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Pressure cooker brown rice risotto with asparagus, mushrooms and toasted almonds {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Use your pressure cooker to make brown rice risotto in no time. This one has asparagus, mushrooms and almonds, too. [ThePerfectPantry.com]

Please accept my apologies, but I absolutely cannot wait one more minute for the official start of asparagus season. Here in New England, the uber-snow has delayed everything: flowers, vegetables, and our general good humor. Asparagus season usually begins in early- to mid-May. This year, who knows what will happen? So, last week I gave in to temptation, and bought asparagus at the supermarket. Risotto seemed like the perfect transitional dish, and I'd been wanting to try short-grain brown rice in place of the Arborio rice I often use. Because brown rice takes so much longer to cook, I pressed the pressure cooker into service to speed things up. After 15 minutes of cooking at high pressure, the risotto gets finished just like it would on the stovetop, by stirring in vegetables, butter and cheese. Of course, you can make this recipe on the stove; just be prepared to spend more than 45 minutes stirring (tired arms!). Toasted sliced almonds echo the nuttiness of the brown rice, and provide a great contrast in texture.

Brown rice risotto with asparagus, mushrooms and almonds -- made fast and easy in the pressure cooker. [ThePerfectPantry.com]

Pressure cooker brown rice risotto with asparagus, mushrooms and toasted almonds

From the pantry, you'll need: onion, short-grain brown rice, butter, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, sliced almonds, fresh black pepper, kosher salt, olive oil.

Serves 2; can be doubled.

Note: I use a 6-quart electric pressure cooker. If you use something else, you might need to adjust the cook time.


2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup short-grain brown rice
2-2/3 cup vegetable stock or mushroom stock (or chicken stock, if not vegetarian)
2 Tbsp sliced almonds
8 thick asparagus spears, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
4 oz sliced mushrooms (I like cremini)
1-1/2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper


Set your pressure cooker to Browning, and add the olive oil. When it's hot, stir in the onion, and cook until it just starts to brown. Add the rice, and stir to coat the grains with oil. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes, until the rice just starts to brown but does not burn.

Turn the pressure cooker off, and pour in all of the broth at once. Lock the top in place, and set to High Pressure for 15 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, toast the almonds in a dry frying pan over low heat for 3-4 minutes, until just lightly browned. Shake the pan frequently to toss the nuts and keep them from burning. Remove from heat and set aside.

When the cook time is up, Quick Release the pressure, and remove the lid. The rice will look soupy at this point, and that's fine.

Set the pressure cooker to Sauté. Add in the asparagus and mushrooms, and cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes. The liquid will bubble, the vegetables will cook, and the rice will become stickier.

When most of the liquid has been absorbed, stir in the butter, and keep stirring; the rice will keep getting creamier. After the butter melts, add the cheese, a good pinch of black pepper, and if you used homemade stock that wasn't salty, you'll probably need some salt as well. (If you used store-bought stock, you might not need to add any salt.)

Top with the toasted almonds, and serve hot.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More pressure-cooker risotto variations:
Pressure cooker shrimp and asparagus risotto with mushrooms, from The Perfect Pantry
Green herb and kale risotto, from The Perfect Pantry
Roasted beet risotto with goat cheese and beet greens, from The Perfect Pantry
Pumpkin and baby spinach risotto, from Delicious Everyday
Fresh summer corn risotto, from Merry Gourmet

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


I love the idea of making risotto with brown rice, so much healthier than the normal starchier white rice, and this sounds delicious. Must try rice in the pressure cooker!

The best,keep up the good work,I just got a power cooker,it's the best
Not like the old ones,I never know when It was finish cooking.
No I get it.

This sounds and looks wonderful. I love the added asparagus. xo, Catherine

Kalyn, if not for the pressure cooker, I probably wouldn't have gotten into brown rice risotto at all.

Bradley, hope you like this.

Catherine, I love asparagus in just about anything!

I just made this and it's fantastic!

Anne, thanks for coming back to leave feedback. And I'm thrilled that you liked the risotto -- it just might be my new favorite!

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