How to Make the Dreamiest Risotto You've Ever Eaten—in an Instant Pot
Instant Pot risotto is pretty magical. You get all the delicious flavor of the creamy, indulgent Italian rice dish that so many of us love, but the popular appliance streamlines the otherwise tedious process of making it.
Instant Pot risotto is pretty magical. You get all the delicious flavor of the creamy, indulgent Italian rice dish that so many of us love, but the popular appliance streamlines the otherwise tedious process of making it. (Traditionally prepared risotto requires constant stirring to avoid scorching the rice and cooking it too quickly.) The combination of the Sauté and Pressure Cooker settings results in what you'd expect in a perfectly prepared risotto—one with subtle nutty aromatics and a satisfying creamy consistency. Just as with the classic preparation, you can serve Instant pot risotto plain or with fresh herbs, meaty mushrooms, colorful vegetables, and fragrant spices. Read on for everything you need to know about preparing risotto in an Instant Pot.
You’ll use Arborio rice to make risotto, whether it's through the traditional cooking method or in an Instant Pot, and there's no need to rinse it. Its starchy stickiness is exactly what you need to achieve that silky texture. However, when cooking with other types of rice (such as long grain or basmati), you should rinse your rice in a fine mesh sieve before cooking. This will remove impurities (rice does grow in the ground, after all) and excess starch.
Cooking risotto in an Instant Pot is not necessarily a faster method than stovetop risotto, but it is more hands-off. From start to finish, Instant Pot risotto takes about 30 minutes to make. To make Instant Pot risotto, begin by stirring together melted butter, garlic, and shallots on the Sauté setting for two minutes (the pot will be uncovered at this point). Next, add Arborio rice and sauté to toast, which will bring out the nutty tones; add white wine to the pot to deglaze and release more flavor. From here, the Instant Pot magic begins. Instead of having to stand over the pot for 20 minutes, stirring frequently and adding liquid in multiple parts, add the stock all at once. Give it a quick stir, close the lid, and turn the steam valve to Sealing. Change the setting to Pressure Cooker and set the timer for four minutes; once the timer goes off, release the steam using the Quick Release method. Mix in Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
Even though the Instant Pot does have a rice cooker setting, the pressure cooker is actually the best setting for cooking risotto. The pressure creates an intense amount of steam, which helps release the starch from the Arborio rice, creating irresistibly velvety risotto.
Elevate basic Instant Pot risotto with the addition of a hearty vegetable such as mushrooms. To make Instant Pot mushroom risotto, sauté 3 cups of chopped mushrooms with garlic and shallots in butter following the first step of the recipe (above). We love a combination of cremini, oyster, and shitake mushrooms for a variety of flavors and textures, but any type of mushroom will work well. From here, continue to follow our basic Instant Pot risotto recipe. The mushrooms will cook in the stock with the Arborio rice and infuse the entire dish with delicious flavor.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Heat Instant Pot on Sauté setting. Melt butter; add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add vegetables, if using, and cook, stirring often, until tender. Next add the rice and stir until nutty and toasted, about 3 minutes. Add white and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Add stock and thyme and stir to combine.
- Close the lid of Instant Pot and turn steam valve to Sealing. Select Manual/Pressure Cooker setting and time for 4 minutes at high pressure. Once the timer goes off, carefully release steam using Quick Release method. Unlock and remove lid.
- Stir in Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and black pepper.