Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto

With the Instant Pot, this butternut squash risotto requires minimal stirring and is ready in 40 minutes. Gluten-free & easily vegetarian.

  • Prep Time:
    15 minutes
  • Total Time:
    35 minutes
  • Makes:
    4-6 servings 1x
  • Prep Time:
    15 minutes
  • Total Time:
    35 minutes
  • Makes:
    4-6 servings 1x
  • Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 4 ounces pancetta, cubed (see notes)
    • 3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
    • 2 shallots, minced (see notes)
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
    • 1 cup arborio rice (see notes)
    • 12 ounces peeled butternut squash, chopped into ½-inch chunks (from a small ~1-pound squash)
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
    • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
    • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (see notes)


    1. Cook the pancetta and sage. Set the pressure cooker to SAUTE — NORMAL (medium) and heat the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until edges are browned and crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Add the chopped sage and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta and sage to a small bowl and set aside. Spoon off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pot. 
      Sweat the shallots. Add the shallots and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots are fragrant and beginning to soften, about 3 minutes.
    2. Toast the rice and add the butternut squash. Add the garlic, rice and stir well to coat. Add the butternut squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until the edges of the rice are translucent and rice is fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
    3. Deglaze the pot. Turn off the pressure cooker’s sauté function and add the white wine (or a little more broth or water), scraping the bottom to remove any brown bits and stuck rice. Continue to stir until most of the liquid has evaporated or been absorbed.
    4. Cook the risotto. Add the broth, cover and set the cooker to PRESSURE COOK — HIGH for 5 minutes. When the rice is done cooking, immediately release the pressure using a QUICK release. Carefully remove the lid and, using oven mitts, remove the insert from the cooker to prevent overcooking. Stir to incorporate the liquid that has risen to the top.
    5. Add the finishing touches. Stir in the Parmesan. Portion and top each bowl with crispy pancetta. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan if desired.




    • Shallots: Shallots are recommended but half of a small, sweet, yellow, or white onion can be substituted.
    • Pancetta: Pancetta is Italian bacon and can usually be found at butcher shops, the deli counter of specialty grocery stores, or occasionally with other packaged, cured meats like salami, prosciutto etc. The taste and texture of pancetta works best here but finely chopped American bacon can be substituted.
    • Parmesan cheese: The cheese is best when freshly grated, however fresh, store-bought grated cheese can be substituted. I do not recommend using grated cheese from a canister since this type of cheese contains anti-caking ingredients that will change the texture of the risotto.
    • For a vegetarian Instant Pot butternut squash risotto, use vegetable broth and omit the pancetta.


    • Peel and chop your butternut squash; chop the pancetta (if not already cubed; up to 7 days in advance); chop/mince sage, shallot and garlic (up to 1 day ahead)
    • Grate the Parmesan cheese
    • Measure the rice


    Risotto is best just out of the Instant Pot but it reheats pretty well. Leftovers will keep in airtight food storage containers for up to 5 days. Store pancetta and risotto separately. Reheat both either in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding a tablespoon or two of water to thin the risotto if needed.


    It’s possible to freeze leftover risotto but the texture will not be as firm the second time around. Reheat defrosted risotto in a saucepan over medium-low heat, adding a bit of water or broth as needed to reach desired consistency.


    Recipe nutrition includes the crispy pancetta, sage; optional white wine was omitted.


    • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
    • Calories: 476
    • Sugar: 2 g
    • Sodium: 795 mg
    • Fat: 22 g
    • Saturated Fat: 9 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 13 g
    • Trans Fat: 0 g
    • Carbohydrates: 47 g
    • Fiber: 5 g
    • Protein: 18 g
    • Cholesterol: 42 mg

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