Make this vegan risotto to impress dinner guests with a recipe that includes no dairy but is unbelievably rich and creamy. Typically, classic Italian risotto is prepared with arborio or carnaroli rice, both short-grain kinds of rice that achieve a super creamy texture, thanks to their high starch content.

Because arborio rice absorbs a lot, make sure you use a very flavorful liquid while cooking. White wine, good quality vegetable broth, paprika powder, fresh sage, and garlic make a tasty mixture, but you can experiment with other flavors as well. If you don’t have arborio rice, you can experiment with regular white or brown rice as well, and although the recipe will not be as authentic, it will still be delicious.

The key to a good risotto is the constant stirring of the rice while cooking. Make sure you only add a little vegetable broth at a time and let it fully cook away/let the rice fully absorb it, before adding more.

Try this recipe with different types of pumpkins or winter squash to change the taste. Whether you eat your risotto with a spoon or fork, this recipe is perfect for both and works as a quick dinner or a fancier meal. Enjoy!

Looking for an affordable, quicker version?

  • Skip baking the squash and use a can of pumpkin puree instead
  • Play around with different spices depending on what you have in your pantry
  • White rice works fine for this recipe too. Just make sure you stir it constantly because it’s less starchy than other types of rice

Want to make your risotto extra healthy?

  • Omit vegan butter and oil, and sauté onion only with vegetable broth
  • Make this recipe with brown rice or brown arborio rice
  • Use a no-additive, homemade vegetable broth
  • Double the amount of pumpkin in the recipe
  • Stir in extra greens such as kale or spinach at the end of cooking time

Preparing risotto for a date night?

  • Double the amount of vegan butter for an especially indulgent version
  • Stir in a handful of melty vegan cheese at the end
  • Top risotto with roasted mushrooms, tempeh, or Brussels sprouts or serve the risotto with toasted pine nuts or chili threads

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Pumpkin Risotto

Serves 4

  • 17 oz/500 g pumpkin or winter squash (such as butternut or Hokkaido or sugar pumpkin)
  • 1.5 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup/80 ml white wine (optional)
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped sage
  • 4.5 cups/1 liter low sodium vegetable broth, warmed
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt, pepper

To serve:

  • Vegan parmesan

Instructions

  1. Cut pumpkin into 1/2 inch/1 cm little cubes and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with vinegar, and sprinkle with garlic powder and cayenne. Toss to coat pieces evenly, then spread out on the baking tray and bake at 400°F/200°C for 30 minutes.
  2. Mash the roasted pumpkin with a fork roughly. Alternatively, place cubes in a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth.
  3. While the pumpkin is cooking, heat up oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a pot. Add onion, and sauté for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add garlic and rice, and sauté on for 2-3 minutes, then pour in the wine, paprika powder, and sage, and cook, stirring constantly, until wine is fully absorbed.
  5. Add a ladle full of vegetable broth, and cook and stir, until broth is absorbed. Continue adding vegetable broth, a small amount at a time, and stir, until rice is al dente, about 25 minutes.
  6. Remove risotto from heat, stir in pumpkin, nutritional yeast, and the leftover 1 tablespoon butter, and season with salt and pepper. Cover pot, and let stand for 5 minutes, before serving.
  7. Divide risotto into bowls and top with shaved vegan parmesan.

Nutritionals 

Calories 389 | Total Fat 12.8g | Saturated Fat 3.2g | Sodium 544mg | Total Carbohydrate 59.2g | Dietary Fiber 7.1g | Total Sugars 6.7g | Protein 7.4g | Calcium 62mg | Iron 4mg | Potassium 495mg |