Pumpkin Risotto with Spinach and Garlic Recipe

Pumpkin adds harvest sweetness to a savory risotto, and garlicky spinach, served alongside, provides an interesting contrast in taste and texture, perfect for a festive autumn meal.

Two colorful and delicious fall side-dish recipes, right here:


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 leeks, white parts only, sliced thin
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
7 to 8 cups vegetable stock, hot
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or dry jack
2 large bunches (about 1 pound each) of fresh spinach
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a small heavy skillet over medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the leeks, lower the heat, and cook the leeks until they are tender and completely wilted, 6 to 8 minutes. Set the leeks aside.

2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until it is soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Add the rice, and stir with a wooden spoon until each grain begins to turn milky white, about 2 minutes. Keeping the stock hot over low heat, add the stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition until nearly all the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add the stock and stir until the rice is tender but not mushy, a total of 18 to 20 minutes. Before the final addition of stock, stir in the reserved leeks, the pumpkin puree, and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice.

3. Working quickly, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet or wok over medium heat, add the garlic, and saute for 2 minutes.

4. When the rice is cooked, stir in the cheese. Add the spinach to the sautéed garlic and cook, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes, until the spinach is just wilted. Taste the risotto and season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Transfer the risotto to a serving platter or individual plates. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the spinach, toss the spinach to coat it with the olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice, and serve it alongside the risotto.

Serves 6 to 8.

Adapted from California Home Cooking, by Michele Anna Jordan (Harvard Common Press, 1997). Copyright (c) 1997 by Michele Anna Jordan. Reprinted by permission of Harvard Common Press.
Adapted from California Home Cooking, by Michele Anna Jordan (Harvard Common Press, 1997).

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Alexandra G.
Alexandra G.about a year ago

thanks for the great recipe

Val M.
Val M.about a year ago


Nimue Pendragon
Nimue Pendragon2 years ago


Joe R.
Joe R.3 years ago

Thanks Annie.

Joe R.
Joe R.3 years ago

Thanks Annie.

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton3 years ago

Thanks for the recipe.

John B.
John B.3 years ago

Thanks Annie for the recipe. Sounds good.

Mervi R.
Mervi R.5 years ago

Thanks, will try a vegan version!

Kristen R.
Kristen R.5 years ago

Saved this to try in the fall - thanks for posting!

Kristen R.
Kristen R.5 years ago

This sounds like a good Fall recipe - I'll keep it in mind for the cooler months :-)