Instant Pot Risotto: creamy and rich cheese risotto without having to slave away at the stovetop all evening!
This recipe was originally published May 13, 2020. It was updated with new blog post information and recipe refinements March 26, 2021.
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Enjoy the benefits of risotto without any of the drawbacks. This Instant Pot Risotto Recipe is ready in just 10 minutes of active cooking time and tastes just as cheesy luscious as the classic recipe.
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?
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.
Table of contents
- This Instant Pot Risotto is...
- What is risotto?
- Where can you buy arborio rice?
- How is Instant Pot risotto different from traditional risotto?
- Dietary adaptations:
- How to make this Instant Pot risotto recipe:
- Recipe pro-tips:
- How to make Instant Pot mushroom risotto with this recipe:
- Can you double or triple this pressure cooker risotto recipe?
- What variations can you make on this recipe?
- Serving suggestions:
- What tools do you need to make this risotto?
- More Instant Pot & pressure recipes:
- More Italian-inspired recipes:
This Instant Pot Risotto is...
Get a healthier and quicker comfort food on the table tonight in a fraction of the time with risotto made in the Instant Pot!
- Arborio rice: a classic short-grain Italian rice. Because of the short grain, the rice gets super creamy in risotto. See my notes below on more about risotto and where to buy it!
- Olive Oil
- White wine: a dry white wine like pinot grigio, chardonnay, or sauvignon blanc is fantastic
- Chicken stock or broth
- Parmesan cheese
- Butter: this is optional, but it makes the dish even more creamy and rich. Believe it or not, it's actually used often in Northern Italian risotto dishes!
- Broth: though the flavor profile will change slightly, vegetable broth can substitute for chicken broth in this recipe
- Wine: if you don't have white wine or if you avoid alcohol, additional chicken broth can work in place of the wine
- Cheese: parmesan cheese is the most classic risotto cheese, but you can also experiment with pecorino romano, asiago, manchego, gruyere, and even cheddar in this risotto.
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.
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 and you can also find it at most major grocery stores and Whole Foods in the U.S.
How is Instant Pot risotto different from traditional risotto?
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.
This risotto in the Instant Pot is also made by first toasting the rice and onions in olive oil (on the appliance's sear setting), but then is cooked with the broth on the pressure cooker setting.
The pressure cooker traps in the moisture and cooks the rice in a way that it is similarly creamy and luscious, without having to continually stir and keep an eye on the dish.
This recipe can easily be adjusted to many different dietary preferences. Here's how:
- Dairy-free: just use a vegan or dairy-free Parmesan cheese substitute in place of the cow's milk parmesan cheese
- Vegan: use vegetable broth instead of chicken, use vegan cheese, and either omit the butter or use vegan butter
- Vegetarian: swap vegetable broth for chicken broth
- Gluten-free: this recipe is naturally gluten-free as long as your broth (or stock!) doesn't have any gluten ingredients in it. So, just check your labels to be sure and you'll be set!
How to make this Instant Pot risotto recipe:
- Saute the onions in olive oil on medium heat on the pressure cooker saute setting.
- Add the arborio rice and saute for 1-2 minutes, or until the rice starts to smell nutty and turn a light golden brown.
- Pour the white wine into the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until evaporated.
- Add the broth and salt to the pot and stir.
- Turn the heat to high and bring the broth to a boil. Turn the heat off and lock on the pressure cooker lid.
- Pressure cook the risotto on high for 7 minutes, then natural release the pressure for 10 minutes. Quick-release any remaining pressure.
- Stir the parmesan cheese and butter into the rice. Place the pressure cooker lid back on the pot and let the rice rest for 5 minutes.
- Season the risotto with any additional salt and serve hot!
- Make this recipe even quicker by bring the chicken broth to a simmer on the stovetop before pouring it into the risotto. I like to get the broth warming when I start the recipe so it's hot by the time I need it.
- Use quality cheese - aside from the rice, cheese is the star of this show! Use fresh cheese - parmesan cheese product or the stuff in the green jars lacks the flavor and dimension of fresh grated cheese.
- Stir the ingredients frequently while sauteing - the cooking time will go fast and you want the onions and rice to cook evenly, so keep an eye and stir the ingredients frequently.
How to make Instant Pot mushroom risotto with this recipe:
To make a great mushroom risotto with this recipe, just saute 2 cups of sliced mushrooms with the onions in the olive oil and then follow the rest of the recipe as directed. Super easy!
Can you double or triple this pressure cooker risotto recipe?
Yes, you can double or triple this recipe! Just multiply every ingredient except for the broth by the desired amount. Decrease the broth by ¼ cup for every time you multiply it.
Then, follow the recipe as directed, keeping the pressure cooking time the same. The pressure cooker will naturally account for the extra volume being cooked, as it will take longer to come to and release the pressure, but the actual cooking time will remain the same.
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 (see my suggestions above in "substitutions") in this recipe. 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.
Risotto can be served on its own or you can serve it with following dishes, sides, and drinks:
- Nice crusty bread - Italian bread, ciabatta, or foccacia
- Simple spring greens salad
- Grilled or air fried salmon
- Grilled chicken
- Wine -- white wine pairs best with this rice dish; I recommend vinho verde, pinot grigio, pinot gris, or sauvignon blanc
What tools do you need to make this risotto?
- Instant Pot or pressure cooker
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Wooden stirring spoon
- Cutting board
- Chef knife
More Instant Pot recipes:
- Instant Pot Turkey Chili
- Instant Pot Baby Potatoes
- Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
- Pressure Cooker Italian Ragu
- Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
- Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken and Rice
More Italian-inspired recipes:
- Chicken Bolognese
- Pumpkin Risotto
- Mushroom Farro Risotto
- Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce
- Creamy Lemon Ricotta Pasta
- Sausage Risotto
- Zucchini Lasagna
If you made and liked this recipe, don't forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it went for you in the comments! It always makes my day to hear from you!