Southwest Pumpkin Vegan Risotto – a delicious, creamy risotto made with a fun tex-mex spin and absolutely no dairy!
He told me it is THE BEST rice for risotto because it cooks to a perfect al dente throughout. He felt that arborio rice is either al dente in the middle and still crunchy and under cooked on the outside or perfectly al dente on the outside and too mushy in the center. We don’t want that, do we?!l No! So, of course I had to buy the chef approved rice to test it out.
Now, Eataly is an Italian restaurant, but I’m pretty certain you all know by know how much I LOVE the Mexican spices, so I decided to put my own spin on risotto with my favorite spices and little nod to autumn and, voila, Southwest Pumpkin Vegan Risotto was born!
Is this Acquerello rice better than traditional arborio? I don’t know.
Honestly, it’s been awhile since I’ve used arborio, but I know that this dish turned out ultra creamy, dreamy and delicious!
However, I feel pretty confident saying if you can’t find Acquerello rice (or simply don’t want to spend $12 for a pound of rice!), arborio rice would stand in just as well in this vegan risotto dish.
This southwest dish is flavored with the usual spices – cumin, chili powder and paprika – and a few others.
But the secret to the extra creamy texture lies in the pumpkin sauce I added at the end.
I doctored up a ½ cup of pumpkin with a little sweet, smoke and citrus. It might seem like an odd combo and its not necessarily a sauce I would use on it’s own, but added to this south of the border creamy vegan risotto, it’s a winner! Trust!
I can’t even tell you how fast the kids gobbled this up. They had their bowls licked clean before I even had a chance to sit down and join them.
Luckily, they all wanted seconds so I didn’t have to sit and eat alone.
Not that it needs anything else, but a drizzle of my Creamy Cumin Ranch Dressing is perfect on this risotto if you want to add yet another layer of flavor.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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Southwest Pumpkin Risotto
For the Rice:
- 1 ½ cups risotto rice (Acquerello or Arborio)
- ½ cup Spanish wine (I used a Malbec)
- 5 cups vegetable broth (I only used 4.5 cups, but just in case you need more, have it ready)
- 1.5 tbsp lime juice
For the Veggies:
For the Pumpkin Sauce:
- Chopped tomaoto
- Green Onion
- Dash of Sriracha
- Squeeze of lime juice
- Crushed tortilla chips
- Gently heat the vegetable stock in a sauce pan with 1.5 tbsp of lime juice in a sauce pan and keep it warm on low heat.
- In a large pot, sauté the onion, bell pepper, and spices (listed under Veggies above) in ¼ cup vegetable broth, about 5-7 minutes or until the veggies start to soften.
- Meanwhile, make the pumpkin sauce. In a small bowl, whisk everything together listed under pumpkin sauce above and set aside.
- When veggies are tender, add the corn, black beans, green chiles, and salt/pepper and sauté another 2 minutes. Add another tbsp or two of veggie broth if veggies are starting to stick. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- In the same pot you sautéed the veggies in, add the rice over medium heat and stir constantly for 1-2 minutes just to toast gently. Add the wine and and stir until the liquid is completely absorbed by the rice.
- Add about ½ cup of vegetable broth to the rice at a time. After each addition, stir constantly until the liquid is almost fully absorbed. It’s ok if it still looks a little wet, but if you drag a spoon through the rice, it should be able to stay separated. Continue with this process until the rice is cooked through. Start testing the rice (by eating a small piece) after about 15-20 minutes. Mine took about 25 minutes, but check early just in case your cooks faster than mine did. You may not use all of the veggie broth…that’s ok, but it’s better to have it ready just in case. I used about 4.5 cups overall.
- When you are happy with the texture of the rice, take off the heat and stir in the veggie mixture and pumpkin sauce you made earlier until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
- Garnish with the toppings of your choosing and enjoy!