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Bowl of Pumpkin Risotto with a spoon in it.

Vegan Pumpkin Risotto

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This creamy and cozy one-pot Vegan Pumpkin Risotto is the ultimate comfort meal, but still healthy and family friendly. A 20 minute dish!


Units Scale
  • 1 medium onion, diced finely
  • 3-4 clove garlic, minced
  • 1.5 cups arborio rice (see note 1)
  • 1-14 oz can pumpkin puree (see note 2)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp of salt, or to taste

Optional Add-Ins (recommended--see note 3)

  • Juice of 1 large lemon (or 1.5 tbsp white wine vinegar)
  • 1/2 cup 2 minute Vegan Parmesan topping
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (can sub cashew cream if not allergic) (see note 3)


  1. Saute onions and garlic: Add the onions to a preheated nonstick pot over medium high heat. If cooking oil-free, only add water or broth a tablespoon at a time, until the onion starts to stick or all the water has evaporated. Add the garlic after 3 minutes, when the onion has softened. Saute for another minute.
  2. Toast the rice: Scrape the onion and garlic to the outer edges of the pot and add the dry rice to the center. Stir it around for 30 seconds to add more flavor, add the rosemary and thyme, then dump in the broth and canned pumpkin.
  3. Boil then simmer: Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to a medium simmer, cover, and let cook for 10 minutes or until rice is soft and the excess liquid has been absorbed. I highly recommend checking it every 5 minutes, though, as it cooks fairly quickly.
  4. Boost it: When it’s done, I recommend using ALL the add-ins for tons of flavor--chopped fresh parsley, easy home vegan Parmesan (seriously it takes 2 minutes and you probably have all the ingredients already), a little creamy coconut milk or cashew cream, and some fresh lemon to brighten everything up.
  5. Serve: Serve the risotto hot with whatever you like: a slice of crusty bread, steamed or roasted veggies, salad, lentil loaf, etc.
  6. Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container up to 5 days or freeze in a freezer safe container up to 3 months. Despite what you’ve heard, rice can be totally fine when it defrosts from being frozen. I recommend adding a tablespoon of water to the rice before reheating!


  • Note 1: Arborio rice is an Italian short grain rice, named after the town of Arborio in Italy. It can be found in most grocery stores, but if you can’t find it and buying it online isn’t an option, I’d recommend substituting it with another short grain rice. Brown rice will work, but may require a little bit longer to cook.
  • Note 2: Be careful not to buy canned pumpkin pie filling as that has sweeteners and other ingredients. You could also substitute the pumpkin with any other winter squash like butternut (yum!). If you want to use fresh squash, just cook it until soft, blend it, and use one and a half cups of it to replace the can of pumpkin in this recipe.
  • Note 3: I do recommend a few additions at the end to really take the flavors to another level: vegan Parmesan, fresh squeezed lemon juice (a vinegar like apple cider vinegar will also work), fresh chopped parsley, and a tiny bit of either coconut milk or cashew cream (carton non-dairy milks will work but be careful because they’re watery).
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Entree, Dinner
  • Method: Stove top, one pot
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan Pumpkin Rissoto