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Easy Pumpkin Risotto

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This Easy Pumpkin Risotto is a creamy and delicious comfort-filled bowl that’s perfect for any family event. 

Pumpkin Risotto in a white bowl, garnished with parsley.

With its cozy blend of chicken broth, parmesan cheese, rice, and other savory seasonings, this visually striking side dish is sure to be your next fall-inspired favorite. 

Any time of the year, I appreciate a hefty serving of classic meat-based risotto like Chicken and Pea Risotto and Slow Smoked Mesquite Pork Risotto. But when the leaves start to fall and months turn colder, this pumpkin risotto recipe is always the way to go, just like this pumpkin soup recipe.

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What type of rice should I use for risotto?

When cooking risotto recipes, it’s best to stick to short-grain and starchy rice varieties like arborio, carnaroli, and vialone nano. These types of rice tend to absorb more broth than other varieties, helping you make perfect risotto dishes packed with creaminess. 

I personally love using arborio rice when cooking this pumpkin risotto recipe. On top of being the easiest risotto rice to find, it also yields very creamy and delicious risotto dishes.


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❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe

There are over a dozen things to love about this easy pumpkin risotto recipe, but let’s focus on the three main highlights of this autumnal dish.

  • It’s more visually appealing than traditional risotto recipes. Thanks to the striking orange color the pumpkin brings, this side can easily snatch the attention away from the main dish on your table. 
  • This pumpkin recipe is a unique seasonal delight. So, if you want to surprise your friends or family with a dish that shouts autumn or Halloween, this recipe is the way to go. 
  • It’s definitely a comfort food. The combined creamy texture and savory notes of this risotto feel like a warm hug on a cold night. 

Planning to use homemade pumpkin puree for this recipe? Then, don’t let the pumpkin seeds go to waste and whip up some delicious and healthy Cinnamon Roasted Pumpkin Seeds instead.

🥘 Ingredients

A list of ingredients for Easy pumpkin risotto.

All of the ingredients you’ll need to make this absolutely delicious dish can easily be found at your local grocery. 

  • Arborio rice: I honestly think this is the best rice for risotto as its starchy grains provide a very creamy texture. 
  • Butter: You may use either salted or unsalted butter, but I prefer using unsalted as it makes controlling the saltiness of the dish easier. 
  • Onion: This ingredient serves as the aromatic base of the pumpkin risotto. 
  • Garlic: Freshly minced garlic improves the savory notes and aroma of this side dish. 
  • Pumpkin puree: I used homemade pumpkin puree for this recipe, but you can absolutely opt for canned pumpkin puree if that’s more convenient. 
  • Poultry seasoning: This seasoning’s subtle spices, such as sage leaves and thyme, complement the taste of the puree. 
  • Salt and pepper: This classic seasoning combo is essential to bring out the flavor of other ingredients.
  • Chicken broth: I prefer using my own chicken stock, but you can also use store-bought broth.
  • Heavy whipping cream: This is essential to bring out the creaminess of the risotto.
  • Grated parmesan cheese: You’ll need this to add nutty, cheesy, and salty flavors to the pumpkin. I usually grate my cheese at home, but store-bought grated cheese will also work well.

See recipe card for complete list of ingredients and quantities.

🔀 Substitutions

Arborio rice: As mentioned earlier, you can also make risotto creamy and delicious using Carnaroli and Vialone nano rice.

Butter: If you prefer a lighter dish or simply ran out of butter, you can use the same amount of olive oil instead of butter.

🌈 Variations / Options / Add-Ins

My favorite part about this savory pumpkin risotto is that it’s easily customizable. Here are some of my go-to variations of this dish. 

  • Milder-flavored Risotto: If your kids prefer milder flavors, you can reduce the amount of garlic and poultry seasoning you use for this recipe. 
  • Vegan Pumpkin Risotto: To make this recipe vegan, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, coconut milk instead of heavy cream, and vegan butter instead of regular butter.
  • Bacon Frenzy: You can stir in some crispy bacon bits when you add the parmesan cheese to add a smoky and meaty accent to your creamy pumpkin risotto. 

If you appreciate this creamy pumpkin risotto, you’ll definitely love this Pumpkin Butternut Squash Soup that also boasts comforting creaminess, warmth, and flavor.

🥄 Equipment Needed / Helpful Tools

Here are the pieces of equipment you’ll need to prepare this risotto. 

  • Stockpot or Dutch Oven: You’ll need either of these tools to ensure ample space and even heat distribution for cooking the risotto. 
  • Stirring spoon: This tool is necessary as you’ll need to stir this risotto constantly to achieve a creamy consistency. 
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Accurate measurements are essential to make this recipe taste as delicious as it’s designed to be.

🔪 How to Make Easy Pumpkin Risotto

Once you’ve prepared your tools and ingredients, just follow these extremely simple steps to cook pumpkin risotto that’s guaranteed to taste delicious. 

Step 1: Toast the rice 

Add the rice you’ve prepared to the stockpot or Dutch oven. Then, over medium heat, toast the rice for about 5 minutes until fragrant. 

Arborio Rice in a stockpot.

Make sure to stir occasionally, and after the 5 minutes are up, remove the rice from the stockpot or Dutch oven. 

Step 2: Sauté the onion and garlic

Melt butter in the stockpot and proceed to sauté the minced onion for 3 to 4 minutes while stirring constantly. Once the onion has turned golden, add the minced garlic to the pot and cook while stirring for 1 minute. 

Onion and garlic are being sautéed in a stockpot.

Step 3: Add the rice back

Add the toasted rice you’ve set aside back to the stockpot or Dutch oven. 

Arborio Rice is added to the stockpot with onion and garlic.

Step 4: Incorporate the pumpkin and seasoning

Stir in the pumpkin puree and seasonings. Cook them for 1 to 2 minutes while stirring. 

Pumpkin puree and seasoning are added to the rice mixture.

Step 5: Simmer with broth

Add 2 cups of broth to the stockpot and increase the heat to medium-high. When the broth simmers, reduce the heat and continue cooking until the broth is absorbed.

Chicken broth is added to the rice mixture.

Step 6: Gradually add more broth 

Add more broth, ½ cup at a time. Allow the broth to be fully absorbed by the rice before adding another increment, and continue doing so until the risotto reaches the desired consistency. 

Rice mixture with chicken broth in a stockpot.

Step 7: Add the final touches

Incorporate the heavy whipping into the pot and cook it for 2 minutes. After that, stir the parmesan cheese into the cooked risotto and remove the dish from the heat.

Heavy whipping cream is added to the rice mixture.

Step 8: Plate and serve

Transfer the pumpkin risotto onto serving plates and let everyone enjoy a very comforting side dish. Garnish with crispy bacon, sage, or your favorite toppings, if desired. 

Overhead view of Pumpkin Risotto in a white bowl, garnished with parsley.

👩‍🍳 Pro Tips

  • Make sure to add the broth gradually to achieve a creamy texture. 
  • Don’t overcook the risotto, or else it will have a pudding-like consistency. It should still have some grains you can bite into when you finish cooking.
  • Stir the risotto throughout the process. This also contributes to achieving the creaminess risottos are best known for.

❓ Recipe FAQs

Can I use regular long-grain for risotto?

It’s not recommended to do so. Long-grain rice doesn’t have the starch content you need to get that creamy risotto magic. To not miss out on the fantastic texture of risotto, stick to arborio, carnaroli, and vialone nano rice.

Can I freeze risotto for later use?

Yes, you can freeze risotto, but keep in mind it might not be as creamy after thawing. It’s best when enjoyed fresh, but if you do freeze it, be ready to adjust the texture upon reheating.

Is white wine necessary for risotto?

Although using wine is a common practice when making risotto, it’s not always necessary to include. The broth alone, with its seasonings, can make your risotto rich and savory. 

🙏 Pairing

These are my favorite dishes to serve with Easy Pumpkin Risotto:

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📋 Recipe

Easy pumpkin risotto in a white bowl with parmesan cheese and parsley.

Easy Pumpkin Risotto

Corinne Schmitt
Be it for an elegant dinner party or as a side for a vegetarian Thanksgiving feast, this easy pumpkin risotto will be a perfect choice!
5 from 61 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 222 kcal


  • Stockpot or Dutch Oven
  • Stirring spoon
  • Measuring cups and spoons


  • 1 1/4 Cups Arborio Rice
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Onion minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic or to taste
  • 2/3 Cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Poultry Seasoning or to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth as needed
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese


  • Add the arborio rice in a stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
    1 1/4 Cups Arborio Rice
  • Toast the rice for approximately 5 minutes. Stir occasionally until fragrant, and then remove rice from the stockpot.
  • Put butter in the stockpot. Once melted, add the prepared onion and saute for 3-4 minutes until golden. Stir often.
    2 Tablespoons Butter, 1 Onion
  • Add in the minced garlic. Cook for 1 minute while stirring, then return the toasted rice to the pot or oven.
    1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
  • Stir in all of the pumpkin puree and add seasonings. While stirring frequently, cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
    2/3 Cup Pumpkin Puree, 1/2 Tablespoon Poultry Seasoning, Salt and Pepper
  • Pork in 2 cups of broth to the crockpot and increase the heat to medium-high.
    4 Cups Chicken Broth
  • Once the broth simmers, reduce the heat and continue cooking. Stir occasionally until broth is absorbed.
  • Add more broth, 1/2 cup at a time, allowing it to fully absorb into the rice before adding more. Continue doing so until the pumpkin risotto reaches your desired consistency.
  • Incorporate the whipping cream and continue cooking for 2 minutes. After that, stir in the Parmesan cheese and take the cooked pumpkin risotto off the heat.
    1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream, 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese


  • Make sure to add the liquid gradually to achieve a creamy texture. 
  • Don’t overcook the risotto, or else it will have a pudding-like consistency. It should still have some grains you can bite into when you finish cooking.
  • Stir the risotto throughout the process. This also contributes to achieving the creaminess risottos are best known for.


Calories: 222kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 5gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 519mgPotassium: 133mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 3520IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 57mgIron: 2mg
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