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October 7, 2021

Pumpkin Sage Risotto

Pumpkin Sage Risotto is a fall-themed showstopper that's naturally vegan and gluten-free. It's a delicious meal, perfect for cold fall nights.

Pumpkin Sage Risotto

Before I start talking about how tasty this recipe is (it's delicious!) I want to just say that I know risotto can be intimidating. It's one of those foods that you always hear about people messing up. But I promise that it's not as difficult as it seems.

It DOES take a lot of active time though, so be prepared to spend the 30 minutes it takes to make this risotto standing over the stove and stirring. I suggest bringing along podcast or a friend to keep yourself entertained. Kidding. It's not that bad.

Why I love this recipe

  • Dietary needs — Risotto is naturally gluten-free because it's made from rice. This recipe is also vegan, dairy-free, oil-free, and sugar-free.
  • Fall flavors and vibrant color — Pumpkin and sage is such a delicious flavor combo. Pumpkin is slightly sweet and sage brings a soft savory touch. Plus, the pumpkin turns this risotto a beautiful shade of orange.
  • Risotto that's not complicated — okay so it's still risotto, you DO have to stir it a lot, but it's a pretty simple recipe. As long as you keep stirring you won't mess it up. And the flavor is very forgiving. This is a great "first risotto ever" recipe.

Pumpkin Sage Risotto

Ingredients

  • Vegetable Broth: Vegetable broth or stock can make or break a recipe, especially risotto, where the broth is the liquid that is cooking the rice and contributing to the overall flavor. You want to look for a broth that has many different vegetables, but no other added ingredients like preservatives or sugar. My go to is this brand.
  • Canned Pumpkin: Make sure to buy pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
  • Shallots: Shallots are like a cross between onion and garlic. They add some beautiful texture and flavor to the risotto.
  • Dry White Wine: Wine adds flavor and acidity to the risotto. Dry white is perfect for this particular risotto, since we don't need to add any sweetness or color. A pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc will work fine - and it doesn't have to be a fancy brand.
  • Arborio Rice: Arborio rice is a very starchy rice which is why it's used in risotto recipes. The classic creamy texture of risotto comes from a combination of the cooking technique and using the correct rice.
  • Mushrooms: Mushrooms add some texture and earthy flavor to the risotto. In this recipe you'll cook them together with the sage for a burst of flavor that you'll stir in at the end.
  • Sage: Sage has an earthy, peppery, minty flavor that adds so much depth to this dish. When shopping for herbs like sage make sure the leaves are green with minimal (ideally none) brown spots.
  • Salt and Pepper: use at the end to adjust the flavor to your liking.

Pumpkin Sage Risotto

How to make Pumpkin Sage Risotto

Step 1. Heat broth and pumpkin on low. Keep warm throughout the process. This is important - see note below.

Step 2. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable broth to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed.

Step 3. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 4. In a separate pan cook the mushrooms and sage. Sauté the mushrooms and sage using a bit of the vegetable broth mixture for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft.

Step 5. Remove the rice from heat, and stir in mushrooms. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Step 6. Spoon into bowls, top with additional sage, and enjoy.

Expert Tips

Don't rinse your rice.

The reason risotto becomes so creamy is the starchiness of the rice. If you rinse the rice beforehand you rinse some of the starch off, resulting in a dry, crunchy risotto - not good.

Keep the broth warm while you cook.

Especially for risotto newbies, this step is super helpful. Warm broth helps the rice cook evenly. Imagine adding cold broth to the pan - some of the rice will drop in temperature and cook slower while other parts of the rice will continue cooking at a higher temperature. Eventually this will lead to uneven cooking.

For best results, keep the broth simmering on the stove while you cook. Or, if you don't have enough burners, heat up the broth in the microwave.

Just keep stirring.

You definitely don't need to stir continuously for 30 minutes, but stirring early and often is a good rule of thumb, especially if this is your first risotto.

The starch from the rice is released when you stir, so more stirring = more creaminess.

Pumpkin Sage Risotto

Recipe Prayer

Jesus, thank you for this risotto. Thank you for the hands that labored to make it. We are grateful for the delicious meal in front of us. Amen.

Related Recipes

Want to eat all things pumpkin? Here are a few of my pumpkin favorites:

Also, if you have some extra arborio rice left over, you should try rice pudding! It uses arborio rice for that same creamy texture of risotto.

Pumpkin Sage Risotto

Pumpkin Sage Risotto is a fall-themed showstopper that's naturally vegan and gluten-free. It's a delicious meal, perfect for cold fall nights.

Author:

Elizabeth

Serves:

6

Prep:

5

min

cook:

25

min

total:

30

min

Ingredients

  • 6 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 15-ounce Can Pumpkin
  • 2 Shallots, sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine - like pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc
  • 1 1/2 Cups Arborio Rice
  • 16 Ounces Mushrooms
  • 1/4 Ounce Sage, plus more for topping
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat broth and pumpkin on low. Keep warm throughout the process.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable broth to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed.
  3. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. In a separate pan cook the mushrooms and sage. Sauté the mushrooms and sage using a bit of the vegetable broth mixture for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft.
  5. Remove the rice from heat, and stir in mushrooms. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Spoon into bowls, top with additional sage, and enjoy.
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September 23, 2021
Tracy Henry
Hi Elizabeth, LOVE you recipes. Please keep them coming. :)I was wondering, can you share what is the vegan chocolate bar you used in this recipe?
August 28, 2021
Henry (Hank) Mader
thank you for the oil free recipe. I'm getting introduced to wild Bolete mushrooms here in Colorado, and everyone sautes Bolete's in butter or olive oil. I'm on a veggie, oil free regimen for heart health reasons. and your recipe suggestion may fill the bill. I can't wait to give it a try.
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This is so fun! Loving your creamy photography :)
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This looks incredible! So yummy and pretty photography