I continue to be inspired by the Instant Pot. Yes, it does make beans in a flash like these Pinto Beans and Black Beans, but it is very versatile. I have even seen pasta made in the Instant Pot. So this beautiful spring dish of Butternut Squash Risotto with Basil Pesto was a natural for the Instant Pot. Don’t feel like cutting the squash up? Some markets sell it pre-cut into cubes! Just get about 20 oz worth and that should do the trick and make your life easier.
This is a great dish to serve for a spring celebration and making it in the Instant Pot frees you up to concentrate on the other dishes in your meal. Don’t miss my new green soup made with asparagus, peas, and zucchini. It’s super delicious made with lite coconut milk, but you can you non-dairy milk if you prefer.
For the recipe, you just throw the ingredients into the pot and saute them a little before turning it on. Although if you don’t have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, I’ve included stovetop/oven directions below the recipe in the Notes section. And, while it’s cooking, you can make the basil pesto in the food processor. Because we’re not using any cheese in this dish as most risottos do, I think it’s super important to have this basil pesto topping. It has just the punch of flavor you want to complement the creamy somewhat neutral flavor of the risotto. I like to make extra pesto and to save for other meals.
This basil pesto is awesome made into a dressing by adding a little fresh orange juice. The orange juice really complements the basil. In fact, you could make a salad to go on the side with the risotto and top it with this Orange Basil Dressing. How about my Arugula, Apple, Beet Salad or Kale Brussels Sprouts Salad.
As a side note in case you’re wondering, I’ve never made with this with brown rice or regular white rice. To get that creamy texture of risotto, arborio rice is the best but if you try it with a different rice, let me know how it goes.
This Butternut Squash Risotto with Basil Pesto has all the wonderful plant-based nutrition you need, as well. With the addition of spinach for your greens, the beautiful orange squash, and medicinal mushrooms you’re getting a healthy dose of nutrition in this meal.
I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below for this Butternut Squash Risotto with Basil Pesto Recipe! If you have a photo, post it on my Instagram page, tag me using the hashtag #plantbasedcooking in your caption, and I won’t miss it!