Pumpkin risotto; not only does it have a delicious taste, but it is easy to make and combined with the mushrooms, it is a tasty (autumnal) meal. This pumpkin risotto recipe is delicious and easy to make. And it’s a good idea to satisfy my pumpkin obsession.

Pumpkin risotto

Pumpkin risotto with sautéed mushrooms

I think risotto is one of the tastiest dishes to make and – contrary to what some people think – it is not nearly as complicated as you think. In programs like Masterchef, they often call it the “death dish,” but remember, they don’t cook the same thing there as you do in your home. So don’t panic. This creamy pumpkin risotto is a delicious vegan take on a tasty risotto. It’s the ultimate comfort food.

What do you need for the pumpkin risotto?

For starters, you need the following ingredients for the pumpkin risotto:

  • pumpkin or butternut squash or use a can of pumpkin puree
  • onion and garlic
  • risotto rice
  • fresh sage leaves
  • thyme
  • mixed mushrooms
  • nutritional yeast (or parmesan cheese if you don’t want to keep it vegan)
  • vegetable broth
  • olive oil

For the perfect risotto rice, you can choose from arborio rice or carnaroli. The former is the most common, the latter is a bit harder to find but very tasty. You can use either type of rice for this dish.

What will you find in this post:

Roasting the pumpkin

For the pumpkin risotto, you obviously need fresh pumpkin. For this recipe, I prefer to use an organic pumpkin. These are easy to obtain and available all year round. Officially, pumpkin season is in the fall, but you can also get pumpkin (cubes) from the freezer and if you have canned pumpkin puree, you can also use it for this recipe.

If you use a fresh (organic) pumpkin, you can process it with the skin and all. In pumpkin season it is also nice to make the risotto with, for example, a blue pumpkin. Those are really great tasting.

To roast it, set the oven to 200˚C and dice the pumpkin. Of course after removing the seeds on the inside.

Making the pumpkin puree

After roasting, put the pumpkin in a blender or food processor and puree it into a smooth puree. By the way, remember that roasting the pumpkin loses a lot of moisture. In terms of weight, you need about double that. So for 400 grams of puree, you need 800 grams of fresh pumpkin. Keep a few cubes aside to stir through the pumpkin risotto when it is ready.

You can already season the puree a bit with salt and pepper. And like I mentioned you can also use a can of pumpkin puree if you want.

The base of the risotto

For almost all risotto recipes, you start by frying onion and garlic. You place a large pot on medium heat. You gently fry the onion until it has become nicely glazed. At this point you add the rice grains to the pan. Now fry these for a while and make sure that all the grains have gotten a shiny coating on them from the oil.

Often dry white wine is added to the pumpkin risotto at this point. You can do that here too but it’s a step I skipped. The wine does add some extra flavor to the risotto but it is not a must.

You now add the pumpkin puree and broth to the pumpkin risotto in batches. Each time after adding the liquid, let it simmer gently until most of the liquid is absorbed. Don’t let it boil dry! So don’t stray too far from the stove while making the risotto. 

In total, the pumpkin risotto needs about 20 to 30 minutes to cook properly.

Pumpkin risotto

How do you know if the creamy vegan pumpkin risotto is done?

You can easily taste whether the rice is done by taking out a grain and biting it apart. If it gives a somewhat chalky effect and is hard then the rice is not yet well done. When bitten through, it should actually be just about soft. You can also see from the pan itself that the pumpkin risotto is getting a little creamier. Once it has the right creamy consistency you will know it is done. It can be al dente but it needs to be soft enough.

Pumpkin risotto with sautéed mushrooms

For the pumpkin risotto, I use mushrooms to finish it off. Technically you can call this a mushroom risotto as well. I chose mixed mushrooms here but you can also use just chestnut mushrooms or regular mushrooms. The thyme and sage give it a lovely spice. 

Fry the mushrooms separately in a skillet with oil (or butter if you are not vegan) until golden brown and cooked.

With or without nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast is widely used in vegan baking as a substitute for parmesan cheese. It gives a slightly cheesy flavor, but obviously you can also use parmesan cheese if you prefer to use this. An alternative is also vegan parmesan cheese. 

What rice do you need to make a creamy risotto?

In order for the best results you need short-grain rice. Regular rice doesn’t have as much starch and due to the high starch content of the specific risotto rice types the end result will be much tastier. You can use either arborio or carnaroli rice.

What can I do with the leftover risotto?

You can store any leftover risotto in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat it the next day. Also you could make arancini with the leftovers. Arancini are basically little balls made out of the leftover risotto and rolled through crumbs. They are then fried for a delicious snack.

In addition to the pumpkin you can add some crispy sage leaves to the dish or add some caramelized onions which will give it even more sweetness.  It’s a delicious vegetarian main course and perfect for any time of the year.

Pumpkin risotto
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Pumpkin risotto with sautéed mushrooms

A delicious pumpkin risotto with mixed and sautéed mushrooms, thyme and sage Preparation time: 25 min Preparation time: 30 min Total time: 55 min Diet type vegan, Vegetarian Servings: 2 people
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 2 people


  • 1 organic pumpkin after cleaning you need 400-500 grams
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 0.5 tsp chili flakes
  • 150 grams risotto rice
  • 3 sprigs sage
  • 3 sprigs thyme leaves
  • 250 grams mixed mushrooms
  • 750 ml vegetable or mushroom stock
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • Oil
  • Pepper and salt


  • Heat the oven to 200°C.
  • Wash the pumpkin, cut in half and remove the seeds. Cut into cubes and spread on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Sprinkle with oil, pepper, salt and chili flakes. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes until completely cooked and tender. Mash or puree the squash until smooth (keep a generous handful of cubes aside) and mix with the broth.
  • In a large skillet, heat a little oil and gently sauté the chopped onion. After about 3 minutes, add the garlic and thyme and fry gently for a few more minutes.
  • Add the rice to the pan and fry gently for about 5 minutes, until all the rice grains are shiny.
  • Now add the pumpkin puree broth in parts. Add enough to just cover the rice and stir well. Then let it simmer until the rice has absorbed all the liquid before adding more stock. Continue this way until the rice is al dente.
  • Clean the mushrooms and cut into strips. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the mushrooms over medium-high heat until golden brown.
  • Cut the sage leaves into thin strips. Mix the mushrooms and sage into the risotto, along with the noble yeast. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with the cubes of roasted squash.
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: pumpkin, risotto, sage, thyme
Diet: vegan, vegetarian

Nutrition Information

Calories: 579kcal, Carbohydrates: 128g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Sodium: 1520mg, Potassium: 3088mg, Fiber: 13g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 58903IU, Vitamin C: 69mg, Calcium: 177mg, Iron: 10mg


The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

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