In the MB Kitchen, we try to avoid playing favorites. But butternut squash risotto is a big favorite. We knew it was only a question of time until we combined them. This comforting risotto is the perfect fall dish! It combines butternut squash, roasted garlic, and creamy arborio for a delicious and healthy meal. With the Instant Pot, of course! We’re obsessed.
Have we mentioned the optional topping of pine nuts and sage? Friends, your dinner guests (or holiday guests) will be amazed. Just nine ingredients are required! We’ll show you!
What is Risotto?
Risotto, a rice dish, is thought to have originated in Milan. It was originally called Risotto ala Milanese and was made with butter and onion. The word was also traditionally prepared using white wine, Parmesan, saffron, and salt. Since then, there have been many variations. Here’s our butternut squash version, creamy and full of flavor!
How to make Butternut Squash Risotto in an Instant Pot
We roast butternut and garlic until they are perfectly caramelized. We save some of the squash to top the risotto but add the rest of it along with the garlic. It’s time to go to Flavor City!
Instant Pot multitasking: while the squash and the garlic are roasting, you can begin the risotto.
Risotto made in the instant pot tastes just like risotto on the stovetop, but it’s easier to make. Vegan butter, dry white wine, and coconut milk combine to create a creamy and savory dish. Arborio rice turns into risotto after just eight minutes of hands-off cooking in the Instant Pot!
The sage & pine nut topping can be made while the squash and rice are in the oven. The sage, pine nuts, and salt combine to create a savory, herby garnish. It is optional but highly recommended.
Then, add some crushed garlic and squash to the creamy risotto. We add vegan Parmesan to give it a salty and savory touch. The results are delicious!
- The butternut squash is cut into cubes of 3/4 inch, and 6 cups are made.
- 3 Tbsp olive oil (DIVIDED)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Large bulb of garlic
- Use olive oil or two tablespoons of vegan butter (we use Miyoko’s).
- 1 cup uncooked arborio rice
- 1/4 cup white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris
- Two cups of water
- 1 (14-oz.) can light coconut milk
- Half a teaspoon of sea salt
- 14 cups vegan Parmesan cheese plus more for topping or substitute store-bought
- Pine nuts – 1/2 cup
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Fresh sage chopped to 3/4 cup (30 medium leaves = 3/4 cup, or 24g).
- 1/8 tsp of sea salt
- SQUASH: Pre-heat the oven to 425°F (218°C) and line a large sheet of parchment paper. Spread the butternut squash cubes in an even layer onto the baking sheet. Toss with 2 Tbsp of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- To make roasted garlic, slice the top of the bulb off to expose the cloves. Place the garlic cloves on a small piece of parchment or foil and drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Place the bulb wrapped in foil/paper on the baking tray with the squash. Roast the whole thing for 35-40 mins, stirring the squash pieces halfway through. The squash should be soft and caramelized/golden in some places. After 40 minutes, remove the squash and the garlic wrapped in foil from the oven. Continue cooking for ten more minutes.
- Toppling (optional). Toast the pinenuts in a dry pan over medium heat until they are lightly golden. Watch them carefully, as they can quickly go from not toasted to burnt! After toasting, place the pine nuts in a mortar and pestle to crush them slightly. There should be some pine nuts left whole. You can also use a food processor and pulse the pine nuts briefly.
- Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in the same pan or skillet over medium heat. Don’t stir the sage, but add it in a thin layer. The sage should start to sizzle and darken immediately. Sauté the sage for a few moments, stirring occasionally, until it browns slightly (this will allow the flavor to intensify). Don’t let it burn.
- Add the pine nuts and the crushed sage leaves to the mortar. Add the salt (about 1/8 tsp) and mix with a wooden spoon. Keep your topping aside until you are ready to serve.
- RISOTTO: Once the squash and the garlic have roasted for about half an hour, begin the risotto. In an Instant Pot 6-quarts or larger, select the Saute option (not High or Low) and add vegan butter. Add the rice and mix to coat with the butter once it has melted. Spread the rice in an even layer at the bottom of the pan and toast it lightly by sizzling for one minute. Then, turn off the saute feature by pressing “Cancel.” Add the white wine, and cook until the liquid has been absorbed for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk and salt. Stir the rice, checking to make sure it is not stuck at the bottom or on the sides. Set the Instant Pot valve to seal if necessary. (Some models automatically close when the lid turns). Pressure cook for 8 minutes on HIGH. After about 10 minutes, the Instant Pot will start counting down. Manually release the tension when the timer rings at the end. Stir to combine the risotto. It may appear a little watery at first but will thicken when it cools.
- Remove the garlic bulb and paper from the baking sheet when the risotto is ready. Squeeze the soft, roasted garlic out of its papery shell. With a fork, mash 1/3 of the squash and garlic together. Stir well to combine the pureed squash and garlic with the vegan Parmesan.
- Serving: Divide the risotto into serving bowls. Top with the remaining butternut squash and pine nuts. Garnish with more vegan Parmesan if desired.
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to two days. Reheat the dish in the microwave or on the stovetop at medium heat. Add vegetable broth or water to rehydrate. This product is not freezer-friendly.