Instant Pot Risotto is risotto without the hassle! Not only is it easier to make risotto in a pressure cooker, it’s also just as rich and creamy as the traditional version. Mangia!
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Why You’ll Love This Easy Instant Pot Risotto Recipe
- No-Fuss Risotto. Don’t want to stand at the stovetop for 40 minutes ladling broth into a pot of arborio rice? You don’t have to! Once you soften the onion and garlic, you’ll add all the broth at once. While I still love traditional recipes like Mushroom Risotto and Butternut Squash Risotto, Instant Pot risotto is ideal for those nights when you just. can. not.
- Creamy (without Cream!). The magic of risotto is that it tastes like it’s made with heavy cream and piles of cheese, but that creamy texture really comes from the starch in the rice grains (or farro, in the case of Farro Risotto). Talk about little miracles.
- Restaurant-Quality at Home. If you always order risotto at restaurants but never make it at home, risotto in a pressure cooker will be a game-changer. Pair it with a protein like Chicken Cacciatore and you’ll feel like you’re dining out at a chic Italian restaurant.
- Totally Customizable. I share some ideas below, but you can feel free to roll up your sleeves, get creative, and make this Instant Pot risotto your own. Try different veggies like mushrooms, add more herbs, experiment with cheese combos…have fun with it!
How to Make Instant Pot Risotto
- Shallot. Or use a chopped yellow onion, which has a similar flavor.
- Garlic. Can you make Italian food without garlic? I don’t think so!
- Dry White Wine. Such as Sauvignon Blanc. Or you can use additional chicken stock to make Instant Pot risotto without wine.
- Arborio Rice. Regular rice just won’t cut it! Arborio rice is special because of its starch content. It cooks up rich and creamy in a way your average white or brown rice doesn’t.
- Saffron Threads. Saffron adds a floral je ne sais quoi to this recipe, but it’s absolutely optional.
- Unsalted Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock. I like making Instant Pot risotto with chicken stock, but you can use vegetable stock to make Instant Pot risotto vegetarian.
- Parmesan Cheese. Some for the risotto itself and some for serving.
- Lemon. You’ll need both the zest and the juice, but zest the lemon first.
- Fresh Herbs. Thyme, parsley, chives, or any other herb you like or have on hand. The flavors in this recipe would work with a wide variety of fresh herbs.
- Soften the Shallot. Set the Instant Pot to sauté and melt the butter.
- Deglaze. Stir in the garlic and then once it’s fragrant, pour in the wine and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
- Cook. Stir in the rice, salt, pepper, and saffron, then pour in the stock. Cover, seal, and cook Instant Pot risotto on high pressure (manual) for 6 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then vent.
- Finish. Stir in the remaining ingredients; if needed, turn the Instant Pot back to sauté to thicken. Let the Instant Pot risotto cool, then serve with additional cheese and herbs. ENJOY!
- Instant Pot Risotto With Mushrooms. After sautéing the onions, add 8 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms (or another variety of mushrooms) to the pot and cook until the juices are released and cooked off. Continue with the recipe as directed. Or top with leftover Sautéed Mushrooms.
- Instant Pot Risotto With Shrimp. Once the risotto has cooked and you’ve stirred in the last few ingredients, add peeled and deveined shrimp to the pot. Stir gently until cooked through.
- Instant Pot Risotto With Peas. Stir 1 cup of thawed frozen peas into the pot at the end of the cooking time. You can do the same with frozen asparagus cuts and tips.
- To Store. Refrigerate Instant Pot risotto in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Warm up leftovers in a pan on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave. Add more water or stock as needed to thin.
- To Freeze. Freeze risotto in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating according to the instructions above.
Use leftover Instant Pot risotto to make arancini. Combine 2 cups of risotto, with 2 beaten eggs and 1/2 cup of panko or coarse breadcrumbs. Form the mixture into balls, then roll the balls with additional panko to coat. Fry them in oil until they’re warmed through, crispy, and golden brown.
What to Serve with Instant Pot Risotto
- Chicken. This easy Instant Pot risotto pairs well with Chicken Saltimbocca, or serve it with a more simple recipe like Air Fryer Chicken Breast, Baked Bone In Chicken Breast, or Baked Chicken Thighs.
- Pork. Serve Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, Air Fryer Pork Chops, or Baked Pork Tenderloin alongside your risotto for a hearty dinner.
- Salad. For a lighter meal, round out your dinner with Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad or Italian Chopped Salad.
- Vegetables. For a vegetarian dinner, serve risotto with Roasted Green Beans, Sauteed Spinach, or Air Fryer Asparagus.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Instant Pot. You can’t make Instant Pot risotto without an Instant Pot!
- Cheese Grater. Once you grate your own Parm, you’ll never go back.
- Citrus Juicer. This one manages to get all the juice out and catches the seeds too.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Grate Your Own Cheese. Store-bought green-bottled Parmesan won’t melt smoothly into your risotto the way freshly grated cheese will. Plus, it tastes better too! (Grating your own cheese is also essential for Cheese Fondue!)
- Use High-Quality Broth. Since broth is the main liquid in this risotto, it’s important to use a good quality one for the best flavor. If you’re using store-bought broth, look for low-sodium options so you can control the amount of salt in your dish.
- Don’t Panic If There’s a Lot of Liquid in the Pot. If, after opening the Instant Pot, there’s still a lot of broth left, don’t worry! You can cook it off using the sauté function and it will also thicken as it cools.
Instant Pot Risotto
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup chopped shallot about 2 medium, or chopped yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc, or additional chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads optional
- 4 cups unsalted chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest from about 1/2 medium lemon
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice from about 1/2 medium lemon
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or chopped parsley, chives, or other herbs of choice, plus additional for serving
- Place the butter in the Instant Pot and turn to saute. When it’s nearly melted, add the shallot and cook, stirring often, until it softens, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and let cook 30 seconds. Pour in the wine to deglaze, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any stuck on bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Stir in the rice, salt, pepper, and saffron. Pour in the stock. The rice should be completely submerged; if not, add more stock or water until it is.
- Cover and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure (manual) for 6 minutes—the pressure will build, then the 6-minute timer will begin. Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then vent to release any remaining pressure.
- Carefully open the pot. Stir in the Parmesan, lemon zest, lemon juice, and thyme. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Depending upon your stock, you may want more salt and/or pepper.
- If the risotto is thinner or the rice chewier than you would like, turn the Instant Pot OFF, then back to SAUTE. Let simmer for a few minutes more, stirring very frequently to prevent sticking. The risotto should be creamy and the rice should be tender but still maintain a little bite (you don’t want it to be mushy). Turn OFF. Let the risotto cool a few minutes (it will thicken a bit more). Serve hot with additional Parmesan and herbs.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate Instant Pot risotto in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Warm up leftovers in a pan on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave. Add more water or stock as needed to thin it.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze risotto in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating according to the instructions above.
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