Creamy pumpkin risotto with sweet flavors from the roast pumpkin and sun-dried tomatoes and a savory contrast from the feta cheese this pumpkin risotto tastes amazing!
This pumpkin risotto recipe is all made from scratch. With roasted pumpkin that's blended into puree. Though you can use canned pumpkin puree, the flavor is much stronger with fresh roast pumpkin.
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And though this isn't a traditional Greek recipe (using Greek ingredients like feta cheese doesn't make it one), it's so good tasting that I really had to share it with you!
The basic ingredients to make a classic risotto are:
- Onion (and garlic most of the time)
- Wine (usually white)
- Arborio rice (Carnaroli rice is another rice used in making risotto)
- Stock (vegetable, chicken, or beef stock depending on the recipe)
- Parmesan cheese (we are using feta cheese instead)
- Olive Oil
Additional ingredients to make pumpkin risotto:
- Pumpkin (either fresh or canned pumpkin puree)
- Sun-dried tomatoes (the ones preserved in oil)
- Feta cheese (like I mentioned above)
- Thyme and rosemary (for seasoning)
How To Make Pumpkin Risotto Taste Amazing
Roast pumpkin risotto is the best pumpkin risotto you can make!
1. Roast The Pumpkin
To roast fresh pumpkin cut it into smaller pieces about 6-inch (15 cm) large (if using butternut squash cut it in half lengthwise). Brush the flesh with olive oil and season it with salt and pepper. Place the pumpkin on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper with the flesh facing down.
Bake pumpkin in the oven at 200°C / 392°F for about 45 minutes to an hour (baking time will depend on how big are the pieces). Prick the skin with a knife to see if it's done it should slide easily all the way into the flesh.
Then while it's still warm but cooled enough to handle, scoop the flesh with a spoon and blend it in a blender or food processor. You can save extra pumpkin puree in the fridge for up to 3 days to use in soups or sauces.
2. Use Stock
Another tip to make the truly best pumpkin risotto is to use homemade stock. Homemade stock is much more flavorful and healthier than store-bought. Especially if you add lots of herbs to it (like bay leaves, thyme, sage, tarragon, marjoram, rosemary). It will make an amazingly tasty stock. You can check out my recipes for making homemade stock and see how easy it is to make it (and you get to clean your fridge from all vegetable leftovers).
Is Pumpkin Risotto Different Than Pumpkin Rice?
Yes, they are! They differ in cooking methods and in texture.
The Cooking Method For Risotto: first saute the rice (arborio rice or carnaroli rice), then add wine to it, and then gradually add stock in bits at a time while stirring with a wooden spoon.
Until the rice becomes al dente (rice is soft but retains a bite in the center). Then finish by adding butter and cheese (and in our case the pumpkin puree as well). The final result is a very creamy dish with a very thick sauce.
The Cooking Method For Rice/Pilaf: Saute onion (and other ingredients like pumpkin), add the rice (long-grain varieties like jasmine, basmati, or plain yellow long-grain rice), and pour in some wine (optional), pour stock or water in, all at once and simmer until it absorbs it all. The final result is soft yet firm rice without sauce.
So if you want to make pumpkin rice instead of risotto you need to sautee some onions and pumpkin then add the rice and stock (ratio 1:2). Or you can roast some chopped pumpkin and mix it into the cooked rice right at the end (instead of sauteeing pumpkin from the beginning).
Type Of Pumpkin To Use
You can use pumpkin or squash to make this dish. The best pumpkin varieties you can use are red kuri, cheese pumpkin, or pie pumpkin. As for squash, butternut squash, buttercup squash, or kabocha squash are all great options.
What To Serve With Pumpkin Risotto
Serve this baked pumpkin risotto with pan-fried or grilled Greek sausage (which goes amazing with the flavors of this dish), or serve these fried meatballs (Keftedakia) as a side. As for vegetarian options, a feta cheese Saganaki is a great side for pumpkin risotto.
Pumpkin Risotto (with feta and sun-dried tomatoes)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 80 grams (½ cup) finely chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 sprig dry rosemary discard the branch and finely chop the leaves
- 180 grams (1 cup) arborio rice
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- 750 ml (3 cups) vegetable stock see note 1 below
- 300 grams (1¼ cup) pumpkin puree see note 2 below
- 70 grams (½ cup) feta cheese finely crumbled
- 30 grams (1½ tablespoons) sun-dried tomatoes very thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Heat the stock in a saucepan and keep it covered next to you.
- Heat olive oil in a 3-liter saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the onion, garlic, and rosemary, and saute until caramelized.
- Add the rice and saute for 2-3 minutes stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Pour in the wine and cook until it drains completely. Stir in the thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add ½ cup of the stock to the rice and cook stirring occasionally until it absorbs it all.
- Add another ½ cup and again stir until it absorbs it all.
- Repeat until all stock is used up and the rice is cooked but still retains a bite (al dente).
- Stir in the pumpkin, feta, and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for 1-2 minutes for the flavors to blend.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Taste for additional seasoning.
- Serve immediately with extra feta or sun-dried tomatoes on top if you like.