No-Stir Pumpkin Risotto

This No-Stir Pumpkin Risotto recipe is a delicious autumnal risotto, just as easy to make as it is to eat! Organic pumpkin purée is stirred into perfectly al dente risotto with plenty of parmesan cheese & nutmeg, adding such festive color & the perfect touch of mild pumpkin flavor. Using just 10 simple ingredients, this no-stir risotto recipe comes together in about 20 minutes active cooking time, making it perfect for easy weeknight dinners & festive holiday gatherings alike.

This post is sponsored by ALDI USA, who I’m thrilled to partner with this Friendsgiving & Thanksgiving season! I’m truly a life-long ALDI fan – I’ve shopped at ALDI ever since I was a kid tagging along on my mom’s grocery trips. As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own.

Pumpkin risotto shown in a white ceramic bowl, topped with crispy fried sage. The bowl is on a white marble surface, surrounded by fresh sage leaves and a black plaid napkin.

Pin this No-Stir Pumpkin Risotto recipe for later!!!

I REPEAT: NO-STIR PUMPKIN RISOTTO!!!

Sorry to yell, but it feels pretty necessary. After keeping it a secret for months, I am SO excited to share this pumpkin risotto with you. It’s the best pumpkin risotto, with practically no stirring necessary. Needless to say, it’s honestly about to change your risotto-makin’ world. You will be OBSESSED.

This easy pumpkin risotto recipe is…

  • SIMPLE. You need 10 ingredients to throw it together.
  • QUICK & EASY. The no-stir method used in this recipe eliminates the need to stand over the stovetop tediously stirring risotto for 40 minutes straight. It’s pretty darn life-changing, to be honest!
  • CREAMY. Despite not being continuously stirred, this risotto recipe achieves a beautiful creamy texture with the perfect al dente bite.
  • & oh-so FESTIVE!!! Simply Nature Organic Pumpkin Purée from ALDI adds a touch of pumpkin flavor, along with the most gorgeously festive color. It’s perfect for any fall meal, especially the most festive ones: Friendsgiving & Thanksgiving!
Pumpkin risotto shown in a large red Dutch oven. A wooden spoon is stirring the creamy risotto.

& a kinda-major added bonus? You can get everything you need to make this no-stir pumpkin risotto recipe at ALDI! As a life-long ALDI shopper (literally – I tagged along on all of my mom’s ALDI grocery trips throughout my childhood!), ALDI is near & dear to my heart, especially during the holiday season.

To me, the affordability of shopping at ALDI means squeezing even more special moments of connection with my family & friends into the holiday season. I know I can stretch my dollar a little further to add extra festive touches to our family gatherings, or we can invite over our chosen family of friends for a holiday cocktail party or Friendsgiving celebration without worrying about the added occasion breaking our holiday budget or compromising on quality.

I just love that.

No-stir pumpkin risotto shown in a large white ceramic serving dish. The dish is placed on a white marble surface. The risotto is topped with crispy fried sage.

When it comes to Friendsgiving dinner, I’m a big fan of keeping things as easy as possible. Our Friendsgiving celebrations usually fall on a Friday evening or Sunday afternoon, meaning we’re either just coming off of a busy week or preparing for the next one. Keeping things simple is key.

That’s exactly why I’m so excited about this No-Stir Pumpkin Risotto recipe. It cooks in less than 20 minutes of active prep time, with very minimal hands-on stirring. Free hands = more time to prep other dishes on your menu or mingle with your guests as they arrive. Isn’t that the best?

Plus, it’s a total show-stopper! Pumpkin risotto is such a fun update for the classic Thanksgiving side dish line up, and it doubles as an amazing heartier option for any of your vegetarian, pescatarian, or vegan loved ones.

(Don’t be surprised when everyone asks you for the recipe!)

Pumpkin risotto ingredients:

A big reason you’ll love this no-stir pumpkin risotto recipe is the ingredients are simple, real foods. You need 10 basic ingredients, many of which you probably already have in your pantry (& in case you don’t, you can stock up on everything in one quick run to ALDI!).

Pumpkin risotto recipe ingredients arranged on a white marble surface: Arborio rice, pumpkin, vegetable broth, butter, garlic, nutmeg, parmesan cheese, etc.

The cast of characters includes… (Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the Recipe Card, below.)

  • vegetable broth (Simply Nature Organic Vegetable Broth from ALDI is a pantry staple in my kitchen!)
  • Arborio rice (more on this in the Risotto FAQs, below.)
  • pumpkin (ALDI has an organic pumpkin purée, Simply Nature Organic Pumpkin, & I can’t recommend it enough. It’s 100% organic, & the texture is beeeeautiful – perfectly creamy & silky.)
  • onion & garlic
  • white wine
  • parmesan
  • & a couple of other simple staples: butter, bay leaves, nutmeg, & salt

Quick note: If you try to avoid dairy or you are vegan, making this pumpkin risotto recipe dairy-free & vegan is totally possible. Check the Recipe Notes in the Recipe Card, below, for the exact how-to.

How to make no-stir risotto:

The miracle of this pumpkin risotto recipe lies in the no-stir cooking method.

Traditionally, risotto achieves its signature creamy texture by having been stirred continuously over a longer period of time. (I explain this a little bit more in the Risotto FAQs, below.) This easy pumpkin risotto recipe strips almost all of the stirring out of the process, cooking the rice with a gradual simmer & steam instead.

There are a couple of moving parts, but the process is very easy. Here’s a quick run-down of the key steps… (Note: the full Recipe Directions are provided in the Recipe Card, below.)

1.Cook the aromatics: Sauté up some onion & garlic in a bit of olive oil, just ’til the onion is translucent & the garlic is fragrant.

2. Toast the Arborio rice: Add the rice to the pot & let it toast up for a few minutes. See the difference in color between the middle photo & the right photo? That’s what we’re going for – it adds a beautiful nutty flavor to the risotto rice.

3. Deglaze: Pour dry white wine into the rice. The wine will bubble up & your kitchen will smell like a dream! Let it cook for a few minutes, just until the rice absorbs the wine.

4. Simmer: Add some warm veggie broth to the pot. Bring the mixture to a light simmer, then cover the pot & let the risotto cook for 20 minutes. If you want to peek halfway through & give it a quick little stir, go for it!

5. Pumpkin-ify the risotto! After 20 minutes have passed, your risotto will be very creamy & nearly al dente. Remove it from the heat, then add in some pumpkin, parmesan, nutmeg, & a little extra veggie stock & butter. Stir to combine, then cover the pot & let it sit for 5 minutes more. The rice will steam to the perfect al dente texture, & the risotto will be so creamy & festively orange.

Pumpkin risotto shown in a white ceramic bowl, set on top a plaid black napkin. The risotto is topped with crispy fried sage, & surrounded by fresh sage leaves.

Step-by-Step Video:

In this step-by-step video, I walk you through the main steps of making no-stir pumpkin risotto, & provide plenty of helpful tips & tricks along the way.

How to serve pumpkin risotto:

Because of its gorgeously vibrant color, this pumpkin risotto is a total show-stopper. You really can go as minimal or as festive as you’d like when it comes to serving it.

A couple of serving ideas for inspiration:

  • Garnishes! Top with plenty of cracked black pepper & extra parmesan cheese. Add some extra flavor with finely chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme) or crispy fried sage leaves. Make it even more festive with a sprinkling pomegranate arils. Make it extra cheesy with crumbled goat cheese or feta.
  • Add-ins: Swirl cranberry sauce throughout the risotto for an extra festive touch. If the pumpkin risotto is the main event, feel free to serve with meat like shrimp, pancetta, or parmesan chicken (yum!).
  • Family-style: Keep it casual & serve the risotto in a large serving dish. Let everyone at your Friendsgiving dinner help themselves to pumpkin risotto.
  • Individual portions: Make everyone feel super special by serving individual portions! Spoon the risotto into mini ramekins or baking dishes & place next to each place setting. Shown here are Crofton Mini Ceramic Baking Dishes, available at ALDI for a limited time starting November 6th.
Individual portions of pumpkin risotto served in small red ramekins, topped with crispy fried sage.

I hope you try this No-Stir Pumpkin Risotto recipe for dinner this fall, or as a side dish this holiday season – you’re going to LOVE it! Be sure to snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. One of my favorite things is seeing your pwwb creations! 💜

& if you’re obsessed with the idea of keeping Friendsgiving & Thanksgiving simple this year, be sure to download your FREE 3-Hour Thanksgiving guide! 3-Hour Thanksgiving is my free Thanksgiving dinner resource, complete with a full menu & a step-by-step action plan for prepping, cooking, & serving Thanksgiving dinner in 3 hours or less. It’s the perfect easy menu for Friendsgiving!

No-stir pumpin risotto served in small red ramekins. The risotto is topped with crispy fried sage. There is a can of organic pumpkin puree placed next to the pumpkin risotto.

Oh, & definitely check out ALDI this holiday season! They’ve got us absolutely covered when it comes to fresh seasonal produce, key players for big holiday dinners (ahem, turkey! wine!), &, of course, pantry staples for all your holiday baking. Find your nearest store, or follow along with them on the ALDI blog, Facebook page, Pinterest, Twitter, & Instagram.

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Pumpkin risotto shown in a white ceramic bowl, set on top a plaid black napkin. The risotto is topped with crispy fried sage, & surrounded by fresh sage leaves.

No-Stir Pumpkin Risotto

  • Author: jess larson | plays well with butter
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: serves 68 1x
  • Category: side dishes
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Italian

Description

Organic pumpkin purée stirred into perfectly al dente risotto with plenty of parmesan cheese & nutmeg, adding such festive color & the perfect touch of mild pumpkin flavor. This No-Stir Pumpkin Risotto recipe is the perfect festive addition to your Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving Day menu!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 6 cups Simply Nature Organic Vegetable Broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tablespoons Countryside Creamery Unsalted Butter Quarters, divided
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Sunshine Bay Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 15-ounce can Simply Nature Organic Pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • for serving, as desired: fresh sage leaves, extra grated parmesan

Instructions

PREP: This no-stir risotto recipe comes together pretty quickly, with a couple of moving parts. For that reason, I highly suggest taking a couple minutes to get yourself prepped and organized before you begin cooking. Chop the onion. Mince the garlic. Measure the rice & the wine. Grab all the ingredients you need & set them within arm’s reach from the stove so cooking is a smooth process – it’ll make a world of difference!

  1. Simmer the broth: Add the vegetable broth & bay leaf to a large pot over high heat. Bring the broth to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low or medium-low to maintain a very light simmer. 
  2. Cook the aromatics: Meanwhile, as the broth comes to a simmer, begin cooking the risotto. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion and salt. Stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 
  3. Toast the arborio rice: Add the arborio rice to the pot with the aromatics, stirring to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. The rice will take on some golden-brown color, but should not burn – if you feel like it’s creeping toward the burnt end of the spectrum, reduce the heat.
  4. Cook the risotto: Increase the heat under the rice & onion to medium high, then add in the wine to deglaze. Bring the wine to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until the wine is absorbed, about 3-4 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the simmering vegetable broth, then carefully transfer the remaining 5 cups of warm broth to the pot with the rice. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low to achieve a steady simmer. Cover the pot and cook the risotto for 20 minutes. 
  5. Finish the pumpkin risotto: Remove the risotto from the heat. Stir the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, the reserved vegetable broth, pumpkin puree, parmesan cheese, and nutmeg into the risotto. Cover and let the pot stand for 5 minutes. 
  6. Serve the pumpkin risotto immediately, topped with fresh sage leaves &/or extra grated parmesan as desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  • To make it vegan &/or dairy-free: Use coconut oil in place of the butter. Omit the parmesan cheese – be sure taste and add some extra salt to account for the saltiness that parmesan would add. Jazz it up, as desired, with some extra spices or herbs – think: cinnamon, rosemary, crispy fried sage.
  • Make-ahead: To make this recipe ahead of time to serve at an event or potluck:
    • Prep the No-Stir Risotto according to Recipe Directions, above. Transfer to an airtight container & store in the refrigerator until the day of your event.
    • 3-4 hours before serving, transfer the risotto to a slow cooker. Reheat on low, stirring occassionally. 
    • Just before serving, stir in a little extra broth as needed to loosen up the texture of the risotto. If the risotto gets too loose, add in some extra parmesan cheese to tighten it back up. 
  • The no-stir method used in this pumpkin risotto recipe is inspired by & adapted from America Test Kitchen’s Almost Hands-Free method

Keywords: vegetarian, no-stir, fall recipe

Other Risotto FAQs:

What is risotto?

Risotto, which originated in the northern regions of Italy, is a creamy savory rice dish.

Unlike most pasta dishes, risotto’s creaminess comes from the rice itself, not a sauce. Typically, risotto is stirred continuously as it cooks, allowing the rice to release its starches as it absorbs the cooking liquid, creating a creamy sauce-like consistency.

In its most basic form, risotto is made with butter, onion, wine, & cooking stock. Because of its mild flavor, risotto also makes for a great vehicle for other flavors & bolder ingredients, such as spices (saffron is very traditionally used in risotto), proteins (e.g. seafood risotto), or veggies (like this pumpkin risotto recipe!).

What is risotto rice?

You can make risotto with any high-starch short-grain rice. Typically you’ll find risotto made with Arborio rice (“ar-bor-ee-oh“), which is very readily available in the rice & grains aisle in most grocery stores. Carnaroli rice (“car-nah-roll-ee“) is another common variety of rice used in risotto.

Is risotto gluten-free?

Yes! Rice is a naturally 100% gluten-free food. As long as it is made with other gluten-free ingredients, risotto should be totally gluten-free. If keeping risotto gluten-free is important to you, be sure to check the labels of the broth or any other ingredients you add to your risotto for any wheat products.

Is risotto dairy-free?

It totally depends. Traditionally, risotto is made with butter & cheese, but it’s very easy to adapt a risotto recipe to be 100% dairy-free. Check the Recipe Notes, above, for specific instructions to make this pumpkin risotto recipe dairy-free & vegan.

No-stir pumpkin risotto served in a large ceramic bowl, topped with crispy fried sage. Surrounding the risotto are a plaid striped napkin & 2 glasses of white wine.

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Don’t forget to pin this No-Stir Pumpkin Risotto recipe for later!

No-Stir Pumpkin Risotto with graphic text overlay for Pinterest.

Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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