The Pumpkin Risotto Recipe is a traditional northern Italian dish I generally like to cook during the holidays.
The kids will be home this year, and my boys love Pumpkin Risotto with canned pumpkin. I have so many memories of teaching them the most traditional Fire Roasted Tomato & Basil Parmesan Risotto with crispy Panko breadcrumbs. Although now we generally make Cauliflower Rice Risotto with Peas or Creamy Mushroom Garlic Risotto
My boys loves cooking. Both of them share an innate love for food. And, therefore, everything has to be perfect.
This vegetarian Pumpkin risotto cannot be too mushy and yet it needs to have a bite to it.
There has got to be a distinct flavor of Pumpkin without making the Pumpkin risotto too sweet.
Sometimes when I am cooking for my boys I feel like I am cooking for gordon ramsay. I might as well learn how to make Pumpkin risotto from him.
But here's the thing. They want it traditional. They need it to be original. They look for that special feeling between a mom and a son. (PS: Am I getting too poetic here 😉)
Pumpkin Sage Risotto
I love using fried sage (fresh sage leaves fried until crispy in leftover bacon fat, aka bacon drippings). Along with that, I also like to use freshly chopped sage leaves to garnish my risotto with Pumpkin.
Risotto with Pumpkin and Sage is purely a comfort food. You'll love this topped with crispy fried bacon bits and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
What is Pumpkin Risotto?
Pumpkin Risotto is simply a Risotto that has the beautiful flavors of Pumpkin in it. We make our risotto and then add pumpkin puree towards the end.
I like to garnish my Pumpkin Risotto with some roasted and salted Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for a nutty, pumpkin-y and fall like taste.
Ingredients for baked Pumpkin Risotto
- chicken broth
- thick cut bacon cut into 1-inch pieces
- fresh sage leaves
- yellow onion
- finely minced garlic cloves
- Arborio Rice
- dry white wine choose either Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc or unoaked Chardonnay
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- canned pumpkin puree
- fresh whipped cream until you get stiff peaks - I like to fold in some whipped cream for a creamy
- grated parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
- roasted and salted pepitas for garnish
How to Make Pumpkin Risotto?
- STEP 1: Heat Chicken Broth. You can either microwave it or you can heat it up on the stove.
- STEP 2: Cook Bacon Strips in a cast iron skillet until crispy on both sides.
- STEP 3: Remove bacon strips and place them on a plate lined with paper.
- STEP 4: In the same pan with bacon drippings (leftover fat) add fresh sage leaves and fry them until crispy.
- STEP 5: Remove sage leaves and sauté onions and garlic in the same pan.
- STEP 6: Add in arborio rice and cook until lightly toasty.
- STEP 7: Add dry white wine and cook it off until the wine fully evaporates.
- STEP 8: Add in chicken broth (1/2 cup at a time) and cook until the rice absorbs the broth. Taste and cook further.
- STEP 9: Season with Salt and Pepper.
- STEP 10: Stir in canned Pumpkin Puree.
- STEP 11: Fold in fresh whipped cream for a creamier risotto.
- STEP 12: Finally garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese, roasted pepitas, chopped sage leaves, and chopped crispy bacon bits.
What to serve with Pumpkin Risotto?
Wondering what goes with Pumpkin Risotto? This creamy north italian dish can be served with a salad like Panzanella Salad (Tuscan Summer Salad) or Grandma's Broccoli Casserole with Cream Cheese. I like to serve my risotto with some fresh Authentic Greek Salad
Some of these traditional sides can never go out of style:
- Garlic Butter Sauteed Green Beans with Parmesan
- Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Butter
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic & Honey
- Don't add cold chicken stock. Adding Cold Chicken stock will cool down everything and simply stall the cooking process for a while.
- Stir but not constantly. Stirring the risotto constantly will add air into the risotto making it gluey. But, don't leave it like that. The rice will stick to the pan and eventually burn.
- Taste your risotto after 20-minutes. It should have a slight bite along with a smooth tenderness. Make sure that it's not mushy.
More Pumpkin Recipes to try this fall
- 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 5 slices thick cut bacon cut into 1-inch pieces (see notes)
- 10 pieces fresh sage leaves plus 1 tablespoon chopped sage
- 1 medium yellow onion finely chopped (about ½ cup)
- 3 cloves finely minced garlic cloves
- 1 cup Arborio Rice
- ½ cup dry white wine choose either Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc or unoaked Chardonnay
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup canned pumpkin puree
- ½ cup fresh whipped cream until you get stiff peaks
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
- freshly ground black pepper as per taste
- roasted and salted pepitas for garnish
- Place chicken broth in a microwaveable dish. Cover the dish with a plastic lid or a microwavable lid. Microwave on high for 2-minutes. Stir every 30-seconds and heat until the stock is heated to 165 degrees F or 75 degrees C.
- Place bacon strips in a cold rectangular or circular cast iron griddle pan. Cook bacon in a skillet over low heat, turning occasionally. Bacon cooks best on low heat. When it starts to curl use kitchen tongs to turn each slice and cook the other side.Keep flipping and cooking until the bacon looks brown evenly. Almost 8-10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towel or i personally prefer newspaper. Keep the drippings (leftover fat) in the skillet.
- Return the pot with bacon dripping (leftover fat) to medium-low heat.
- Add in fresh whole sage leaves. Cook until they are crisp. About 45-60 seconds. Transfer the fried sage leaves to the plate with crispy bacon.
- Return the pot with bacon drippings (leftover fat) to medium heat. Add finely chopped yellow onions and cook until softened. About 3-4 minutes.
- Add freshly minced garlic cloves and cook for about 30-45 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add arborio rice and cook stirring constantly until lightly brown and toasty.
- Add dry white wine and cook stirring constantly until the wine completely evaporates. About 1 minute.
- Reduce the heat to low. Stir in Chicken Broth (only ½ cup at a time) salt and freshly ground black pepper as per taste.
- Stir until the rice fully absorbs the broth. This takes approximately 35-40 minutes.
- Taste the rice after 4 cups of rice. If it seems tender enough then you don't have to add the remaining 1 cup of chicken broth.
- If not, then add the remaining 1 cup of chicken broth (½ cup at a time). Stir and cook until the rice has a slight bite (make sure it's not mushy).
- Once the rice is cooked, stir in pumpkin puree.
- In the meantime whip heavy cream until you see stiff peaks.
- Fold in fresh whipped cream along with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Finely chopped the crispy bacon and garnish it on the pumpkin risotto.
- Garnish with roasted and salted pepitas along with a handful of fresh chopped sage leaves.
- If you want chewy bacon then use thick cut bacon. On the contrary use thin cut bacon if you want it crispy.
- Do you have to rinse arborio rice? Arborio rice is known for its high starch content. So don't rise arborio rice. Those starches will add a thick creaminess to your Pumpkin risotto.