December 9, 2022

kathleengkane

Be Inspired By Food

Instant Pot Risotto – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

This Instant Pot Risotto completely changes the risotto game! If you think risotto is reserved for fancy restaurants or a night where you have loads of time to sit at a stovetop and stir, then you’ve got to try this recipe! This hands-off dish cooks up in only SIX minutes to create an indulgent creamy dish the whole family will love.

Obsessed with this method? Us too! That’s why we’ve created this irresistible spin-off: Sweet Potato Risotto.

Overhead view of a bowl of Instant Pot Risotto

Can You Make Risotto In An Instant Pot?

A resounding yes! And here are a few reasons why we love using the instant pot so much in this recipe:

  • ONE dish cooking — Pressure cookers have a function that allows you to sauté ingredients before cooking. Sautéing adds layers of flavor to the final risotto.
  • High-pressure cooking — This cuts the risotto cook time from 18-20 minutes down to 6 minutes.
  • Quick pressure build-up and release — Pressure builds surprisingly fast and is released immediately after cook time.
  • Incredible results — The flavor and texture of this Instant Pot Risotto recipe are out of this world! It’s ridiculously creamy and indulgent tasting without being too heavy.

Process shots: melt butter and add onion and garlic; sauté; add rice and deglaze; add chicken broth

How To Cook Risotto In An Instant Pot

When prepared right, risotto is creamy, rich, and delivers perfectly al dente rice. Tossed with veggies and fresh herbs, there are few rice dishes as savory as a good risotto (although there is certainly some competition with this Curry Rice!).

That said, risotto is notoriously easy to mess up and often quite finicky. That is — until this recipe!

The pressure cooker takes all of the guesswork out of it and delivers perfect risotto in SIX minutes. And it’s a hands-off process. Seal up the uncooked rice and let the pressure cooker work its magic. Risotto Instant Pot Magic!

Process shots: cook and release pressure in the instant pot; mix the butter in; mix in cream; mix in frozen peas

What Rice Makes The Best Risotto?

The most important detail for this recipe is the rice. Risotto relies on arborio rice. This is a short-grain rice with a high starch content and is used specifically in risotto. When the arborio rice cooks, it releases its starches giving risotto that classic creamy texture. It’s not the same as standard long-grain rice or any of the other varieties of rice we use on this site.

There aren’t any workable substitutes in this recipe — arborio rice must be used for this Instant Pot Risotto to work properly.

It’s typically found in the rice aisle of the grocery store. Occasionally it can be found in the bulk section.

Process shots: Mix in the Parmesan cheese; add lemon and parsley

VARIATIONS

  • Want to add some meat to this Instant Pot Risotto? Serve it with a prepared rotisserie chicken or sautéed shrimp (We love Instant Pot Risotto Shrimp!). Or prepare this Italian Chicken Marinade or Blackened Chicken and serve atop or on the side.
  • Not wild about Instant Pot Risotto with Peas? Replace ’em with another similar veggie you enjoy, like frozen corn or stir through some diced Roasted Asparagus.
  • Make Instant Pot Risotto Sausage by coining smoked sausage and browning in a skillet. Stir through risotto at the end.
  • Prepare Mushroom Instant Pot Risotto by roasting mushrooms and mixing them through at the end.

Overhead view of the finished Instant Pot Risotto, still in the pot.

Instant Pot Risotto FAQs

1Should you wash risotto rice before cooking?

No, the rice doesn’t need to be washed before using.

In fact, it will mess up the texture by adding in too much extra liquid!

2What makes risotto creamy?

The starch that is generated when grains of the Arborio rice rub against each other creates risotto’s creaminess!

Risotto will continue to absorb liquid and quickly becomes gluggy if left out or not eaten quickly after making. You can add a splash of heated chicken stock to thin things out if it is too thick for your liking.

What does gluggy mean? It’s the result of the rice absorbing too much liquid. It causes the grains to split and the starches turn the rice into a soft, gluey blob.

4How long does arborio rice take to cook?

Typically arborio rice takes 18-20 minutes, but only 6 minutes in the Instant Pot!

5Do you pre-cook rice for risotto?

Nope! The Instant Pot will fully cook the rice.

Risotto isn’t a great dish to make ahead of time since it’s best served fresh.

Instant Pot Risotto in a bowl

What Is The Trick To Making Good Risotto?

  • Release pressure immediately. If you let the rice sit in the pressure cooker for any length of time, it will get gummy.
  • Stir vigorously. This ensures that the starches release to make a creamy risotto.
  • Don’t skip the butter. It’s essential to getting the creamy texture (plus it adds flavor!) to this Instant Pot Risotto. The better the butter, the better the flavor!
  • Add cheese last. Fat breaks under heat and will get stringy and gross if added too early. This is why we pull the pan out to begin cooling and then wait to add the Parmesan in last (in multiple additions). This will give it the classic light and silky texture.
  • Finishing touches make a big difference. Some fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon liven everything immensely– just a little goes a long way!

More Delicious Rice Recipes

Instant Pot Risotto

This Instant Pot Risotto completely changes the risotto game! If you think risotto is reserved for fancy restaurants or a night where you have loads of time to sit at a stovetop and stir, then you’ve got to try this recipe! This hands-off dish cooks up in only SIX minutes to an indulgent creamy dish the whole family will love.

Instant Pot Risotto

This Instant Pot Risotto completely changes the risotto game! If you think risotto is reserved for fancy restaurants or a night where you have loads of time to sit at a stovetop and stir, then you’ve got to try this recipe! This hands-off dish cooks up in only SIX minutes to an indulgent creamy dish the whole family will love.

Instructions

  • SAUTÉ: Set a 6-quart pressure cooker to the “sauté” function. Add in 2 tablespoons butter. Once mostly melted, add in onion and garlic. Season well (I add 1/2 tsp each of salt & pepper). Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are becoming translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Mix through the Italian seasoning and dried thyme. Add in the uncooked rice (no liquid yet). Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 full minute. Pour in 1/3 cup chicken stock and scrape the bottom of the pot to release any browned bits (or you’ll end up with the “burn” warning!). Cook for 1 more full minute, liquid should be mostly evaporated.

  • PRESSURE COOK: Pour in the remaining 2 cups chicken stock. Stir, then press “cancel.” Ensure everything is submerged in liquid. Secure the lid on, set knob to “sealed.” Select manual setting to cook for 6 minutes. As soon as it’s finished, release the pressure by venting the knob. Open the pressure cooker as soon as the pressure is fully released. (Don’t let it sit; work quickly once it’s done!)

  • FINISHING TOUCHES: Remove the instant pot insert and place it on a heating pad or trivet. Add in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, stirring vigorously until fully melted. Once melted, add in the cream. Stir until incorporated. Next, add in the peas and gently stir through to warm, about 30 seconds. Finally, add in the Parmesan cheese, gradually (2-3 tbsp at a time), stirring gently as you add it in (Note 4). If desired, add in parsley and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste. (I typically add another 1/4-1/2 tsp of salt & 1/4 tsp pepper.)

  • ENJOY PROMPTLY: Risotto should have a porridge-like consistency and is best served ASAP (otherwise it gets gluggy — add a splash more of cream if needed/starts to get too thick)! (See Note 5 for a definition of the term gluggy.) Spoon into serving bowls. Garnish with an extra sprinkle of Parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy immediately!

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Arborio rice: There aren’t any workable substitutes in this recipe — arborio rice must be used for this recipe to work properly. It’s typically found in the rice aisle of the store. Don’t rinse before using.
Note 2: Chicken Stock: The better quality, the better the flavor (we love Swanson®)! Use vegetable stock/broth if vegetarian.
Note 3: Parmesan: Use a block of Parmesan and grate it on the small holes of a grater. Alternatively, use finely grated Parmesan cheese. Parmesan from the can will be too salty and won’t melt into the rice nicely.
Note 4: Adding cheese: Fat breaks under heat and will get stringy if added too early. This is why we pull the insert out to begin cooling and then wait to add the Parmesan in last (in multiple additions). 
Note 5: What does gluggy mean? Glugginess is the result of the rice absorbing too much liquid. It causes the grains to split and the starches turn the rice into a soft, gluey blob. Nobody wants gluggy rice!

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 26.5g | Protein: 10.4g | Fat: 20.7g | Cholesterol: 54.7mg | Sodium: 831.6mg | Fiber: 2.7g | Sugar: 4.9g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.