Nothing beats a creamy pumpkin risotto on a crisp fall evening! What I love about this creamy pumpkin risotto recipe is that it results in a creamy, savory dish that always leaves me wanting more.
Creamy pumpkin risotto is a delicious rice dish consisting of pumpkin, rice, butter, parmesan cheese, and many other ingredients. It’s a perfect rice dish to serve alongside a meat, and additional vegetables. But it’s also great to eat by itself.
Pumpkin risottos are not super common. More often than not, you’ll find similar risottos made with butternut squash rather than pumpkin (butternut squash is actually very similar to pumpkin in general, and makes for an excellent substitute!). (Mushroom risotto is another popular option.)
The rest of this article will answer some of the most commonly asked questions and concerns about pumpkin risotto, including what pumpkin and rice to use, how to make it, and what to serve with it. Keep reading!
- Extra Virgin olive oil
- Fresh sage leaves
- Butter, unsalted
- Yellow onion
- Garlic cloves, minced
- Chopped pumpkin
- Ground black pepper
- Vegetable broth/stock
- Parmesan cheese
How to make creamy pumpkin risotto
Begin by heating the olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan or pot, fry a handful of sage leaves until they’re crispy, and set them aside for later.
In the same pan, melt the butter over a low-medium heat and add in the chopped onions, allowing the onions to cook until they become translucent. Next, toss in the minced garlic cloves as well as the chopped pumpkin. Cover the pan, and cook for around five minutes.
Add the risotto rice and mix well using a heavy wooden spoon. Add the vegetable broth ladleful at a time, allowing the risotto time to soak up the liquids before adding more. Continue for 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is al dente, and the dish has a creamy consistency. Season with a touch of salt or pepper to taste.
Mix in some freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serve your creamy pumpkin risotto hot, garnished with the fried sage leaves (that were set aside earlier), and another sprinkle of grated parmesan.
What kind of pumpkin is best
Pumpkin risottos are best made from smaller pumpkins (don’t go for a giant Halloween pumpkin, bestie!). The smaller the pumpkin, the better suited it is to this recipe as larger pumpkins tend to be drier. You can also use pumpkin puree for a less work-intensive option.
Besides pumpkins, almost any butternut squash will work. It’ll still taste like a creamy pumpkin risotto due to their similar flavor and texture, and because of the other ingredients. Opt for something on the moister side though.
What rice should you use in risotto
Your risotto will not have the perfect, creamy texture without the proper rice. So, which rice is best?
You should use either arborio rice or carnaroli rice in risotto – these are short grain rices. These rice varieties literally have shorter grains than the more common kinds of rice (long grain), such as basmati and jasmine rice.
Arborio rice has a higher-than-usual amount of amylopectin starch, a necessary ingredient for giving risotto its proper quality and texture.
However, carnaroli rice is sometimes preferred to arborio because it’s harder to overcook and easier to work with. Either option is good, and both will make your pumpkin risotto something to remember!
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How do I achieve the perfect risotto texture
To achieve the perfect risotto texture, remember to never rinse the rice before cooking, keep the stirring to a minimum, and ensure you don’t overcook the rice. A risotto’s texture can be difficult to perfect, as it’s easy to overcook. If cooked too long, the rice can become sticky and mushy.
In the sections below, I’ll go over some tips to consider to achieve the perfect risotto texture.
Don’t rinse the rice before cooking
Rinsing the rice before cooking is a common practice for many dishes, but not risotto. If you rinse risotto rice, you’ll wash away the extra starch, which is crucial to a creamy texture. Without the starch, the risotto will not be suitably sticky.
Keep the stirring to a minimum
Over stirring your risotto is another easy-to-make mistake. Professional chefs say you need to trust the process and only stir once every thirty seconds or so. At the proper temperature, the rice will move as the heat directs and not stick to the bottom of the pan.
Don’t overcook the risotto
While there are many meals that you can slightly overcook and they’ll still be fine, risotto is not one of them. Overcooked risotto will be too sticky and gummy, which can ruin the entire dish.
The ideal time your risotto should spend on the stovetop is about twenty minutes. Any more than this, and your risotto will start to clump together and lose its creaminess.
What to serve with pumpkin risotto
Your meal of pumpkin risotto won’t be complete without a complimenting side dish. While tastes differ (as well as diets), there are specific foods that pair beautifully with a creamy pumpkin risotto. Here are some of the top options:
Various baked chicken or turkey breasts work nicely, especially if you top them with a little bit of garlic and spinach. You can have these protein options on the side, or chop them up and place them in the risotto. A roast beef can also be an excellent accompaniment to pumpkin risotto.
You can’t go wrong with more greens! Fresh, steamed broccoli or green beans are an excellent addition to your meal. Inkeeping with the fall theme, this risotto can be paired with Turkish zucchini fritters. If you’re feeling creative, you might even cook up some asparagus. Combining a fall meal and a spring vegetable will be an excitement for all at your table.
Even though risotto is technically an Italian dish, a toasted French baguette can add a lot to this dish. You could also go with a sourdough or a whole-grain option with garlic or melted cheese. Don’t be afraid to experiment – bread is very forgiving!
If you’re looking to pair this pumpkin risotto recipe with a wine, I’m not the right person to ask. However, I’m told by my wine-enthusiast friends that a crisp Chardonnay would be an easy pairing that will work in a lot of situations. The buttery notes and balanced acidity should complement the creamy risotto texture, while enhancing the flavours of the dish.
Sorry, bestie. Pumpkin risotto is best eaten fresh.
You can make pumpkin risotto ahead of time, but it’s best to make it fresh for your guests when they arrive, as risotto is extremely easy to overcook. The chance of the rice overcooking and the mixture becoming sticky is high, so it’s best served fresh.
Vegetable-based risottos are incredibly dainty, as the moisture won’t cool and reheat well. However, if you’re pinched for time, you should always try to cook other things besides risotto ahead of time. The pumpkin risotto will have to be the last and most crucial dish you make.
Can you freeze pumpkin risotto
Technically, yes. This dish can be frozen for up to one month, and reheated gently on a stovetop. However, I don’t recommend it as the texture and some flavour is lost doing this.
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There aren’t any crazy fancy tools required to make this pumpkin risotto recipe, however you do need a large saucepan so that you have room to actually make risotto without it spilling over!
Creamy pumpkin risotto is a delicious dish to make for family and friends, especially during the cold, fall season. Knowing what kind of pumpkin or rice is best with the meal, and how to achieve the perfect risotto texture, are both essential to making this dish.
However, finding the best foods to pair with a creamy pumpkin risotto will also make the dish exceptional. Just remember, you can never go wrong with meat, veggies, and of course, a slice of your favorite bread.Print