Vegan Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto

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This vegan Instant Pot risotto enables you to enjoy the creamy, indulgent taste and texture of risotto with half the work! With a creamy butternut squash puree and miso maple butter, this vegan butternut squash risotto is the ultimate fall comfort food!
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 1 hour
Total 1 hour 15 minutes
5 from 7 votes

I love making risotto. There’s something very comforting and rewarding about pouring your heart and soul (and arm strength) into a creamy dish that’ll hug your soul (and hips). But I only love making risotto when I have a completely free evening and nothing on my mind except for cooking. Since I’m a Type A, go-getter Millennial who lives in NYC and wants to do everything, those kinds of evenings are few and far between. 

If you don’t want to read my ramblings and are more of a visual person, check out the recipe video instead.

And if you want more than 90 incredible vegan Instant Pot recipes, be sure to order my 5-star-rated cookbook, The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook!

That is, until I fulfill my dream of moving into a (fancy) cottage in the (civilized) wilderness where I spend my days gardening and painting (activities that I currently know nothing about) and my evenings making elaborate meals from scratch. 

But in the meantime, I’ve found a way to enjoy making risotto that doesn’t require standing by the stove and stirring constantly for 30 minutes. More on that below. 

butternut squash risotto on a table alongside some other dishes.
woman's hands holding mug of butternut squash risotto on a table.

My secret to easy, quick risotto is a pressure cooker! The Instant Pot, to be specific. I know, you’re probably thinking there’s no way risotto made in a pressure cooker is as good as traditional risotto. And you’re right: it’s not. 

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That’s because it’s better. Well, maybe, the taste is the same, but it’s better because it’s quicker and easier. 

I used an Instant Pot, which has a pressure cooker as one of its 7 functions, but you can use a traditional pressure cooker as well. 

When you unseal the pressure cooker, the risotto may appear a bit liquidy. Don’t panic. Just give it a stir and you’ll see the risotto start creaming together. 

This dish is comfort food at its finest. It’s creamy and rich, it’s savory yet a little sweet, and it doesn’t skimp on flavor (or calories). And it would make the perfect main dish at your Thanksgiving table. Because, let’s be honest, it’s 2017, and nobody needs to kill a turkey in order to have a delicious Thanksgiving meal. 

a dinner spread featuring butternut squash risotto.

Bon appétit! 

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto

5 from 7 votes
This vegan Instant Pot risotto enables you to enjoy the creamy, indulgent taste and texture of risotto with half the work! With a creamy butternut squash puree and miso maple butter, this vegan butternut squash risotto is the ultimate fall comfort food!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian-Inspired
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan
Serving size: 6 people


Roasted Butternut Squash

  • 2 pounds of peeled and chopped butternut squash cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 apple cut into 4 chunks
  • 1 handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 handful of fresh sage sprigs
  • Salt + pepper


  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 large sweet onion finely diced
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2 1/2 – 2 3/4 cups vegetable broth

Miso Maple Butter

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • Heaping 1/2 tablespoon miso paste

Cashew Parmesan Crumble

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • In a large bowl, toss the chopped squash with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, crushed garlic, apple slices, thyme sprigs, sage sprigs, and a large pinch of salt and pepper until evenly coated. Spread squash onto one or two large baking sheets.
  • Roast squash for 30-40 minutes, stirring once or twice during baking, until tender and browned. Discard thyme and sage sprigs.
  • Reserve 1/4 of the roasted butternut squash. Transfer the remaining squash, apple, and garlic to a food processor or blender and purée until smooth and creamy. Set aside the puréed squash mixture.
  • While the squash is roasting, make the risotto. Turn the Instant Pot onto the Saute function. Add the 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and heat until shimmering. Then add the minced onion and cook until translucent but not browned, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the Arborio rice and cook, stirring, until the rice is evenly coated in oil and toasted but not yet browned. This should take 4-5 minutes and the rice will be translucent around the edges.
  • Add the white wine and cook, stirring, until the smell of alcohol has cooked off and the wine has almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
  • Secure the lid and select the Pressure Cook setting at high pressure for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then switch the valve to the Venting position to release the remaining steam.
  • While the risotto is cooking, make the Cashew Parmesan Crumble. Combine the cashews, nutritional yeast, salt and olive oil in a food processor and pulse repeatedly, until the mixture has a fine, crumbly texture, similar to grated parmesan.
  • Then, make the Miso Maple Butter. In a small saucepan, melt the vegan butter. Then add the miso and maple syrup and stir to combine for 1-2 minutes to allow flavors to combine.
  • When the risotto. is done, open the pot and stir to combine the rice and cooking liquid. It may be appear more liquidy than risotto should be, but after some stirring, it will thicken and become creamy. If it doesn’t thicken as much as you’d like, cook for a few minutes longer on the Sauté setting. Stir the puréed squash into the risotto to combine thoroughly. Then stir in the Maple Miso Butter.
  • Transfer to serving bowls and top with the Cashew Parmesan Crumble and reserved roasted squash pieces.

Calories: 432kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 273mg | Potassium: 792mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 16211IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 5mg

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34 comments on Vegan Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto

  1. Kim H

    Solid technique, but I learned when I sat down to dinner that I do not like sweet risotto.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re sorry to hear you weren’t the biggest fan of the recipe, Kim. We appreciate your feedback nonetheless!

  2. Lisa Lani

    5 stars
    I loved the creamy risotto with the butternuttery thing going on. The instant pot timing was perfect. However I wasn’t crazy about the “Parmesan” with the dreamy risotto so I subbed with vegan parm. I’ll use that cashew parm on my popcorn. Nisha never fails.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We appreciate your feedback and support, Lisa. Thank you for leaving a review!

  3. Adriana

    5 stars
    So tasty! I will be making this again.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re thrilled to hear it, Adriana! :)

  4. Krysten

    Can I make this dish ahead of time and freeze and reheat later?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Krysten, risotto is one of the dishes I don’t recommend freezing. The starchiness will get gluey, so the texture will suffer.

  5. SaraM

    5 stars
    I just made this, on an “I have no idea what to fix for dinner” day, and I found a bag of frozen leftover roasted butternut squash. I didn’t have fresh herbs, but dried herbs worked just fine. I’ve never made risotto before, but I will definitely make this again. It was delicious, and the cashew “parm” topping was great. I served it with whole green beans with vegan butter, garlic and pepper. So good! Thank you so much for another fabulous, healthful recipe.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Great improvisation skills, SaraM! Thank you for sharing that with us, and we’re happy to provide the recipes :)

  6. David

    5 stars
    Rich and delicious as well as simple to make. Wonderful cold weather treat. Always great recipes Nisha- thank you

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, David. We’re delighted you love the recipes! :)

  7. Joanne

    5 stars
    So good! I served this at a church potluck; doubled the recipe and it was demolished! I made the risotto the night before then added the 1/4 of the roasted squash in the morning. I had to add a few cups of water to loosen it up and heated it on the slow cook setting. I also made a another double batch of the miso maple butter to pour on top because that little recipe blew me away! How do you think this stuff up?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Delicious, Joanne! Thank you so much for not only making the recipe but for sharing it with others!

  8. Aashish

    Hi Nisha, what’s the servings size of this? I’m planning on making this for Thanksgiving this year and I think I need to make enough for 8 people. It’s the vegan main dish.

    1. Aashish

      What are your suggestions for garnish? is that chopped parsley in the picture? Would you use anything else? Is this similar to pumpkin farrotto? (i have the cookbook).

      1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

        From Nisha: “Chopped parsley would be nice. If you want something a little more special, you can gently fry some fresh sage leaves in vegan butter or olive oil until they crisp up. The cashew parmesan crumble in the recipe is also a great garnish/topping. And the flavors are fairly similar, but the farrotto uses farro instead of rice for a spin on risotto.”

    2. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi there Aashish! This serves 4 large portions or 6 average size portions, so if you want a decently sized portion for each person, I’d double the recipe to be safe.

  9. Laura

    Yummy! I made this for Thanksgiving. It was a hit with the niece who requested a risotto as well as the rest of the fam.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Laura, we’re thrilled to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  10. Joelle

    This recipe is fantastic! I’ve already shared it with friends and family. Even if you leave out the extras (though make them if you can!) the risotto in the instant pot is a game changer. Thanks, Nisha!

  11. Kate

    I made this for a small dinner party with new friends and it was a smashing success! This risotto is creamy, savory, and hits the spot on cold and rainy nights. I can’t wait to make again soon – thanks so much for the fantastic recipe, Nisha!

  12. Mango on toast

    How many does this serve?

  13. Sam

    Recently made this one, though not in an instant pot. Turned out really good, the butternut squash makes the dish so creamy! I skipped the parmesan crumble, the maple miso, the apple, the wine … (oops, quite a few things), because I wanted to make a weeknight friendly version with whatever I had at home. Would love to try the more elaborate version some day!

  14. Maneesha

    My family and I absolutely LOVED this dish! I’ve made this risottto twice already, and it is always devoured. I made it for Thanksgiving too, and there were absolutely no leftovers. Thanks, Nisha!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Thank you so much for the feedback! So glad to hear the whole family loved it. I haven’t made it in quite some time so maybe it’s time to make it for my family for Christmas :)

  15. Megan

    This recipe looks so delish! Quick question, how much apple do we need?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Thanks Megan! The recipe calls for 1 apple – a medium or large apple works well. Just use something that won’t disintegrate in the oven such as red delicious. I prefer fuji or gala apples for this!

  16. Anna

    I’m a little confused as to when you add the puréed squash and squash pieces. Could you clarify please?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Anna! Sorry for the confusion – I clarified the recipe now! You add the puréed squash into the risotto after it’s done cooking. Then, you just top the dish when you’re ready to serve with the reserved squash pieces.

  17. Ashley

    I couldn’t wait for Thanksgiving so attempted your stuffing and mashed potato recipe yesterday. Mom loved it and my bf, who’s an extremely picky and light eater, went back for thirds. Both said it was amazing and my bf even asked where I found the recipe. I was blow away by just how great it turned out as well n will continue making it frequently. As a busy professional, it’s nice to make meals on Sundays and have leftovers for the work week. Thanks a million, Nish! Can’t wait to try this new recipe.

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Ashley! I was blown away by your kind comment. Thank you so much for your kind words. So happy you tried out the stuffing and mashed potatoes and it was a success! And yes, I find that I eat much more balanced meals when I prep ahead on Sundays than if I don’t – I usually end up eating a lot of bread and chocolate for dinner ;)

  18. Anina

    Mhhh Nisha, this looks so so good! I wish this was my dinner today. <3

    1. Nisha Vora

      Aww thanks, darling! It’s so comforting and cozy, hope you try it out!

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