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Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Sage

You are going to love this beautiful, creamy Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto. Made with ingredients like arborio rice, butternut squash, freshly grated parmesan and topped with crispy sage, it’s a delicious vegetarian dish.

If you’re looking for more Instant Pot risotto recipes, try my Lemon Asparagus Risotto!

Three white plates filled with butternut squash risotto garnished with crispy sage.

If you haven’t tried risotto in your Instant Pot yet, you’re going to be amazed at how well it turns out. This pressure cooking method is much more hands off than making risotto on the stove; there’s no need to stir while it cooks!

My family loves to enjoy this risotto with baked salmon or chicken, but you could also double the recipe and serve it as a vegetarian main, alongside a salad or steamed green veggie.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto. See the recipe card below for exact quantities and detailed instructions!

For the risotto

  • Olive oil – for sautéing
  • Onion – sweet or yellow, use what you’ve got!
  • Garlic – for flavour
  • Vegetable broth – or use 2 teaspoons vegetable Better than Bouillon plus 2 cups of water
  • Arborio rice – the star of the show
  • Sea salt
  • Ground sage – add this only if you’re not making the crispy sage.
  • Butternut squash – be sure it’s diced fairly small (1-inch pieces or smaller) so that it’s nicely softened during pressure cooking.
  • Unsalted butter – you could also use salted and adjust the amount of added salt
  • Parmesan cheese – for flavour and texture

For the crispy sage

  • Unsalted butter – for frying the sage leaves
  • Fresh sage leaves – thinly sliced
Ingredients for Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto viewed from overhead.

How to make it

Step one: Sauté the onion and garlic

Turn on the Sauté function on the Instant Pot and heat the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes or so. Add the minced garlic and turn off the sauté function so the garlic can cook in the residual heat (this helps prevent it from burning).

Step two: Deglaze the liner

Pour in a small amount of broth and use a flat-bottomed turner to scrape up any bits of food that are stuck to the bottom. This will help prevent a burn warning.

Step three: Add the remaining ingredients to be pressure cooked

Add the remaining broth, arborio rice, salt and ground sage (if using). Give it a stir, then layer the butternut squash and butter on top. Do not stir after adding the squash.

Uncooked diced butternut squash, arborio rice, butter and broth in an Instant Pot viewed from overhead.

Step four: Pressure cook

Close the lid and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on High pressure for 6 minutes (you will use the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” button, depending on the model you have). It will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure.

Step five: Make the crispy sage

While the risotto is pressure cooking, heat a small light-bottomed pan over medium heat (the light bottom will help you see the colour of the butter as it cooks). Add the unsalted butter and once it’s bubbling, add the sliced sage. Stirring frequently, fry the sage until the butter starts to brown. Remove the pan from the heat and scoop out the crispy sage onto a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve until you’re ready to serve the risotto.

Step six: Finish the risotto

At the end of pressure cooking, quick release the pressure. Open the lid and add the parmesan cheese. Stir until everything is well combined and season with additional salt to taste. The more you stir, the more the squash will blend into the rice. Don’t over stir if you would like to keep pieces of squash intact. Serve topped with crispy sage and additional parmesan cheese, if desired.

Butternut squash risotto being stirred with a wooden spoon in an Instant Pot.

Tips for success

Don’t rinse the rice before cooking. The starch on the rice adds to the creaminess of the risotto. You don’t want to rinse it away!

Cut the squash into 1-inch pieces or smaller. You want the squash to get very soft, so that it blends into the rice and adds to the creaminess of the dish.

Don’t skip the sage. If you don’t make the crispy sage, I highly recommend adding a bit of dried sage before pressure cooking. You don’t want to miss this flavour! Just note that it will change the colour of the dish slightly; it won’t have the same vibrant orange you see in the photos.

Butternut squash risotto garnished with crispy sage on a white plate with an Instant Pot in the background.

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Three white plates filled with butternut squash risotto garnished with crispy sage.

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto

Laura Lawless, BASc
You are going to love this beautiful, creamy Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto. Made with ingredients like arborio rice, butternut squash, freshly grated parmesan and topped with crispy sage, it's a delicious vegetarian side dish.
Servings 4
Calories 366
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Inactive Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins

Ingredients

For the risotto

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ cup yellow or sweet onion, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (See note 1)
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (plus more to taste after cooking)
  • ½ teaspoon ground dried sage (optional, if not making crispy sage)
  • 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (28g)
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (plus more for serving, if desired)

For the crispy sage

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 8 large fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced

Instructions
 

  • Turn on the Sauté function on the Instant Pot. Heat the olive oil, then add the diced onion and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic, then turn off the Sauté function. Sauté the garlic in the residual heat for up to a minute.
  • Add a small amount of broth and use a flat-bottomed turner to deglaze the bottom of the pot (scrape up any brown bits of food stuck to the bottom of the liner – this prevents a burn warning).
  • Pour in the remaining broth, then add the arborio rice, sea salt and ground sage (if not making crispy sage). Stir to combine, then layer the diced butternut squash and butter on top. Do not stir after adding the squash and butter.
  • Close the lid on the Instant Pot and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on Manual High pressure for 6 minutes (your Instant Pot may have a "Pressure Cook" button rather than a "Manual" button). It will take up to 10 minutes to come to pressure.
  • While the risotto is pressure cooking, make the crispy sage. In a small light-bottomed pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is bubbling, add the sliced sage. Stir frequently until the butter starts to brown (don't walk away – the butter could burn!). Remove the pan from heat, scoop out the sage leaves and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to cool.
  • At the end of pressure cooking, quick release the pressure. Stir in the parmesan cheese and season with additional salt, to taste. The more you stir, the more the squash will blend into the rice. Stir less if you prefer some pieces of squash to remain intact.
  • Serve the risotto topped with crispy sage and additional parmesan cheese, if desired. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator and eat within 4 days.

Notes

  1. You can add 1/4 cup more broth if you prefer an even creamier texture.
  2. Inactive time indicates the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure and release pressure. 
  3. This recipe was tested in both 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pot models. 
  4. Adapted from my Instant Pot Lemon Asparagus Risotto recipe. 

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Equipment

6-qt Instant Pot
Peeler
Wooden Turner
Cutting Board

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 366kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 524mg | Potassium: 554mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 11466IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 201mg | Iron: 3mg
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Hey, I’m Laura!

Creator of The Recipe Well


I love food and cooking, but hate doing the dishes. I use my nutrition degree to create easy, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.

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