Pumpkin Risotto with Bacon is a creamy, delicious fall dinner! It’s made in the Instant Pot so there’s no bothersome stirring. It’s the best way to make risotto!

pumpkin risotto instant pot plated with crumbled bacon

Years ago I’d always order risotto in restaurants because I was too intimidated to make it at home.

These days I make it all the time. My spring vegetable risotto and short rib risotto recipes are prepared using the traditional method which is on the stove top, and there’s lots of stirring involved.

I tried making mushroom risotto in the instant pot years ago, and it was life changing. It makes preparing risotto so much easier that I make it a lot more often!

This Pumpkin Risotto with Bacon is also made in the Instant Pot, and it’s one of my family’s favorite fall dinners.

It incorporates fresh pumpkin purée for a creamy, velvety texture that will rival anything you’ll get in a restaurant.

Top it with plenty of crispy bacon and parmesan cheese to take it over the top. 🙂

overhead shot of instant pot pumpkin risotto with crumbled bacon

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • It’s a festive fall risotto with pumpkin puree and it’s topped with crisp bacon and parmesan cheese.
  • Unlike classic risotto, there’s no bothersome stirring because its made in the Instant Pot.
  • This recipe is gluten-free, and may be made vegetarian by omitting the bacon.

Recipe ingredients

  • Arborio rice. For best results, use arborio rice, which is an Italian short-grain rice. The grains are higher in starch, firm and creamy, which makes it the best for risotto.
  • Pumpkin. Homemade pumpkin purée makes a big difference in this dish as the texture is so velvety. Canned pumpkin may be used in a pinch.
  • Aromatics. Onion and garlic add nice flavor to the risotto. Leeks or shallots are great options as well.
  • Vegetable stock. Use homemade or store bought vegetable stock, or sub with whatever you have on hand.
  • Bacon. Cooked crumbled bacon adds great texture and flavor. Omit it to make this recipe vegetarian. Top with pepitas for added texture and protein.
  • Parmesan cheese. Omit the parmesan to make this recipe dairy-free.

How to make this recipe

Risotto has been one of my favorite dishes since the first time I tried it.  While risotto is fairly easy to make on the stove top, standing in front of the stove stirring it until it’s done isn’t exactly ideal. 

Making it in the Instant Pot is so easy, making it an accessible option any night of the week.

Pro tip: Prepare the homemade pumpkin puree in advance to make this recipe go very quickly! Use store bought canned pumpkin as a time saver.

pumpkin risotto instant pot process collage
  • Sauté the bacon in the Instant Pot for 10 minutes until crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Add the onion to the bacon grease and sauté for 5 minutes until softened, then add the garlic and cook 30 seconds longer. Add the sage, nutmeg, arborio rice, vegetable stock and pumpkin puree and stir well to combine.  
  • Secure the lid on the Instant Pot, close the venting valve, and cook on High Pressure for 8 minutes.  When the cooking time is done, quick release the pressure and remove the lid when safe to do so.  Stir in the grated parmesan cheese and salt and pepper, to taste.

What’s the best pumpkin to use for pumpkin risotto?

I’ve tried this recipe with both fresh and canned pumpkin, and fresh pumpkin made all the difference. 

Fresh pumpkin has so much more flavor than canned puree, so I strongly recommend making your own.

The best fresh pumpkins to use in this risotto are as follows:

  • sugar pumpkin
  • kabocha squash
  • red kuri squash
  • other edible heirloom varieties — ask your farmers!

Just be sure not use big carving pumpkins as they lack flavor and don’t contain a large amount of flesh. 

Check out my post on how to make pumpkin puree in the Instant Pot for more details.

If you prefer to roast your pumpkin in the oven, see my instructions for this Roasted Pumpkin Soup.

Recipe notes

  • Pro tip: Prepare the homemade pumpkin puree in advance to make this recipe go very quickly! Use store bought canned pumpkin as a time saver.
  • Fresh pumpkin puree makes a big difference in this dish. The prep time for this recipe does not include the prep for homemade pumpkin puree as that is included in a separate recipe.  There’s no need to purée the pumpkin in a food processor or strain the excess liquid from it.  Just mash with a potato masher or fork and add it to the risotto!  Small chunks of pumpkin are totally fine in this dish.
  • Omit the bacon to make this pumpkin risotto vegetarian and top with toasted pepitas!
angled shot of pumpkin risotto instant pot on a plate with crumbled bacon

See all of my Instant Pot recipes for more inspiration.

More pumpkin recipes you’ll love:

Did you try this recipe?  If so, be sure to leave a review below and tag me @flavorthemoments on Facebook and Instagram

pumpkin risotto instant pot plated with crumbled bacon

Pumpkin Risotto with Bacon (Instant Pot)

Pumpkin Risotto with Bacon is a creamy, delicious fall dinner! It's made in the Instant Pot so there's no bothersome stirring and it's gluten-free!
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Ingredients

  • 4 slices thick center cut no nitrates bacon chopped
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 3/4 cups homemade vegetable stock substitute with store bought stock
  • 1 cup homemade pumpkin puree substitute with store bought pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Press the Sauté button on the Instant Pot. Add the bacon and cook for 10 minutes or until crisp. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with a paper towel.
  • Add the onion to the bacon grease in the pot and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds more.
  • Add the sage, nutmeg, arborio rice, vegetable stock and pumpkin to the Instant Pot and stir until combined.
  • Secure the lid and close the venting valve. Cook at high pressure for 8 minutes. The Instant Pot will take 10-15 minutes to come to pressure, then will begin the cooking time. Quick release the pressure when the cooking time has finished.
  • Remove the lid and stir in the parmesan cheese and salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve immediately topped with the crumbled bacon and chopped parsley. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Pro tip: Prepare the homemade pumpkin puree in advance to make this recipe go very quickly! Use store bought canned pumpkin as a time saver.
  • Fresh pumpkin puree makes a big difference in this dish. The prep time for this recipe does not include the prep for homemade pumpkin puree as that is included in a separate recipe.  There’s no need to purée the pumpkin in a food processor or strain the excess liquid from it.  Just mash with a potato masher or fork and add it to the risotto!  Small chunks of pumpkin are totally fine in this dish.
  • Omit the bacon to make this pumpkin risotto vegetarian and top with toasted pepitas!

Nutrition

Calories: 423kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 1080mg, Potassium: 271mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 9998IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 170mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Did you try this recipe?Be sure to tag @flavorthemoments with the hashtag #flavorthemoments on Instagram so I can see what you made!

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