An Easy Instant Pot Risotto That’s Vegan!

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Two things I love most – not having to stir something for an hour, and no animal products being used! This instant pot risotto is one of my favorite, I don’t want to cook recipes for a quick meal any night of the week.

It’s a dream to get the same creamy texture without all the work or any dairy products!

My boyfriend actually introduced me to risotto; I hadn’t even heard of it before. Now it’s become one of our regular meals, especially with the versatility of risotto, having the ability to take on so many different flavors.

The one I make the most has a bunch of fresh vegetables, making this a super healthy dinner in one bowl.

Since I’ve been avoiding gluten, I lost pasta for the most part. Risotto has been one of the closest items to pasta I can find at the moment. It’s made from arborio rice, which gives risotto it’s creamy texture without the requirement of any cream or cheese products added. It’s one of the reasons I like it so much.

Why This Instant Pot Risotto Recipe?

Why my risotto is different from other recipes is due to 3 primary reasons:

  1. I add a ton of vegetables and herbs to this. This gives it a unique flavor compared to typical risotto recipes. I also add these because:
  2. I don’t always have vegetable broth on hand. Rather than the vegetable broth giving the risotto the majority of the flavor, I allow the produce and herbs to shine.
  3. This version uses lime juice in place of wine. Wine does give risotto a distinct flavor, feel free to add it in if you’ve got it. My boyfriend doesn’t drink or want alcohol in his meals, so I’ve replaced the wine with lime juice. (But you don’t have to)


instant pot risotto ingredients

The ingredients for this instant pot risotto are fairly straightforward, and you could even change the vegetables depending on what’s in season in your area of the world!

Primary Ingredients

These are the ingredients that this vegan risotto wouldn’t be the same without. This recipe is entirely based off 2 cups of arborio rice, so if you want to do more, just remember that for every cup of rice, do 2 cups of water!

Along with the arborio rice, you’ll need 4 cups of boiling water or vegetable broth (or a mixture of both), and olive oil!


I use: zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, and peas for the vegetables. The zucchini depends on the season, and the mushrooms give this almost a meaty texture with adding amazing umami flavor.

(I also use the juice of a lime instead of wine to deglaze the mixture)

It’s really common to use onion and garlic in risotto too, but I can’t eat either of those so they get skipped, and the recipe does just fine without them!


These spices I use are (in dried form): 2 tsp basil, 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp rosemary, 1 tbsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper. Then if I’m feeling fancy, I’ll cut off some fresh basil from the garden to add a fresh flavor at the end. The salt is a very high quantity because whether or not I’m using my homemade vegetable broth or just water, there’s no salt added.

*If you’re using vegetable broth with salt in it, use less!

Making the Instant Pot Risotto

This instant pot risotto takes so much less time and effort than a traditional stovetop recipe. About 5-10 minutes of prep, set up the instant pot, and walk away for a while! No more standing over the hot pot stirring constantly. So, how to make the risotto:

instant pot risotto

Cut the zucchini into small cubes and slice the mushrooms. If you’re using onion and garlic, finely dice. Cut up spinach into small lengths. Set spinach aside from other vegetables. Combine dry spices in a small bowl, for preparation.

Bring water (or vegetable broth) to a boil (I heat it up in my kettle). Heating water before adding is the same as on the stove, so the water doesn’t have to take time to come to temperature and increase the cooking time.

Set the instant pot to sauté, add in enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and then some (so it can cover all of the rice), and allow it to heat. Add in the vegetables, aside from the spinach (or peas). Allow to sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add in the arborio rice, and stir. Try to make sure all of the rice is coated with oil. To this, add in the spices.

Squeeze the juice of the lime directly onto everything in the pan. Alternative: if you’re using wine, pour that in now. Mix. Finally, over everything, pour the hot water. Stir to mix.

Place the lid on the instant pot, ensure it’s set to pressurize, and set the pressure cooker to manual, high pressure, for 12 minutes. Once it’s finished the 12 minutes, manually release the pressure immediately.

I used to do 5 minutes, but the water wasn’t completely absorbed and haven’t found any problems with the added time. This may require some trial, as it can depend on the brand of arborio rice you’re using!

instant pot risotto cooked

Finishing Touches

Remove the lid. The risotto might still have some liquid, but it will be soaked in during the next few minutes. Add in the spinach and peas if using at this point. Stir to combine and until the spinach is cooked (about 1 minute). Taste the risotto at this point to see if you need any more salt/pepper.

Top with some fresh basil.

Enjoy your instant pot risotto dinner!

Instant pot risotto - vegan and filling! No more standing over a pot stirring for creamy risotto


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