto).

In a large pot add 6 cups of cold water, peeled carrot and potato, ½ onion, rosemary springs and 1-2 bay leaves. Bring to a boil and let simmer on low heat.

Prepare The Pumpkin

In the meantime prepare the pumpkin. Slice it up and scrape out the seeds and the inner strands, cut into wedges and cut off the skin with a sharp knife. Cut the pumpkin flash into small cubes.

Make Risotto

In a large skillet add a generous drizzle of olive oil (about ¼ cup) and finely chopped onion.

Sautee on medium heat for about 2 minutes than add pumpkin cubes and a rosemary sprig (photos 1, 2).

how to make pumpkin risotto - steps 1-4

Roast pumpkin for 6-7 minutes.
If it starts getting too dry add a ladle of vegetable broth that you’re cooking in the pot (photo 3).
By this time pumpkin will soften but still will have a little bite to it. 

Add rice to the pan with pumpkin, mix well until coated with olive oil and pumpkin (photo4).

In a minute or so the rice will become somewhat translucent, it means it is well toasted.

Add white wine and let evaporate (photo 5).
Italians call this process “sfumare“.

Lower the heat and add 2 ladlefuls of vegetable broth that by this time is ready to use. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula (photos 6, 7).

IMPORTANT: keep vegetable stock simmering on very low heat while you’re preparing the rice. See notes above for more details.

how to make pumpkin risotto - steps 5-8

Once the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, add another ladleful or two.

Keep stirring the rice and adding more stock a ladle or two at a time until rice is cooked.
It usually takes anytime between 15-20 minutes depending on the variety of rice you use.

Once rice is cooked turn the heat off.
Add butter and give everything a nice stir (photo 8).

Add Parmesan cheese. Stir or toss again and let risotto rest for 2-5 minutes before serving. 

Leave to rest for five minutes – it will give your risotto time to improve its creamy texture.

Serve immediately with more grated Parmesan cheese to taste.

creamy pumpkin risotto in a bowl

How To Use Leftover Risotto

There are many ways you can use leftover risotto.

Since pumpkin risotto has a delicate flavor you can use it to make famous Sicilian Arancini or rice croquettes or simply bake in the oven layering with some ham and cheese.

More Recipes with Pumpkin That You Will Love

italian pumpkin risotto in a bowl

The Best Pumpkin Risotto

Super creamy and comforting this pumpkin risotto is the best food for cold days!
Print Pin Rate / Comment
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Risotto
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup Carnaroli or Arborio rice (310g)
  • 1 onion (½ onion for stock + ½ onion for risotto)
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 potato
  • 2 rosemary sprigs ( 1 for stock, 1 for risotto)
  • 1-2 bay leaves;
  • 6 cups water
  • half a stick of butter (50 g)
  • 3 cups pumpkin cut in small cubes (450 g)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan (50 g)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions

Prepare Vegetable Stock

  • Set aside 1/2 of the onion and a rosemary sprig (you’ll use them later in risotto).
  • In a large pot add 6 cups of cold water, peeled carrot and potato, ½ onion, rosemary springs and 1-2 bay leaves.
    Bring to a boil and let simmer on low heat.
    1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 potato, 2 rosemary sprigs, 1-2 bay leaves;, 6 cups water

Prepare The Pumpkin

  • In the meantime prepare the pumpkin. Slice it up and scrape out the seeds and the inner strands, cut into wedges and cut off the skin with a sharp knife.
    Cut the pumpkin flash into small cubes.

Make Risotto

  • In a large skillet add a generous drizzle of olive oil (about ¼ cup) and finely chopped onion. Sautee on medium heat for about 2 minutes.
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 onion
  • Add pumpkin cubes and a rosemary sprig.
    Roast pumpkin for 6-7 minutes.
    If it starts getting too dry add a ladle of vegetable broth that you’re cooking in the pot.
    3 cups pumpkin cut in small cubes, 2 rosemary sprigs
  • By this time pumpkin will soften but still will have a little bite to it.
  • Add rice to the pan with pumpkin, mix well until coated with olive oil and pumpkin. In a minute or so the rice will become somewhat translucent, it means it is well toasted.
    1 ½ cup Carnaroli or Arborio rice
  • Add white wine and let evaporate.
    ½ cup white wine
  • Lower the heat and add 2 ladlefuls of vegetable broth that by this time is ready to use. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • Once the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, add another ladleful or two.
  • Keep stirring the rice and adding more stock a ladle or two at a time until rice is cooked. It usually takes anytime between 15-20 minutes depending on the variety of rice you use.
  • Once rice is cooked turn the heat off.
  • Add butter and give everything a nice stir.
    Add Parmesan cheese. Stir or toss again and let risotto rest for 2-5 minutes before serving.
    half a stick of butter, ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • Serve immediately with more Parmesan cheese to taste.

Notes

NOTE: keep vegetable stock simmering on very low heat while you’re cooking the rice.
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Buon Appetito!

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