With less than 5 days left in this year, it's time for new resolutions and perhaps a new recipe 🙂 As I venture into the next year, I plan to share exotic recipes that make meal prep a breeze and make you a kitchen superstar!
So, here’s a good recipe to start with…..Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto! Don’t let the name intimidate you.
Risotto is a name more associated with high-end restaurants with a hefty price tag on it. Here’s the simple way to create an instant classic in your kitchen today!
The instant pot butternut squash risotto is a healthy, creamy, and one-pot vegan dish.
This is way better and easier than the traditional butternut squash risotto because it is prepared with the Instant pot pressure cooker. So you don’t have to watch and stir constantly like the stovetop version.
Butternut Squash Risotto is an Italian rice dish made with seasonal, starchy vegetables like the butternut squash and a special kind of rice that helps bind the sweetness of squash with that of rice.
My recipe was inspired by my husband after he tasted this dish at a restaurant last year. Later on, he tried to prepare it on a stovetop.
And I came up with this better and faster way to prepare it with the Instant Pot and with subtle changes to make it a vegan meal. The result was that we got to a bowl of incredibly creamy and sweet risotto.
The choice of vegetables you use and the timing of the year also makes a big difference for risotto. Butternut squash and pumpkins tend to be sweetest in December and early January. So the timing could not have been better for preparing this recipe.
There is one simple answer to why you have to try this with the Instant Pot. It's simpler, faster, and efficient. The cooking time is reduced by half, you do not have to constantly stir the pot and the best part, as usual, is that you only have one dish to wash.
As for the taste and creaminess, a lot depends on the ingredients you add and we will discuss that next. Apart from sweet and starchy vegetables like the butternut squash or pumpkin, the most important ingredient here is Arborio rice.
Arborio rice cooks well under pressure and turns the dish creamy. As it cooks, it is important that complementary ingredients like broth, onions, and white wine are added at the right time to infuse the flavors around every grain.
Vegan Butternut squash Risotto
Traditionally, it is common to add parmesan cheese to this recipe, but I skipped that part for two reasons. One is that there is plenty of vegan alternative cheese available and the second reason is that I was never a fan of the parmesan flavor. Adding the cheese alternate would be another flavor contribution.
How to make this recipe
Instant pot butternut squash risotto can be broken down into 4 simple steps, once you gather all the ingredients. Unlike the traditional version, you do not have to constantly watch the pot to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom and burning. The Instant Pot takes care of that problem.
Step 1- Chop the butternut squash, peel the skin and deseed. Then chop into cubes.
Step 2 - Press saute mode then add olive oil to the inner pan. As the oil heats up, add chopped garlic and onions. Saute for 3 minutes.
Step 3 - Add cubed squash, arborio rice, black pepper, Italian seasoning, dried sage, salt, vegetable broth, and white wine. Give it a nice stir.
Step 4 - close the lid on the pot, and turn the valve from venting to sealing position. Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Wait for Natural pressure release before opening the lid.
Can I make risotto without wine?
The answer is yes, If you prefer to cook risotto without wine for any specific reason, you can prepare risotto without wine. As an alternative, you could add a splash of lemon juice to the mix. That makes up for the acidity you need to balance the sweetness from butternut squash.
Roasted or Unroasted squash risotto
For this recipe, you can roast the arborio rice at the beginning with a little oil. It gives additional toasted flavor to the risotto. But that is not a necessity. I prepared this recipe without roasting the rice. It really depends on your taste preference.
What can I serve with a side of risotto?
This is likely the most common question that arises for a dish such as this one. Especially so, if you have never tried Risotto before. Usually, a bowl of tomato basil soup and/or a simple salad pairs well with the risotto.
Here are some of my Instant Pot recipes
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Instant pot Butternut Squash Risotto
- Chop the butternut squash and peel the skin and deseed. Then chop into cubes.2 cups butternut squash fresh or frozen cubed
- Press saute mode then add olive oil to the inner pan. When the oil heats up add chopped garlic and onions. Saute for 3 minutes.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 medium-size red onion chopped, 2 garlic cloves chopped
- Add cubed squash, arborio rice, black pepper, Italian seasoning, dried sage, salt, vegetable broth, and white wine. Give it a nice stir.2 cups butternut squash fresh or frozen cubed, 1 ½ cup arborio rice, ¼ cup white wine, Salt to taste, ½ teaspoon dried sage, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, ½ - 1 teaspoon black pepper powder, 3 cups organic vegetable broth or water
- Close the lid on the pot and turn the valve from venting to the sealing position. Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Wait for Natural pressure release before opening the lid.
- Instant Pot Butternut Squash is ready! Serve warm with a side of soup or salad.
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