No time to babysit risotto on the stovetop? No problem! This Instant Pot weeknight risotto is easy, effortless and ready to go in just 20 minutes. It’s a game-changer!
I always struggle with what to make for dinner’s side dish. I tend to stick with pilaf, cous cous or quinoa, but every now and then I crave a bowl of good cheesy rice like risotto. I thought it was absolutely ludicrous to make it on a weeknight with three kiddos demanding my attention, but this pressure cooker version is fast, easy and totally delicious!
Risotto The Easiest Way Possible
I’ll be the first to admit that making good risotto in an Instant Pot sounded CRAZY. If you’ve ever made risotto before, you’re probably thinking the same thing. We were wrong guys, we were wrong.
It’s amazing and so incredibly easy. Practically fool-proof. The best part? No babysitting it, just pop it into your Instant Pot and it does all of the work for you. It could not get any easier than this!
Which means risotto can be a regular thing… on weeknights even. And date nights in? Yes, those will get so much better with a side of this cheesy, creamy, lick-the-plate-clean deliciousness.
To make real risotto you need rice with a high starch content, other types won’t give the correct texture. It is worth it to run to the store to get arborio rice for this dish! It can be found in most grocery stores and trust me other rice varieties just won’t do!
How to Make Instant Pot Risotto
It all starts with the rice. You’ll need 1 cup of short-grain arborio rice.
Next, you’ll need just over 2 cups of chicken broth. Pour it into a small saucepan and set it over the lowest heat on your stovetop. Let it warm while you mince one shallot and two medium cloves of garlic.
Grab a half stick of unsalted butter, salt, pepper, and some quality parmesan cheese.
Once you have everything prepped, turn the Instant Pot on SAUTE mode and add the 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter has melted, add the shallot, cook for a minute or two, then add the garlic. When the garlic is fragrant, pour in the rice, salt, and pepper. Stir for a minute then pour in the chicken broth.
Close the lid and switch to MANUAL mode with high pressure selected for 6 minutes. ✨
Manually release the pressure, remove the lid and stir in the remaining butter and the parmesan cheese. Let the risotto rest for 5 minutes, stir and serve.
- Even when cooking in the instant pot it is essential to warm the chicken broth because it will affect how the rice cooks.
- Make sure to check your seasonings because somehow the instant pot sucks away some the seasoning you worked so hard for.
More Cooking Methods
Traditional stovetop: The traditional way to make risotto is on the stovetop and only takes about 20-30 minutes to make, but does require you to babysit it and engaged the whole time. You can find a good stovetop recipe here.
Slow cooker: Grease your crockpot with olive oil and then add in everything but the cheese, make sure to mix it all well. Cook on high for 2 hours or until all of the moisture is absorbed. Stir in the cheese just before serving. You can follow the recipe for the basic idea!
Variations + Additions
This is a great traditional risotto, but feel free to jazz it up a bit or switch out ingredients to fit your preferences! You can easily make this dish vegetarian by using vegetable broth as opposed to chicken broth.
Or swap out cheeses, many cooks will use mozzarella. I use parmesan because its delicious and melts really nicely! Here some ideas for additions to add to your risotto:
- Cremini mushrooms
- Frozen peas
- Baby spinach
- Grape/Cherry Tomatoes
- Butternut squash/Pumpkin
So many options!
Storing Tips + Sides
Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days (if there is no meat in your risotto). If you have added meat like sausage then only store for up to 3 days. The risotto will thicken up and dry out a bit in the fridge, so it’s important to take certain steps when reheating!
To reheat, place broth or water in a pot on the stove. We use the ratio of ¼ cup of broth or water for every cup of risotto. Bring to a boil and then add the risotto. Stir for a few minutes or until the rice is warmed up.
Freezing risotto is NOT a good idea. The texture of frozen rice ends up being grainy and hard. Risotto is best fresh! You can make risotto an hour ahead of time and keep it warm until ready to serve!
What to serve with risotto?
- Maple dijon roasted chicken and vegetables
- Crispy lemon pepper chicken
- Creamy lemon thyme pork chops
We topped ours with extra parmesan and a pinch of freshly minced parsley. It was cooked perfectly and tasted just like the stovetop method! This Instant Pot Weeknight risotto is a total game changer! ??
For more recipes, check out:
- Creamy Parmesan Orzo
- Parmesan Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomatoes Cous Cous and Garlic Veggies
- Orzo Arugula Salad with Lemon Basil Vinegarette
- Grilled Panzanella Salad
Instant Pot Risotto Recipe
- 2 cup + 1 tbsp low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter - (1/2 stick) divided
- 1 shallot - minced
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 3/4 tsp kosher sea salt - more to taste
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper - OR white pepper
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
- In a small saucepan set over low heat, add chicken broth. Let broth warm while preparing remaining ingredients
- Turn Instant Pot on SAUTE. When hot, add 2 tablespoons butter. Once the butter has melted add the shallot and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Stir in rice, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Pour in warm broth, stir then close lid.
- Turn Instant Pot on MANUAL mode with high pressure selected for 6 minutes. Once cooked, allow for the pressure to release manually by switching the valve to venting, this usually takes 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid and stir in the remaining butter and the parmesan. Let rest for 5 minutes, stir and serve.
- Garnish with additional parmesan or a sprinkle of freshly minced parsley.