Here is a creamy and savory Pumpkin Risotto recipe made with brown rice. It is a comforting and cozy meatless main course for fall.
a bowl of risotto

Does the mention of making risotto conjure images of standing at the stove for a half hour, stirring until your arm falls off?  What? You don’t love that?  Hey, what a coincidence I don’t either! 

Another gripe about risotto: I am sort of a whole-grain freak and I think risotto made with white Arborio rice can seem like a missed opportunity for a great whole-grain meal. 

I have good news: you can get your whole-grain on, and be a total slacker and go take a shower (or play with your dog/kids) while this risotto cooks.  After the rice cooks most of the way, then you stir it for a little while to make the rice release it’s starch.  That what gives it risotto’s signature creamy and gooey yum factor. It’s very similar to the Brown Rice Risotto with Peas I shared in the spring. 

Ingredients For This Pumpkin Risotto Recipe

Short Grain Brown Rice

For this recipe you’ll need to get short grain brown rice, like the kind by Lundberg Farms.  It is starchier than long grain brown rice so it is better for making creamy risotto. You can find it in the bulk section at the health food store and in larger supermarkets. 

Pumpkin Puree

You’ll also need pureed pumpkin.  I happened to have a cooking pumpkin from my CSA, so I roasted and pureed it on the weekend and used that.  Another time I’ll tell you how I left the roasting pumpkin under the care of my hubby and it almost caught on fire.  But I digress.  If you are short on time, this recipe works with canned pumpkin. If you want to make your Pumpkin Puree from scratch, follow these instructions for Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Pecorino Romano Cheese

I love the salty briny taste of this hard Italian cheese, but if you can’t find Pecorino Romano, substitute fresh Parmesan.

Other Ingredients For This Risotto Recipe

  • extra-virgin olive oil
  •  garlic, minced
  • shallots, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • reduced-sodium broth, such as chicken or vegetable
  • nutmeg, salt, pepper,cinnamon and fresh sage leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish

How To Make Brown Rice Pumpkin Risotto

Use a Large Saucepan

To make this recipe, you’ll want to have a saucepan with a lid. Unlike traditional risotto where it cooks uncovered, this recipe requires a longer cooking time with the lid on.

Saute the aromatics

Heat the oil in the saucepan over medium heat.  Add in the garlic and shallot and cook it just until it is beginning to brown. 

Toast The Rice in Oil

Next, toast the rice by cooking it in the oil. Just stir it into the aromatics and cook it until the rice grains start to get translucent in spots.

Deglaze With Wine

Stir in wine and cook, stirring often until the wine has mostly evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. 

Add Broth and Spices

Stir in broth, nutmeg, salt and pepper, increase heat to high and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer undisturbed until most of the liquid has been absorbed, 30 minutes.

Add Pumpkin and Continue Cooking To Thicken

Stir in pumpkin, sage and cinnamon and cook, stirring often until the mixture is thickened and the rice is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. 

To Finish The Risotto and Serve

Remove from heat, stir in 3/4 cup Romano cheese, cover and let sit 5 minutes off the heat to thicken further.  Serve sprinkled with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese, more freshly ground pepper and sage leaves for garnish.

a bowl of risotto with sage leaves

Thanks so much for reading. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! 

Print
close up of pumpkin risotto

Brown Rice Pumpkin Risotto

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

This creamy and spicy pumpkin risotto with fall flavors of sage and cinnamon is a vegetarian main course for fall. Make it with homemade pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium broth, such as chicken or vegetable
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 3/4 cups pureed cooked pumpkin, or 1 15-ounce can canned pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese, divided

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and shallot and cook, stirring often until softened and just beginning to brown, 1 to 3 minutes.  Stir in rice and cook, stirring until the rice grains start to get translucent in spots, about 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in wine and cook, stirring often until the wine has mostly evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in broth, nutmeg, salt and pepper, increase heat to high and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer undisturbed until most of the liquid has been absorbed, 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in pumpkin, sage and cinnamon and cook, stirring often until the mixture is thickened and the rice is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in 3/4 cup Romano cheese, cover and let sit 5 minutes off the heat to thicken further.  Serve sprinkled with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese, more freshly ground pepper and sage leaves for garnish.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup each
  • Calories: 211
  • Sugar: 7.7 g
  • Sodium: 411 mg
  • Fat: 6.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29 g
  • Fiber: 5.8 g
  • Protein: 7.3 g