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Pumpkin Risotto – a Halloween Recipe Treat

This improvised pumpkin risotto was an accidental triumph for tonight’s dinner. We have a glut of pumpkins after a surprisingly successful summer growing in the garden and I’ve had to get a bit creative to keep things interesting. Sian is not a fan of risotto but I managed to twist her arm just this once. I just had the end of a packet of risotto rice left but had a jar of casserole mix to bulk it out with. Also we had no vegetable stock, but beef stock worked surprisingly well.

This would easily work as a vegan dish by taking out the cheese and butter and using veggie stock. I don’t think it would suffer flavour-wise because it was packed full of it, but it would miss a bit of creaminess I suppose.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Risotto

  • 1 x Small Sweet Pumpkin – about 5″ – chopped into chunks and seeds reserved
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1L Beef Stock
  • 2 small onions, finely diced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 75g paella or risotto rice
  • 50g casserole mix – lentils, barley etc.
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • A few sprigs of sage, sliced into ribbons
  • Parmesan


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C Fan. Spread the pumpkin chunks out in a baking tray, drizzle with oil and season well. Rub the oil and seasoning into the pumpkin and pop the tray into the oven. Set a timer for 30 minutes.
  2. Wash the seeds in a sieve and pat dry. Spread them in another tray, drizzle a little oil, season, and add paprika. Mix well and put to one side for a bit.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. When it’s warm, add the butter, then the onions, and stir fry until soft and starting to brown. Turn the heat down a touch, add the garlic and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the rice and casserole mix to the pan and stir until coated with oil.
  5. Bit by bit, add the stock a glug at a time. Stir until all the liquid is absorbed, then add the next glug. This will take 25 minutes or so. Don’t stop stirring.
  6. When the pumpkins have 10 minutes left, add the seeds to the oven.
  7. Once the pumpkins are done, take them out of the oven, turn it off, and put some pasta bowls in to warm through. Using a knife and fork, remove the skins and chop the pumpkins into 2cm pieces.
  8. The risotto should be getting thick and creamy by now. Once the grains are tender, remove from the heat. Grate over a whack of parmesan and stir in, with the pumpkin chunks. Sprinkle over the roasted seeds. Serve your delicious pumpkin risotto in warm bowls!

We love Halloween. Check out our post on Halloween Craft Ideas for some more spooky bits.

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