This Easy Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe is flavorful, delicious, and cooked entirely in the Instant Pot! Made with sweet cubes of butternut squash, fresh sage, and shredded parmesan, everyone will love this ultra-smooth and creamy risotto recipe.
Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe
Butternut squash is my favorite part of the fall and winter seasons. Delicious added to soup, muffins, salad, and tacos, butternut squash recipes are in constant rotation at my house come squash season.
Risotto, on the other hand, has always been one of those love-to-eat, hate-to-make recipes. The constant stirring and attention to get it just right makes this much loved Italian rice dish a rare treat in my home.
Holy smokes, you guys! If you love risotto, but never have the time to give it the proper attention it deserves, try this insanely easy, creamy, butternut squash filled risotto made entirely in your Instant Pot.
And then garnish it with fresh lemon juice. Trust me.
Easy, delicious ingredients
To make this easy butternut squash risotto recipe you’ll need,
- olive oil + butter – I like to saute the shallots and garlic in a combination of olive oil and butter. To make this recipe vegan, omit the butter, or use a plant-based alternative.
- shallots + garlic – The shallots and garlic and sauteed low and slow until soft, translucent, and sweetened. I encourage you to give the shallots and garlic at least 5-8 minutes to cook, time allowing. If you don’t have any shallots, substitute with a small red onion.
- fresh sage – This recipe does really well with fresh sage (as do many savory butternut squash recipes). If you are unable to get fresh sage, substitute with 1 tsp dried sage.
- white wine – A nice dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc. If you prefer not to cook with wine, substitute with additional vegetable or chicken broth.
- arborio rice – Arborio rice is a variety of short-grained rice that undergoes less milling than ordinary rice. This results in rice with high natural starch content and creamy consistency when cooked.
- butternut squash – Peeled, seeded, and diced into small cubes. Cubed acorn squash or pumpkin will also work well.
- vegetable broth (or chicken broth) – I highly encourage you to add some kind of broth rather than water as this will result in better flavor. To keep this risotto recipe vegetarian, add vegetable broth.
- parmesan cheese – A little parmesan cheese adds that last layer of flavor and a little added creaminess. You can add it directly to the pot just after cooking or garnish each individual bowl. For a vegan risotto, omit the parmesan cheese.
- Fresh lemon juice – please please please don’t forget the lemons! When I first tried risotto many years ago it was served with two lemon wedges as an optional garnish. This one ingredient turned this dish from delicious to completely ADDICTIVE. I will never eat risotto without fresh lemon juice again.
- Additional parmesan cheese – because who doesn’t love a little extra shredded parm?
- Fresh herbs – I garnished my bowl with a little sprinkle of minced sage, but fresh parsley would also taste great.
- Crispy prosciutto or bacon – because salty pork and creamy risotto were basically made for each other.
What is Arborio Rice?
Arborio rice is an Italian short-grain, oval-shaped rice. The grains are approximately a quarter of an inch long and typically pearly white in color. Much starchier than other rice varieties (approximately 50 grams per cup), arborio rice has the ability to absorb more water when compared to other types of rice without becoming mushy. This is what makes risotto so creamy and delicious!
Aside from risotto, arborio is also used to make rice pudding, paella, and arancini.
How to make Risotto in the Instant Pot
To make butternut squash risotto in the Instant Pot, you will need, yes, an Instant Pot (or pressure cooker). You will be using sauté mode and manual (or pressure cook) mode.
Step 1: Set your Instant Pot to sauté mode (medium). Add the olive oil and butter and add the shallots, mixing well to combine. Cook the shallots, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent (approximately 4-6 minutes). Add the garlic and sage, mixing well to combine. Continue to cook until fragrant, approximately 1 minute.
Step 2: Add the white wine, scraping off any brown bits that may have formed on the bottom of the pot. Allow the wine to come to a simmer. Add the arborio rice to the pot. Stir continuously until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Step 3: Stir in the vegetable broth and butternut squash cubes. Mix well to combine and season with salt. Turn off sauté mode.
Step 4: Set Instant Pot to Manual HIGH pressure for 6 minutes. Close and securely lock the lid. Allow the risotto to come to full pressure then cook for 6 minutes before manually releasing pressure. Once the pressure has been released, remove the lid. Sir in freshly grated parmesan cheese and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
What to serve with Butternut Squash Risotto
This butternut squash risotto recipe can be enjoyed as a side or as the main course. And though it isn’t filled with heavy cream or sauces, risotto is heavier in starch when compared to regular rice.
I often serve this risotto with a light salad like this Balsamic Tomato Salad or easy Spinach Salad. If salad isn’t your thing, there’s always room for Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Asparagus, or delicious cooked Beets.
Whenever I serve this as a side, a few of my favorite protein options include:
- Garlic Butter Steak Bites
- Roast Chicken Recipe
- Easy Baked Chicken Breasts
- Garlic Herb Lamb Chops
- Garlic Butter Pork Chops
More butternut squash recipes,
- The BEST Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
- Easy Chicken and Butternut Squash Recipe with Mushrooms
- Butternut Squash, Zucchini, and Spinach Lasagna
- Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Shepherd’s Pie
- Vegetarian Butternut Squash Chili
If you try making this Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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Easy Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe (Instant Pot)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 4 shallots - minced
- 8 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 tbsp fresh sage - plus more for serving
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 3 cups butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and chopped into small cubes
- 4 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese - grated, plus more for serving
- freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh lemon juice - for serving
- Sauté shallots and garlic - Set Instant Pot to sauté mode (medium). Add the olive oil and butter to the bowl of your Instant pot and add the shallots, mixing well to combine. Cook the shallots, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent (approximately 4-6 minutes). Add the garlic and sage, mixing well to combine. Continue to cook until fragrant, approximately 1 minute.
- Add the white wine - Add the white wine, scraping off any brown bits that may have formed on the bottom of the pot. Allow the wine to come to a simmer.
- Sauté the arborio rice - Mix the arborio rice into the shallot and white wine mixture. Allow the rice and wine to cook, stirring continuously until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Add the broth and butternut squash - Stir in the vegetable broth (or broth of choice) and butternut squash cubes. Mix well to combine and season with salt. Turn off sauté mode.
- Cook - Set Instant Pot to Manual HIGH pressure for 6 minutes. Close and securely lock the lid. Allow the risotto to come to full pressure then cook for 6 minutes before manually releasing pressure. Once the pressure has been released, remove the lid.
- Garnish and serve - Sir in the freshly grated parmesan cheese and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. I like to serve my risotto with fresh lemon juice (optional).
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)