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Pumpkin Thyme Risotto

Creamy Pumpkin Risotto (Gluten-Free, Vegan)


Warm and comforting, this deliciously creamy pumpkin risotto is the perfect recipe for fall. Rich with the taste of pumpkin, flavored with thyme, and sprinkled with toasted pumpkin seeds for crunchy contrast, this is one recipe you’ll be making over and over! Naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.


  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice (not rinsed)
  • 4 cups unsalted vegetable broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish


  1. Sauté: In a large pan over medium-high heat, heat up a little oil and sauté diced onions until translucent. When onions are translucent, add in minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
  2. Add Rice: Add in arborio rice and stir for 1 to 2 minutes to let it absorb the flavors.
  3. Simmer: Bring heat down to low and add in vegetable broth, letting the ingredients simmer. Stir every couple of minutes to make sure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add Water: As rice absorbs the broth add water 1 cup at a time until rice is almost cooked.
  5. Add Pumpkin Puree: When rice is almost cooked, add in pumpkin puree and stir well, along with fresh thyme sprigs, and let the rice cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. Season: Add salt and pepper taste
  7. Garnish and Serve: Divide into 4 equal portions, garnish with pumpkin seeds and fresh thyme


Pumpkin Puree: I always recommend using fresh pumpkin puree (because it’s cheaper, tastier, and doesn’t contain any additives or preservatives that the store-bought version usually has). However, if you only have access to canned pumpkin that will work just as well. You can also use substitute pumpkin puree for equal amounts of butternut squash puree or sweet potato puree if you prefer.

Rice: I recommend using a starchy short grain rice such as Carnaroli rice or Arborio rice as this will result in the creamiest consistency. I definitely do NOT recommend using a non-starch rice such as basmati rice as that will not achieve the creamy texture so characteristic of risotto.

Broth: To keep this recipe completely vegan, I’ve used vegetable broth, but if you are not vegan, feel free to use either chicken, beef, or fish broth in equal amounts instead. I recommend homemade broth as that will taste way better is much healthier than store-bought broths.

Herbs: I’ve used thyme in this recipe, but feel free to use other herbs such as rosemary instead. Just make sure that if you’re using fresh herbs, to add them almost at the end once the rice is almost done cooking. If using dried herbs, add the dried herbs at the beginning as they need time to rehydrate. Also make sure to use 1/3 the amount of dried herbs as the stated amount of fresh herbs as dried herbs are more concentrated in flavor.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds: Since this is a pumpkin risotto, garnishing the final dish with pumpkin seeds on top seems like a perfect complement. The crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds also add contrast in color and texture to the creamy risotto. However, feel free to swap out the pumpkin seeds with chopped nuts or even a sprinkle of nutritional yeast if you prefer.

Barely adapted from: Watch Learn Eat

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: pumpkin risotto

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