This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please see our privacy policy.

A quick and easy weeknight recipe for Butternut Risotto with Leeks and Spinach made with very little fuss, on your stovetop or in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Vegan-adaptable and Gluten-free. 

Cozy up with a comforting bowl of Butternut Risotto with Leeks and Spinach made with very little fuss, in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Vegan-adaptable and Gluten-free. #butternut #butternutrisotto #instantpot #vegan

The best way to predict the future is to create it. ~Abraham Lincoln 

This Butternut Risotto is perfect for cozy fall nights when time is limited. When using an instant pot, it only requires only 15 minutes of hands-on time before letting the Instant Pot take over and in the end, you’ll have a comforting nourishing meal on the table with very little fuss. You can also make this on the stovetop in about 40 minutes.

Now if you don’t have an instant pot, there is a stovetop version in the video and also in the recipe notes, and it is yummy. For the stovetop version, we roast the butternut.

How to make Butternut Risotto (on the Stovetop) | 60-sec video


I’ll be honest, I was a little surprised that this recipe turned out as good as it did. I’m not a huge fan of mushy veggies, so the idea of putting cubes of raw butternut in the Instant Pot was a little off-putting.  I much prefer them roasted and caramelized. But I just wanted to experiment and an interesting thing happened.

Well besides the obvious, yes, the butternut did get a little mushy. But what I didn’t expect was how creamy the butternut turned out, giving the risotto a lovely richness without adding cheese or butter, almost turning into a butternut sauce.

Kind of like the broccoli sauce in this Orchiette recipe.

How to make Butternut Risotto

A quick and easy weeknight recipe for Butternut Risotto with Leeks and Spinach made with very little fuss, in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Vegan-adaptable and Gluten-free. #butternut #butternutrisotto #instantpot #vegan

Step One:

The recipe starts with prepping the leeks. Cut and rinse them well. If they are very muddy, soak in a big bowl of water and separate the rings.

Save the green leek tops for Leek Oil – which is optional, but will change your life! I’m not joking here friends. It’s amazing.

Step Two:

Set the Instant Pot to the saute setting.  Heat the oil and add the leeks, stirring until they soften.

Step Three:

Add the garlic, sage and the Arborio Rice, sauteing the rice until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.

Step Four:

Then add the raw butternut squash that has been cut into cubes, salt and spices.

Step Five:

Give a few stirs then, add a splash of white wine. Add the rice and stir.

Step Six:

Scrape up all those browned bits, let the wine evaporate then add the broth. Be doubly sure to get all the browned bits. Using a wooden spoon helps.

I have been using this veggie boullion – it has great flavor.

Step Seven:

Pressure cook on high for 6 minutes.

Naturally, release for 5 minutes, then manually release.

Cozy up with a comforting bowl of Butternut Risotto with Leeks and Spinach made with very little fuss, in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Vegan-adaptable and Gluten-free. #butternut #butternutrisotto #instantpot #vegan

Step Seven:

Give a little stir and toss in a couple of handfuls of baby spinach to bump up the nutrition.

Cozy up with a comforting bowl of Butternut Risotto with Leeks and Spinach made with very little fuss, in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Vegan-adaptable and Gluten-free. #butternut #butternutrisotto #instantpot #vegan

Step Eight:

At this point, you could leave it vegan and drizzle with a little olive oil– or the flavorful Leek Oil.

Or you could stir in some butter, ghee, goat cheese or parmesan to taste.

If you like a looser risotto, add a little more broth or water to get the consistency how you like it.

As you keep stirring the butternut will break down a bit. It will add a nice creaminess.

Don’t over stir though, just a little. 🙂

Here I’ve topped it with the Leek oil and the Maple Pecans that you’ve seen before if you’ve been here a while. So handy!

The pecans give such good texture.

Cozy up with a comforting bowl of Butternut Risotto with Leeks and Spinach made with very little fuss, in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Vegan-adaptable and Gluten-free. #butternut #butternutrisotto #instantpot #vegan

And the Leek Oil is just a fun way to not waste those flavorful leek tops.

Use the Leek Oil on bread, over hummus, or tossed in salads, or over soups.

I know you…. you’ll find many uses. 🙂

Cozy up with a comforting bowl of Butternut Risotto with Leeks and Spinach made with very little fuss, in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Vegan-adaptable and Gluten-free. #butternut #butternutrisotto #instantpot #vegan

More recipes you may like: 

 

 

Cozy up with a comforting bowl of Butternut Risotto with Leeks and Spinach made with very little fuss, in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Vegan-adaptable and Gluten-free. #butternut #butternutrisotto #instantpot #vegan

Happy cozy fall weekend! Let us know what you think of this Instant Pot Butternut Risotto in the comments below!

Be well,

xoxo

Sylvia

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Cozy up with a comforting bowl of Butternut Risotto with Leeks and Spinach made with very little fuss, in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Vegan-adaptable and Gluten-free. #butternut #butternutrisotto #instantpot #vegan

Butternut Squash Risotto

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 cups 1x
  • Category: vegan, dinner recipe,
  • Method: Instant Pot, stove top
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Cozy up with a comforting bowl of Butternut Risotto with Leeks and Spinach made with very little fuss, in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Vegan-adaptable and Gluten-free. Stovetop version in the notes below!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or butter)
  • 2 cups sliced leeks (one extra large leek) or sub one onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 8 sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup Arborio rice or short-grain Spanish rice (Bomba)
  • 2 heaping cups butternut squash, cubed (please see notes if making on stove top!)
  • 1/4 cup white wine (or skip it)
  • 2 cups veggie stock or chicken stock or broth (or water and one teaspoon or cube veggie bouillon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper (or sub black pepper to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg the nutmeg makes this- don’t leave it out!
  • ——
  • 23 handfuls baby spinach or chopped kale
  • OPTIONAL: 1/41/2 cup parmesan, pecorino, manchego, vegan cheese or cashew cheese – or the leave cheese out and use LEEK OIL for garnish. Or stir in 1-2 tablespoons of butter or ghee, or a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Optional: Maple Glazed Pecans

Instructions

  1. Slice and rinse leeks, separating rings (rinsing will help them to soften faster).
  2. Set Instant Pot to the “Saute” function.
  3. Heat oil in the instant pot, add the rinsed leeks and stir for 2 minutes. Add garlic, sage and rice, stir for 2 minutes.
  4. Add butternut squash, and keep stirring for a couple of minutes, until there is a bit of browning on the bottom of the instant pot.
  5. Add the wine and scrape up the browned bits-  a wooden spoon is good for this. Let all the wine cook off, about 2-3 minutes. Add the stock or broth. Scrape up more browned bits. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg, and give a good stir.
  6. Seal the instant pot and pressure cook on HIGH for 6 minutes. Naturally, release for 5 minutes, then manually release. 
  7. While the Instant pot is going you could make the leek oil and/or the maple glazed pecans.
  8. Stir the risotto, adding the spinach and cheese or butter if you like, or leave them out. As the butternut breaks down a bit, it will add a nice natural creaminess to the risotto.
  9. Adjust salt to taste. If you like a “looser” risotto add a bit more broth.
  10. Garnish with optional leek oil or maple glazed pecans.

Notes

To elevate this, make the leek oil and maple glazed pecans, and perhaps top it with some additional roasted or pan-seared butternut that has been nicely caramelized.

The butternut in the instant pot will break down and almost becomes the sauce here.

STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS: ( you will need 4-5 cups warm stock) 

  1. ROAST BUTTERNUT: Toss the cubed butternut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper and ROAST  in a 400 F oven on a parchment-lined sheet pan until caramelized and tender 25-30 minutes. At the same time make risotto.
  2. RISOTTO: In a large heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the washed leeks. Saute until fragrant and tender, covering with the lid for a few minutes to let them steam a bit. Add garlic and sage, saute 2 more minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add the rice and saute 1 minute, stirring. Add a splash of white wine, and cook this off. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add 1-2 cups warm stock (enough to cover the rice), stir and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Continue adding broth 1 cup at a time, letting the rice absorb it slowly, stirring often over med-low heat, until the rice is plumped, slightly al dente, yet creamy, about 20-25 minutes. If adding kale, add it with the last cup of broth. If adding spinach, you can stir it in at the end. Keep the risotto thick and hearty or add more stock to loosen it up a bit.
  4. Stir in the roasted butternut and spinach and optional cheese or butter. Taste, season and adjust salt and pepper.  If bland, it probably needs more salt.
  5. Garnish with the leek oil and maple glazed pecans.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups. Calculated with ½ cup parmesan.
  • Calories: 321
  • Sugar: 1.9 g
  • Sodium: 471.6 mg
  • Fat: 10.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 48.3 g
  • Fiber: 1.5 g
  • Protein: 8.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 7.2 mg

Keywords: Butternut Risotto Recipe, Vegan butternut risotto, Instant Pot risotto, Butternut Risotto, instant pot butternut risotto, vegan risotto, vegan butternut recipes, vegan instant pot recipes.

Share this with the world

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

Comments

  1. I love this risotto so much! It doesn’t even need cheese to taste good. I have made this several times on the stovetop now. Always so warm and comforting. Well done and thank you!

  2. Delicious! Don’t have an instapot so used the stovetop method. Wasn’t sure when to put the 1/4 C of wine in (besides the splash?), used 4 C of broth and took 40-45 min. Flavor was wonderful and liked a bit of Romano cheese as a finish.

  3. Exceptional! I doubled the recipe and it was our vegan entree for Christmas dinner and side dish for the meat eaters. Gorgeous and special in appearance, and the best risotto I’ve ever had. Rave reviews from all! Wish I could give it 10 stars.

  4. This recipe is so delicious. I made it once and cannot stop. I have also shared it with so many friends and family who also love it. Manchego cheese is so yummy in this!!

  5. Here to say I love this easy quick way to make risotto, and it is adaptable. This time used onion and shallotas didn’t have a leek, and one large sweet potato which was two cups worth instead of butternut squash. I only use a teaspoon of oil to saute too. We find it is fine without any added butter or cheese to keep calories a bit lower. A great recipe

      1. Hope much longer do I need to cook for, please, if I double up the recipe to feed 8 as a main course using an Instant Pot?

  6. Yummy. True comfort food on a cold, rainy November day! Had to use up some kidney beans so they went into the stovetop pot. No pecans on hand so substituted toasted maple walnuts. Loved the addition of the nuts. So good. Another recipe that’ll go into the rotation. Thank you, Sylvia.

  7. This was wonderful….I couldn’t believe the creamy mouth-feel achieved by the squash. I made this on the stovetop with spinach, the leek oil, and the pecans and it was as good as any cheesy risotto I’ve had in a restaurant. My 9-year-old son loved it, too!…(sans the pecans). Thanks for the great recipe.

  8. I’ve made this recipe several times in an Instant Pot. As usual Sylvia get the cooking times perfectly and the flavor balance is interesting and delicious.

  9. Made for dinner tonight for my extended family, full of picky eaters. Everyone loved it! Made stovetop.

  10. This sounds fantastic! Could I add nutritional yeast instead of cheese? If so, how much would you recommend?

    I’m allergic to gluten, eggs, and dairy, and my vegetarian sister in law is coming to visit. This sounds like the perfect thing for all of us. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Laura, perhaps a little, go lightly. It actually isn’t too bad without the cheese. 😉 Definalty make the leek oil.

  11. I love ALL your recipes! And I like the new website. Unfortunately, the videos do not play for me. I use Chrome as my browser, but it doesn’t play with Safari either. Of course, your directions are clear enough for me to cook them all- just would love to be able to see the videos. Suggestions?

  12. This looks amazing! Could you make ahead and freeze? How long would you suggest this lasts in freezer? Excited to try this new recipe!

Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

Subscribe
to get recipes via email