Instant Pot risotto recipe is the one I turn to the most when I only have 15 minutes to make dinner from pantry staples! I always have frozen peas in the freezer, and the rest of the ingredients in my fridge. It’s cozy, comforting, simple, and vegetarian!

 

Bowl of risotto rice with peas and garnish with lemon zest.

My love of risotto began when I was living in California and having weekly dinner dates with my girlfriends. I was a vegetarian back in graduate school, partially because of budgetary constraints and partially because I don’t really love the taste of meat. I would scan the menu for the vegetarian options, select one quickly, and then go back to sharing a bottle of wine with my girlfriends.

Please, allow me to reminisce those leisurely late nights in the city with my girls with my quick instant pot risotto in the suburbs. When I make my brown butter risotto with grilled artichokes, I think of a particular restaurant  in Sacramento. Fancy lemon risotto can feel like a luxury, but what we really need is a simple recipe that we can riff on. I stir in peas and Parmesan cheese to this simple version, but I’ve also served it plain with oven roasted vegetables on top–mushrooms, bell pepper, and asparagus are great candidates. 

While I always recommend my lobster risotto for special occasions, this instant pot risotto recipe is faster and more weeknight-friendly. If you make it once, you’ll be a believer in just 7 minutes of cook time for a restaurant-style dish!

Ingredients for risotto: peas, rice, broth, spices, and vegetables.

Instant pot risotto ingredients:

  • arborio rice: You really need arborio or Carnaroli rice to make risotto. The short rice grains release starch while cooking, making risotto creamy. No other rice will work.
  • oil: Use olive oil to begin sautéing the vegetables.
  • onions: Use 1 cup of diced yellow or white onion. It can frozen or fresh.
  • garlic: Two cloves of garlic, minced bring so much depth of flavor.
  • broth: Use a vegetable broth that you love the taste of, because it will season the entire dish. You can use chicken broth, but the dish will no longer be vegetarian.
  • frozen peas: Add frozen peas as soon as you remove the lid from the instant pot; the residual heat will cook them through.
  • Parmesan cheese: Freshly ground Parmigiano-Reggiano is the king of flavor. It brings salt and extra creaminess to the dish. Don’t use shelf-stable Parmesan cheese, please.
  • butter: We add two tablespoons of butter to the risotto when it’s done cooking both to stop the cooking process and to make it even creamier.
  • salt and pepper: of course. Even if you’re using regular (not low sodium) vegetable broth, we’re still adding salt. Serve the dish with extra freshly ground black pepper for garnish.

How to make instant pot mini risotto:

  1. I’m using my instant pot mini because this is a small batch recipe, but you can double it for the 6 quart model, if you like. Press SAUTE on the instant pot, and add the oil and onions. Saute for 7-8 minutes, but stir frequently so the onion never browns. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
    Instant pot with garlic and onions sautéing.
  2. Next, turn off the SAUTE function on the instant pot. Add rice, broth, salt and pepper.
    instant pot full of vegetable broth
  3. Place the lid on the instant pot, turn the valve to SEAL, and then select PRESSURE COOK. Toggle to high pressure, and then set the timer for 6 minutes. The instant pot will beep to acknowledge your selection, and then slowly begin to build pressure. The 6-minute countdown won’t start until pressure is reached.
    instant pot with rice inside
  4. Once the timer goes off and the rice is done, carefully do a forced pressure release by opening the sealing valve. Use an oven mat and open it with a wooden spoon to avoid being burned by steam.
    Instant pot with rice and peas and Parmesan cheese on top.
  5. When it’s safe to remove the lid of the instant pot, the seal valve will drop. Remove the lid, and immediately stir in the peas, Parmesan cheese and butter. Stir until everything is super creamy.
    Risotto with peas in the instant pot mini with a wooden spoon.

I hope this can be your next meal for Valentine’s Day while you enjoy any of these easy romantic desserts for two! I would love to be apart of your Valentine’s celebration!

Yield: 2

Instant Pot Risotto Recipe

Risotto with peas in the instant pot mini with a wooden spoon.

Instant pot risotto recipe made in just 6 minutes. Vegetarian, too!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 cups vegetable or broth*
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • Optional add-ins: leftover shredded chicken, frozen asparagus spears, chopped, lemon zest

Instructions

    1. Press SAUTE on the instant pot mini, and set the timer to 10 minutes. Once it beeps, it will start to warm up.
    2. Add the olive oil and onion. Let the onion soften while stirring occasionally for 7-8 minutes. Be careful not to let the onion brown whatsoever. Finally, add the garlic, and saute for another minute.
    3. Now, press CANCEL on the instant pot. Add the rice, chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Place the lid on the instant pot and turn the valve to SEAL. Press PRESSURE COOK, and set the timer for 6 minutes. The instant pot will beep to acknowledge your selection, and then slowly begin to build pressure. The 6-minute countdown won’t start until pressure is reached.
    4. When the 6 minutes is up, the instant pot will beep to signal that it’s done cooking. Using a long wood spoon, carefully open the sealing valve. Be careful—the steam coming out is very hot. This is a forced pressure release.
    5. Once the pressure valve drops indicating that the instant pot is safe to open, remove the lid from the instant pot.nStir in the frozen peas, butter, parmesan cheese, and any additional add-ins.
      Divide the mixture between two bowls and serve with extra Parmesan cheese.

Notes

*arborio rice: You really need arborio or Carnaroli rice to make risotto. The short rice grains release starch while cooking, making risotto creamy. No other rice will work.
oil: Use olive oil to begin sautéing the vegetables.
onions: Use 1 cup of diced yellow or white onion. It can frozen or fresh.
garlic: Two cloves of garlic, minced bring so much depth of flavor.
broth: Use a vegetable broth that you love the taste of, because it will season the entire dish. You can use chicken broth, but the dish will no longer be vegetarian.
Parmesan cheese: Freshly ground Parmigiano-Reggiano is the king of flavor. It brings salt and extra creaminess to the dish. Don't use shelf-stable Parmesan cheese, please.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 722Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 1089mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 11gSugar: 15gProtein: 35g

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