Creamy Instant Pot risotto doesn’t require standing by a hot stove and stirring for 20 minutes or more. You’ll love this hands off method of making risotto!

Overhead image of a bowl of creamy instant pot risotto that has been placed in a bowl with a spoon, topped with parmesan cheese and fresh thyme.

A bowl of steaming creamy risotto….definitely comfort food, wouldn’t you say? And risotto seems so decadent with that creamy texture. It reminds me of rice pudding. 

You may be surprised that most risotto recipes don’t have any cream in them. Risotto does have a fair amount of Parmesan cheese but only a little butter and olive oil. Most of the creaminess comes from the starch of short grain arborio rice.

I love to order risotto in restaurants but the thought of making my own often seems like too big of a chore. The stovetop method of making risotto requires multiple steps of adding warm broth, stirring until the broth is incorporated, adding more broth, stirring, more broth, stirring,…you get the idea. For nearly thirty minutes! Who has time for that?

That’s why I love this Instant Pot risotto. It’s pretty much hands off. 

Sometimes it seems like Instant Pot recipes could just as easily be made on the stove top with little difference in time or end result. That’s definitely not the case with this risotto recipe.

Don’t be a skeptic. Try this non-traditional method of making a very traditional Italian dish. You’ll love how easy and delicious it is.

Image of risotto in an instant pot with a spoon also visable.

About this Instant Pot Risotto:

If you’ve made risotto the traditional way, you know that you have to add hot broth bit by bit as you constantly stir the risotto. When you use your Instant Pot to make risotto, this step is eliminated. Does the risotto taste the same? We think so. Give it a try and see if you can tell the difference. Bet you can’t!

To make Instant Pot risotto, warm broth up in a saucepan. Using the sauté function on your Instant Pot, cook onions until soft, and garlic until fragrant. Add rice, stirring constantly, toasting it slightly, about 2-3 minutes.

How do you know the rice is toasted? It will look slightly translucent around the edges.

Add white wine and reduce slightly.

Next, pour all the hot broth into the pot, put the lid on, and set the timer to pressure cook for five minutes.

It will take an additional ten minutes to pressurize. Completely hands off, no stirring necessary!

Quick release the pressure, remove the lid, and stir in Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

Image of risotto in a bowl. Also pictured are two plates, two forks, two stemless glasses of white wine, fresh thyme, a wine cork, and unpeeled garlic cloves.

What kind of rice do I use to make risotto?

Use Arborio rice which is widely available in most grocery stores. Arborio rice is an Italian variety of short grain rice, oval in shape and about 1/4 inch long. Arborio rice is perfect for risotto because it is high in starch. Don’t rinse it before cooking because you’ll remove some of the essential starch.

Image of risotto in a large bowl with a servicing spoon. White wine is pictured in the background of the photo.

How to make this Instant Pot risotto recipe your own:

It’s kind of hard to improve or change risotto. It’s pretty perfect just the way it is. Here’s a couple of ideas:

  • After risotto has cooked, stir in blanched asparagus, sautéed mushrooms, peas, or any of your favorite vegetables.
  • Top the risotto with grilled shrimp, scallops, chicken, salmon, beef, etc. 
  • Try this traditional saffron flavored risotto Milanese by Anne Burrell.

Image of creamy parmesan risotto in a bowl.

What goes well with Risotto?

Try serving risotto as a side to a meat and vegetable meal. It’s perfect with maple mustard glazed salmon or lemon dill salmon. Try it with bruschetta chicken or honey mustard grilled chicken.  Or try brown butter scallops with Parmesan risotto and kale by Pinch of Yum or beef tenderloin and mushroom risotto by Emeril. 

Overhead image of a bowl of risotto that was made in a pressure cooker. Also pictured is a glass of wine, two plates, two forks, and fresh thyme.

Storage and Reheating Tips

Risotto is best served immediately. The rice continues to absorb the liquid as the risotto cools.

If you do have leftover risotto, put it into an airtight container and refrigerate for three to five days. Reheat gently in the microwave for best results. It will still be tasty but will be thicker than it was originally.

Risotto doesn’t freeze well.

Image of risotto in a large white bowl.

Other Instant Pot recipes:

If you don’t use your Instant Pot often, try this risotto recipe. You’ll be convinced that you can’t live without your Instant Pot. Here’s more recipes that won us over. See if they do the same for you!

 

Overhead image of a bowl of creamy instant pot risotto that has been placed in a bowl with a spoon, topped with parmesan cheese and fresh thyme.

Instant Pot Risotto Recipe

Yield: 5 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Creamy Instant Pot risotto doesn't require standing by a hot stove and stirring for 20 minutes or more. You'll love this hands off method of making risotto!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, warm broth to a low simmer.
  2. Heat a 6-quart Instant Pot to “Saute.” Add butter and oil. When butter is melted, add onion and salt, and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. 
  3. Add rice and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes to “toast” the rice. You’ll see the edges become slightly translucent. 
  4. Add wine and scrape all brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until wine is slightly reduced.
  5. Add broth and thyme, stir, and push down any rice that is sticking to the edges of the Instant Pot. 
  6. Place cover of Instant Pot on and turn valve to seal.
  7. Set to “Manual” (or “Pressure Cook,” depending on your model), high pressure, and set time for 5 minutes.
  8. When the pressure cooking has finished, quick release the pressure by turning the valve to “vent.”
  9. Remove lid, and stir in Parmesan cheese. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  10. Best served immediately. It will continue to thicken as it stands and cools.

Notes

  • After risotto has cooked, stir in blanched asparagus, sautéed mushrooms, peas, or any of your favorite vegetables.
  • Top the risotto with grilled shrimp, scallops, chicken, salmon, beef, etc. 
  • Risotto is best served immediately. Store leftover risotto in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Reheat gently in the microwave for best results. It will be thicker than it was originally. Risotto doesn’t freeze well.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 203Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 792mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 14g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Verdict: OBSESSED. I might never make risotto on the stove ever again! This is so easy.
Husband’s take: Ben is a little garlic-shy, but I love the flavor it adds here. 
Changes I would make: None!
Difficulty: Easy!