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A bowl of pumpkin risotto, garnished with 2 sage leaves, on a lace table cloth beside another bowl and small pumpkin.
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4.8 from 5 votes

Instant Pot Pumpkin Risotto with Caramelized Onions

This pumpkin risotto with balsamic caramelized onions is a creamy, delicately autumn-spiced masterpiece! The easiest, and tastiest autumn side dish for Thanksgiving or any decadent autumn dinner party!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: International
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 346kcal


  • Instant Pot
  • cutting board and sharp knife
  • cheese grater
  • mixing spoon
  • spatula
  • medium sauce pan
  • sauté pan


  • 8 oz. arborio rice
  • 16 oz. chicken broth - or vegetable broth
  • 6 oz. red onion - diced (about 1 small onion)
  • 6 oz. pumpkin purée
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 oz. dry white wine - like Chardonnay (or dry vermouth)
  • 8 oz. parmesan cheese - grated
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • cinnamon - a pinch
  • fresh ground pepper - a nice sprinkle


  • Bring 16 oz. (453 mL) of chicken broth to a simmer over MEDIUM heat for 6 minutes. While broth heats, dice 6 oz. (170 mL) red onion. Set aside. Grate 8 oz. (226 mL) fresh parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  • Set Instant Pot to SAUTÉ. Add 2 tbsp. unsalted butter to the pot and melt. Once butter is melted, add 8 oz. (226 mL) arborio rice and stir it into the butter. Spread it evenly on the bottom of the pot to allow the rice to toast for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once rice is toasted, turn off heat and quickly add 2 oz. (56 mL) dry white wine (or dry vermouth) to deglaze the pot, stirring rice quickly. 
  • Add 6 oz. (170 mL) pumpkin purée and warm broth to the pot. Mix thoroughly. Place Instant Pot lid on top and lock it in place. Make sure the release valve is DIS-ENGAGED so the pressure will not release. Set Instant Pot to PRESSURE COOK for 5 minutes, and hit START.
  • While the pressure builds and your risotto cooks, add 1 tbsp. olive oil to a sauté pan and sauté diced red onion over MEDIUM-HIGH heat for 7-10 minutes. When onions are nicely brown, turn off heat and quickly add 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar to the pan, stirring quickly. Allow onions to sit and caramelize for at least 30 seconds
  • When risotto is ready, release the pressure valve and allow the pressure to fully release before opening. When ready, remove lid. Add caramelized onions, grated parmesan, 1 tsp. honey, ½ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. nutmeg, pinch of cinnamon and a nice sprinkle of fresh ground pepper. Stir completely and serve.


1. Make sure not to use “pumpkin pie filling.”
When you’re picking up your ingredients, make sure you choose “pumpkin purée, not “pumpkin pie filling.” That’s full of sugar and spices just for pumpkin pie. You want unsweetened, un-spiced pumpkin purée.
2. To reheat, you can either warm it in a pot on the stove, or bake it in the oven.
• If you’re reheating on the stove, place it in a non-stick pot over MEDIUM heat for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
• If you want to bake to reheat, spoon into a greased pyrex dish and bake at 400 F. (200 C.) for 20 minutes. And for extra excitement, I highly suggest brushing it with a beaten egg beforehand, and sprinkling it with a little more parmesan cheese. This will create an outrageously tasty, crispy top!
3. If you don't have an Instant Pot:
  1. Simply follow the directions on your risotto's package for stovetop risotto, warming broth first, then adding broth until perfectly cooked.
  2. Add all other ingredients once the risotto is done, stir, and allow to sit for 5 minutes with a lid over LOW heat.
Nutrition calculations are an estimation.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 661mg | Potassium: 294mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 6803IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 3mg