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Pumpkin Risotto

Creamy Pumpkin Risotto, the perfect Italian comfort food recipe that is perfect for fall. Arborio rice is slowly cooked in broth until it’s tender and then finished with Parmesan, cream, and delicious cooked squash.

Pumpkin risotto in a black pan.


Ahhh risotto, I think one of the most delicious Italian dishes, there is nothing like a creamy and full of flavour risotto..

My husband is not a big rice lover (unfortunately for him because we are) but a risotto, when it’s cooked well, even he will admit that it’s good and will eat it. If he had to choose a risotto dish he would definitely go for a squash risotto, perfect for the cool fall weather.

But why are so many people afraid of trying to make a risotto? Probably because the perfect risotto takes a little, ok, maybe a lot of attention. But making a delicious four-cheese risotto, zucchini risotto, or this pumpkin risotto is a treat and not hard. They just take time.

Certainly not like leaving a pot of sauce on the stove while you go make the beds or do some math homework with the kids or even write a new post on your blog.

A Risotto is one of those dishes to make when you have the time and the patience because you will have to watch and stir this squash risotto for approximately 20 to 30 minutes, but in the end, the result will be well worth the effort!

Risotto in a grey bowl with parmesan cheese.


  • Squash – any squash will work and for fall I make pumpkin risotto. You can also use butternut squash or acorn squash.
  • Chopped onion
  • Olive oil
  • Arborio rice
  • Salt
  • Broth (homemade or storebought)
  • Butter
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Whole cream

Recipe Steps

First, prepare the pumpkin. Cut it into four or five slices and clean out the seeds. Place the slices on a baking sheet and bake them at 350°F (180°F) for 15 minutes. Remove the skins and cut the squash into small cubes.

Pumpkin roasted before and after on a cookie sheet.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and then add the onion and cook it until it’s translucent.

Onion in a pan cooked until transparent.

Add the cubed pumpkin and salt and coarsely mash it. I like it coarsely mashed because we like small cubes of pumpkin in the finished risotto. If you like, you can finely mash it.

Adding the pumpkin puree to the black pan.

Add the rice to the pan, cook for 1 minute then add one cup of broth. Stir and once the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, add another cup of broth. Repeat this process until the rice is creamy and tender. Don’t let it get too dry.

The rice added to the pan and the broth to the pan.

Turn off the heat, add the butter, cream, and cheese. Stir to combine. For serving, you can add some more Parmesan cheese on top.

Adding the parmesan cheese and butter to the rice.

Can you cook risotto without wine?

I am asked this question a lot and the answer is, yes, you can cook risotto without wine. Many recipes call for it – it adds a little flavor and acid to the dish which can offset the richness. But, it’s not required and I usually my risotto without it.

f you do want to add some wine, choose a dry white wine that you like the flavor of. When you add the rice to the pan, add a splash or two of the wine and little it simmer and reduce. Then proceed with adding the broth.

Recipe Notes

Homemade pumpkin risotto is best when it’s made. When risotto cools, it tightens up and is less creamy and more sticky. If you have leftovers, I recommend using them to make rice balls.

I serve it as a main dish because it’s very rich and filling. Adding a grilled or roasted vegetable is a good side dish or some crusty bread.

Make this when you’re not rushed and have time to stir and simmer. It might be a delicious lazy Sunday lunch? Buon Appetito!

Risotto in a black pan.

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Pumpkin risotto in a black pan with a spoon.

Pumpkin Risotto

Rosemary Molloy
Pumpkin Risotto, a delicious creamy Italian risotto, butternut, pumpkin or acorn any squash will do, a perfect Fall/Winter meal or side dish.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 5
Calories 357 kcal


  • 1/2 pound raw squash (I used butternut squash)
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice (short grain rice)
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups broth (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup whole cream


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 ° (180° celsius)
  • Clean squash (remove seeds but leave the skin) and cut into 4 or 5 large slices, place on a cookie sheet, cut side up and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven let cool enough to handle, remove the skin and cut into small cubes.
  • In a medium to large pan add the olive oil and chopped onion, cook on medium heat until the onion becomes transparent then add the squash and salt, with a potato masher mash coarsely or finely the onion and squash (I mashed very coarsely because we like small cubes of squash in our risotto). Then add the rice, cook for 1 minute, add the broth one cup (250 grams) at a time, wait until the rice absorbs the liquid (but is not completely dry) before adding another cup, stirring almost constantly.
  • When the rice is cooked (add a little broth if needed). Remember you want to leave a little liquid, the texture must be creamy and not dry. Turn off heat and add the butter, cream and freshly grated parmesan cheese, stir to combine. Top with extra parmesan if desired. Serve immediately, Enjoy!


Calories: 357kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 230mg | Potassium: 230mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 5145IU | Vitamin C: 10.3mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 2.9mg
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  1. Cooking this now. How much cooked squash does this call for please? And a general idea of how long it takes to cook once the rice is added. THANKS!

    1. Hi Angela, I assume you made this already, (time difference and I was sleeping) 🙂 the recipe calls for 1/2 pound of raw squash so whatever the amount is cooked. It probably takes from 20-30 minutes to cook. I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know!

  2. You don’t Need to steer a risotto except at the beginning , before, adding the broth and in the end, After the Fire Is off. The result Is Better, believe me.
    The trick Is to add a generous quantity of boiling broth at the beginning and then smaller quantities when needed.

  3. 5 stars
    Hello, I am from SITS, came to know about your blog, I love how you hae set up yours. I love risotto and squash and will give this a try this fall.

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