This Easy Instant Pot Risotto has the same creamy texture and perfectly al dente rice as the stove top version, but with much less effort!
I am in love with this Instant Pot Risotto.
There are some things that I just didn’t catch on to very quickly (okay, a lot of things), but then once I did I couldn’t go back.
I have had this bag of Arborio rice sitting in my pantry for entirely too long, just waiting for that day I felt like standing over a bunch of pots on the stove stirring risotto.
Well, that day never came, but thankfully there is another option!
This easy Instant Pot Risotto is just as good as the traditional version, but it takes much less time, and much, much less hands on prep.
A few minutes of chopping and stirring, then we set it and forget it.
It took my Instant Pot only a few minutes to come to pressure when I was making this recipe, so the whole cooking process took about 20 minutes!
If you’re making a large batch, it may take a few extra minutes, but all that time is hands off so it’s still a huge win.
Why do we use Arborio rice for risotto?
Arborio rice is short and fat and very starchy.
When we’re cooking rice and want individual grains, we don’t want that starch as it can make your grains of rice clump together.
This is also why we usually rinse rice when we’re cooking it, like in this recipe for perfect Instant Pot Brown Rice.
We rinse the rice before cooking to remove the starch from the grains, but when we’re cooking risotto it’s that starch that makes it ultra creamy.
This is why Arborio rice is the key to making great, luscious risotto.
How to make Instant Pot Risotto:
- Drizzle some oil or add some butter to the Instant Pot on saute and cook up some onions.
- Add garlic, spices, and rice to toast — we don’t want to brown the rice, the edges should just be translucent (give it 2-3 minutes).
- Add the low sodium chicken or vegetable broth — no need to heat it! — and give the bottom a good scrape.
- Put the lid on and pressure cook. Relax!
- Let the pressure release naturally at least 10 minutes, then open and stir in some Parmesan cheese if you desire. I’ve included more optional ways to take this risotto to the next level down below!
Variations on this pressure cooker risotto:
- Make it dairy free: use oil to cook your onions and skip the cheese. You will have an amazing creamy risotto with no dairy at all!
- Stir in some frozen peas and crispy bacon after cooking.
- Saute some mushrooms with the onions before adding the garlic and spices.
- Swap out the herbs and cheeses for a risotto all your own
- Add some roasted cherry tomatoes and fresh basil for a summery spin
What to serve with this Instant Pot Risotto:
- Leave out the potatoes and serve this Instant Pot Pot Roast with a plate of this creamy risotto.
- Throw this Slow Cooker Chicken Breast in the crockpot and this risotto in the Instant Pot, for an easy and hands off meal!
- These Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs would be an incredible match for this Instant Pot Risotto!
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Easy Instant Pot Risotto
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- Optional: crispy bacon and peas for topping
- Turn the Instant Pot to saute and add the butter and onions.
- Cook just until onions are translucent, stirring often.
- Add the rice, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until the edges of the rice are just translucent — watch the garlic so it doesn't burn.
- Add the chicken broth to pot and scrape the bottom well to remove any bits that may be stuck on.
- Turn the Instant Pot off, and with the vent in the venting position, put the lid on. Turn the valve to sealing, select Manual or Pressure Cook for 5 minutes. The Instant Pot will take about 5 minutes to build pressure and begin counting down.
- When the cook time is over, turn the Instant Pot off and let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes. Open the vent, then remove the lid.
- Stir in Parmesan cheese, season to taste and any toppings as desired.
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