I love making risotto, and I generally don’t mind the stirring it requires. I was a skeptic when I heard about Instant Pot risotto, but having a small child has forced me to be more open to time-saving techniques. Much to my surprise and delight, the texture and ease of making risotto in an electric pressure cooker are fantastic! I’ve found that a ratio of 2 cups of rice to 4 cups of broth results in a perfectly al dente and slightly loose risotto (which is about half the amount of broth you’d use in a traditional risotto). It will continue to soak up more liquid after you finish cooking it, so don’t worry if it looks a little runny when you remove the lid. And if your child (or dog, spouse, work, etc!) causes you to miss venting it right away, you have a little leeway before the risotto is totally overcooked.
In this rendition, I used sweet potato that I roasted and mashed, but you could also steam it or use canned sweet potato. I don’t mind the sweet potato retaining a bit of texture, but if you want a smoother result, you can puree it before adding it to the risotto. Butternut squash or pumpkin would work just as well! The acid from the lemon and salty cheese balance out the sweetness from the sweet potato. I also added herbs at the end, but a woody herb like thyme or rosemary could be minced and sauteed with the onions.
My last tip is that I typically use bouillon and hot water instead of broth (unless I’ve recently made bone broth) because the bouillon paste (Better than Bouillon brand) takes up wayyy less space than cartons of broth. You can save yourself time by measuring the water before you bring it to a boil in a pot or kettle.
This recipe makes 4 entree portions or 6 servings as a side dish.
1-2 Tbsp butter, ghee, or oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice
¼ – ½ cup white wine
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth, warmed
2 cups sweet potato (one large), roasted and mashed
1 cup grated parmesan or pecorino
Juice and zest of one lemon
Protein (chicken, Italian sausage, etc.)
Herbs (thyme, basil, or parsley)
- Set Instant Pot to saute on high. Melt butter or heat oil, then add onion and a pinch of salt. Cook onions until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add rice and stir until all butter/oil is absorbed, about 1 minute. Stir in white wine until evaporated, then add warm broth and give everything a stir (I use bouillon and water heated in an electric kettle for ease).
- Cancel saute function, put on lid, and set to pressure cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
- Once the pressure cooking time is up and the Instant Pot beeps, press the button on top to quick-vent the steam.
- As soon as it is finished releasing the steam, remove the lid. Stir in mashed sweet potato, then add cheese and zest of one lemon. Stir in lemon juice, season to taste with salt.
- Serve immediately with your choice of protein, more cheese, fresh herbs, and/or a swirl of good olive oil (all optional).
Roasted sweet potato can be substituted with steamed or canned sweet potato, or a winter squash like butternut or pumpkin.
Woody herbs like rosemary and thyme can be chopped and added with the onions. Herbs like basil or parsley are best added after cooking.