Pumpkin Risotto

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This risotto has almost equal amounts of vegetables and rice, and the vegetables are cooked in the stock along with the rice, so that all their flavor goes right into the dish. Pumpkin by itself doesn’t have a lot of flavor, but rather than enhance it by adding spices, I combine carrot juice with the stock. This adds a sweeter taste, as well as some subtle color.

NotesMake-ahead notes:

• Juice the carrots and refrigerate up to 1 day ahead of time.

• Dice the vegetables (or do ahead and refrigerate up to 2 days).

Makes6 servings



Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cooking for a date

Recipe Coursemain course, side dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, peanut free, soy free

Five Ingredients or LessYes



Taste and Texturecheesy, creamy, rich, savory, spiced, sweet


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (no substitutes)
  • 2 cups diced pumpkin (sugar pumpkins are best)
  • ¾ cup celery, cut into small dice
  • ½ cup onion, cut into small dice
  • ½ cup carrot, cut into small dice
  • 1¼ cups Arborio rice
  • 2¼ cups Chicken Stock or low-salt canned chicken broth, plus ½ cup extra, if needed, heated to a simmer
  • 2¼ cups fresh carrot juice, plus ½ cup extra, if needed, warmed
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Seared and Roasted Chicken or Duck Breasts
  • Pan-Roasted Squab
  • Pan-roasted veal chops


  1. For the risotto:

  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the pumpkin, celery, onion, and carrot and sauté until softened but not colored, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and sauté 1 minute. Add the stock to the rice ¼ cup at a time, not adding more until the previous addition has been absorbed. Add the carrot juice the same way. When all the liquid has been absorbed, the risotto should be al dente; add more liquid if necessary and cook until the grains are tender, with slightly hard centers, and the sauce is creamy.

  3. To serve:

  4. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and parsley and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Serve immediately.

  5. Variation:

  6. For the pumpkin, substitute an equal amount of butternut squash (it will have a slightly stronger flavor).


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