Pumpkin Risotto with Caramelized Onions and Candied Walnuts

This recipe is a bit labor-intensive, but so worth it for a really special meal or to satisfy that craving for savory fall fare. This creamy pumpkin risotto is a very comforting dish on a cold night! Just add a protein to make it a meal! I recommend tofu, pork, or chicken.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 40 mins
6 servings


  • 1 pie pumpkin

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 1 onion, cut into half-moons

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

  • 2 (14 ounce) cans vegetable broth

  • 2 teaspoons dried sage, divided

  • 1 cup Arborio rice

  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary

  • ¼ cup dry white wine

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • ground black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slice top off of pumpkin and cut in 1/2. Scoop out and discard seeds and pulp. Place pumpkin cut-side down on a baking tray.

  2. Bake in the preheated oven until easily pierced with a fork, 30 to 45 minutes. Scoop flesh from rind into a food processor and blend into a puree.

  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a pan over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until brown, wilted, and sweet, 15 to 30 minutes.

  4. At the same time, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add walnuts and cook for 5 minutes. Add sugar and stir constantly until coated, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

  5. Whisk pumpkin puree and vegetable broth together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, about 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low.

  6. Warm 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a small pan and add 1 teaspoon sage, about 1 minute. Set sage butter aside.

  7. Warm remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add rice; cook and stir until coated with oil and slightly translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon sage and rosemary. Add wine and stir until absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes.

  8. Add pumpkin-broth mixture to the rice 2 ladlefuls at a time, stirring well after each addition. Wait until liquid is almost completely absorbed before adding more, about 7 minutes between additions, until all broth is added and rice is tender and creamy, about 30 minutes total.

  9. Stir Parmesan cheese, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, and pepper into the risotto. Drizzle with sage butter and coated walnuts before serving.

Cook's Notes:

You can substitute butternut squash for pumpkin, and canned pumpkin puree for fresh.

Use chicken broth if you prefer.

You can use grated Romano cheese instead of Parmesan, if you prefer.

You can save the pumpkin seeds and toast them as a garnish for the risotto.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

557 Calories
32g Fat
59g Carbs
12g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 557
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 26mg 9%
Sodium 376mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 59g 22%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 24mg 118%
Calcium 170mg 13%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 936mg 20%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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