Healthy Risotto Recipe (Vegetarian Instant Pot Risotto)

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Thick, creamy healthy risotto with mushrooms, garlic, roasted red peppers, carrots, and artichokes is bursting with Italian flavors. This simple and quick risotto will become one of your go to weeknight family meals. 

Risotto is such a classic Italian dish. And I love risotto, but it takes a lot of time, energy and patience. On top of that, it’s always been a little bit intimidating to make from scratch. But when I learned you could make risotto in the Instant Pot, I was thrilled! The complicated technique of adding broth and stirring in order to get that perfect risotto texture has been eliminated.

This easy vegetable risotto recipe creates a creamy dish without the need to add any cream! It’s a simple main dish that is impressive enough to serve for a dinner party! Cooking it in the instant pot takes a fraction of the time it takes to make it stove top, and gets you that perfect texture every time.

In 45 minutes of cooking time, you end up with a complete, hearty meal with this delicious, homemade Instant Pot risotto. The best part is, the use of arborio rice automatically makes this healthy risotto gluten free! It’s also full of veggies and has a creamy finish! It’s a healthy vegetarian Italian recipe!

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👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Perfect for a casual meal or for special occasions.
  • Easier than the traditional way to make risotto.
  • Easy recipe for the home cook.
  • Total comfort food!
  • Easy to customize with a variety of substitutions (see below for ideas!)
  • Make restaurant quality risotto at home.
  • A delicious recipe your family will love.
  • Naturally Gluten-Free
  • Super healthy risotto that tastes like traditional risotto!

🥘 Ingredients

This healthy risotto recipe calls for simple ingredients that can be found at most grocery stores! See the recipe card below for the ingredient list and nutritional information.

ingredients for healthy risotto with garlic, parmesan, truffle, mushrooms, artichokes, and green beans on a white plate (gluten free, vegetarian, instant pot recipe)

Arborio Rice: Used as the most common type of rice for risotto. It is a short, fat, oval-shaped rice. When you cook arborio rice it releases a starch that creates a creamy texture.

Veggies: You’ll need artichokes, carrots, sweet onion, green beans, cremini mushrooms, garlic, and red pepper. Feel free to add other vegetables, or use what is in season. Spring peas are delicious to add when they are in season, or butternut squash in the fall!

Spices: The rich Italian flavors in this dish come from garlic salt, seasoned salt, seasoned pepper, and Italian seasoning. If you don’t have seasoned salt, or seasoned pepper, you can use sea salt, or kosher salt, and black pepper. If you don’t have Italian seasoning, you can use oregano.

Vegetable Broth: More flavorful than water, and is used to cook this instant pot mushroom risotto. However, you can use chicken broth if you are not vegetarian or serving vegetarian guests.

📖 Variations

  • Add Fresh Herbs: Fresh basil or fresh parsley would taste great in this recipe, or as a garnish. You could also top with some fresh lemon zest!
  • Make It Vegan: It’s super easy to make this vegetarian instant pot risotto dairy free! Just use vegan butter and vegan parmesan instead of the regular butter & parmesan in this recipe.
  • Try A Different Rice: Make this creamy rice dish with brown rice, carnaroli rice, sushi rice, or any high-starch rice!
  • Farro Risotto: If you don’t need this to be a gluten free risotto, use farro instead of the rice for more whole grains, fiber and protein.
  • Truffle Mushroom Risotto: Instead of all the veggies, just highlight a variety of your favorite earthy mushrooms in this dish! Add shiitake mushrooms, cremini, and other wild mushroom varieties. Stir in garlic and parmesan cheese, and shave truffles over the top before serving!
  • Make It Low Carb: Use cauliflower rice instead of arborio rice!
  • Spinach Risotto: Replace all of the veggies with spinach and other leafy greens.

🔪 Instructions

Prep Ingredients, Cook Veggies: Rinse the fresh green beans, and the carrots. Peel and chop the carrots. Chop the green beans and onion, and set aside. Place the butter and olive oil in the electric pressure cooker, and press the sauté function over high heat. When the butter melts, add the onion, fresh mushrooms, carrots, green beans, and peppers, and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

carrots and green beans cooking in a pot

Add Broth: Turn off the Instant Pot, and add the vegetable stock, and de-glaze the bottom of the pot, scraping the bottom with a spoon to loosen any bits of sautéed vegetables (this will give your broth a delicious flavor).

veggies cooking in a poot

Add Risotto: Once all the little bits are off the bottom of the pot, add the Risotto, minced garlic, parsley, garlic salt, seasoned salt, seasoned pepper, Italian seasoning, and brown sugar, and stir well to combine all the ingredients. 

Make sure all the Risotto and vegetables are covered in the broth. If they are not covered, add a little more broth. The artichoke hearts go in the dish after it’s cooked — they do not go in the Instant Pot with the other ingredients.

After you’ve stirred the Instant Pot ingredients, Place the lid on the Instant Pot, and turn it until it beeps and locks. Make sure the pressure valve is set to ‘Sealing’. 

arborio rice added to pot with veggies

Pressure Cook: Press the Manual Button, and cook at high pressure for a cook time of 6 minutes. When the Instant Pot is done cooking, allow it to set for 2 minutes, then do a quick release, releasing all the pressure. Once all the pressure is released, and the float valve is down, remove the lid and give the risotto a good stir. If all the liquid has not been absorbed, continue to stir the Risotto.

healthy risotto in the instant pot

Keep Stirring: It will begin to thicken. Leave the Risotto in the Instant Pot, and open the artichoke hearts. Slice them, add them to the Risotto, and gently stir them into the dish. Add the Parmesan Cheese, and stir. You can save a few of the artichokes to top the Risotto when serving.

rice and veggies cooking in a pot

Serve: Plate or dish up the garlic parmesan risotto into bowls, and serve with a few roasted red peppers, and sliced artichokes, and Parmesan Cheese on top. Enjoy!

finished vegetarian instant pot risotto

❓Recipe FAQs

How healthy is risotto?

Traditional risotto isn’t that healthy, because it’s very refined-carb heavy (thanks to the arborio rice), is high in fat and calories, and usually has very little fiber or vegetables added. But thanks to the extra veggies and lower fat ingredients, this healthy creamy risotto is great for you! Here’s what makes this risotto healthy:

1) Vitamins and Minerals: This instant pot risotto recipe is packed with plenty of vegetables including onions, carrots, green beans, mushrooms, garlic, artichokes, and roasted red peppers. All of these vegetables are heart healthy, and full of vitamins and minerals. 

2) High in Fiber: Each serving of this healthy risotto has 11 grams of fiber, especially if you choose to use farro as the rice. Farro is both high in fiber and plant protein. It contains vitamins B3, and minerals such as magnesium, zinc and iron.

3) Low in Fat and Calories: The traditional risotto recipe calls for much more butter and cheese. This healthier recipe is still creamy and delicious with reduced butter and cheese making it a low fat and low calorie alternative. One huge serving has under 400 calories!

Is it safe to eat reheated risotto?

It all depends on how you store this artichoke and green bean risotto. You can get food poisoning from eating reheated rice, but it’s not the reheating that is the problem, it’s how the rice (or pasta in this case) was kept prior to refrigerating.

If you leave cooked rice out at room temperature for too long it can quickly grow bacteria that causes food poisoning. However, if you allow the rice to cool within an hour and immediately store the leftovers in the refrigerator, it is safe to reheat and eat the next day. 

How do you store and reheat pressure cooker risotto?

To Store: Let the garlic parmesan risotto cool, then immediately transfer to an airtight container and place in the fridge. Do not leave out for more than 1 hour after cooking. It will keep in the fridge for 2 days max. For a longer shelf life and to reduce the chance of bacterial growth, you can freeze this recipe for up to 3 months. Do not refreeze this dish after you have thawed it. Do not eat risotto that hasn’t first been reheated.

To Reheat – Microwave Method: This is the quickest method to reheat risotto. Transfer risotto to a microwave safe bowl. Add water, or broth. Heat for 4 minutes, stopping to stir it 2-3 times. If you’re not careful this method could result in a dry risotto. Add a little butter to maintain the creaminess if it’s too dry.

To Reheat – Stovetop Method: This method works best. Take the artichoke risotto out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. Place in a saucepan with a little added stock or water. Reheat on low heat on the stovetop and stir constantly until heated evenly / is warmed through. Add butter to bring back the creamy consistency.

What’s the best rice to use for risotto?

Honestly, any short grain rice or medium grain rice with a high starch content will work for this Italian rice dish! Arborio is traditionally used, but you could use a short-grain brown rice, carnaroli rice or Vialone Nano rice, or even sushi rice if that’s all you have! The only rice to avoid is basmati or jasmine rice since it’s not starchy enough to give the risotto the texture you want.

👪 How To Serve

This healthy veggie risotto is a complete meal all on it’s own, but here are a few ideas of some side dishes you serve with it:

  • Steamed Asparagus or Cheesy Baked Asparagus
  • Mixed Green Salad with a Citrus Vinaigrette, or a Kale Salad with Cranberries
  • Sautéed Mushrooms, Sautéed Spinach or Roasted Brussell Sprouts
  • With a glass of white wine and crusty bread

💭 Expert Tips

  • Use the sauté feature to cook the vegetables prior to adding the broth.
  • Turn off the instant pot and then deglaze the bottom by scraping all the vegetable bits off the bottom of the pan. This adds a rich flavor to the broth.
  • Do not add all the artichokes or red peppers until the arborio rice has cooked. You will stir these in after the risotto is done cooking.
  • If you use pre-roasted red peppers, you can add them in with the artichokes after the dish is done cooking. If you’re using raw red peppers, add them in with the onions to sauté and cook with the arborio rice.
  • Save a few red peppers and artichokes for garnish.
  • Rice and vegetables should be covered in broth before sealing. If they are not covered in broth add a little more broth until they are completely covered.
  • If all the liquid hasn’t been absorbed continue to stir. It will thicken as you stir.
  • Use arborio rice to keep this recipe gluten-free. Farro is not gluten-free. Cook until al dente!
  • If you’re making this for kids, and your kids aren’t a big fan of artichokes or red peppers, scoop out a serving for them before adding the artichokes and red peppers. Alternatively, you can chop up all of the veggies super fine and stir them into the dish so they’re hard to see, or switch them out for ones your kids enjoy. A little extra parmesan cheese on top always helps my kids get excited about this dish and clean their plates.

healthy risotto with garlic, parmesan, truffle, mushrooms, artichokes, and green beans on a white plate (gluten free, vegetarian, instant pot recipe)

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📋 Recipe Card

Healthy Risotto (Vegetarian Instant Pot Risotto)

Thick, creamy, healthy instant pot risotto with artichokes is bursting with Italian flavors. This simple and quick risotto will become one of your go to weeknight family meals.

Prep Time30 mins

Cook Time8 mins

Total Time38 mins

Course: Main Course, Side Dish

Cuisine: Italian

Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Servings: 4

Calories: 398kcal

  • Rinse the fresh green beans, and carrots. Peel and chop the carrots.  Chop the green beans and onion, and set aside.  

  • Place the butter and olive oil in the Instant Pot, and press the sauté button. When the butter melts, add the onions, mushrooms, carrots and green beans, and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

  • Turn off the Instant Pot, and add the broth, and deglaze the bottom of the pot, scraping the bottom with a spoon to loosen any bits of sautéed vegetables (this will give your broth a delicious flavor).  

  • Once all the little bits are off the bottom of the pot, add the risotto, minced garlic, parsley, garlic salt, seasoned salt, seasoned pepper, Italian seasoning, and brown sugar, and stir well to combine all the ingredients. 

  • Make sure all the risotto and vegetables are covered in the broth. If they are not covered, add a little more broth.  

  • The artichoke hearts go in the dish after it’s cooked — they do not go in the Instant Pot with the other ingredients. After you’ve stirred the Instant Pot ingredients, Place the lid on the Instant Pot, and turn it until it beeps and locks. Make sure the pressure valve is set to ‘Sealing’. 

  • Press the Manual Button, and set the time to 6 minutes.  When the Instant Pot is done cooking, allow it to set for 2 minutes, then do a quick release, releasing all the pressure. 

  • Once all the pressure is released, and the float valve is down, remove the lid.  Stir the risotto. If all of the liquid has not been absorbed, continue to stir the risotto. It will begin to thicken.

  • Leave the Risotto in the Instant Pot, and open the roasted red peppers, and artichoke hearts. Slice them and add them to the risotto, gently stirring them into the dish. You can save a few of the peppers and artichokes to top the Risotto when serving. 

  • Add the parmesan cheese, and stir. 

  • Plate or dish up the risotto into bowls, and serve with a few roasted red peppers, sliced artichokes, and parmesan cheese on top.  Enjoy!

  • Use the sauté feature to cook the vegetables prior to adding the broth.
  • Turn off the instant pot and then deglaze the bottom of the instant pot by scraping all the vegetable bits off the bottom of the pan. This adds a rich flavor to the broth. 
  • Do not add all the artichokes or red peppers until the risotto has cooked in the instant pot. You will stir these in after the risotto is done cooking.
  • If you use pre-roasted red peppers, you can add them in with the artichokes after the risotto is done cooking. If you’re using raw red peppers, add them in with the onions to sauté and cook with the risotto.
  • Save a few red peppers and artichokes for garnish.
  • Rice and vegetables should be covered in broth before sealing. If they are not covered in broth add a little more broth until they are completely covered.
  • Make sure lid is locked in place. Listen for beep.
  • Make sure the pressure valve is set to ‘SEALING’. 
  • When risotto is done allow it to set for 2 minutes, then do a quick release, to release all the pressure. 
  • Before removing the lid make sure the float valve is down. 
  • If all the liquid hasn’t been absorbed continue to stir. It will thicken as you stir.
  • To make this recipe vegan eliminate the parmesan cheese and use olive oil instead of butter.
  • Use risotto to keep this recipe gluten-free. Farro is not gluten-free.

Note: Nutritional Info Uses Farro, not Risotto

Calories: 398kcal | Carbohydrates: 60.4g | Protein: 12.8g | Fat: 11.8g | Saturated Fat: 2.9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.5g | Cholesterol: 11.1mg | Sodium: 1307mg | Potassium: 292.4mg | Fiber: 11.1g | Sugar: 9.7g