If you are like I used to be, and thought risotto could only be made on the cooktop over an hour's worth of time, let me change your mind. This Instant Pot Pumpkin Risotto With Bacon is delicious and so much easier to make than the traditional.
What This Pumpkin Risotto So Good?
First, it is the perfect blend of seasonal flavors- the pumpkin, the bacon, and the parmesan all work so well together.
Second, it is so simple to make. Rendering the bacon takes some time, but aside from that, it is quick to put together.
Third, since it is made in a pressure cooker, you don't have to babysit it! I love being able to get other things done while it is cooking.
Fourth, it makes a great meal prep. This is delicious when it is fresh, but it also reheats really well. Throw it in the microwave and it is the perfect, quick meal.
- Bacon- You can leave this out, but it really is such a great flavor to pair with pumpkin.
- Onions- Another must in this risotto. I used yellow onion, but you can also use white or sweet if you prefer.
- Garlic- Fresh is best!
- Sage- The ultimate fall spice.
- Nutmeg- You don't use much in this recipe, but I promise it packs a punch. Do not leave it out.
- Arborio Rice- I will discuss this below and the reasons I love it.
- Vegetable or Chicken Stock- This adds so much flavor.
- Pumpkin puree- make sure if you are buying this from the store, that you buy puree, not pumpkin pie mix.
- Salt and pepper
- Parmesan Cheese
Making the Pumpkin Risotto
Start by rendering your bacon. This means cooking it down and getting the fat out. I like my bacon crispy, so I let mine go on saute until it was good and golden brown!
Once the bacon is cooked, remove and leave the fat in the pressure cooker. There is so much flavor in it, don't let that go to waste!
Now, add in your onions to saute. Cook them for several minutes, then add in garlic as well.
Last add in remaining ingredients. Set your timer and walk away. That is the beauty of these instant pot recipes. They are so easy to do.
Once it beeps, do a quick release. This recipe cooks very quickly in the instant pot. If you do the natural release, it will overcook the risotto.
Then top with your crispy bacon and parmesan cheese. I added pepitas and extra pepper too. Those are optional of course.
Now, you may ask why arborio for risotto? Great question.
Before I get into that, let me say I always buy it in bulk as it is cheaper. Those little bags are really expensive, so bulk all the way.
It is short-grain rice and named after the region it was cultivated in Italy.
It is a rice that is high in starch- amylopectin, and when it is cooked, releases this starch. This starch is what gives the risotto the creamy flavor we are all looking for.
You can use other rice varieties, but I found this to be my favorite!
How To Use An Instant Pot.
Are you still nervous about using the Instant Pot? I was for a really long time too. I probably heard all the same horror stories you did.
Let me tell you though, most modern pressure cookers are really safe and have so many safeguards! Once you start using them, you will want to use them for everything. It is such an easy way to cook!
In this recipe, you will set your instant pot, or whatever pressure cooker you are using to the saute setting. Cook your bacon on this setting and then remove it.
Next, add in your remaining ingredients and place the lid on. Make sure you twist it to set and turn the knob on top to seal.
Then turn it to pressure cook and set for 8 minutes on the time.
Once it is finished cooking, turn the knob on top, to open. Make sure you are using tongs or hot pads to cover your hand. The steam it releases can be very dangerous. Once it is released, you can take off the lid.
It is actually much easier than you might think and this is a great recipe to start with.
Finishing off the Instant Pot Pumpkin Risotto With Bacon
See, I told you this recipe was so simple!! Here is how I finished it off- that crispy bacon, of course, pepitas, more parmesan, and a little more freshly ground black pepper.
FAQ Instant Pot
Yes! It is very simple to do. Cut your pumpkin in half and remove the seeds. Place it face down on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until the pumpkin is tender. Then, scoop out the inside and mash it up into a puree. It is a little time-consuming, but very simple to do.
No, but I do recommend it for flavor. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you can always use a vegan version. Or, if you don't want to use it all, you can just skip the bacon part.
Yes! The method and times are still the same for whatever brand you have in your home. I have also used a Cuisinart and loved it.
This risotto holds well in the fridge for about 2 weeks! That is another that makes it ideal for meal prep, it holds well for a long time. I don't recommend freezing it though, the texture is kind of weird when it thaws.
Other Instant Pot Recipes
- Peanut Butter Cheesecake
- Instant Pot Yogurt
- Osso Buco
- Steak Grain Bowl
- Butternut risotto
- Beef Stew
- Chicken Tostadas
- How To Cook Whole Grains In A Pressure Cooker
Pumpkin Risotto with Crispy Bacon
- pressure cooker
- 4-6 strips bacon, cut in small chunks I love to use a thick cut bacon, but use whatever you prefer!
- ½ cup onion, minced or small chop
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon dried sage optional, but such a great compliment to pumpkin!
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg optional, but such a great compliment to pumpkin!
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 2 ½ cup chicken or vegetable stock. I used chicken stock as it is what I had on hand, but veggie stock is really good too.
- ¾-1 cup pumpkin puree I love a good amount of pumpkin, so I used one cup. If you want a milder flavor, go with ¾ cup. Also, I used canned and it was awesome. If you prefer to roast and use homemade, go for it!
- ¼ cup parmesan plus more for topping
- Turn your pressure to saute. Add in your bacon and cook until it is crispy. Well, unless you like it a little softer, then cook it to that consistency. Remove the bacon from the pressure cooker, but leave the rendered bacon fat in. Add onions to the cooker and saute for about 3-5 minutes. At the end of the time, add in your garlic. Saute the garlic for about a minute. Add in seasonings, stock, pumpkin, rice and parmesan. Place lid on pressure cooker and seal. Making sure the pressure on the lid is closed. Set to high pressure for 8 minutes. Cook and once the time has gone off, quick release the pressure. Once it is released, remove the lid carefully. Give the risotto a good stir. If there is too much liquid still return to saute to finish it off. Taste the risotto now and adjust seasoning as needed. Between the bacon, chicken stock, and parmesan I didn't need any salt. This is a personal preference of course, so adjust as needed. For serving, top with crispy bacon. I also sprinkled with a little more parmesan, black pepper and pepitas. This is best the day of, but also really great as a leftover. Make sure and store in the fridge in an airtight container. It is good for up to 4-5 days. Simply reheat in the microwave or cooktop. Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!