{Instant Pot} Butternut Squash Risotto

It sounds cold and windy outside, there’s snow in the forecast, and I’m currently curled up in a chair next to our freshly decorated Christmas tree, inhaling the intoxicating smell of Frasier Fir. The only thing that’s missing is a bowl of this creamy, melt-in-your-mouth Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto sitting on my lap.

(Also, I’m admiring our new fireplace mantel, decked out for the holidays for the 1st time! Whee!! Thanks for letting me share.)

Back to the risotto: I mean, really. How can you look at that bowl of creamy, cheesy, comforting goodness and not want to just jump right into a bowl? No? Just me?

In all seriousness, this is legit easy comfort food taken to the next level. Perfect for these colder winter months when all your body wants is something warm and hearty. This will now be your go-to. Trust me.

The best part? It’s made in the Instant Pot. If you’ve had risotto before, you know it’s delicious and pretty much the definition of comfort food. If you’ve made risotto before, you also know that it can be a labor of love. It’s not necessarily hard, it’s just time consuming while you slowly add more warm broth to the Arborio rice until it’s nice and creamy. It’s often recommended that you sip some wine while stirring the rice and just enjoy the process (not a bad recommendation, if you ask me!).

Well, sometimes I don’t have that luxury of standing by the stove, sipping wine, waiting for my dinner to be made. Hence, why this meal is my new go-to risotto recipe. If you don’t already have an Instant Pot, I see you and I know you’ve been debating about it (I once was there, too). This recipe is going to make that final decision easy for you. :)

The Instant Pot gives you the flavor and the creaminess of risotto without the hands-on work. It’s like a dream. Pair this with a nice salad and maybe a slice of hearty bread and you have yourself a meal worthy of date night, yet simple enough for a family weeknight dinner.

The weather may not be the greatest in the Midwest in the winter, but at least it gives us a reason to savor a warm and comforting weeknight risotto! Enjoy!

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and largely diced (about 1 small butternut squash, equal to about 1 to 1 1/4 lbs whole butternut squash)
  • 1 (8-oz) package Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice (don’t substitute with a different kind of rice; this rice has a high starch content that makes the risotto creamy)
  • 2 1/2 cups turkey or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 ounces baby spinach (about 3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Add the butter and oil to the Instant Pot. Press “Sauté” and “Adjust” so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting and wait until the butter has melted and it bubbles.
  2. Add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes so it softens. Add the butternut squash and stir with the onions for another 1–2 minutes (the squash will be very hard still, but don’t worry, it will completely soften up after pressure cooking). Next, add in the mushrooms, stir and cook for another minute. Finally, add the garlic, stir with everything else and cook for another minute.
  3. Add about 1/2 cup of the broth and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan; this will help add more flavor to the dish, but also help prevent the bottom from burning while it’s pressure cooking. Turn off the “Sauté” function on the Instant Pot.
  4. Add in the rice and mix it in with everything in the pot. Add the remaining broth and the seasonings; stir well. Place the spinach on top, but do NOT mix the spinach in with everything else—just let it rest on top. It will look like a lot of spinach, but it will cook down.
  5. Secure the lid, with the valve on the lid turned to “Sealing.” Press “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 5 minutes. Quick release when done by turning the valve from “Sealing” to “Vent.”
  6. Stir the spinach in with the risotto. Add in the grated Parmesan and stir. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with additional Parmesan, if desired.

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