Let me just tell you what I love about this Pumpkin Risotto with Crispy Bacon. First, it is seasonal and I am really into fall flavors right now. Second, it is incredibly delicious with a lot of depth of flavor. Third, it is made in a pressure cooker and is so simple to make. After cooking the bacon, you set it and walk away. I know what you are thinking, there is no way pressure cooker risotto can be as good as the original, but let me tell you, it is really good! I think you will be pleasantly surprised!
Are you still nervous about using a pressure cooker? I used to be too. I was given one and it took me about a year to break it out of the box. Once I did, I fell in love. I don’t use it all the time, but when I do, I am so grateful for it. I have a Cuisinart and love it. If you are in the market for a pressure cooker, this one is great.
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.
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. Here is a great article from Cook’s illustrated on the virtues of arborio in risotto. Let me also say, I am all about substitutions, but I don’t make risotto unless I have arborio rice. I feel that strongly about it.
Getting Ready For the Pressure
Add in the rest of your ingredients and get ready to add the pressure. Seal your lid as directed per the pressure cooker you have. Make sure the value is set to seal. Then turn it on high pressure and set for 8 minutes. Normally it takes quite a bit of time to get up to pressure, but as the cooker is already hot, it won’t take too long.
Once the time is up, do your quick release. Of course, be careful as you release that valve. Steam can cause some serious burns!!
Finishing off the Risotto
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.
This is just as good as it looks. Loaded with complex and rich flavors. Perfect for a busy weeknight meal or even as a side.
I think this risotto would be perfect served with a pork tenderloin.
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!
- 1/2 cup onion, minced or small chop
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage optional, but such a great compliment to pumpkin!
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg optional, but such a great compliment to pumpkin!
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 2 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock. I used chicken stock as it is what I had on hand, but veggie stock is really good too.
- 3/4-1 cup pumpkin puree I love a good amount of pumpkin, so I used one cup. If you want a milder flavor, go with 3/4 cup. Also, I used canned and it was awesome. If you prefer to roast and use homemade, go for it!
- 1/4 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!