By Elena Johnson

Curried Pumpkin Risotto

Some people think that risotto is a difficult dish that can only be made in a professional kitchen. In fact, if you’re able to stay near the stove during the cooking process, it’s a very simple dish that can be whipped up rather quickly. This risotto gets richness from the pumpkin and an addictive flavor from the curry spice. I always keep a few cans of pumpkin puree on hand so I can create dishes with this traditionally autumn ingredient all year-round. Smooth and creamy without the addition of saturated fat laden cheese, cream, or butter, this comforting recipe can be served as an entrée or side.

Curried Pumpkin Risotto

Curried Pumpkin Risotto

6 servings

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 lb. Arborio or other risotto rice

½ – 1 cup white wine, or 2 parts white wine vinegar diluted with 1 part water

6 cups vegetable stock

15 oz. can pumpkin puree

2 tsp. curry powder

½ tsp. ground nutmeg

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes, more if you want the dish to be spicy

3 Tbsp. vegan margarine, such as Earth Balance Buttery Spread

¼ c. chopped fresh parsley

Salt and black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until translucent. Add rice and stir well to coat with oil. Allow rice to toast for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine and stir until totally evaporated.

Add 1 – 2 cups of stock and mix well. Allow to cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Continue adding stock in batches, stirring and cooking until liquid has mostly evaporated each time.

At last addition of stock, also stir in pumpkin puree, curry powder, nutmeg, and red pepper flakes. Cook until rice is tender and liquid has evaporated.

Turn off heat and fold in margarine and parsley. Season to taste and serve immediately.


About the Author

Elena Johnson

Elena Johnson

Elena Johnson is a second-generation Filipino American living in Baltimore, MD. As a vegan chef and caterer she has been reinventing her family’s recipes and sharing these vegetarian versions of Filipino comfort food with friends, relatives, and those unfamiliar with the flavors of the Philippines. Elena is also the Special Projects Manager at Compassion Over Killing, a national animal advocacy organization focusing on cruelty to animals in agriculture and promoting vegetarian eating as a way to build a kinder world for all. Elena combines her passion for vegetarian food with a love of teaching by offering cooking demonstrations to the public. To learn more about why she went veg, visit Questions/feedback: email