Baked Pumpkin Risotto
SUPER-easy pumpkin risotto recipe that your whole family will love!
Everybody loves risotto! That is, everybody except the person making it… Until now! Before this recipe, whenever I heard ‘risotto’, I had visions of spending hours in the kitchen stirring rice. I love risotto made on the stove top, but in all honesty, I just don’t have time for that. This scrumptious vegetarian risotto recipe requires very little prep time, so I have plenty of time to… relax!
Everyone says their recipe is easy…
I know, I know – I see that all the time, too and it can be frustrating. However, my pumpkin risotto recipe really IS basic, and here’s proof:
- Firstly, there are only a few, obvious ingredients, so you can remember them effortlessly. I love not having to remember where I stored a recipe!
- Secondly, you probably have all the ingredients already. When all your ingredients are already in your refrigerator or pantry, it’s one less trip to the grocery store! (And who doesn’t love that?!)
- Thirdly, it usually means that there are plenty of ways to personalise it… and there are plenty of options here. (See ‘options’ heading below.)
So let’s get baking!
Baked Pumpkin Risotto
- 1 cup aborio rice
- 2½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
- ¾ pound pumpkin, peeled and diced (small – the size of board game dice) (350 grams)
- ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 4 tablespoons butter (Other measurements: 60 grams, ¼ cup, ½ stick)
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- cracked black pepper, to taste
- sea salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (metric: 190 degrees Celsius)
- Place aborio rice, stock, butter and pumpkin in an oven-proof dish and cover tightly.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Check, stir and replace dish in oven for another 10 minutes.
- Keep checking and stirring every 10 minutes until pumpkin is cooked through.
- When done, stir through parmesan cheese, pepper, salt & parsley.
- Serve immediately.
- If you are looking for vegetarian pumpkin risotto, be sure to use vegetable stock!
- I always try to use butternut pumpkin; I enjoy its slightly sweeter flavor than other varieties.
- If you cut the pumpkin into large cubes, it will increase the cooking time.
- Additional ingredients will increase the calorific content.
- See below for suggestions about how to customise this recipe to make it your own.
Of course, there are always little bits and pieces you can add to truly personalise the recipe. I will list some of my favorite add-ins below:
- A handful of toasted pine nuts. Sprinkle a few on just before serving – adding a delicious flavor that won’t overpower the meal.
- Use 1 cup dry white wine in place of 1 cup stock. The alcohol burns off, leaving a slightly more crisp flavor.
- Lightly fry in olive oil 1 small onion, 4 bacon rashers, 1/2 bell pepper/ capsicum (all chopped). Stir through risotto just prior to serving.
- Crush 1 or 2 cloves of garlic and stir through the rice, pumpkin, butter and stock before baking.
- Add in a handful of baby spinach leaves and/ or 1/2 cup peas before baking. Spinach and peas add a lovely flash of color (and nutrition!).
- If you’re using chicken stock, what about adding 1/2 – 1 cup of cooked, shredded chicken? It’s a fabulous boost of protein! (I keep little baggies of leftover cooked chicken – picked from bones – in the freezer for dishes like this one. Just remember to write the cook date on the baggie and use it within 3 months.)
- Add in sliced chorizo!
- You may substitute beef stock. However, be aware that the flavor will be slightly stronger.
- Add some micro greens to the top of your served risotto, for garnish and nutrition.
- Want to make this dish wickedly decadent? Slice a small wheel of brie or camembert horizontally through the middle, then again through each half – making 4 discs. After plating the risotto, place a disc of brie on top of each warm mound. The heat from the rice will partially melt the soft cheese, adding a rich, creamy flavor. Did you know that brie is actually lower in fat than cheddar cheese?
Pro tip: Place the brie or camembert in the freezer for 15 minutes. This will firm the cheese, making it easier to slice horizontally.
I really hope you enjoy this baked pumpkin risotto as much as I do. I’d love to hear about your results and any suggestions in the comments section.
Until next time!
Love & comfort food, Bx