Instant Pot Basic Risotto 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 aint’ 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 filled with fresh spring time flavors like leeks, asparagus, peas, and lemon and it is now one of my favorite recipes in our cookbook Master the Electric Pressure Cooker. I’ve made that Spring Green Risotto several times for classes my sister and I have taught, and it is a home run every single time. There’s also a Sweet Corn and Basil recipe in the book that I’ve sampled before and it has single-handedly convinced several class members to go out and buy an Instant Pot.
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 very high-end dish even though it’s made with such simple ingredients.
But the traditional 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!
Guess how many minutes you have to actively stir Instant Pot Risotto? 2 MINUTES! 2! Still enough time for twin boys to wreak havoc, but still, 2 MINUTES!
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! So first:
Tips for the BEST Instant Pot Risotto
Best Rice for Risotto
The best rice for risotto is Arborio Rice. You can buy it online or it’s easily found at most grocery stores. This rice is very starchy and is key to making that silky smooth dish.
The base of your flavor is going to be in that 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!
Toast that Rice!
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 it’s starches.
Perhaps, “beat” is a bit aggressive. How about “vigorously stir”. The 2 minutes that you stir the rice after the pressure cooking is complete is very important. This is the final step of releasing the starches from the rice to make it perfectly al dente and creamy. Start with a 1/2 cup broth and add another 1/2 cup if it’s getting too thick. You want it still a bit loose because as it sits, it will thicken even more.
Finish it off with a handful of parmesan! If I want a bit of tang, I’ll add a scoop of cream cheese as well. Many recipes also finish off with a few pads of butter, but I find it perfect without the extra, so I’m willing to save a few calories there.
Extra TIDBITS about Risotto
How to Cut Leeks
Leeks grow up through the ground so they end up with a lot of 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 then cut the leek in half from bottom to top. Lay the flat part down on your cutting board then cut the leeks from side to side into thin moon shaped pieces. Place the leeks in a strainer, then place strainer inside a larger bowl. Fill the bowl with water and agitate the leeks around to release all 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 made no sense.
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.
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. That way next time I want risotto, I throw that in the pan, saute to thaw it out, then throw in my rice to toast and continue on with the recipe. It works amazingly well!
I’ve never tried doubling this recipe, though I suspect it would work just fine. I have halved it before though and that works perfectly.
Make it a Meal
To make this dish a complete meal, I highly suggest serving it along side roasted vegetables and grilled steak or chicken. My goodness, I’m drooling just thinking about it.
Don’t even get me started! Sun-dried tomato and pesto, balsamic and soy, broccoli and cheddar, Tex-Mex, Greek with pepperoncinis and feta, Thai, Chinese, chocolate with dulce de leche, etc, etc. Endless possibilities I tell you.
In fact, I’ve got a curry version comin’ at you soon and I’m on the road to mastering a whole grain version as well.
While this version is the “Basic” version, there is nothing basic about the flavors here. Prepare for the food discovery of a life time! Instant Pot Basic Risotto comin’ at ya!
Tools/Ingredients used to make Instant Pot Basic Risotto
Arborio Rice I love this brand and can find it for a bit cheaper at my local grocery store
Risotto Spoon If you wanna stir it like the pros
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How to Make Instant Pot Basic Risotto
Creamy, easy 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
- 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 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.
- 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.
Keywords: instant pot, electric pressure cooker, risotto, basic risotto