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Pressure cooker or Instant Pot spinach and kale risotto {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Make this spinach and kale risotto in minutes, and no stirring, in the pressure cooker. #vegetarian #glutenfree

Generally, I think of myself as a person who has not led a fear-based life. And yet, I spent decades living in fear of pressure cookers (once you see green beans plastered to the kitchen ceiling, you cannot unsee them). So I owe this risotto to my friend Kalyn, who nudged me back into pressure cooking, which turned risotto from nearly an hour of stirring (and upper arm exhaustion) to a quick six minutes at high pressure in my fail-safe electric pressure cooker, making this spinach and kale risotto officially fast food. You can use your Instant Pot, too.

Sun-dried tomatoes bring a little sweetness to balance the bitter greens, creating a risotto that's both easy and healthy. If you have your own slow-roasted tomatoes in the freezer, use those instead, and the dish will be that much better. And, of course, you can make this risotto stovetop, in the traditional way, adding the greens at the last minute.

Spinach and kale risotto takes no time to make in the pressure cooker. #vegetarian #glutenfree

Pressure cooker or Instant Pot spinach and kale risotto

From the pantry, you'll need: arborio rice, vegetable stock, onion, olive oil, nutmeg, butter, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, kosher salt, fresh black pepper.

Serves 4 as a main course.


2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1-1/2 cups Arborio rice
3-1/2 cups vegetable stock (homemade or store-bought), warmed in the microwave
4 oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, chopped (or use your own slow-roasted tomatoes, if you have them)
Pinch of nutmeg
1 cup whole baby spinach leaves
1 cup whole baby kale leaves
3 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or more to taste
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
Kosher salt, to taste


Note: I use a my Instant Pot or a 6-quart electric pressure cooker. If you use something different, adjust according to manufacturer's recommendations. (This recipe adapts easily to stovetop cooking, too.)

Set your pressure cooker to BROWNING, and heat the olive oil. Sauté the onion for 2 minutes, or until it's soft and beginning to brown.

Stir in the rice, and make sure the grains are coated with the oil. Stirring frequently, cook for 4-5 minutes, until the rice just begins to toast but is not fully brown. Then, turn off the pressure cooker.

Pour in the vegetable stock, and close the pressure cooker. Set to HIGH PRESSURE for 6 minutes.

When the cook time is up, QUICK RELEASE the pressure. After the pressure is fully released, open the cooker.

Stir in the tomatoes and nutmeg. If the rice has absorbed all of the liquid, add 1/2 cup of water. Then stir in the spinach and kale; the heat of the rice will wilt and cook the greens almost instantly.

Using a wooden spoon, vigorously beat the butter into the rice, and when it has melted, add the cheese and black pepper. Taste, and if necessary, add salt.

Serve immediately.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More pressure cooker risotto ideas:
Pressure cooker shrimp and asparagus risotto with mushrooms, from The Perfect Pantry
Sage and butternut squash autumn risotto, from Hip Pressure Cooking
Pumpkin and baby spinach risotto, from Delicious Everyday
Shrimp risotto with peas, from The Merry Gourmet

Make this risotto in less than 30 minutes: no stirring! #vegetarian #glutenfree

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 may have nudged you into pressure-cooker use, but you've far surpassed me in the creating of recipes for it. And this looks like another winner!

Kalyn, the pressure cooker has changed my cooking life! I think I use it for beans and risotto more often than any other dishes.

Fear: for years I suffered from Fear of Saffron. I had some, but it was so expensive. How could I dare use it? Now I am over the fear, but the saffron is 30 years old. Not worth buying more, is it?

Susan, first of all, if you have lived without saffron for 30 years, I'm sorry. I love the flavor it adds to rice, especially rice made in the pressure cooker. But you can certainly go another 30 years or so without it. I hope you've thrown that old stuff away!

Hi Lydia,

Awesome looking spinach and kale risotto! Gonna go to the supermarket to get ingredients to make this later this week. You mentioned using a 6 quart pressure cooker. Any particular brand or model you use?

Ann, I use an electric pressure cooker. There are several models on the market, as you'll see if you follow the link above.

I was in fear of the pressure cooker for many years due to "Breakfast at Tiffanys"! LOL I got one as a Xmas gift several years ago & have cautiously used it to cook beans. I could cook with it more, tho!

Absolutely love this risotto recipe!!! Any idea how to adapt this recipe to brown rice risotto?

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