This pumpkin risotto is the perfect comforting fall dish. Creamy and rich, it’s topped with apple cider caramelized onions and crispy sage. Sprinkle on some parmesan cheese and you’ll be in heaven!

This is the most October-y recipe on the menu.

pumpkin risotto with cider caramelized onions

Savory, decadent pumpkin risotto topped with apple cider caramelized onions. It can be your main dish (me!) or a side dish to some grilled chicken or vegetables. Either way it is so fantastic and a super huge hit in this house. I wish I was eating it right now!

the start of pumpkin risotto

My excitement for this recipe knows no bounds. I’ve wanted to share it for YEARS! As risotto goes, it’s relatively easy and when you throw some of these caramelized onions on the side… oh my word, yes.

apple cider caramelized onions

And here’s something exciting: this is a spin on two recipes in Everyday Dinners

First, the cider caramelized onions. These onions are a part of the sauces and dressings chapter, which is LOADED with all of my fridge essentials. My fridge essentials are vinaigrettes, sauces, heartier dressings and small components that can be made ahead of time, in just a few minutes, to keep in the fridge to add versatility to meals all week.


creamy pumpkin risotto

It’s the best part of the book because it adds SO much to every meal. It extends your weeknight meals, makes leftovers fancier and keeps you interested in your planned lunches because there is so much variety. 

Can you tell I’m obsessed?Oh and P.S. right now Everyday Dinners is on major sale! You should def grab some for gifts while it’s at this low price. I have no way of knowing how long it will last!

pumpkin risotto with cider caramelized onions

So yes, the caramelized onions come from there. They are simply sliced sweet onions, butter and apple cider. The apple cider helps caramelize the onions and it’s perfect – not only does it add flavor, it keeps the onions from burning and helps to caramelize them all over. They taste like fall in a skillet!

Next, the pumpkin risotto! This was one of the first recipes I really nailed down for the book. It’s so comforting and hearty. You can swap butternut squash or sweet potato puree in for the pumpkin too!

fried crispy sage

I’ve been making this recipe for a few years, because lo and behold, Eddie decided he liked savory pumpkin dishes. I mean, trust me, I knew he liked them. He loves butternut squash and any dish made with it, and pumpkin is barely detectable to him when served in a savory manner. So first, I just started telling him it was squash. Which of course – it is.

Then he got on board and realized he also liked savory pumpkin dishes and my whole dinner world opened up! Hello pumpkin lasagna roll ups. Pumpkin pierogies! Pumpkin cacio e pepe. Even pumpkin queso fundido

The options are endless! 

pumpkin risotto with cider caramelized onions

This is quite a MEAL. It is a little high maintenance. You will have three pots on the stove at once if you caramelize the onions, warm your stock and cook your risotto. It isn’t hard, but it’s a few pots on the stove! You know how that goes. 

I promise it’s worth it. 

It’s the time of year when spending some time making a comforting dish is so rewarding. If you’ve made risotto before, this will be a breeze for you. If it’s your first time, it may take a while, but I promise the next time (and times forever after) will be easy and enjoyable. 

pumpkin risotto with cider caramelized onions

The risotto is creamy and rich. It has allll the parmesan cheese and crispy sage. I like to toss in some of the caramelized onions – stir them right into the pot. Then I use the leftovers for the top as a garnish. More parm of course!

It’s a dream meal with all the fall vibes!

pumpkin risotto with cider caramelized onions

Pumpkin Risotto with Cider Caramelized Onions

Pumpkin Risotto with Cider Caramelized Onions

This pumpkin risotto is the perfect comforting fall dish. Creamy and rich, it's topped with apple cider caramelized onions and crispy sage. Sprinkle on some parmesan cheese and you'll be in heaven!
5 from 14 votes
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apple cider caramelized onions

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup apple cider

pumpkin risotto

  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ cups arborio rice
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 ⅓ cups dry white wine
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons brown butter
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage


apple cider caramelized onions

  • Heat a skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat and add the butter. Once melted, stir in the sliced onions and the salt. Stir and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions begin to soften.
  • Reduce the heat to low. Add in a tablespoon of the apple cider. Cook, stirring often, for 30 minutes, adding 1 tablespoon of apple cider every 10 minutes. This prevents the onions from drying out and also let’s them slowly caramelize with the cider. Continue to cook until your desired caramelization is reached!

pumpkin risotto

  • Heat the stock in a saucepan over low heat and cover it. Heat until hot. If it begins to boil, turn down so it is no longer boiling.
  • Heat a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add in the olive oil and butter (not the brown butter), then add the garlic with a pinch of salt. Stir to coat and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the rice, stirring to coat. Stir in the nutmeg, paprika, a big pinch of salt and pepper and a small pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often until the rice is translucent and begins to toast.
  • Pour in the wine. Continue to stir as the rice absorbs the wine. When most of it is absorbed, add in about a third of the warm chicken/vegetable stock. Repeat the process, continuously stirring until the stock is absorbed, then add another third. Repeat until all of the stock is used and absorbed and the rice is cooked, making sure to take a spoonful and taste test. The whole process will take about 20 to 25 minutes. If the rice is still too chewy and dense, heat a bit more liquid and add it again, stirring. The rule I go by is to add enough liquid just to cover the very top of the risotto.
  • Once the rice is cooked to your liking, reduce the heat to low and stir in the pumpkin puree. Take a few minutes and really stir so it is well-absorbed. Stir in the parmesan cheese and brown butter, mixing to combine. Stir in half of the cider caramelized onions. Taste and season more if you’d like. I cannot stress this enough! Taste the risotto and add more salt and pepper if you find it necessary. This is an important part!
  • If desired, you can crisp up some sage or toss it on fresh. To crisp it up, I add it to a skillet with butter for a few minutes.
  • Serve the risotto topped with the sage and extra caramelized onions. Enjoy!

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pumpkin risotto with cider caramelized onions

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