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Instant Pot Asparagus Risotto

With fresh asparagus, parmesan cheese and herbs this risotto is extra creamy and delicious. Made in the instant pot, it is ready quickly and easily.

Risotto with asparagus spears in a white bowl with a serving spoon.
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Risotto is a dish that can seem intimidating to make. It’s often on the menu at fancy restaurants and when you see it being made on cooking shows they are standing over the stove paying it constant attention to make sure it doesn’t stick or burn.

However, when you use the instant pot the intimidation factor goes right out the window.

When you use the instant pot you can just toss it in the pot, turn it on and walk away. No standing over the stove, no stirring, no worrying about taking your eyes off it.

It turns out creamy and delicious every time and it’s ready in minutes.

Risotto in a small white dish garnished with asparagus spears and parmesan flakes.

Why We Love This Recipe

It’s quick – Risotto in the instant pot is extremely quick. When cooking on the stove it could take 30 minutes or more, but cooked in the instant pot it cooks in only 6 minutes.

It’s easy – No stirring or babysitting the stove to make sure it doesn’t burn. When risotto is made in the instant pot you can just set it and forget it, letting the pot do the work for you.

Simple ingredients – The ingredients are simple and easy to find at any grocery store. You won’t have to run around looking for fancy or expensive ingredients.

Ingredients

To make this risotto you will need:

  • Arborio rice – A short grain rice most popular for risotto.
  • Broth – Vegetable or chicken.
  • Olive oil – Extra virgin or light is fine.
  • Salted butter – You can use unsalted if you prefer.
  • Fresh asparagus – Avoid using frozen as it will become too soft in the risotto.
  • Shredded parmesan cheese – freshly shredded is important. Avoid pre-packaged.
  • Shallots – If you can’t find shallots you can substitute red onion.
  • Garlic – Fresh is best, but dried minced will work as well.
  • Fresh thyme – Fresh has better flavour, but you can use dried if fresh is unavailable.
  • Salt & Pepper

We recommend using fresh vegetables, not frozen, and fresh herbs for the best results and flavours. If you need to use dried herbs you can do so at a ratio of 1 tsp of dried for every tablespoon of fresh.

We also recommend shredding or grating the parmesan fresh, unless you buy it from the deli section of your grocery store. Pre-packaged shredded cheese will contain extra ingredients to preserve freshness and prevent caking which will result in gritty, lumpy risotto.

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Pro Tip – Make sure you are using Arborio rice for this recipe. Arborio rice has a shorter grain and contains more starch than long grain rice. Because the grain is shorter and fatter it retains more bite than long grain rice and the starch is what creates the creamy sauce that give risotto its luscious texture.

Instructions

Steam or blanch the asparagus for 1-2 minutes just until it is fork tender. You can use the instant pot to steam asparagus before you begin the risotto or use the stove while the risotto cooks. If your asparagus is very thin you can skip this step as the heat from the risotto will be enough to cook it.

Place the liner in the instant pot and set the pot to sauté on high heat.

Add the butter, olive oil, minced shallot and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and slightly soft.

Add the rice and cook 2-3 minutes longer. You should notice the edge of the rice will begin to look slightly translucent and you may smell a very slight toasty aroma.

Press cancel, add the broth, then with the valve of the lid open, place the lid on the pot. Turn the valve to seal and set to high pressure for 6 minutes.

Rice in an instant pot before and after cooking.

While the rice is cooking chop the asparagus into one inch pieces.

When the timer is complete, turn the valve to quick release the pressure and carefully remove the lid.

Give the risotto a quick stir, then add the parmesan cheese and fresh thyme. Stir until the cheese is melted and the risotto is creamy then stir in the asparagus.

Serve immediately. Garnish with additional asparagus spears and parmesan cheese if desired.

Collage of two photos showing cooked rice in an instant pot before and after mixing in parmesan cheese and asparagus.

Pro Tip – If the risotto doesn’t seem quite creamy enough you can add a few more tablespoons of broth to help smooth it out. Risotto should be creamy and a little bit saucy without being runny. It will continue to thicken as it sits. If it becomes too thick just refresh with a bit of warm broth.

Cooked risotto in an instant pot mixed with parmesan cheese and asparagus pieces mixed with a wooden spoon.

Serving Suggestions

Risotto is a versatile dish that can be served as an appetizer, main meal or side dish.

We recommend serving this asparagus risotto garnished with additional asparagus tips and extra parmesan cheese. It’s also nice topped with fresh herbs. You can just use fresh thyme, as the recipe calls for, or garnish with some fresh chopped parsley or chives.

As a side dish this pairs well pork chops, chicken, or fish dishes.

Risotto in a serving dish garnished with parmesan cheese.  Salt and pepper and a small bowl of parmesan on the side.

FAQS

How do you reheat risotto?

You can reheat risotto in the microwave or on the stove top. It will become thicker as it sits in the fridge. To help make it creamy again you can stir in a few tablespoons of broth while it heats, or even a tablespoon or two of cream.

How long will leftover risotto keep?

Leftover risotto will keep for about 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will become thicker as it sits in the fridge and will lose some of its creaminess. Just add a few tablespoons of broth or cream when reheating to help make it creamy again.

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Recipe

Risotto with asparagus spears in a white bowl with a serving spoon.

Instant Pot Asparagus Risotto

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 31 minutes

With fresh asparagus, parmesan cheese and herbs this risotto is extra creamy and delicious. Made in the instant pot, it is ready quickly and easily.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp salted butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 small shallot, minced (1/4 cup minced)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Cup Arborio rice
  • 2 Cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 pound fresh asparagus, lightly steamed
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Begin by steaming or blanching the asparagus for 1-2 mintues. You want asparagus that is just fork tender. You can use the instant pot to do this before you make the risotto, or the stove top while the rice cooks. After steaming rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. If you are using very thin asparagus you can skip this step and add it raw as the risotto will be hot enough to cook it.
  2. Turn the instant pot to saute (high) and add the butter, olive oil, minced shallot and garlic. Cook 2-3 minutes until fragrant and the shallot is beginning to soften.
  3. Add the rice and cook an additional 2-3 minutes while stirring until the edges of the rice are just beginning to turn translucent. You may also notice a slight toasty aroma.
  4. Add the broth, press cancel, and with the lid in the vent position place the lid on the pot. Turn the valve to seal and set the pot on high pressure for 6 minutes.
  5. While the risotto cooks, chop the asparagus into 1 inch pieces.
  6. When the timer is complete turn the valve to release the pressure. When the pin drops carefully remove the lid.
  7. Give the risotto a quick stir, then add the parmesan cheese and thyme. Stir until the cheese is melted and the risotto is creamy.
  8. Stir in the asparagus. If the risotto has thickened too much you can add a few extra tablespoons of broth until it is smooth and creamy.
  9. Serve immediatly garnished with additional asparagus tips, fresh herbs and parmesan cheese.

Notes

We recommend using fresh vegetables, not frozen, and fresh herbs for the best results and flavours. If you need to use dried herbs you can do so at a ratio of 1 tsp of dried for every tablespoon of fresh.

Make sure you use freshly grated parmesan cheese, not pre-packaged. Packaged shredded cheese will often contain additional ingredients that will make the risotto gritty and lumpy.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 214Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 374mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 7g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only.

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