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Instant Pot Risotto With Fennel & Asparagus

This Instant Pot risotto is off the charts good. Made with sweet fennel and crunchy asparagus, this Italian classic is super easy with a pressure cooker. It’s a great vegetarian meal for meat-free Mondays!

Instant Pot Risotto With Fennel & Asparagus

Have you ever used your Instant Pot to make a risotto? In fact, do you ever make risotto at all or are you a little intimidated by the process? I’m here to tell you that Instant Pot is the EASIEST way to make an incredible, creamy, restaurant-style risotto. Every time I make one, it takes me by surprise just how well it always turns out without me having to keep an eye on it.

This Instant Pot risotto is a fabulous vegetarian recipe that uses fennel and asparagus. Of course, you can also make it with other vegetables and I’ve provided a few variations below. Once you’ve mastered the method, your imagination is the limit!

Creamy Fennel Risotto Made With Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Before you start cooking

Instant Pot Risotto Ingredients

Rice: Risotto requires a special type of rice called arborio rice, which is a high-starch, short-grained rice that helps to give the dish that famous thickness and creaminess. I like to use organic arborio, such as this brand from Amazon, but you can use regular risotto rice as well. Unlike regular white rice, DO NOT RINSE this rice before cooking or you will reduce the starch content and that’s what we need for a perfect risotto.

Stock: This recipe calls for 4 cups of stock. Essentially, it’s 2:1 ratio of stock to arborio rice for the pressure cooker recipe (regular white rice often calls for 1:1 ratio but risotto needs more liquid). I used half chicken and half vegetable stock, but for a vegetarian version, just use all vegetable stock.

Vegetables: Fennel and asparagus are both gorgeous and nutritious vegetables, and I think they give this risotto the loveliest of flavors. Half of the fennel and asparagus are added to the pot and the rest is pan-fried to be used as a topping. Instead you can also use diced celery and carrots, garden peas and zucchini, pumpkin and spinach and the list goes on.

Pressure Cooker Risotto Vegetables

Dairy-free or lighter version: Once the Instant Pot stops cooking and you open the lid, you will notice that the risotto is already creamy and thick without you adding any Parmesan cheese or butter. Tasting it made me think that it could be served as is for those of you avoiding dairy or following a vegan diet. I am quite generous with Parmesan and butter because I love that gooey, cheesy texture and flavors but you can also reduce the amount of butter and cheese for a slightly lighter version.

Leftover risotto can be stored in the fridge for 2 days. Reheat as is or turn into risotto cakes/fritters, fishcakes (with some added tuna or salmon) or arancini balls.

Instant Pot Risotto With Fennel & Asparagus

Instant Pot Fennel & Asparagus Risotto

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Entree
  • Method: Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian


This Instant Pot risotto is made with sweet fennel and crunchy asparagus, this Italian classic is super easy with a pressure cooker. It’s a great vegetarian meal.



To go in the pot

  • 1 medium brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium fennel, diced
  • 1/2 bunch of asparagus, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups arborio risotto rice
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (1 cube + 2 cups water)
  • 2 cups chicken stock (1 cube + 2 cups water)
  • 25 g / 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

To top the risotto

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 fennel, sliced,
  • 1/2 asparagus, cut into smaller pieces (see picture)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


  1. Press the Sauté key on the Instant Pot (it should say Normal, 30 mins). Add the onions and olive oil and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring a few times.
  2. In the meantime, prepare the vegetables. Dice half of the fennel and asparagus into smaller cubes to go in the pot, and slice the rest into larger strips and pieces to be pan-fried as a topping.
  3. Add the diced fennel and asparagus to the pot together with salt and garlic and stir through.
  4. Add the rice, white wine and lemon zest and stir through.
  5. Add the stock, stir through and press Keep Warm/Cancel key on the Instant Pot to stop the Sauté function. Make sure to scrape any rice kernels or vegetables off the inner pot walls.
  6. Place and lock the lid, making sure the steam releasing handle is pointing to Sealing. Press Manual, High pressure and set to 5 minute. After 3 beeps the pressure cooker will start going.
  7. While the risotto is cooking, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining fennel and asparagus and sprinkle with salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring a few times, until golden and softened. Drizzle with some lemon juice and set aside.
  8. Once the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release for 2 minutes and then, carefully, use the quick release method to release the rest of the steam and pressure.
  9. Open the lid and stir in the butter and Parmesan cheese. Add extra pepper and taste for salt. Serve topped with pan-fried asparagus and fennel and a side salad.

Keywords: risotto sweet fennel crunchy asparagus Italian classic easy vegetarian meat-free Mondays

Making the pressure cooker risotto- - step-by-step pics


Creamy Instant Pot Risotto With Fennel & Asparagus. Seriously, the BEST risotto I've ever made.


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  • Reply
    Instant Pot Rice Pilaf With Ground Lamb, Almonds & Figs
    August 4, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    […] lands itself perfectly to Instant Pot, which is amazing for cooking most rice dishes. It makes the best risotto and the fluffiest, tastiest yellow […]

  • Reply
    November 9, 2017 at 6:44 am

    This is one of the best Instant Pot recipes I’ve made to date. Next time I’ll probably double the fennel, since I love the taste of it . For a hot meal, it’s light enough to serve during the summer. This is going into my regular rotation.

    • Reply
      November 10, 2017 at 11:10 am

      Thanks Rachel! I have to agree with you that it’s a lovely risotto 🙂 I actually felt the same way once it was cooked and felt like I could eat a lot more fennel, so definitely add more next time. You can also adapt it to use other vegetables in season. My next experiment is beet risotto – imaging how lovely and pink it would loo.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2018 at 1:59 am

    We absolutely love this dish. I want to make it as a side dish for Christmas. Since it will be for a lot of people I am wondering if I can double the recipe? And would the cook time be the same or should I increase it? Thank you so much.

    • Reply
      Ann Fabrizio
      December 10, 2018 at 3:08 pm

      Things to think about: For safety reasons all grain and legume recipes (including their cooking liquid) should not fill your pressure cooker more than half-way; all other recipes no more than 2/3 full. The general rule of thumb is to not increase the pressure cooking time. However, more items in a pressure cooker will make it fuller which means it will take longer for the cooker to reach pressure. For time-sensitive recipes that are undesirable when over-cooked (like veggies, risotto or pasta) you’ll actually need to decrease pressure cooking time. That’s because even while the cooker is reaching pressure the food is already cooking. Recipes only require enough liquid for the pressure cooker to reach pressure – so doubling or tripling the recipe would mean tripling everything except for the cooking liquid in that case…… Overall it’s always good to do a test run to see what’s works best for you before the big event.

  • Reply
    January 27, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    Hi there
    Can I use anything instead of the white wine that won’t compromise the recipe?


    • Reply
      January 28, 2019 at 12:50 am

      Hey Penny, a little water and lemon juice should do the trick.

  • Reply
    September 2, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    This is the sencond dish I’ve made in my new Instant Pot and it is fabulous! Asparagus was now available so I made some substitutions, but the basic recipe held up to the changes very well! Thanks!

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