Risotto no longer means slaving at the stovetop for nearly an hour. Thanks to this Instant Pot Risotto Recipe, you can enjoy the creamy and rich rice dish in only 10 minutes of active stirring time tonight!
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I’m not going to lie: I can get into making a stove top risotto every now and then. Possibly on a Saturday night, back in the day (when friends could still come over for dinner), I’d turn on my music, pour a glass of wine, and enjoy the meditative time in front of the stove. But, for those nights that time is short, but the cravings are long, let's whip up a pot of this Instant Pot Risotto -- it’s all that we love about traditional risotto, for only 40 minutes of cooking time!
What do you do when you’re craving a comfort food, but don’t have the time (or focus!) necessary to make it?
- A) Pour a drink instead
- B) Order take out
- C) Try to convince yourself you want something else for dinner
- D) Find an easier way to make the dish
Though I’m definitely not above any of the other options, when craving risotto the other night after a long day of work, I started to play around with option D. How do I make risotto easier and more accessible?
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As it seems to do a lot these days, the pressure cooker came in to save the day.
After a quick browse through my pressure cooker manual, I saw that arborio rice (the rice used to make risotto) is easily (and quickly!) cooked in a pressure cooker. Not only that, but pressure cooking the rice helps retain the creamy texture that we create from toasting the rice before we cook it.
So, I got to playing around with measurements of the ingredients, cooking times, and techniques, and came up with my new favorite and fast risotto recipe: this Instant Pot Risotto. I hope it makes your weeknights as good as it’s been making mine lately.
This Instant Pot Risotto is...
- ready in under 40 minutes
- versatile -- stir in different cheese, veggies, and top with your favorite meats (see more on this below)
- naturally gluten-free
I don’t know about you, but when I can get a creamy, yet healthier comfort food on the table with little work and just enough patience for it to be a reward, I’m all down. I hope you are, too.
Ingredients in this Instant Pot Risotto:
Arborio rice: a classic short grain Italian rice. Because of the short grain, the rice gets super creamy in risotto.
Olive Oil: extra virgin olive oil provides a nice depth of flavor to the dish. You can also use light olive oil.
Onion: white or yellow onion is just fine.
White wine: I love to use a dry white wine like pinot grigio, chardonnay, or sauvignon blanc.
Chicken or vegetable broth: vegetable broth will change the color and flavor of the risotto a bit, but it will keep the dish vegetarian and still will be delicious.
Parmesan cheese: grated is the best, but you can also use shredded cheese.
Butter: this is optional, but it makes the dish even more creamy and rich.
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What substitutions can you make in this easy risotto recipe?
Onions: if you don't have white or yellow onions, you can substitute in green onions or leeks. You could even try shallots, but I would only use 2-3 tablespoons if doing so.
Broth: you can also use stock instead of broth. If you have the time and desire, homemade stock makes a delicious risotto (and it's the most authentically Italian ;)!
Wine: in a pinch, you can also use a less dry wine like vinho verde. If you don't drink, just use an extra 1/2 cup of broth or stock.
Cheese: parmesan cheese is the most classic way to enjoy risotto, but you can also have fun experimenting with other cheeses! Pecorino romano, asiago, manchego, gruyere, and even cheddar could be super delicious in this risotto.
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What is risotto?
Risotto is a creamy rice dish that originated in Northern Italy. It is typically slow-cooked on the stovetop with white wine and broth and then finished off with grated Italian cheese and butter. You can also make risotto with sausage, vegetables, and fish.
What rice do you use for risotto?
My preferred risotto rice is arborio rice. It's Italian short-grain rice that was originally farmed in the foothills of Northern Italy. Because of this short grain, the rice gets super creamy when it's toasted and cooked.
Where can you buy arborio rice?
Arborio rice is at most grocery store chains and Whole Foods, but you can also find it online. I like the Lundberg brand of arborio rice, you can find it here on Amazon (I don't currently make any commissions off your purchase).
How is traditional risotto made?
Traditional risotto is made on the stovetop by first toasting the arborio rice onions in olive oil and then slowly cooking the rice as you add in the liquids (first wine and then chicken broth or stock) incrementally and cooking between the liquid additions.
Because of the need to constantly add in liquids and stir the rice, the traditional risotto cooking process can take a bit of time and attention. With a good glass of wine and some good company or music, it can be a fun Saturday night activity. But, for the days I'm short on time or looking for a quick dinner, I like to make my risotto in the pressure cooker or Instant Pot.
What type of cheese is best for risotto?
Grated Italian cheese like parmeggiano reggiano (also known as "parmesan" here in the States) or pecorino romano (or "romano") are classically used in risotto. You can experiment with different cheese types, however. Most cheeses can technically work, it's just a matter of your taste preferences.
What type of wine is best for risotto?
A good, dry white wine is my favorite pick for risotto: pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, or even chenin blanc can work. In a pinch, you can also use a fruitier wine like vinho verde, though I recommend against moscato, riesling, or other sweeter wines.
What type of pressure cooker is best for this risotto?
Instant Pots are, of course, great for making this risotto, but I particularly love my Ninja Foodi pressure cooker. It's sturdy, durable, has a non-stick cooking pot, and there are 9 different cooking options, including air frying! It's a great one-stop appliance to keep you from needing to crowd up your counter.
Can you make risotto dairy-free?
Yes, you can make risotto dairy-free. Just use a vegan or dairy-free Parmesan cheese substitute in place of the cow's milk parmesan cheese and you will be all set!
Can you make risotto vegan?
Yes, you most certainly can make this risotto vegan. Just use vegetable broth instead of chicken, use vegan cheese, and either omit the butter or use vegan butter.
Is risotto gluten-free?
Risotto is naturally gluten-free as long as the broth doesn't have any gluten ingredients in it. So, check your labels when you are purchasing or make your own homemade stock and you'll have a gluten-free risotto.
Is risotto vegetarian?
If you use vegetable broth or stock this risotto will be vegetarian.
How do you make Instant Pot Risotto?
Step 1: Set your pressure cooker to the sear or saute setting and heat to medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
Step 2: Add the arborio rice to the pot and saute, stirring frequently, as you cook it for 1-2 minutes or until the rice gets nice and toasty smelling and starts to turn golden brown.
Step 3: Add the wine wine to the pot and cook the rice, stirring as it cooks, for 1-2 minutes, or until the wine has evaporated.
Step 4: Add the broth and salt to the pot. Give the mixture a good stir and turn the heat up to high. Once the broth comes to a boil turn the saute setting off and lock on the pressure cooker lid.
Cook the risotto for 7 minutes on high pressure. Once the cooking time is done, natural release the pressure for 10 minutes and then quick release.
Step 5: Stir the parmesan cheese and butter (if using) into the rice and put the pressure cooker lid back on. Let the rice sit for 5 minutes then remove the lid, season with any additional salt (if needed), and serve hot!
How long does instant pot risotto cook?
The total recipe time will be about 35- 40 minutes. It will take about 14 minutes to prepare the rice to pressure cook, 15-20 minutes to pressurize and depressurize the cooker, and about 7 minutes of active pressure cooking time.
How does Instant Pot Risotto get creamy if you don't stir it while cooking?
Instant Pot Risotto gets creamy from the toasting of the rice before we pressure cook it.
Can you double or triple this recipe?
Yes, you can double or triple this recipe! Just decrease the amount of broth you use by ¼ cup for each time you multiply the recipe and multiply every other ingredient normally.
Keep the same pressure cooking time (though it may take longer to pressurize and depressurize your cooker).
What variations can you make on this recipe?
- Mix in or top it with roasted vegetables -- brussels sprouts, butternut squash, zucchini, and green beans are some of my favorite ways.
- Change up the cheese -- get creative and try your favorite cheese in this risotto! You can do almost any hard or creamy stronger flavored cheese in this recipe and it will likely be delicious. The only one I wouldn’t recommend would be mozzarella, as the flavor is a bit too mild.
- Top the risotto with sauteed greens, crumbled bacon pieces, or roasted salmon -- all have a nice salty and umami flavor to complement the risotto and add a bit more heartiness to the dish.
What do you reserve with risotto?
Risotto can be served on its own or you can serve it with following dishes, sides, and drinks:
- Nice crusty bread -- like the Italians do!
- Simple spring greens salad -- just stop baby greens with croutons, sliced or baby tomatoes, cucumbers, sliced carrots, balsamic dressing, parmesan and pepper. Delicious!
- Grilled salmon -- I can’t get enough of how well salmon complements risotto.
- Grilled chicken -- season it with salt, pepper, and some Italian seasoning before you grill (or bake it!) and it will work with the risotto nicely.
- Wine -- white wine technically pairs better with the lighter flavors of risotto, but I also can get into a glass of Italian wine -- Barbera, Chianti, Sangiovese, etc. -- with a nice bowl of risotto.
What tools do you need to make this risotto?
Other delicious Instant Pot or pressure cooker recipes you might enjoy:
- Pressure Cooker Cuban Black Beans
- Pressure Cooker Maple Baked Beans
- Pressure Cooker Turkey Chili
- Pressure Cooker Italian Ragu
- Pressure Cooker Pineapple Chicken and Rice
- Pressure Cooker Spiced Butternut Squash & Lentil Soup
More Italian-inspired recipes to check out:
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A creamy and delicious risotto you don't have to slave over! Simply saute the onions and rice, pour in the white wine and broth and the pressure cooker does the rest of the work for you.
This dish takes less than 40 minutes to make. Pour yourself your favorite drink, turn on some music or a podcast, and enjoy making dinner in just a few simple steps!
(Note: see my notes below the recipe if you want to mix in different cheeses or vegetables or ideas for how to top your risotto)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 large white or yellow onion, diced into 1/4" pieces
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 3/4 teaspoon salt + any additional for seasoning
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese + additional cheese to garnish
- 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
, season with additional salt (if needed) Turn your pressure cooker or instant pot onto the saute or sear setting and set to medium heat. Let the cooker heat up for 30 seconds- 1 minute.
Add the olive oil and onion to the pot and saute, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions turn translucent.
Stir in the cup of arborio rice and saute for 1-2 minutes longer, or until the rice is starting to turn golden brown around the edges and smells toasty.
Pour in the white wine and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring the rice as it cooks, or until the wine has evaporated.
Pour the broth and salt into the pot, stir the rice and broth thoroughly, and turn the heat up to high (see notes below if you want to use hot broth to make this step faster). Bring the broth to a boil and then turn off the saute function.
Lock on the pressure cooking lid. Cook the rice on high pressure for 7 minutes with the vent closed.
When the instant pot or pressure cooker is done cooking, natural-release the pressure for 10 minutes and then quick-release the pressure.
Remove the lid and stir in the parmesan cheese. Lock the lid on again and let the rice sit for 5 minutes.
Remove the lid again, stir in the butter (if using), season with additional salt if needed, and serve hot with extra cheese to garnish.
To make this risotto even faster, heat up your chicken broth before you stir it into the rice and pressure cook. This will save you the step of needing to bring the rice and broth mixture to boil before pressure cooking.
Risotto leftovers last covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. They also freeze for 2-3 months in a freezer-safe container.
You can also mix in vegetables into this broth: if cooking with mushrooms, saute them with the onions and follow the recipe as directed. If using a vegetable that may overcook or get mushy (peas, butternut squash, zucchini, broccoli, etc.) cook or roast them separately and mix them in with the rice after it's done pressure cooking and before it rests for 5 minutes before serving.
You can top this risotto with sauteed garlic spinach or chard or you could also top it with prosciutto or fresh-cooked bacon bits. Have fun with it!
You can also use different types of cheese in this risotto. Parmesan is my favorite, but you could also try asiago, cheddar, pecorino romano, gruyere, manchego, or your other favorite cheese.
The extra tablespoon of butter at the end adds richness but isn't mandatory; use only if desired.
To keep this risotto vegetarian, use a vegetable broth.
To keep it vegan, use a vegetable broth, a vegan grated cheese, and do not add the butter.
Amount Per Serving Calories 327Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 52mgSodium 900mgCarbohydrates 20gFiber 1gSugar 4gProtein 20g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dieticians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.