This creamy, dreamy Vegetarian Pumpkin Risotto is much easier to make than you’d think! It’s also completely gluten-free!
Hello friends! I am back after a few months hiatus to provide a delicious and deceptively easy fall recipe. Risotto is something that I was too intimidated to make for a long time. However, when I finally tried it, I was shocked by how easy it was! I think it’s gotten a difficult reputation because it’s a very hands-on dish to make. However, stirring is the easiest thing in the world, and very zen with a glass of wine in your other hand! ;)
I was on a hiatus this summer because I took a 5-week intensive EMT course. It was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I’ve ever had! It kind of feels like having a superpower when you know how to perform CPR, defibrillate a patient, splint a broken limb, or provide oxygen therapy. Doing this is extremely meaningful to me. Over five years ago, I quit my high-paying job at an insurance company because I was too sick to keep working. I ended up being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease after years of mistreatment. So now, being able to join the medical field on the other side feels very, very cool. But don’t worry, I’ll still be blogging in my free time! ;)
Let’s get back to this pumpkin risotto! I’ve put together some questions that might help you as you make it –
How do you make risotto?
Making risotto is an easy, one-pot meal! All you have to do is sauté garlic and onions in butter or oil, add in the rice, then add in wine, vegetable stock, and spices. You add in the liquids incrementally, stirring as it cooks. At the end, you stir in parmesan cheese, which makes the risotto incredibly creamy. And that’s really it!
Is this pumpkin risotto gluten-free?
Yes! Risotto is made with rice, not pasta, so it’s 100% gluten-free.
Can I make this risotto with butternut squash instead of pumpkin?
Absolutely! Sub in the same amount of puréed butternut squash instead of pumpkin, if you’d like. Just be sure to taste as you go in case you need to adjust the seasonings.
Is risotto easy to make?
For sure! The only “difficult” part is having to stand by the stove and stir.
What is the best rice for risotto?
You really want to go with classic arborio rice for risotto. Most other types of rice don’t cook down as quickly, or can result in a starchy, thick consistency. However, you can use a short or medium-grain rice if you’re in a pinch. The only types of rice to avoid at all costs are long-grain rices, like basmati or wild rice.
For more easy vegan and vegetarian pumpkin recipes, click here!
This creamy, dreamy Vegetarian Pumpkin Risotto is much easier to make than you'd think! It's also completely gluten-free!
- 1 White Onion diced
- 3-4 Cloves Garlic finely minced
- 2-3 Tbs Butter
- 1 Tbs Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 Cups Arborio Rice
- 1 1/2 Cups Dry White Wine
- 4 Cups Vegetable Stock at room temperature
- 1 Tsp Salt see note
- 1-2 Tsp Maple Syrup
- 1 Cup Pumpkin Purée
- Pinch Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Tsp Paprika
- 1/2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 Tsp Chili Powder
- 1 Cup Fresh Grated Parmesan or Asiago Cheese see note
- Freshly Grated Parmesan
- Aleppo Pepper
Start by prepping all of your ingredients - you want to make sure you have everything on hand once the risotto gets going!
Add in the chopped onion with the butter and oil in a large pot, and sauté on medium heat until softened. Then, add in the minced garlic and sauté for another 30-60 seconds, until garlic is fragrant but not browned.
Then, add in the arborio rice, and sauté it with the mixture until the rice is slightly toasted.
Add in the white wine, and cook down for about 1 minute.
Then, add in ONE cup of the vegetable stock, the pumpkin purée, the maple syrup, and the salt and spices. Stir everything around well, and let it simmer.
This is the part where you'll have to stand by the stove to keep an eye on it. Don't worry, this is all stirring! Watch the risotto as the vegetable stock absorbs. Once the risotto is getting thicker and has less liquid, add in another 1/2-1 cup of the stock, stirring well. You don't want the rice to stick to the bottom, so make sure you always have enough liquid to prevent that!
Keep repeating the above step - add stock, stir, and watch for it to absorb.
When you have about one cup of stock left to go, carefully taste a little bit of the risotto to see how the rice is doing. If your rice is soft, don't add any more stock, and stir in the parmesan.
If the rice is still hard, keep adding in the stock. Be sure to check often to make sure the rice doesn't overcook. Conversely, you may add small amounts of stock or water if the rice is still hard after the 4 cups of stock. You want the rice to be al dente, but not mushy.
If you haven't already, stir in the freshly grated parmesan last, until it's melted.
Serve the risotto piping hot with any toppings you like. Enjoy!
- Be sure to adjust your salt level depending on the brand of vegetable broth you use. The best policy is to taste as you go!
- For a true vegetarian recipe, make sure you purchase vegetarian parmesan cheese - many varieties use animal rennet.
- The cheese MUST be freshly grated. Pre-grated cheeses are almost always sold with an anti-caking agent, and will result in a grainy risotto.
- Many risotto recipes call for using hot stock, but I've had great success using room-temperature stock.
- Once you get the hang of risotto, it can be very cozy and zen to make! My tip is to sip on the rest of the bottle of wine that you used, put on your favorite music, and to chill as you stir the risotto! :)
For more vegan and vegetarian recipes and meal inspiration, be sure to follow along on Instagram @wellandfull! If you make a recipe, please tag me in the photo and use the hashtag #wellandfull so I can see! I love seeing your creations!