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Instant Pot Chicken and Pumpkin Risotto

Transform your weeknight dinner routine with this mouth-watering Instant Pot chicken and pumpkin risotto recipe! Not only is it easy to make, but it’s also packed with nutritious vegetables making it a guilt-free option. And even better, because it is made in your Instant Pot there is no need to stand and stir, and it is ready in just minutes.

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Instant Pot Chicken Pumpkin Risotto in a white bowl.
Instant Pot chicken and pumpkin risotto.

Why you’ll love this recipe

A wonderful winter warmer, this chicken risotto cooked in an Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker) is a family favorite at my place.

It is so easy to cook compared with traditional risotto recipes, theres no need to stand at a hot stove stirring for 40 minutes. And it results in a mouth-watering creamy risotto, every time.

For some more Instant Pot risotto recipes check out: Instant Pot Chicken and Mushroom Risotto, Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto, Instant Pot Asparagus Risotto, or Instant Pot Tomato Risotto.

Scroll down for the printable card for this Instant Pot chicken risotto recipe, or read on for all the details.

What do you need?

Pressure cooker

I use an Instant Pot to make this recipe, but you can use another electric pressure cooker or a multicooker with a pressure cook function.

Key ingredients and substitutions

Chicken thighs

This recipe uses boneless, skinless chicken thighs. You can substitute chicken breast if you prefer (though chicken thighs add more flavor to the recipe).

Vegetables

This recipe uses pumpkin, leek and zucchini, but you can add other vegetables if you like.

The pumpkin needs to be chopped into 1-inch chunks, by pre-cut if you can to make things easier.

Thinly slice the leek so that it cooks quickly.

The zucchini needs to be shredded, and is stirred through the risotto once cooking has finished. You could substitute finely choipped baby spinach if you prefer.

Garlic

The recipe below specifies freshly crushed garlic cloves, but you could also use crushed garlic from a jar – use one teaspoon per garlic clove.

Thyme

As always fresh is best for herbs, but if you don’t have any fresh thyme to hand then you can substitute dried thyme instead.

Risotto rice

This recipe uses arborio rice. You can substitute another type of risotto rice if that is what you have, however, you should check the amount of liquid required for another rice to ensure that the rice-water ratio is correct. Add a little more chicken stock or water if required.

Tip

Do not rinse the rice before cooking. The starch in the rice is what creates the rich and creamy texture of risotto so you don’t want to remove this prior to cooking.

Chicken stock

This recipe uses chicken stock. You can substitue chicken broth if you prefer. You could substitute vegetable or stock if you dont have any chicken stock or broth.

Parmesan cheese

I like to serve this risotto with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or powdered Parmesan. For a dairy-free version, you could substitute nutritional yeast.

Pressure cooker chicken pumpkin risotto in a white bowl.

How to make chicken and pumpkin risotto in an Instant Pot

This recipe is very simple to make, there are just a few key steps to get it just right:

  1. Prepare the ingredients ahead of starting to cook.
  2. Quickly brown the chicken, and saute the pumpkin, leek, garlic and thyme. This seals the moisture into the chicken keeping it juicy, and releases the flavours from the aromatic ingredients.
  3. Add the rice to the pan (ahead of the liquid), and stir to coat the rice grains with the liquid in the pan.
  4. Add the stock and deglaze the pan. Note: ‘deglaze’ just means gently scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to release any cooking residues into the stock.
  5. Bring the stock to the boil, then cancel the programme. This starts the rice cooking and will help the pressure cooker to come up to full pressure more quickly once you start pressure cooking.
  6. Close and lock the lid, then pressure cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Once the cook time is up, use the quick release option to open the Instant Pot so the you don’t over-cook the risotto.
  8. Stir through the butter and shredded zucchini, and serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

Serving ideas

Serve it with a crunchy green salad and some crusty garlic bread for a delicious family dinner.

Instant Pot Chicken Pumpkin Risotto in a white bowl.
Yield: 2 Servings

Instant Pot Chicken and Pumpkin Risotto

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

How to cook chicken and pumpkin risotto in an Instant Pot.

Ingredients

Risotto

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 10 oz chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 7 oz pumpkin, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oregano fresh or dried
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 zucchini, shredded

To serve

  • 2 tablespoon grated Parmesan

Instructions

Prepare the risotto

  1. Set instant Pot to 'Sauté'. Add a drizzle of olive oil.
  2. When it is hot, add the chicken and paprika, and cook until starting to brown (approx. 3 minutes).
  3. Add the pumpkin and cook until starting to soften (approx. 5 minutes).
  4. Add the leek, garlic and oregano and cook until softened and fragrant (approx 3 minutes).
  5. Add arborio rice, and stir to coat with the liquid in the pan.
  6. Add the chicken stock, and deglaze the pan (stir to release all the cooking residues from the pot).
  7. Allow it to come to the boil, then press 'Cancel' to end the Sauté program.

Pressure cook the risotto

  1. Close and lock the Instant Pot lid. Ensure that the valve is set to 'Sealing'. 
  2. Press the 'Pressure cook' button, and set it to pressure cook for 5 minutes.
  3. When the time is up, use the quick release option to open the Instant Pot [Note 1]. When the float valve has dropped, open the Instant Pot.

Serve

  1. Stir through butter and the shredded zucchini, then serve topped with the Parmesan cheese.

Notes

  1. Press 'Cancel' then carefully turn the steam release handle to the 'Venting' position.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 637Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 200mgSodium: 753mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 47g

Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.

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I’m Eliza, busy mom, home cook, and blogger. My goal is to help everyone cook good food. Whether you are short on time, skills, or motivation, there is something here for you! We have dozens of quick and easy recipes for dinner, lunch, side dishes, and more. Our recipes use everyday ingredients, for quick delicious meals your family will love! Read more…

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