Creamy Pumpkin Risotto – Vegan

This creamy pumpkin risotto is a delicious way to make a savory pumpkin recipe with all the delicious fall flavors. It’s easy to make, impressive, flavorful, vegan, and gluten-free.

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I love anything pumpkin. This pumpkin oat recipe is my current favorite, but I also love to use pumpkin in savory recipes. Risotto, pumpkin, and sage are a delicious combination. But only if it’s super creamy. This creamy pumpkin risotto is foolproof.

Pumpkin risotto will never go out of style. This risotto has a creamy texture, all the fall flavors, and it’s satiating too. The onion, garlic, sage, and splash of white wine make this a genuinely irresistible dish. One you can make to impress with little effort.

Finish it with vegan cheese for an even creamier texture because there is no such thing as too creamy. This risotto will make a great side dish, an entrée, or a main dish.

This creamy pumpkin risotto happens to be plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, and ready in less than 30 minutes.

There might be a substitution for the white wine (see recipe), but one ingredient I would not substitute is the Arborio rice. Technically speaking, you can use any rice, but it will not taste the same. The texture will also be less creamy with any other rice.

Arborio rice in a light blue bowl with a small wooden spoon on a white backdrop next to fresh rosemary and broth in a glass

ARBORIO RICE

Arborio rice is not the same as white rice. This rice is a variety of short-grain rice used in the classical preparation of risotto. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to find Arborio rice in the supermarket.

This specific rice releases starch, making the rice a bit chewier and creamier than regular white rice.

WHAT IS RISOTTO

Risotto is an Italian dish. Italians cook Arborio rice in a broth until it’s creamy. All risotto recipes have in the base risotto + broth on the list of ingredients. The other components depend on the kind of risotto you want to make. Any type of vegetable can be the highlight of your risotto, such as green peas, asparagus, or mushrooms (technically fungi).

Traditional risotto is regularly made with onions, broth, butter, white wine, salt, and Parmesan. But many variations are possible.

This recipe is a vegan pumpkin risotto. It’s dairy-free, plant-based, and super creamy!

INGREDIENTS FOR CREAMY PUMPKIN RISOTTO

For this pumpkin risotto you will need a few cupboard ingredients, Arborio rice, sage, and pumpkin puree. The pumpkin puree combines so well with the herbs and the creamy rice.

Arborio Rice

This is specific rice used for risotto recipes due to its high starch content and creaminess. If you cannot find this in your supermarket, you might have more luck in an organic store.

Pumpkin Puree

I can recommend making your pumpkin puree from scratch, but I also understand that it’s more time-consuming to do this. If you buy store-bought pumpkin puree, try to look for pumpkin puree with just one ingredient: pumpkin. Pumpkin puree makes this risotto slightly sweet and even more creamy.

Vegetable Broth

A vegetable broth is added to the pumpkin puree for extra flavor and in line with the classic basics of risotto: broth + Arborio rice.

Herbs and Spices

Warming spices are an excellent choice for a fall dish such as this risotto. Think of sage, rosemary, nutmeg, and onions.

Extra Flavor

Garlic gives any dish more flavor and depth.

Dry White Wine

This is a classical ingredient for any risotto recipe. I love the extra flavor and acidity it gives to this recipe. Since pumpkin is naturally a bit sweet, it works well with the acidity of the white wine to balance it all out.

Olive Oil

In any traditional risotto recipe, the butter will play an important part. I use olive oil for this recipe, but you can make this recipe oil-free if you wish.

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

This is an optional ingredient, but it gives the risotto more of that buttery, creamy flavor.

Ingredients for creamy vegan pumpkin risotto in small little blue bowls and blue plates with fresh rosemary and sage on a white backdrop

HOW TO MAKE CREAMY PUMPKIN RISOTTO

Risotto can seem intimidating to make until you make it once and realize it’s easy. Don’t be fooled by the fancy image of risotto. It’s really simple to make.

Step 1.

In a medium-size pot, combine the vegetable broth and the pumpkin puree. On medium heat, you want to warm up the broth and keep it warm.

Pumpkin broth for pumpkin risotto in a stainless steel pot on a stovetop

Step 2.

Add the olive oil (or broth for oil-free cooking) to a pan with the garlic, onion, and sage. And sauté until the sage is a bit crispy.

TIP

Sage can have this ”leather” texture if you add it to a dish without sautéing it first. So make sure to add the sage initially and not after the rice or before serving.

Step 3.

Next, add the white wine to the pan and stir until the onion is a bit translucent.

Step 4.

Now you can add the Arborio rice to the pan. Let this roast a bit without the addition of any liquid, such as bouillon.

Sauteed Arborio rice with onion, garlic and sage in a black cast iron pan with a wooden spoon

Step 5.

After a few minutes, add a bit of the pumpkin broth. Reduce the heat and stir to allow the rice to absorb the broth.

Step 6.

All you have to do now is add the broth little by little. Make sure the rice doesn’t burn.Try to add the broth right before it starts sticking to the pan. Also, add a bit of nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Creamy Arborio rice with onion, garlic, and sage in a black cast iron pan with a wooden spoon

Step 7.

Halfway through the cooking process (so when you are halfway through your broth), you can add chunks of pumpkin or sweet potatoes for a little bit of extra bite and flavor.

Add fresh rosemary for more flavor. You can add a rosemary sprig in the risotto and remove it later or add only a few leaves.

Step 8.

For extra flavor and creaminess, add vegan Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast.

Remove from the heat and enjoy warm. I like to serve it simple with just a little bit of extra vegan cheese.

Creamy vegan pumpkin risotto in a black cast iron pan topped with vegan Parmesan cheese

Pumpkin risotto is an excellent side dish, but it also makes a great main dish with (sourdough) bread and a green salad.

When you are craving something savory, satiating, creamy, and comforting with pumpkin, this risotto recipe is one to try. 

Risotto probably has a chic image, because risotto is best served warm. Technically speaking, you can keep it for later in the fridge, but my advice is to enjoy it warm.

If you are looking for more pumpkin recipes, you will love this simple Thai pumpkin soup or this pumpkin stuffed chickpeas salad.

Are you going to make this pumpkin risotto recipe? If so, I’d love to see your risotto. Share it with me on Instagram and tag @TheGreenCreator #TheGreenCreator so I can see your delicious risotto in action.

Creamy vegan pumpkin risotto in a cream-colored bowl with a fork on a white backdrop with a cast iron pan with pumpkin risotto and small bowls with ingredients and risotto
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Creamy vegan pumpkin risotto in black cast iron pan with fresh rosemary and a wooden spoon

Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Risotto

  • Author: Bianca
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Creamy, warming pumpkin risotto with fresh herbs. A satisfying, gluten-free and vegan dish with all the ultimate warming fall flavors.


Ingredients

Scale

PUMPKIN BROTH

  • 3 cups (700 ml) vegetable broth
  • 1 cup ( 225 gr) pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie mix)

ARBORIO RICE

  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or vegan butter)
  • 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped sage
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup (220 gr) Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) dry white wine*
  • ½ tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ tsp black pepper (or to taste)

OPTIONAL

  • ½ cup (60 gr) sweet potatoes or pumpkin, cubed (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 34 tbsp vegan Parmesan cheese or 3 tbsp nutritional yeast

Instructions

PUMPKIN BROTH

Add the vegetable broth and pumpkin puree to a medium pot and gently whisk over medium heat until you have a beautiful pumpkin-infused broth.

Then bring the heat to low and let the broth simmer. The broth must still be warm when you add it to the risotto rice later.

ARBORIO RICE

Sauté
Add the olive oil to a pan to warm up over medium heat.

Add the onion, garlic, and chopped sage to the pan as well. Stir until the sage becomes a bit crispy.

Add the white wine to the pan as well and stir.

Risotto
Then add the Arborio rice to the pan and stir. Let the rice warm without any other liquid to release its flavors and combine with the white wine.

Stir and make sure it doesn’t start to burn and stick to the pan. Lower the heat if necessary.
Reduce the heat to medium/low and slowly add the warm pumpkin puree broth to the rice and stir well. Add about 1-2 cups at a time and stir.
When the rice is almost sticking to the pan, add more pumpkin broth to the rice.
Add ground nutmeg, salt, and ground black pepper.

Continue adding the broth and stirring until there is no more broth left.

Optional:
When about half of the broth is left, add in sweet potatoes or pumpkin cubes for extra flavor and texture. You can also add fresh rosemary for flavor.
Then continue to add the rest of the broth slowly while stirring until there is no more broth left.
About 10-15 minutes after finishing adding in the broth, look at the texture. If it’s creamy, you can try the rice. It should be soft but slightly chewy. A bit al dente. In total, this can take about 20-30 minutes.

Make it extra creamy
When the risotto is ready, take it off the heat and make it extra creamy by adding vegan Parmesan cheese. Stir it in the warm risotto and sprinkle a bit on top of the risotto when serving. This is optional. If you want to make this without oils and fats but would like to add a cheese flavor, add nutritional yeast instead.

Serve
This pumpkin risotto is best served warm. You can serve it with more vegan cheese or a drizzle of olive oil.

A risotto is best enjoyed fresh and warm. Any leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Reheat it on the stove with a bit of olive oil or broth. This recipe is not freezer-friendly.


Notes

Oil-free
To make this recipe oil-free, use 4 tablespoons of vegetable broth to sauté the garlic, onion, and sage and omit the olive oil.

Alcohol-Free
You can substitute the white wine with 1:1 white wine vinegar. Alternatively, you can use lemon juice.

Fat-Free
You can omit the vegan Parmesan. If you still would like to have a cheesy flavor, add 3 tbsp nutritional yeast instead.

Rice
For this recipe, I don’t recommend replacing the Arborio rice with any other rice. The texture and flavor will not be the same.

Keywords: risotto, pumpkin, side, fall,

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