I love pumpkin season, as it’s such a great flavour to combine with sweet or savoury. Throw in butter, garlic, rosemary, and cinnamon and it just screams the holiday season.

Risotto itself requires patience, and that’s okay because we’re going to caramelize onions in butter and cook the pumpkin, which both require time. So, it’s very important to have all your ingredients prepped beforehand, because you’ll be doing a lot of stirring, and there isn’t much downtime.

So find a good playlist, pour a hefty glass of wine, and get to it.

Creamy Vegetarian Pumpkin Risotto

Creamy Pumpkin Risotto

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Cream, Pumpkin, Risotto, Rosemary
Servings: 4 People


  • 1 large pan
  • 1 medium pan


  • 4 tbsp Salted Butter
  • 1 medium White Onion sliced
  • 6 cups Vegetable Stock
  • ¼ tsp Ground Ginger
  • ¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2-3 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary 2"
  • 4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 450 ml Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 cups Arborio
  • ¾ cup Cream 35%
  • 1 cup Oaked Chardonnay
  • Parsley
  • Parmesan
  • Salt & Pepper


  • In a large pan, caramelize your onion slices, over medium-low heat and stirring frequently. When done properly, this takes half an hour to 40 minutes.
  • About 7 minutes before your onions are ready, heat your vegetable stock over low heat in a pot.
  • About 5 minutes before the onions are done, when they develop a rich tan colour, add your rosemary, garlic, cinnamon, and ginger.
  • Add the arborio to the butter and spices, and toss for 30 seconds to a minute before your start ladling in the vegetable stock. Wait for all the stock to absorb before you add the next spoonful of stock.
  • When you are about halfway through your vegetable stock, transfer it into a cup that you can continue to scoop out of. In the now empty pot, add your pumpkin puree and 1/2 a cup of cream, over low heat, stirring constantly.
  • After all your vegetable stock is absorbed, add 1/2 the wine, and wait for 5 minutes before adding the pumpkin. Stir and taste to ensure that the pumpkin is fully cooked.
  • Add the rest of the cream and the wine, as well as salt and pepper to taste. Serve, and top with Parmesan and Parsley.
creamy pumpkin risotto by Cia Prior
creamy pumpkin risotto with oaked chardonnay

Variations & Substitutions

Don’t be afraid to play with spices here. Pumpkin is a lovely base, so don’t be afraid to get a little creative. You nix the cinnamon and try lemon thyme and oregano or herbs de Provence something a little uplifting. Or remove the rosemary and go a more dessert route with mace and nutmeg.

You can also add water and kick the tang up a notch by choosing to substitute the cream for creamy goat’s cheese. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds or crushed walnut.

Tips for making great Risotto

Risotto is made with arborio, an Italian rice. When you make risotto, you don’t boil the rice. It is infamous for being tricky to cook, but it’s more of a lengthy process than straight-up difficult.

First, never wash your arborio. Second, you’re going to want to lightly toast it.

Heat up your vegetable stock in a separate pan, and ladle it into your rice one spoonful at a time, allowing all the liquid to absorb before adding the next spoonful. To achieve a lovely creamy interior texture, the rice needs to be cooked low and slow.

Finally, Risotto is a creamy and rich dish before a rich sauce is added. Like all good fat, you need to ensure that you balance out your dish with salt and fat. The buttery flavours of the oaked chardonnay helps cut through that and brighten up the rest of the flavours in this dish. Just be sure to not stand directly over the pan when adding the white wine or you’ll get a nose full of alcohol evaporating off.