Risotto: Instant Pot vs. Traditional

February 5, 2019

Today's International Craving: Risotto

Risotto is one of my favorite Italian dishes to make at home. It's creamy, delicious, and only requires a few simple ingredients. Which makes it a perfect treat during a polar vortex when I can't leave the house and have very few supplies in my pantry.


People are often intimidated by risotto, but there's no need to be. It's actually quite easy to make. It just needs a little extra love and attention.

But since most of us have grown lazy over the years, putting effort into our meals is out of the question. Don't deny it. We're all guilty of making something out of a box.


Since Instant Pots have become the new mealtime hero, I wasn't surprised to see pressure cooker risotto recipes popping up everywhere. I never ever planned on making risotto in an Instant Pot, but the cabin fever brought on some crazy thoughts. So I decided to go against everything I believe in and make a quick and easy Instant Pot risotto.


Did it stand up to the real deal? 


Full video of the battle here:


Instant Pot Risotto

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 Cup Onion

1/2 Cup Dry, White Wine (optional)

2 Cups Arborio Rice

4 Cups Broth/Stock


1. Turn your Instant Pot on to the saute setting.

2. Add olive oil and then saute the onions until they're translucent.

3. Add the rice and toast for 2 minutes. Stirring constantly to avoid burning the rice.

4. Deglaze the pot with wine and cook until the smell of the wine dissipates.

5. Add the broth/stock. Stir.

6. Seal the Instant Pot and let it run on high pressure for 5-6 minutes.

7. Carefully quick release the pressure valve.

8. Salt and pepper. Add 1/4-1/2 cup of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano if desired. Serve immediately. 


Traditional Italian Risotto

3-4 Cups Broth/Stock

2 Tbsp Butter

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 Cup Onion

1/2 Cup Dry, White Wine (optional)

1 Cup Arborio Rice


1. In a small saucepan, simmer your chosen broth/stock and keep warm. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. This is a vital component to creamy risotto.

2. In a separate saute pan, heat olive and butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Then add the rice and toast for 2 minutes. Stirring constantly to avoid burning the rice. Deglaze the pan with wine and cook until absorbed and the smell of the wine dissipates (optional).

3. Using a ladle, add 1/2-1 cup of the warm broth to the rice and continue to stir until the liquid is absorbed (and you can see the bottom of the pan when you scrape the spoon across it.)

4. Repeat step 3 until your risotto is al dente. The texture should be creamy and the rice will no longer be white in the center.

5. Salt and pepper to taste. Add 1/4-1/2 cup of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano if desired. Serve immediately.



So What's the Verdict?

Traditional. All the way.


The risotto from the Instant Pot didn't hold its creamy texture and ended up being gluey instead. It also didn't absorb the flavor of the broth as well as the traditional method did.


The hardest part about making traditional risotto is the constant attention and sore arm muscles. But I'm telling you, it's worth it in the end.




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