Thanks to the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker, this Easy Risotto recipe takes only 2 minutes of stirring to create a perfectly silky dish. This basic recipe is creamy and flavorful all on its own and is dynamite when combined with roasted veggies and grilled chicken.
If you've ever made risotto on the stove top before, you know it's a serious commitment. You're basically stuck at the stove stirring for 25 – 30 minutes. As a mama, that ain't happening. In fact, I can remember the exact day I attempted my first batch of risotto. My twins were 2 years old. I know. What was I thinking.
Long story short, a diaper got flushed down the toilet and for 2 days my husband cursed his way through removing a torn up diaper out of the drain.
I'm choosing to be optimistic and say that what I remember from that experience was that risotto is DELICIOUS!
In fact the risotto I made that day was Lemon Risotto filled with fresh springtime flavors like leeks, asparagus, peas, and lemon.
What is Risotto?
If you've never had risotto, here's the low down.
Risotto is a classic Italian dish made of rice and flavorful broth that is traditionally cooked low and slow on the stove top to release the starch from the rice to create a silky, creamy dish. The addition of butter and parmesan cheese makes it over the top luxurious. It's considered to be a high-end dish even though it's made with such simple ingredients.
This traditional stove top method is indeed a time commitment that involves you standing right next to the stove top, stirring, adding broth, stirring, more broth, then stirring, stirring, stirring . . .
BUT NO MORE! Instant Pot to the rescue . . . again.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE INSTANT POT RISOTTO
- TWO minutes of actual stirring time. TWO MINUTES! Let's see, stand at the stove for 30 minutes or by the pressure cooker for 2 . . . no brainer
- Out of this world silky, creamy, and dreamy bowl of comfort. I can 100% say I've never had risotto as incredible as what comes out of the Instant Pot
- Versatile! Add whatever veggies or protein you want to make this a complete meal – it goes with just about anything
Today I'm showing you an Instant Pot Basic Risotto recipe. But once you get this down and know the correct rice to liquid ratios and cook time, the flavors you can create are endless!
HOW TO MAKE PRESSURE COOKER RISOTTO
- Saute butter, olive oil, onions, leeks, and garlic until nice and soft
- Add rice and stir until it starts to turn opaque. Add liquids and pressure cook for 5 minutes
- Quick release the pressure, add broth, and stir VIGOROUSLY for 2 minutes. Add cheese and/or butter, enjoy!
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST RISOTTO
BEST RICE FOR RISOTTO
The best rice for risotto is a short to medium grain rice that has a high starch content. The starch is what makes risotto so creamy, so it's important to use the right rice.
Arborio Rice is the most common and easiest to find. Some argue that Carnaroli Rice is the very best because it holds its shape and chew better. I've even made risotto with Farro and Short Grain Brown Rice and been quite happy with it.
Rice that won't work well for risotto – any long grain rice like Jasmine or Basmati.
DON'T RINSE YOUR RICE
We've discussed the pros and cons of rinsing rice in my White Rice recipe, but for risotto, DO NOT RINSE THE RICE! Rinsing it will wash off all of the starch and leave you with a sad, lackluster, bowl of rice.
The base of your flavor is going to be in the broth. As you'll see in the recipe below, I rely on olive oil, butter, leeks, onion (I prefer a sweet onion), and garlic to create that amazing foundation. If you've never worked with leeks, I'll get to that in a sec. But I promise you, the leek/onion/garlic combo is essential here!
When you add the rice to the onion mixture, you want to give it a few minutes to toast and become opaque. This adds flavor and gets it ready to release its starches.
Vigorously is defined as doing something forcefully and energetically. That is how you should be stirring your rice for 2 minutes solid after the pressure cooking step is complete. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! This final step of releasing the starches from the rice makes it perfectly al dente and creamy. Start with a 1/2 cup broth, add another 1/2 cup if it's getting too thick. You want it to remain a bit loose because as it sits, it will continue to thicken.
FINISH WITH FAT
Finish it off with a handful of parmesan or if you like a bit of tang, try a scoop of cream cheese. Many recipes also finish off with a few pats of butter, but I find it perfect without the extra, so I'm willing to save a few calories there.
HOW TO CUT LEEKS
Leeks grow up through the ground so they have dirt inside and must be cleaned well. To prep the leeks, find the section in the middle of the leek where the dark green tops meet the white bottoms. This is where you cut and discard the top. Cut the hairy end off the bottom, cut the leek in half from bottom to top. Lay the flat part down on your cutting board and cut the leeks from side to side into thin moon shaped pieces. Place the leeks in a strainer, place strainer inside a larger bowl. Fill the bowl with water and agitate the leeks to release the dirt. The dirt will sink to the bottom of the larger bowl. Remove the strainer from the larger bowl and pat the leeks dry with paper towels. They're ready!
Gimme Some Oven has a great step by step video of this if that didn't make sense.
HOW TO REHEAT RISOTTO
Risotto reheats well with a splash of broth. It's not quite the same in texture, but the flavor is still amazing. I've yet to try it but you can also make risotto balls, aka Arancini, with the leftovers.
FREEZER MEAL RISOTTO
While I don't think risotto would freeze and thaw very well, I still have a freezer tip here. I double or triple the onion, leek, garlic mixture and freeze it in single batch portions. This way, the next time I want risotto, I throw a serving in the pot, saute to thaw it a bit, then toss in my rice to toast and continue with the recipe.
TURN RISOTTO INTO A MEAL
To make this dish a complete meal, I highly suggest serving it alongside roasted vegetables and grilled steak or chicken. My goodness, I'm drooling just thinking about it.
MORE EASY RISOTTO RECIPES
- Instant Pot Thai Risotto
- Instant Pot Lemon Risotto
- Instant Pot Sweet Corn Risotto – page 117 or Master the Electric Pressure Cooker
While this version is the “Basic” version, there is nothing basic about the flavors here. Prepare for the food discovery of a lifetime!
TOOLS/INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE EASY RISOTTO IN THE INSTANT POTPrint
Instant Pot Easy Risotto
Creamy, easy Instant Pot Risotto with 2 minutes of stirring instead of 30 minutes on the stove top!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: Serves 6 1x
- Category: Entree
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Italian
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced in half and then into thin half moons
- ½ small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
- 4 cups chicken broth, divided
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat the pressure cooker, by selecting sauté. Add the butter and olive oil. When butter is melted and slightly bubbling, add the leeks, onion, and garlic, sauté 5-7 minutes or until tender.
- Add rice to the pot and stir for 3-4 minutes, until opaque.
- Add 3 cups of chicken broth, salt and pepper and stir.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, use a quick release.
- Select sauté and stir in an extra ½ cup of chicken broth. Stir briskly for 2 minutes, adding an extra 1/2 cup of broth if it's getting too thick.
- Unplug the pressure cooker, stir in parmesan cheese.
- Serve immediately topped with an extra sprinkle of parmesan, if desired.
- Optional: Top with roasted veggies and/or grilled meat for a full meal.
- Use a short to medium grain starchy rice like Arborio or Carnaroli
- I realize the most classic/basic risotto recipes contain wine. I prefer not to cook with alcohol which is why this recipe uses all broth
- Halving this recipe works well and I suspect it would also double just fine
Keywords: instant pot, electric pressure cooker, risotto, basic risotto