Autumn Recipe: Pumpkin Almond Risotto

November 06, 2012 By: erik Category: Food, Photos, Recipes 370 views

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Pumpkin Almond RisottoMy wife and I have been slowly expanding our culinary abilities this year via online recipes, trying about a dozen new recipes this past year. I’m pretty sure my favorite is this pumpkin almond risotto that she made once, and I have repeated twice. It is absolutely delicious and dead simple to make, although it does require some attention and stirring just before serving.

A hearty, warm, autumnal, creamy Italian rice dish with pumpkin, champagne, parmesan cheese and crunchy almonds.

Pumpkin Almond Risotto

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  • 3 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 large onion
  • pumpkin (280 grams)
  • 1 glass of champagne
  • 1 cup of risotto-style rice
  • shredded parmesan cheese slices (100 grams)
  • parmesan cheese (100 grams)
  • a handful of almonds
  • a pinch of salt


Pumpkin Almond Risotto

1) Make chicken vegetable broth. You could use a bouillon cube, but if you have the time (or left over veggies) to boil some vegetables and chicken, that’s ideal. Use what you have: celery, leaks, peppers, broccoli…anything. Even the chicken is optional if you’d like to go vegetarian. I boiled some long green beans, two carrots, and a chicken breast for about 40 minutes. It would take less in a pressure cooker.

Strain out the vegetables and meat and set aside the broth for later.

Pumpkin Almond Risotto

2) Finely chop your onion and cook it in a frying pan with some olive oil until it starts turning soft and yellow.

Pumpkin Almond Risotto

3) Dice your pumpkin into small cubic centimeters and add them to the onions. Cook until the pumpkin becomes soft and begins falling apart.

Pumpkin Almond Risotto

4) While the pumpkin is cooking, chop up your almonds. I was able to cut most of them into between two and four slices. Or, if you can buy almond slivers directly from the store, skip this step.

Pumpkin Almond Risotto

5) Add the almonds to the frying pan.

Pumpkin Almond Risotto

6) Add the rice.

Pumpkin Almond Risotto

7) Add the champagne.

Pumpkin Almond Risotto

8) Ladle in the broth until the rice is covered. Keep stirring, and as the liquid disappears, keep ladling in more broth. It should take the rice 15 minutes or so to cook like this.

Pumpkin Almond Risotto

9) Open your bag of shredded parmesan, and add it to the risotto.

Pumpkin Almond Risotto

10) Stir in the cheese.

Pumpkin Almond Risotto

Pumpkin Almond Risotto

11) Serve with your parmesan cheese slices.

Pumpkin Almond Risotto

Of course – and this is my favorite part – you’ve likely now got an open champagne bottle that needs emptying.


Without a doubt, it’s the almonds that make this dish spectacular. It’s a little strange to have a crunchy rice dish, but it absolutely works. The method of adding the broth ladle by ladle makes the rice rich and creamy. The original recipe I learned from suggested adding a tablespoon of butter at the end, but, in my opinion, if there’s one thing this dish doesn’t suffer from, it’s a lack of creamy richness. Enjoy!

  • JoshAGrady

    Looks delicious, I’ll give this one a try.

    As a snarky side note, and taking advantage of your apparent sleep deprivation, I do have to ask, “How many sizes of “cubic centimeter” do you have in Cantabria? Here in Catalonia, we’ve finally standardized them so that all cc’s are now “medium” sized.

    Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.

    • Eh?

      I was tempted to say “Chop the pumpkin into milliliters”, but I decided not to at the last minute.

    • Oh, I get it. I said “small cubic centimeters”. Ha!

  • But where did the chicken go?

    • To get to the other side! Ha!

      In my limited experience, boiled chicken meat isn’t incredibly useful for much beyond putting in soups or in croquettes or something. I saved some of the broth for soup for my daughter, but she chose to have it without the chicken bits.

  • Made it – loved it! Added some fresh green asparagus (‘cos I forgot the cava, so there is still room for improvement).

  • Lee

    I left a message yesterday that seems to have gotten lost but…about that boiled chicken,…WTF? Practically everyone makes stock from chicken carcasses, necks, backs, or whole hens (gallinas)which are too tough to eat broiled or roasted. And broth from green beans? I’m not a professional cook but I know a lot about cooking (some pro’s in the family) and the beans and carrots? Kind of,….bleh. This looks to me like a recipe for good old Spanish “hervida”, meaning “boiled”. A favorite of oldsters, and also fed to picky kids. I think Ms.Olivas is getting a little lazy here (I’ve seen a lot of her recipies. She’s not bad at teaching technique, but I sometimes find her ingredients really blah.) But what a waste of expensive white meat chicken breast. Yuck.

    • Guest

      I think one can tweak it to ones own taste! I used a “caserio” chicken leg, leeks, carrots and yes, green beans for my vege stock. And a big red whole Thai birds eye chilli….

      • And the chicken leg had all the skin and fat removed; pros might not do that, but my health might kind of appreciate it.

  • For all those boiling haters, please read An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler ( She will make you see the light!

    I’m interested in trying this with cava (because, um, cheaper!). It looks right up my alley.