Pumpkin Risotto with Sage

Pumpkin Spice Risotto with sage is my pick for a simple seasonal fall entree that is loaded with comfort food vibes. Risotto, in general, is one of my all time favorite recipes to make and eat. It takes a bit of time in the kitchen, stirring continuously, as the rice simmers and plumps and everything gets creamy and cozy. But to me, the process is meditative, since there is not much thinking involved. You just stir and inhale the delicious aromas rising from the skillet. Forget pumpkin-spice candles and potpourri, this is my version of fall-flavored aromatherapy. And it is so satisfying to watch simple white rice turn into this creamy-velvet, dense and fluffy entree dish.

Get the recipe and curl up to a bowl while you watch Hocus Pocus or dream up Halloween costume ideas. (I mean, it is almost October, right?)

Video of this recipe too, so you can see risotto in action...

Today's risotto is like fall in a bowl. Warming and lightly spiced. I love this served as an entree or side dish. If I serve this as an entree I usually add some tempeh bacon or skillet tofu cubes. I even served up risotto tacos last night with the leftovers. No, seriously, these were amazing! I took hummus, salt and pepper-y tofu cubes, warmed risotto and some baby spinach and stuffed them into blue corn tortillas. They were so fresh and flavorful. Sweet and savory.

Sage is a secret ingredient for this risotto because it brings such a unique warmth and earthiness to the dish. It pairs perfectly with pumpkin!

But isn't risotto "fancy food?"
I used to think that risotto was 'fancy food.' The type of dish you could only eat at a snooty restaurant. But the truth is, risotto is Italian comfort food, like pasta. And you can serve it however you'd like! Sure, it looks all fancy and elegant sitting in a serving bowl with a simple garnish on top, but really, this dish can be a chill and rustic, casual and "fusion" as you'd like. thus, my 'risotto tacos' last night. Risotto is basically a very lovely textured rice. Creamy and dense. But you can essentially serve it in a variety of ways, just like normal rice. In wraps, burritos, tacos, on the side of salads, alongside beans and more.

"But besides pie and lattes, I don't like pumpkin recipes..." Ok ok. I get it. Pumpkin as an entree can sound a bit intimidating for those of us who do not live for fall. But the truth is, this recipe really just tastes like a warming cozy rice. You could easily sub the mashed pumpkin with mashed sweet potato or butternut squash. And add whatever spices you'd like.

Spices/flavors that I think pair well with this dish include:

- ginger
- cinnamon
- garlic
- chipotle
- smoky paprika
- black pepper
- turmeric
- orange zest
- maple
- apple / cider vinegar
- cayenne
- onion
- sage
- bay leaf
- rosemary
- what else would you play with?

Watch me make this Pumpkin Risotto - video:

And if you love this recipe like I did, you might want to also check out my Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Pumpkin Spice Risotto with Sage

Kathy Patalsky

Published 09/21/2017

Pumpkin Spice Risotto with Sage

This simple dinner is delicious seasonal comfort food. Warming pumpkin, spice and sage risotto warms your bowl and makes for a delicious vegan entree or side dish.


  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 4 cups veggie broth
  • 1/2 - 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white or sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup 100% pumpkin puree, unsweetened
  • 2-3 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of fresh orange zest
  • 1/8 tsp smoky paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 sage leaves, torn


  1. Warm up a deep skillet over high heat. Add the olive oil and onion. Saute for 2-3 minutes, until caramelized.
  2. Lower heat to medium and add in the rice, torn sage and one cup of the veggie broth.
  3. Keep the heat at low-medium, a low simmer, as you continuously stir and move the rice around in the skillet as steam lifts from the pan and the rice absorbs the liquid. When the pan starts to get dry, add another cup of broth and repeat the stirring process. Finally, with the 1/2 - 1 cup of water, or as much as you need to get the rice to your desired level of tenderness and creaminess. When you add in the last batch of liquid, also add in the pumpkin, maple, cider vinegar, zest and all the spices. Stir until thick, creamy and fluffy. The entire cooking process usually takes about 25-30 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat and allow the risotto to rest for a few minutes before scooping onto serving bowls. Garnish with a fresh sage leaf. Tip: remove any large pieces of the cooked sage before serving. Small pieces are fine. Black pepper on top.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 00 hrs. 05 mins.

Cook time: 00 hrs. 30 mins.

Total time: 35 mins.

Tags: entree,rice,risotto,pumpkin,sage,pepper,citrus,dinner,vegan,easy,fall,seasonal,

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