Making risotto in the Instant Pot is the easiest way to prepare creamy, cheesy, perfectly cooked risotto every single time.
This recipe for Instant Pot Risotto is a knockout, impressive dish that comes together with minimal effort in less than 30 minutes. It makes a great side dish for entrees such as Bacon Pork Tenderloin, Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken, or Chicken Marsala, yet is also a hearty vegetarian entree when paired with a Brussels Sprouts Salad.
Why You Should Make Risotto in the Instant Pot
I have always shied away from making Risotto.
I have watched enough cooking challenges to see that Risotto is a dish that sends A LOT of contestants home. Making perfect risotto takes time, attention to detail, and patience, and it is extremely easy to mess up.
But with the Instant Pot, you can make perfect risotto on the busiest nights!
Instant Pot Risotto is PERFECT--just as good as traditional risotto. It is cheesy, creamy, and full of flavor. Just much simpler to make!
Key Ingredients for Risotto
- Arborio Rice--When making risotto there is NO substitute for the rice. You MUST use Arborio rice. Arborio rice has more starch content, which is released when it cooks, making risotto super creamy.
- Chicken Stock--Use good quality store-bought or homemade chicken stock, Instant Pot chicken stock, or vegetable broth, to keep the risotto vegetarian.
- Dry White Wine--Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot Grigio are great choices. Be sure it is a wine worth drinking--this is not a time to use a glass of cooking wine.
- Parmesan Cheese--I recommend freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano in place of pre-grated cheese for the best flavor.
- Fresh Thyme--Fresh thyme leaves are best, but if you don't have fresh, substitute 1 teaspoon of dried thyme leaves.
- Lemon--Finishing the risotto with the juice of fresh lemon really wakes up the flavor, but feel free to omit it if you don't have a fresh lemon on hand.
How To Make Instant Pot Risotto
- Turn the instant pot to the Saute function and let it heat briefly.
- Once heated, add in the butter and let the butter fully melt.
- Add in the onions and saute for 2 minutes, until beginning to soften.
- Add in the garlic and thyme leaves and saute 1 minute longer, to toast the garlic and thyme and bring out the flavor.
- Add the rice to the inner pot, and toss it with the butter and onions, to evenly coat.
- Toast the rice for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. This adds a delicious, nutty flavor to the risotto.
- Add the wine to the inner pot and use a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the inner pot.
- Let the wine simmer for about 2 minutes to cook off some of the alcohol and develop flavor.
- Turn the Saute function off.
- Add in WARM chicken or vegetable broth and salt and pepper. It is really important to use warm broth for this recipe, as this affects how the rice absorbs the liquid and the cooking time.
- Place the lid on the pressure cooker.
- Set to high pressure for 5 minutes.
- Once cook time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes.
- Gently stir the Parmesan Cheese into the warm risotto.
- Serve with additional Parmesan cheese, and a squeeze of fresh lemon if desired.
This recipe is a simple base for classic risotto. However, you may want to add additional ingredients for added flair and flavor.
- Peas: Peas are a popular addition to risotto. To add peas, simply add frozen peas to the risotto when adding the Parmesan cheese. Place the lid back on the Instant Pot after stirring and let rest for a couple of minutes. The residual heat will warm the peas through perfectly.
- Pesto: Swirl in 2-3 tablespoons of fresh pesto before serving the risotto for a punch of flavor.
- Mushrooms: Saute 4-6 ounces of shitake mushrooms with the minced onion for an earthy flavor added to the risotto.
- Butternut Squash: Cube butternut squash into 1-inch chunks and saute with the onions. Because the butternut is cut so small, it will become tender while pressure cooking.
- Kale/Spinach: Add ½ to 1 cup of frozen kale or spinach that has been defrosted and drained, along with the broth before pressure cooking.
- Roasted Vegetables: Risotto is a delicious way to add new life to roasted vegetables. Mix in leftover Roasted Asparagus, Roasted Broccoli, or Roasted Brussels Sprouts, then the Parmesan cheese is cooked. Place the lid back on the Instant Pot after stirring and let rest for a couple of minutes to heat the vegetables through.
FAQs about Risotto
Wine adds a tremendous amount of authentic flavor to risotto, but if looking to omit alcohol, use additional chicken stock or vegetable broth.
Allow the risotto to cool and then package in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for no more than 3 days. Leftover risotto can be frozen for up to 3 months as well. It is delicious reheated or used in recipes like Arancini.
I ALWAYS state to start recipes made in the Instant Pot with cold/room temperature liquid, with the exception of Instant Pot Risotto. Using cold liquid will interfere with how the arborio rice absorbs the liquid and releases starch, so this is the one time to use the warm liquid.
The broth should be warm, but not boiling, for risotto, like the temperature of water for making homemade bread and pizza dough. I microwave my stock for 1 minute and 30 seconds and test to see if warm to the touch, if not heat in 30-second intervals until warm. An exact temperature does not need to be taken, but it should range between 100-115 degrees.
You need some fat to saute the butter and rice in. Butter is the standard go-to for risotto for the richness it imparts. However, feel free to use olive oil in place of the butter.
More Instant Pot Side Dishes
- Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice
- Instant Pot Baked Potatoes
- Instant Pot Baked Beans
- Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Instant Pot Rice Pilaf
If you enjoyed making perfect risotto using your Instant Pot, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
Instant Pot Risotto
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion minced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 cups arborio rice
- ⅓ cup dry white wine
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth warmed to 100-115 degrees
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese plus more for serving
- Turn pressure cooker to saute and allow to heat.
- Add the butter and melt. Add in the onions and saute for 2 minutes. Add in the garlic and thyme leaves and saute 1 minute longer.
- Add in the rice and toss the rice with the butter and onions to coat. Toast the rice for about 2 minutes.
- Add the dry white wine to the pressure cooker and let simmer for about 2 minutes, while scraping off any browned bits off the bottom of the inner pot.
- Turn off the saute function and add in WARM chicken or vegetable broth and salt.
- Place lid on the pressure cooker. Set to cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes.
- Gently stir in the Parmesan cheese and the juice of the fresh lemon if using. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.
This recipe was published in 2019 but was updated in 2021 with a new video. The recipe remains the same.
Tried it for the first time tonight and it was amazing. Easier than expected to make and it was delicious. Everyone at the dinner enjoyed it.