Instant Pot Kabocha Squash & Pea Risotto

This Instant Pot Kabocha Squash & Pea Risotto recipe is a delicious, vegetarian-friendly dinner meal that is easy to make in your pressure cooker. It’s creamy, hearty, aromatic, and slightly sweetened with the cooked winter squash.


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Instant Pot Kaboch Squash & Pea Risotto

The Instant Pot risotto recipe is incredibly aromatic and delicious with sweet flavors of winter squash and earthy peas. Rosemary gives it a unique touch but is not overpowering. And, with plenty of garlic, onion and celery, plus white wine and stock, this dish has lots of lovely savory, umami flavors. 

If you’ve never made a risotto in the Instant Pot, you have got to try it! It’s much easier and very hands-off compared to a stovetop version. You don’t have to continuously stir and add the stock waiting for the starch in the rice to do its magic. It kind of all happens under pressure and all you need is to stir in the butter and Parmesan cheese for a perfectly creamy, yummy risotto. 

We hope you try this kabocha squash, pea, and rosemary risotto in your Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Kaboch Squash & Pea Risotto
Ingredients Icon

Ingredients For Squash & Pea Risotto

Rice  – this is special risotto rice that contains lots of starch and makes the dish so creamy; don’t rinse the rice before cooking! 

Pumpkin –  This Instant Pot risotto is best made with the sweeter kind of winter squash like kabocha (Kent or Japanese pumpkin in Australia/UK) but you can also use butternut squash, which is widely accessible. 

Rosemary – If you can, get fresh rosemary as it gives the risotto the most incredible aroma and flavor. Alternatively, dried rosemary can be used.

Stock – you will need lots of stock to make sure there is enough to absorb into the rice and to leave some in the pot for thickening into that creamy sauce. Vegetable or chicken stock will work well. You can use stock cubes or get ready-to-use liquid stock. 

Vegetables – onions, celery and garlic for the base and to add extra flavor.Finishing bits  – frozen peas, which will need to be thawed out in boiling hot water until tender, Parmesan cheese and butter to thicken the risotto and make it extra creamy and cheesy. Plus, a little lemon juice to add a touch of acidity (don’t skip this!)

Instant Pot Kaboch Squash & Pea Risotto

How To Make Kabocha Squash & Pea Risotto In Instant Pot

You will find the full recipe with ingredients and nutritional breakdown in the recipe card below.

There are three stages to making this pea and squash risotto in the pressure cooker. The first stage is to cook risotto. The second stage is to pan-fry extra pumpkin to go on top of the cooked risotto. The third stage is to finish the cooked risotto with butter, cheese, and peas. 

Let’s break it down with step-by-step photos and video. You can use a 6-quart or 8-quart Instant Pot.

Step 1. Turn the Instant Pot on Saute (Normal Mode).  Add onions, celery and olive oil and saute for 2-3 minutes. 

Step 2. Add diced squash and garlic and saute for another minute or so. 

Step 3. Pour in the white wine to deglaze the pot, stir well with a spatula and press Cancel to stop the Saute.

Step 4. Add the rosemary, salt and pepper and 2 cups or Arborio rice (unrinsed). Add 3 cups of chicken stock and stir everything. 

Step 5. Secure and lock the lid. Set to Pressure Cook on HIGH for 5 minutes. Once the timer is done, quick release the pressure right away. Open the lid and stir the risotto. 

Step 6. While the risotto is cooking, heat up olive oil in a large skillet. Cook the remaining diced squash with rosemary and salt for a few minutes on each side. I usually cover the skillet with a lid so it cooks through properly and faster.

Step 7. Once quick-released, open the lid and stir the risotto. Add the peas, lemon juice, butter, and Parmesan cheese and stir through until melted into the risotto. Serve with a few chili flakes and pan-fried squash on top.

Instant Pot Kaboch Squash & Pea Risotto
Instant Pot Kaboch Squash & Pea Risotto

Recipe Tips

This Instant Pot risotto is best made with the sweeter kind of winter squash like kabocha (Kent or Japanese pumpkin in Australia/UK) but you can also use butternut squash, which is widely accessible. 

If you can, get fresh rosemary as it gives the risotto the most incredible aroma and flavor. 

Risotto is best served right away while it’s hot and creamy. As it cools down, the texture will start to change and it will thicken up quite a bit.

What To Serve With Squash Risotto

This risotto is great on its own but it is well paired with something fresh like a crispy, tangy salad or a tomato and basil salad. Steamed or grilled broccoli or asparagus would also work well. 

This is a vegetarian-friendly risotto but you could easily make a side of grilled chicken, fish or plant-based sausages for extra protein. 

When it comes to wine, a good Chardonnay or Viognier would make the best match.

Storing The Risotto

While this (or any) risotto is best when it’s fresh, if you do happen to have leftovers, it will be fine in the fridge for up to 3 days. Make sure to store it in an airtight container.

The risotto will thicken because of the rice’s starch, but you have options to revive it. To reheat refrigerated risotto, add a generous splash of water (about ¼ cup for every 1 cup of cooked risotto) to thin the rice out while reheating it in a pan.

Another option is to make leftover risotto balls, similar to arancini. Add a couple of eggs and grated cheese to the cold risotto, shape the mixture into balls, coat in breadcrumbs and pan-fry until crispy and golden. Serve with a little pesto or marinara sauce on the side and a salad for a homemade gourmet lunch.

We don’t recommend freezing risotto as cooked rice becomes pretty hard when frozen and the texture of the risotto could be quite grainy once defrosted.


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Instant Pot Kaboch Squash & Pea Risotto

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Instant Pot Kabocha Squash & Pea Risotto

Learn how to make a delicious and vegetarian-friendly Instant Pot Kabocha Squash & Pea Risotto with rosemary for an easy dinner meal the whole family will enjoy. This pressure cooker risotto is creamy, hearty, aromatic and slightly sweetened with the cooked winter squash.
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Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 797kcal
Author: Instant Pot Eats

Ingredients

For cooking the risotto

  • 1 yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups kabocha squash cubed (also known as Kent, Japanese pumpkin, any kind of sweet winter squash or pumpkin, butternut squash can also be used)
  • 4 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 tbsp rosemary fresh, chopped or 1/2 tbsp dried
  • 2/3 cup white wine like Chardonnay
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock (3.5 cups if you like a thinner risotto)

To finish the risotto

  • 1 cup baby peas frozen, thawed in boiling hot water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese shredded and some extra for serving

To serve

  • chili flakes

For pan-fried squash to top with

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups kabocha squash cubed
  • 1 tsp rosemary or 1 sprig
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

Cooking the risotto

  • Turn the Instant Pot on Saute (Normal Mode).
  • Add onions, celery and olive oil and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add diced squash and garlic and saute for another minute or so.
  • Pour in the white wine to deglaze the pot, stir well with a spatula and press Cancel to stop the Saute.
  • Add the rosemary, salt and pepper and 2 cups or Arborio rice (unrinsed).
  • Add 3 cups of chicken stock and stir everything.
  • Pressure cook on high for 5 minutes with Quick Release.

Make pan-fried squash to top with

  • While the risotto is cooking, heat up olive oil in a large skillet. Cook the remaining diced squash with rosemary and salt for a few minutes on each side. I usually cover the skillet with a lid so it cooks through properly and faster.

Finish the risotto

  • Once quick-released, open the lid and stir the risotto. Add the peas, lemon juice, butter and Parmesan cheese and stir through until melted into the risotto. Serve with a few chili flakes and pan-fried squash on top.

Nutrition

Calories: 797kcal | Carbohydrates: 108g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 1335mg | Potassium: 890mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2283IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 296mg | Iron: 6mg
CourseMain Course
CuisineItalian
KeywordInstant Pot Dinners, Instant Pot rice recipes, Arborio rice, Dinner Recipes, Rice Recipes, Budget-Friendly, Instant Pot Risotto, Risotto Recipe, Rosemary, Pumpkin Recipes, Frozen Peas
Made this recipe?Mention @instantpoteats or tag #instantpoteats!

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By Instant Pot Eats

About us: We are a team of Instant Pot enthusiasts, who love good food and cooking. Our blog is dedicated to delicious recipes you can make using your trusted pressure cooker.

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