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This creamy vegan pumpkin risotto with roasted pepitas is a hearty, comforting dish that will satisfy vegans and non-vegans alike. Enjoy it drizzled with a touch of balsamic glaze for a perfect flavor combination. This savory dish is easy to make using canned pumpkin and is naturally gluten-free. Serve as the main course or as an appetizer or side with your favorite fall or holiday dishes.
I must confess. I have jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon.
Yup. It's true.
Pumpkin can happen to good people. 😉
Sometimes pumpkin can happen in the form of a delectable vegan pumpkin pie.
Sometimes it comes in the form of a creamy scoop of cold pumpkin nice cream.
Sometimes it happens in the form of a savory pasta dish like vegan pumpkin mac and cheese.
And, sometimes it can happen in an unexpected form like pumpkin hummus.
But this time it happened to me in the form of one of my favorite dishes - risotto.
I'm not going to lie to you. I totally got pumpkin happy at Thrive Market and ended up with many cans of pumpkin puree.
Um, the better question is why not?
Because, pumpkin. Duh!
Now what to make first...hmm...I wondered.
Then it hit me like
a ton of bricks a can of pumpkin puree! 😉
Pumpkin risotto, of course!
Aside from pumpkin puree, this risotto is made with arborio rice, vegetable broth, white wine, nutritional yeast, vegan Parmesan, olive oil, shallots, sage, nutmeg, white pepper and salt.
I decided to top it off with some roasted pepitas and balsamic glaze for some extra pizazz! *Insert jazz hands emoji here*
OK, so let's get to it...
How to make pumpkin risotto - step by step
Step 1: Roast the pepitas
Preheat oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Spread raw pepitas out on the baking sheet.
Spritz with avocado or olive oil spray until coated, but not drowning.
Add sea salt to taste.
Stir around and then spread out again.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring once.
Allow pepitas to cool for a few minutes and then wrap in a paper towel to remove excess oil until ready to use, if desired.
Step 2: Heat the broth.
Add vegetable broth to a pot and warm over medium heat.
Step 3: Make the risotto.
While the broth is warming, heat olive oil in a wide pan on medium.
Next, add chopped shallots and cook over medium heat until translucent (approximately 2 minutes).
Stir in chopped sage until coated and fragrant.
Add the rice and stir until it is well coated.
Then, add the wine and stir constantly until absorbed.
Next, add one ladleful of the warm broth until absorbed, stirring constantly.
Continue to add the broth to the rice one ladleful at a time until absorbed, stirring constantly, until the rice is just tender and has a creamy consistency.
Stir in pumpkin puree, nutritional yeast, vegan Parmesan, nutmeg and white pepper.
Cook over medium heat until pumpkin is heated and vegan Parmesan has melted.
Stir in salt to taste and top with roasted pepitas.
Drizzle with balsamic glaze, if desired.
Can I leave off the pepitas?
Yes, you can skip the roasted pepitas and the risotto will still be delicious.
Storing and reheating leftovers
Risotto is best when enjoyed immediately. However, if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
You can reheat leftovers in a nonstick pan over medium heat with some vegan butter (or olive oil) and/or vegetable broth until warmed throughout, stirring frequently.
You can also microwave leftovers in a covered microwave-safe dish in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until warmed throughout.
Tips for making risotto
- Pan: Risotto is best made in a 4-quart, wide pan (about 10-12 inches in diameter) with a heavy bottom and high, straight sides (about 4 inches high) so the rice absorbs the broth and cooks evenly and there’s a large enough area to work in.
- Spoon: To stir the risotto, a wooden spoon with a circular opening is traditionally used as it allows for more efficient stirring.
- Stirring: Consistency is key. Be sure to stir constantly to avoid sticking and to keep the hot broth flowing through the rice so that it cooks evenly.
For another risotto recipe, check our our vegan lemon risotto next.
Vegan Pumpkin Risotto with Roasted Pepitas
FOR THE ROASTED PEPITAS
- ⅓ cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
- avocado or olive oil spray, to taste
- sea salt, to taste
FOR THE RISOTTO
- 48 oz. gluten-free vegetable broth, low sodium if desired (6 cups)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup chopped shallots
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped sage
- 2 cups Arborio rice (not rinsed)
- 1 cup dry vegan white wine (preferably Pinot Grigio)
- 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup vegan Parmesan, grated or shredded (such as Follow Your Heart or Violife)
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- fine sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
- balsamic glaze, to taste (if desired)
FOR THE ROASTED PEPITAS
- Preheat oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread pepitas out on the baking sheet and spritz with avocado or olive oil spray until coated, but not drowning. Add sea salt to taste. Stir around and then spread out again. Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring once.
- Allow pepitas to cool for a few minutes and then wrap in a paper towel to remove excess oil until ready to use, if desired.
FOR THE RISOTTO
- Warm vegetable in a pot over medium to medium-high heat.
- While broth is warming, heat olive oil in a wide pan.
- Add the chopped shallots and cook over medium heat until translucent, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the chopped sage until coated and fragrant, but not burning (about 30 seconds).
- Add the rice and stir until it is well coated.
- Add the wine and stir constantly until it is absorbed.
- Once wine is absorbed, add one ladleful (approximately ¼ cup) of broth. Stir constantly until the broth is absorbed.
- Continue to add one ladleful of broth at a time to the rice as it is absorbed, stirring constantly, until rice is just tender and has a creamy consistency (will take about 20-25 minutes minutes from this point).
- Once the rice is creamy and you have used all or most of your broth (you might not need it all), stir in pumpkin, nutritional yeast, vegan Parmesan, nutmeg and white pepper. Cook over medium heat until pumpkin is heated and vegan Parmesan has melted, about 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in salt to taste and garnish with roasted pepitas and optional balsamic glaze, if desired.
(Please refer to the post above for instructional photographs for this recipe)
This post originally appeared on Watch Learn Eat on October 20, 2015. It has been republished to reflect both recipe and photo revisions. Changes to the story were also made.
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