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!
Why you’ll love it: Your Instant Pot is a pro at cooking rice. You’ll love how easy it is!
How long it takes: 35 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: Instant Pot pressure cooker
Servings: 10 half cup servings
Imagine a bowl of steaming creamy risotto. That’s 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 here. 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 are a few more recipes that won us over. See if they do the same for you!
- Instant Pot brown rice or Instant Pot jasmine rice
- Instant Pot boiled eggs (they peel easily every time!)
- Instant Pot pulled pork (tender pork in a fraction of the time)
- Instant Pot mashed potatoes (this one won my mom over)
- Instant Pot applesauce (turn plain apples into delicious homemade applesauce)
If you’re still on the fence about your Instant Pot, try this non-traditional method of making a very traditional Italian dish. You’ll love how easy and delicious it is.
About This Recipe
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!
It’s important to choose the right type of rice when you’re making risotto. You may be tempted to use rice you already happen to have in your pantry, such as long grain white rice or jasmine rice, but you won’t be happy with the results.
What kind of rice do you use for risotto? The correct choice is arborio rice, an Italian variety of short grain rice, oval in shape and about a quarter inch long. Arborio rice is perfect for risotto because it is high in starch.
I’ll run through the recipe here to get you started on your risotto. Look for the printable recipe card near the end of the post for complete instructions, measurements, and nutrition information.
What You’ll Need
- Arborio Rice: Look for this short grain rice at your grocery store alongside the other types of rice. You’ll need 2 cups of dry rice. Remember, don’t rinse it!
- Broth: You’ll need a carton (32 oz.) of low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth.
- Butter & Olive Oil: A combination of these two fats works well for sautéing. Butter adds flavor and olive oil gives it a higher smoke point.
- Onion: A yellow cooking onion is just fine. Sweet or white onions are good choices, too. You’ll need one medium sized onion.
- Garlic: A couple of cloves of fresh garlic add just the right umami to the risotto. If you’re a garlic lover, feel free to add more.
- Salt: The amount of salt added will depend somewhat on your broth. If you use unsalted broth, you may need to add a bit more salt although be careful not to add too much salt. You’ll also be adding Parmesan cheese which is quite salty.
- Dry White Wine: just a splash of wine adds flavor and a touch of acidity. Some good choices are chardonnay, sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio.
- Thyme: Either fresh or dried is fine.
- Parmesan Cheese: Look for a wedge of cheese rather than grated cheese. Freshly grated cheese (that you grate yourself) melts better and is more flavorful. You’ll need a cup of grated cheese, which is about 3 ounces.
How To Make This Recipe
Let’s get started! Start by warming up the broth in a saucepan on the stove. Use a fairly large saucepan and heat the broth over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, turn it down to a low simmer.
Using the sauté function on your Instant Pot, cook the chopped onions a few minutes until they are softened. Add the minced garlic, cooking and stirring for one minute, or until fragrant.
Now add the rice (unrinsed!) to the pan, cooking and stirring constantly for a couple of minutes. This process lightly toasts the rice grains, enhancing their flavor. How will you know the rice is toasted? It will look slightly translucent around the edges and smell really good.
Add the white wine to the pot. Cook until the wine reduces slightly, a couple of minutes.
Next, pour the hot broth into the pot all at once. Give everything a good stir, making sure all the rice is submerged, and put the lid on the pressure cooker, locking it in place. Set the timer to pressure cook for five minutes. Keep in mind that It will take an additional ten minutes to pressurize.
Quick release the pressure, remove the lid, and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Taste the risotto and season with salt, if necessary, and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.
If you prefer to cook risotto without wine, that’s perfectly okay. Traditional recipes for risotto always include white wine; it adds flavor and a touch of acidity. However, if you don’t happen to have wine in your pantry or you just prefer not to use alcohol, simply omit the white wine. You could stir in a tablespoon of lemon juice or white wine vinegar (no alcohol) instead. It’s up to you.
Don’t rinse arborio rice if you’re making risotto. Rinsing removes the excess starch on the outside of the rice grain which is preferable when you don’t want sticky rice. In the case of risotto, the starch is essential to the creaminess of your risotto.
Parmesan cheese is traditional for risotto but there’s no reason why you can’t substitute another cheese of your choice. Some good alternatives are Gruyére, Romano, asiago, sharp provolone, or even a good sharp cheddar.
Looking for a vegan recipe? Try vegan risotto by Simply Whisked.
Make It Your Own
It’s kind of hard to improve or change risotto. It’s pretty perfect just the way it is but here are a couple of ideas:
- After risotto has cooked, stir in blanched asparagus, sautéed mushrooms, baby spinach, peas, or any of your favorite vegetables. Roasted vegetables are great, too. Try roasted broccoli, roasted asparagus, roasted mushrooms, or roasted sugar snap peas.
- Top the risotto with grilled or sautéed shrimp, scallops, chicken, salmon, beef, etc.
- Try this traditional saffron flavored risotto Milanese by Anne Burrell.
What goes well with Risotto?
Or try brown butter scallops with Parmesan risotto and kale by Pinch of Yum or beef tenderloin and mushroom risotto by Emeril.
Storage & Reheating Tips
Risotto is best served immediately. The rice continues to absorb the liquid as the risotto cools making the risotto drier and not as creamy.
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. If desired, stir in a little warm broth to loosen it up a bit.
Risotto doesn’t freeze well.
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups arborio rice
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, warm broth to a low simmer.
- 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 to 4 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Add rice and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes to “toast” the rice. You’ll see the edges become slightly translucent.
- Add wine and scrape all brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until wine is slightly reduced.
- Add broth and thyme, stir, and push down any rice that is sticking to the edges of the Instant Pot.
- Place cover of Instant Pot on and turn valve to seal.
- Set to “Manual” (or “Pressure Cook,” depending on your model), high pressure, and set time for 5 minutes.
- When the pressure cooking has finished, quick release the pressure by turning the valve to “vent.”
- Remove lid, and stir in Parmesan cheese. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Best served immediately. It will continue to thicken as it stands and cools.
- 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. If desired, add a bit of warm broth. Risotto doesn’t freeze well.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.