Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Risotto is a hearty way to celebrate the huge selection of fabulous winter squash varieties.  Why not use a type you’ve never tried before, or maybe hadn’t even heard of! 

creamy roasted pumpkin risotto


So comforting on a cold Winter’s night, Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Risotto will have you diving back into the pan for seconds! 

Using arborio rice and cooking it slowing with aromatics, roasted squash and broth makes a marvelous start forpumpkin ravioli this lovely Fall main course or side dish.  It’s finished with a handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese, heavy cream,  fresh cracked pepper and brought to a silky perfection.

I adore making all kinds of recipes with winter squash, including my all-time favorite, a pumpkin-sage ravioli. I don’t really use a formal recipe, and keep it simple by using fresh wonton skins.

 One of my tricks is to fry small sage leaves and place them on top of the filling to show through the ravioli.  It’s makes them “holiday appetizer” ready!  I usually serve the with a lovely sage-shallot butter sauce with a sprinkling of parmesan for a simple sit-down plated appetizer.  My guests always love them!



Don’t think that you have to use a sugar pie pumpkin to make a delicious risotto!  There’s so many fabulous varieties from which to choose, you might have a really hard time settling on just one! 

Here’s a few varieties that I love to cook and eat all Winter long, and I hope you give some of them a try!

  • Delicataorange kabocha squash
  • Butternut
  • Turban
  • Acorn
  • Sweet Dumplings (miniature variety I like to use hollowed out as containers)
  • Kabocha (green, orange or blue kuri)
  • Buttercup
  • Carnival (acorn + sweet dumplings)



And this is a non-negotiable point!  Do not under any circumstances use canned pumpkin for this recipe!

Canned pumpkin has no texture. And if you make the mistake of using a seasoned can of pie filling, you’ll end up with a mucky, pumpkin pie rice.  Yummy? No, in fact as a dear friend found out, it was fit only for the garbage bin!


roasted pumpkin puree in a bowl


  • Cut your pumpkin or winter squash into quarters, leaving the skin on
  • Roast on a parchment-lined baking pan in a 450°F, flesh facing down until tender
  • Let cool, scoop out flesh or peel of the skin and puree in food processor


For this particular recipe, I scoop out the flesh so I can leave it chunky for the risotto.  I like to have puree and chunks of winter squash in my Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Risotto.

It’s such a simple process, I do several different types of winter squash during a single cooking session.  That way I have enough for my holiday pies, cookies and cakes too!  It freezes like a dream or can be canned with a traditional water-bath processing to keep it all season long!


SAME CLASSIC TECHNIQUE – Learn It Once, And Eat Fabulous Risotto For a Lifetime! 

I’ve been making some variation of this pumpkin risotto recipe for many years.  I finally sat downcreamy roasted pumpkin risotto and wrote out a recipe card so I can share it with you today! 

Just like any traditional risotto recipe, you coat the grains of rice in the pan with a fat first.  Then spend lots of time stirring the mixture while the rice absorbs all the broth you add, little by little. What results is a hearty and warming pan of flavorful pumpkin laced risotto with a velvety finish! 



A traditional risotto is a creamy, cheesy rice cooked by slowly adding broth to the pan.  You’ll be stirring the whole time, until its tender. It’s a labor of love. because it takes about 35-40 minutes  from start to finish.

The time spent cooking is actively babysitting the rice, adding in broth as needed and stirring as it cooks. But I’m telling you now, it’s worth every second of all that stirring you need to do.

Generally, risotto gets a final addition of heavy cream and/or a generous helping of parmesan cheese.  My Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Risotto is no different, and gets the royal treatment of both, just before it’s served. 

Feel free to gild the lily by having a bowl of freshly grated parmesan and a pepper grinder on the table.  A tiny flourish of freshly ground black pepper is a lovely way to finish this delectable vegetarian entree or side dish.

creamy roasted pumpkin risotto with parmesan cheese toppin


Even though this recipe, like any risotto, needs constant attention, it’s just not that hard.  Don’t let its “gourmet” reputation intimidate you into not trying this fabulous Fall dish.

Why not give a new variety  of winter squash a try?  How about a beautifully rich kabocha or buttercup this time around?  You’ll find that more and more unusual edible varieties are showing up in farmer’s markets every season.  I can hardly wait to see what’s in store for me on my next visit!


creamy roasted pumpkin risotto with roasted brussel sprouts

VARIATIONS ON A THEME – Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Risotto with Pan-Roasted Brussel Sprouts

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve made a ton of variations of  Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Risotto over the years.  This particular rendition, with the simple addition of pan-roasted brussel sprouts is a favorite when we have fresh ones on hand.  It’s certainly worth a try if you want to “beef” up your vegetarian meal a bit more.

Just toss your halved brussel sprouts with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast in a 400 °F oven for 20 minutes or until browned and tender.   They lend a depth of flavor to this dish that is out of this world!



If you’d like to serve your Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Risotto in a fun “bowl”, try using miniature or roasted pumpkin sage soupsmall winter squash!

  • Cut a circular hole around the top rim of each pumpkin and remove lid. Scrape out fiber and seeds, leaving sides as smooth as possible.


Pictured here is my fabulous Roasted Pumpkin and Sage Soup with Pepitas!  I’ll be sharing that recipe here at Ingredients For A Fabulous Life sometime this Fall!  It’s too good to miss out on, so make sure you come back to visit soon!



As your Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Risotto cooks, the rice will keep absorbing all the liquid in the pan you add.  It will also continue to thicken as it cools down

A fabulous risotto should be made so its like rice in a creamy sauce.  If yours is too thick, simply add in more broth or water to thin it out and heat it up again.  Either will make your pumpkin risotto perfectly velvety again! 


WANT ANOTHER “RISOTTO” RECIPE?  This One’s Not Traditional At All! 

Just as flavorful as it is filled will the colors of Autumn, Mushroom Butternut Barley Risotto makes a lovely Fall vegetarian meal!


mushroom butternut barley risotto


CLICK THE LINK TO GET THE RECIPE FOR:  Mushroom Butternut Barley Risotto


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creamy roasted pumpkin risotto

Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Risotto

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

A wonderfully creamy risotto, laced with a chunky puree of roasted pumpkin, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and cream. It's a delightful way to enjoy the bounty of the Fall season!


  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lb. sugar pumpkin or winter squash
  • Head of garlic, top cut off
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sweet onion, diced
  • Large bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh thyme sprigs for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 425° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. With a sharp knife, halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. (clean the seeds and roast them for a snack if you desire)
  2. Cut each half again to make quarters. Brush oil over the flesh of the squash and place the pieces, cut sides down, onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle oil over top of garlic head and place on pan. Roast for 35 minutes or longer, until the flesh is tender and easily pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Peel the roasted garlic cloves and mash into a paste.
  3. Heat the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add onion, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is almost translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, remove the peel from the roasted squash and discard. Roughly chop roasted flesh.
  5. Stir garlic paste into pan, add the arborio rice and stir to coat all grains in the butter. Add the squash and one cup of broth. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  6. Continue repeating this process until no broth remains and your risotto is thick.
  7. Just prior to serving, add in the cheese and cream, stirring until mixture is fully heated through. Serve immediately with more cheese, if desired.
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