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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 12 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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