Instant Pot Risotto gives you the same creamy Italian rice dish we all know and love, without spending an hour standing over the stove! It’s so easy to make in the Instant Pot in just 35 minutes. Serve this parmesan risotto as a side dish, or add chicken, mushrooms or shrimp to make it a meal!

parmesan risotto in bowl with fork

There’s nothing quite like classic Italian parmesan risotto. It’s creamy, cheesy and so flavorful. Serving risotto with seafood or chicken is an easy meal to make at home when you use this Instant Pot Risotto recipe.

While the risotto cooks in the Instant Pot, you can prepare Grilled Scallops, Bruschetta Salmon or Chicken Parmesan to go with it. Each of these main dishes will compliment the risotto beautifully!

Want to serve the risotto as the main course? No problem! It’s definitely enough to stand on it’s own as a meal, or you can add peas, asparagus, mushrooms or prosciutto to make it even more filling.

If you have any leftovers, be sure to use it to make Arancini. If you’ve never had these delicious Italian rice balls before, you have to add them to your must-make list! It’s creamy risotto, filled with melty cheese, rolled in Italian bread crumbs and fried golden brown. It’s amazing!

As a main dish, side dish, or part of the arancini recipe, you’re going to fall in love with how much easier Instant Pot Risotto is to make, than stovetop risotto. It seriously only takes 10 minutes of hands-on time. The rest of the time, the pressure cooker is doing it’s job, cooking the risotto and making it perfectly creamy!

instant pot risotto ingredients

Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter – we’ll add salt, broth, Worcestershire sauce and parmesan cheese to the risotto, which all add saltiness to the dish. Using unsalted butter will guarantee that your dish doesn’t become too salty. You can always add salt to taste at the end.
  • Onion – I recommend using a white or yellow onion for this dish. If you really want to get fancy, you could use a couple of diced shallots instead.
  • Garlic – I always recommend fresh minced garlic for the best flavor!
  • Thyme leaves – I recommend using fresh or freeze-dried thyme for the maximum flavor. You can also use dried thyme if that’s all you have on hand.
  • Arborio rice – you must use arborio rice to make authentic risotto. Any other rice will not result in the same creamy texture. Arborio rice can be found in the grocery store, next to the other varieties of rice.
  • White wine – I recommend a dry white wine, such as a Pinot Grigio. A sauvignon blanc is also a great choice. If you prefer not to use wine while cooking, you can replace the wine with an additional 1/2 cup chicken broth.
  • Worcestershire sauce – just a little of this sauce adds a lot of umami flavor to the risotto. You can leave it out, if you prefer, but I love the flavor it adds, and I’d definitely recommend giving it a try!
  • Chicken broth – or vegetable broth, either will work in this recipe. But whatever you do, don’t replace the broth with water! It will not give you the incredibly flavorful risotto that you’re looking for.
  • Parmesan cheese – I always recommend fresh grated, as it will melt the best into the risotto, giving you the best texture.
  • Salt + black pepper – to season the risotto.

Instructions

I’ve included step by step photos below to make this recipe super easy to follow at home. For the full detailed recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

diced onions and garlic in Instant Pot

Step 1: Press the saute button on the Instant Pot, use the adjust button to set on the “normal” setting. Add the butter to the pressure cooker, when the display says “hot”, add the onions, garlic and thyme, saute 4-5 minutes.

arborio rice in Instant Pot with cooked onions

Step 2: Add the arborio rice and toast for 2-3 minutes.

rice and onions in Instant Pot

Step 3: Add the white wine and deglaze the pan, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer the wine for 1 minute. Press the Keep Warm/Cancel button on the pressure cooker.

chicken broth in Instant Pot with rice and onions

Step 4: Add the Worcestershire sauce and broth, stir to combine.

insant pot with 6 minutes on the timer

Step 5: Place the lid on the pressure cooker and make sure the steam release valve is set to “sealing”. Press the “manual” button and set the pressure cooker to high pressure, then use the +/- buttons to set the pressure cooker timer to 6 minutes.

cooked risotto in Instant Pot with parmesan cheese and seasonings

Step 6: When the cooking time is up, wait 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure before unlocking the lid. Remove the lid and stir in the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

cooked risotto in Instant Pot with serving spoon

Substitutions and variations

  • To make Vegetarian Instant Pot Risotto, use vegetable broth and replace the parmesan cheese with a vegetarian parmesan-style cheese.
  • To make Vegan Instant Pot Risotto, use vegetable broth, replace the butter with olive oil and replace the parmesan cheese with a vegan parmesan-style cheese.
  • For a little spice, top the risotto with crushed red pepper flakes.
  • If you want to add vegetables to the risotto, saute the vegetables with the onions and garlic, or cook them separately and stir them in at the end. All of these vegetables are delicious in risotto.
    • Asparagus – cut into 1 inch pieces, you can cook the asparagus in the risotto with the onions, or cook it separately in the oven or on the grill, then add it to the risotto at the end.
    • Mushrooms – cut into slices and cooked with the onions. Check out my Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto recipe for more detailed instructions.
    • Peas – if adding peas, stir in 1/2 cup frozen peas at the end with the parmesan cheese. The warm risotto will heat up the peas, without making them mushy.
    • Tomatoes – I like to add fresh slices of tomatoes, or halved cherry tomatoes on top of this dish at the end. You could also add roasted cherry tomatoes, like I did in this Pesto Risotto recipe.
  • If you want to add a protein to the risotto, try topping the dish with any of these meat or seafood recipes.
    • Prosciutto – since prosciutto is already fully cooked, you can simply add strips of prosciutto on top, right before serving the risotto.
    • Pancetta – this Italian version of bacon will add delicious flavor to the dish! Add 1/4 cup diced pancetta to the Instant Pot with the onions and garlic. It will cook in the risotto and give the dish excellent flavor.
    • Chicken – you have a couple of options when it comes to adding chicken to this risotto. First, you can mix in 1/2 cup shredded rotisserie chicken at the end with the parmesan cheese. Or, you can grill this Lemon Rosemary Chicken while the risotto cooks in the Instant Pot, then slice the grilled chicken and serve it on top of the risotto.
    • Scallops – risotto with scallops is one of my all-time favorite combos. Make these Grilled Scallops while the risotto cooks, then serve them on top of the risotto for an epic meal!
risotto in bowl topped with halved cherry tomatoes

Tips and tricks

  • Do NOT rinse the rice before making this recipe. While some recipes might require that rice is rinsed, or soaked, before cooking, you actually want all of the starches from the arborio rice to cook out into the dish, that’s what creates the creamy texture of risotto. So definitely do NOT rinse the rice before starting this recipe.
  • You can make this risotto without wine. Simply replace the wine with an additional 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth. Use the 1/2 cup broth to deglaze the pan, just as you would with the white wine.
  • Use freshly grated parmesan cheese. You get an arm workout while you cook AND you get the most creamy risotto, a win win! But seriously, fresh grated cheese will have the best flavor and will melt perfectly in the risotto for the best texture.
  • Leftover risotto can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can reheat the risotto in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, or on the stove. If reheating the risotto drys it out, you can always stir in 1-2 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth. To really bring the risotto back to life, I recommend grating a little more fresh parmesan cheese on top right before serving the risotto.
parmesan risotto in bowl with fork

More Instant Pot recipes

Try these other popular recipes in your Instant Pot, or electric pressure cooker.

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Instant Pot Risotto

Instant Pot Risotto gives you the same creamy Italian rice dish we all know and love, without spending an hour standing over the stove! It's so easy to make in the Instant Pot in just 35 minutes. Serve this parmesan risotto as a side dish, or add chicken, mushrooms or shrimp to make it a meal!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white white, such as pinot grigio
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cups chicken broth, or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Press the saute button on an Instant Pot, use the adjust button to set on the “normal” setting.
  • Add the butter to the pressure cooker, when the display says “hot”, add the onions, garlic and thyme, saute 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the arborio rice and toast for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the white wine and deglaze the pan, simmering the wine for 1 minute.
  • Press the Keep Warm/Cancel button on the pressure cooker.
  • Add the worcestershire sauce and chicken broth, stir to combine.
  • Place the lid on the pressure cooker and make sure the steam release is set to “sealing”.
  • Press the “manual” button and set the pressure cooker to high pressure, then use the +/- buttons to set the pressure cooker to 6 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is up, wait 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure before unlocking the lid.
  • Remove the lid and stir in the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • To make Vegetarian Instant Pot Risotto, use vegetable broth and replace the parmesan cheese with a vegetarian parmesan-style cheese.
  • To make Vegan Instant Pot Risotto, use vegetable broth, replace the butter with olive oil and replace the parmesan cheese with a vegan parmesan-style cheese.
  • Do NOT rinse the rice before making this recipe. While some recipes might require that rice is rinsed, or soaked, before cooking, you actually want all of the starches from the arborio rice to cook out into the dish, that’s what creates the creamy texture of risotto. So definitely do NOT rinse the rice before starting this recipe.
  • You can make this risotto without wine. Simply replace the wine with an additional 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth. Use the 1/2 cup broth to deglaze the pan, just as you would with the white wine.
  • Leftover risotto can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can reheat the risotto in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, or on the stove. If reheating the risotto drys it out, you can always stir in 1-2 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth. 

Nutrition Facts

Calories 549kcal (27%)Carbohydrates 88g (29%)Protein 13g (26%)Fat 13g (20%)Saturated Fat 8g (40%)Polyunsaturated Fat 1gMonounsaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0.3gCholesterol 36mg (12%)Sodium 1545mg (64%)Potassium 303mg (9%)Fiber 4g (16%)Sugar 4g (4%)Vitamin A 457mg (9%)Vitamin C 8mg (10%)Calcium 196mg (20%)Iron 5mg (28%)
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