Instant Pot Risotto Recipe


Making risotto can take a lot of effort, time, and patience due to all the stirring that it requires. However, with an Instant Pot, restaurant-quality risotto can be made right in your kitchen without all that fuss. This easy Instant Pot risotto recipe will come out perfectly amazing and creamy. We guarantee that once you’ve had a taste of this, you’ll find yourself making Instant Pot risotto as a side dish or main dish for your weeknight family dinners.

If you love risotto, have an Instant Pot at home, and would like to try your hand at making this absolutely delicious Instant Pot risotto recipe, dive right in!

Arborio Rice for Risotto: What is It?

Arborio rice is best known to many people as the type of rice used to make risotto. It is an Italian short-grain variety of rice named after the commune of Arborio in the northwestern Italian region of Piedmont. Arborio rice is high in amylopectin starch, giving dishes a creamy texture.

The grains of Arborio rice are oval in shape and about a quarter of an inch long and typically white in color. Arborio rice is also available in brown but is more commonly sold as white rice. 

Is Arborio Rice Only for Risotto?

Arborio rice is popularly used in risotto but it is also used in a variety of dishes. Arborio rice lends its creamy texture to rice pudding, porridge, or other starchy desserts. It is also used in arancini (Italian fried rice balls), soups, or paella.

How Do You Cook Arborio Rice?

If you are cooking risotto using Arborio rice, it is important to not rinse the rice. Rinsing Arborio rice will eliminate the starch needed to make a creamy risotto. If cooking Arborio rice on the stovetop, pour 2 cups of salted water in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil. Add butter or olive oil, return to a boil, then add 1 cup of Arborio rice. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the liquid is fully absorbed and the rice is al dente.

Can You Cook Arborio Rice Like Regular Rice?

Yes, you can. If you want to cook Arborio rice like regular rice, rinse the rice to remove any surface starch. You can cook it on the stovetop or through the rice cooker or even in a microwave. It will not absorb as much water as it normally would and will maintain some stickiness but it will come out with an al dente texture.

What is Risotto?

Risotto is an Italian dish made by cooking Arborio rice with a liquid such as chicken broth or vegetable stock, or even salted water until it becomes creamy. There is a lot of emphasis on the cooking technique of making the perfect risotto. The process of making risotto involves slowly ladling in warm broth into a pan full of rice, stirring frequently until the liquid is absorbed, ladling in more stock, and repeating. 

Butter and freshly grated parmesan cheese are also used to round up the risotto and enhance its creamy flavor. When served on a plate, the finished risotto should spread out into a silky, spoonable pool. Risotto can be eaten by itself as a main dish or a side dish. Other risotto recipes call for mixing risotto with a host of ingredients such as peas, sautéed mushrooms, crumbled bacon, and the like. 

What is the Difference Between Risotto and Arborio Rice?

Risotto is the name of the Italian dish that requires Arborio rice as its main ingredient. Arborio rice is a short-grain rice that is oval in shape and cooks with a creamy texture.

What is the Ratio of Water to Rice for Risotto?

When cooking stovetop risotto, the water-to-rice ratio is typically 2 cups of rice to 5 cups of liquid.

What to Add to Risotto to Make It Taste Better?

Risotto recipes are highly versatile and you can add various ingredients to enhance them. Once you get the hang of the technique of cooking risotto, the possibilities are endless. You can add peas, spinach, squash, white mushrooms, roasted vegetables, shrimp, beef, white fish, and more.

Instant Pot for Cooking Risotto

An Instant Pot is a multi-cooker that has several functions including pressure cooking, slow cooking, rice cooking, steaming, warming, sautéing, and more, all in one appliance. An Instant Pot helps expedite the cooking process, faster than a stovetop or oven. An Instant Pot comes in plenty of different models and sizes. 

Is an Instant Pot the Same as a Pressure Cooker?

One can say that an Instant Pot is the evolution of the standard pressure cooker as they can function the same way but fundamentally, they are different. A pressure cooker can cook on a stovetop, but there are also electric, stand-alone ones available on the market. A pressure cooker can speed up the cooking time of food by maintaining high temperature and even pressure. 

An Instant Pot can do the same, but its features are beyond that of having a quick cook time. With an Instant Pot, you can set the time for slow cooking, use the saute function, make yogurt, and cook rice as well. You can even make a variety of recipes in an Instant Pot, whether complex or simple dishes. Unlike the pressure cooker, Instant Pot is an all-in-one replacement for busy home cooks. 

An old-time pressure cooker is also prone to explosion and mess and may cause injury. The modern pressure cooker may have more safety features now than its old counterpart, but unlike the standard pressure cooker, an Instant Pot is designed with numerous safety mechanisms that make it much safer to use. 

How Do I Use the Rice Setting on My Instant Pot?

The Rice setting on the Instant Pot is best used with white rice. It is specifically calibrated to weigh white rice and water. A water-to-rice ratio of 1:1 is recommended when using the Rice function on the Instant Pot. To start, rinse your preferred amount of rice and pour it into the Instant Pot.

Next, fill the Instant Pot with the amount of water needed. Seal the lid. Make sure that the steam valve is set to “sealing.” Press the “Rice” function, and the Instant Pot will then take a cook time of 10 to 12 minutes. Once the cooking time ends, wait for another 15 minutes for it to cool down and release the pressure naturally. Swivel the lid of the Instant Pot open and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve.

What Food Can I Pressure Cook?

Aside from the Instant Pot risotto that we’ll be teaching you how to make, there are many things that you can pressure cook. You can use an Instant Pot to soften tough cuts of meat, beans, stews, soups, squash, and many more. Instant Pots are lifesavers as using high pressure can shorten the cooking time of food, which usually takes hours with conventional methods. 

Why Make Risotto in the Instant Pot?

If you’ve ever seen cooking competitions or cooking reality shows, you’ve probably witnessed numerous contestants make risotto only to end up failing and being sent home. Making a delicious plate of risotto takes time, attention to detail, and patience; otherwise, it is extremely easy to mess up.

But with the help of an Instant Pot, you need not worry about being fired from your own kitchen. An Instant Pot risotto doesn’t take much effort or time. Much like other Instant Pot recipes, this pressure cooker risotto can be made by just pressing a few buttons. You also wouldn’t need to watch over the Instant Pot risotto all the time, unlike when you make risotto over the stove. The Instant Pot will do all the heavy lifting for you. 

If you’re now convinced to make Instant Pot risotto, what are you waiting for? Read on to know how this easy Instant Pot recipe can change your family’s meal times! 

Instant Pot Risotto Recipe Ingredients

Cooking risotto is labor-intensive and time-consuming. It takes a lot of effort and patience to cook risotto even for just one person. However, with the help of an Instant Pot pressure cooker, you won’t have to slave over the stovetop to have restaurant-quality risotto at home. Gather up the following ingredients and you’ll be able to make creamy risotto right in your kitchen.

  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups chicken broth (or chicken stock or vegetable broth)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Key Ingredients of an Instant Pot Risotto

In order to make the best Instant Pot risotto at home, you will need these key ingredients. As long as you have these, your Instant Pot risotto will be just as good as your traditional risotto. An Instant Pot risotto is also less time-consuming and takes half the labor to be done.

Arborio Rice

This rice gives the Instant Pot risotto, or any risotto recipe for that matter, its creamy texture, and consistency. Unlike other rice types, there’s no need to rinse Arborio rice, or else it will lose the starch content needed to achieve a creamy risotto.

Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese is a classic in cooking the perfect risotto, and this Instant Pot risotto doesn’t skimp on it. Parmesan cheese adds a nutty flavor to the Instant Pot risotto. Additionally, it increases the smoothness of the dish, making it an even more creamy risotto.

White Wine

Any risotto, whether stovetop or Instant Pot risotto, is not complete without white wine. The white wine enhances the flavors of any restaurant-quality risotto. Additionally, the acidity in white wine will help balance the dish, making it a perfect risotto. The most popular choices for white wine to use in risotto are Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. 

Pinot Grigio is a white wine that has crisp notes of citrus and green fruit. Pinot Grigio is also the go-to white wine for cooking seafood. On the other hand, Sauvignon Blanc is a very popular white wine that gives depth to any risotto. Its acidity is described as ‘racy,’ and adds a bright and tenderizing finish to any meal. This white wine is popularly used in risotto as it pairs well with a creamy sauce.

Instant Pot Risotto Recipe Instructions

You don’t have to be a pro chef to cook risotto at home. Instant Pot recipes are uncomplicated, and this Instant Pot risotto recipe is no exception. This is unlike your usual risotto on the stovetop as this easy Instant Pot risotto is not time-consuming nor is it labor-intensive. 

The most you’ll need to do to make this delicious recipe is to add the ingredients into your Instant Pot, stir a couple of times, press a few buttons, and let your Instant Pot do the rest. Soon, you’ll have a scrumptious Instant Pot risotto dish right at the heart of your kitchen.

  1. Heat up Instant Pot using the Sauté function. Add 3 tablespoons of butter, stirring occasionally. If you aren’t using butter, you may use olive oil instead. Ensure that the whole bottom of the inner pot is coated with butter or olive oil.
  2. Once melted, add the diced onions. Saute for 2 minutes. 
  3. Add minced garlic and fresh thyme leaves. Saute for 1-minute longer or until fragrant.
  4. Push the minced garlic, onions, and thyme to the side of the inner pot. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the empty side of the Instant Pot.
  5. Pour 2 cups of Arborio rice into the Instant Pot. Ensure that the rice grains are coated with butter.
  6. Mix all the ingredients in the inner pot together. 
  7. Toast the Arborio rice in the inner pot for 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Add dry white wine to the pressure cooker. Stir and simmer the mixture on the Sauté function for approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
  9. Add chicken broth into the pressure cooker. You may also use chicken stock or vegetable broth. Give it a quick mix and make sure that no rice is sticking to the sides of the Instant Pot.
  10. Turn the Venting Knob in the Venting Position. Close the lid of the pressure cooker. Turn the Venting Knob to Sealing Position.
  11. Set to cook on high pressure with a 6-minute cook time. You may use the manual setting on your Instant Pot, or use the “pressure cook” setting. Once the Instant Pot reaches high pressure (approximately 10 to 15 minutes), the 6-minute cook time will begin.
  12. Once the timer goes off at the end of the cooking time, make sure that the “Keep Warm” function is turned off.
  13. Let the pressure of the Instant Pot release naturally, and follow it up with a quick release.
  14. Remove lid. Stir risotto until all liquid is absorbed. 
  15. Add freshly grated parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  16. Stir until the grated parmesan cheese is completely melted.
  17. Top with more parmesan cheese if desired. Serve immediately.

Tips For Making the Perfect Instant Pot Risotto

You only need to follow the aforementioned steps to make this Instant Pot risotto recipe. However, if you’re unsure or if you want to modify some parts of the Instant Pot risotto, there are a few tips and guidelines that you can do. Make this pressure cooker risotto your own and you’ll be set for a good time in the kitchen.  

  • Arborio rice is a must for any risotto recipe.
  • This recipe is a simple base for a classic pressure cooker risotto. You may want to add other ingredients such as squash, kale, roasted vegetables, pesto, and the like to modify this Instant Pot risotto.
  • Make sure that the broth that you will be using for this Instant Pot risotto is at room temperature.
  • Allow the Instant Pot risotto to naturally release first after it is done cooking. Afterward, you may use quick release until the float valve has dropped.
  • If your Instant Pot risotto is still a bit too wet after adding parmesan cheese and butter, turn on the Saute function and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more or until desired consistency is achieved.
  • Allow the white wine to fully absorb before moving on to the next step of the pressure cooker risotto recipe. The purpose of the whine wine is to add flavor and aroma; some of that will be lost if you don’t allow the white wine to fully absorb into the Instant Pot risotto.
  • Ensure that the parmesan cheese is finely grated to yield the perfect Instant Pot risotto.
  • You can turn this Instant Pot risotto vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • This Instant Pot risotto can also be made vegan by using vegetable broth, vegan butter, and vegan parmesan.
  • Feel free to use olive oil instead of butter for this Instant Pot risotto recipe.
  • If you want to give this Instant Pot risotto more depth, you can add garlic, spices, and a dash of lemon juice at the end.
  • You can add more parmesan to the Instant Pot risotto before serving it.
  • Another optional ingredient you can use is truffle oil. Truffle oil can add a rich, earthy undertone to your Instant Pot risotto. You may add a drizzle of truffle oil at the end of the Instant Pot risotto. 
  • If you don’t have white wine, you can add a squeeze of lemon or use red wine vinegar for acidity.
  • It is best to avoid salted butter and salted chicken broth/salted chicken stock as they have different levels of sodium. Your Instant Pot risotto may turn too salty if you use salted ingredients. Instead, use unsalted chicken broth or stock and unsalted butter for more control and consistency on the overall flavor profile of the Instant Pot risotto.
  • Want to turn this Instant Pot Risotto into an Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto? That’s easy! Simply prepare the pressure cooker risotto as directed above. During the cooking time of the Instant Pot risotto, prepare the white mushrooms. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the sliced white mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Cook until soft, and then remove the mushrooms from the heat and set aside. Stir sautéed mushrooms into the Instant Pot risotto along with a little extra parmesan cheese. Serve the Instant Pot mushroom risotto immediately.
  • To store leftover pressure cooker risotto, allow it to cool and package it in an airtight container. Store the packed Instant Pot risotto in the fridge for no more than 3 days. 
  • To reheat this Instant Pot risotto, you may use a microwave or the stovetop. Simply stir in chicken broth or water 1 tablespoon at a time into the refrigerated Instant Pot risotto. Add as needed if it is too thick.
  • It is not recommended to freeze Instant Pot risotto as freezing may affect the texture of the rice.

Final Note

Restaurant-quality risotto right in the warmth of your home? You bet it’s possible! You don’t have to be a professional chef nor do you need to be afraid of messing up your risotto. With the help of the Instant Pot, making risotto is straightforward and uncomplicated. An Instant Pot risotto only takes a matter of minutes and requires the barest attention. 

If you’ve mastered the pressure cooker risotto, you may want to try to pressure cook other food items. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Check out our Instant Pot recipes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Gordon Ramsay’s recipe for risotto?

Gordon Ramsay may not make his risotto using an Instant Pot, but you can still use his recipe to make your risotto. The prep time for Gordon Ramsay’s risotto is 10 minutes while the cooking time is around 22 to 25 minutes.

Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet and bring it to medium heat. Add shallots, and cook until translucent. Add mushrooms and Arborio rice, and stir until they are coated with oil. Increase heat to high, add white wine and let the mushrooms and rice absorb the wine. Reduce the heat back to medium. Add about half of the chicken broth. 

Continue adding the broth gradually, stirring constantly as the rice absorbs the broth. Continue cooking until the rice is almost all the way cooked through. Once cooked, reduce the heat to low. Add butter, and stir until you reach the desired consistency. Gently stir in the parmesan cheese. Garnish the dish with parsley or fresh thyme, and add extra grated parmesan cheese on top. 

What can you cook in a rice cooker?

Aside from cooking rice, you can make all sorts of dishes in a rice cooker. Soup, stews, steamed vegetables, steamed meat, bread, yogurt, and oatmeal are some of the things that you can make with a rice cooker.

How long does it take to cook white rice in an Instant Pot?

The cooking time of rice using an Instant Pot depends on the type of rice. White rice can cook for 5 minutes, brown rice takes 10 minutes, and wild rice takes 15 minutes. It should be noted that when cooking rice in an Instant Pot pressure cooker, it should be set to high pressure. It is also important to let the rice release naturally instead of using quick release as natural release yields fluffy results.

What is the ratio of water to rice for arborio rice?

The rice-to-water ratio of Arborio rice is 1:2, where for every 1 cup of rice, you add 2 cups of water.

How long does arborio rice take to cook?

It can take around 20 to 30 minutes for Arborio rice to cook.

Why does arborio rice take so long to cook?

Arborio rice typically cooks at the same time as other rice types. Risotto, a dish made using Arborio rice, is one that takes a while to cook due to the amount of liquid and constant attention it requires.