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pesto risotto in a black bowl
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4.67 from 6 votes

Pesto Risotto (Vegan)

A super simple, yet stunningly beautiful and delicious Pesto Risotto made with arborio rice. This versatile side or main dish recipe is vegan and can be made in an Instant Pot pressure cooker or on the stovetop.
Prep Time3 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Additional Time3 mins
Total Time12 mins
Course: Appetizers, Entrées, Sides, Vegan
Cuisine: Instant Pot, Italian
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free, Halal, Hindu, Kosher, Low Lactose, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 514kcal
Author: Kristen Wood



  • Instant Pot Instructions
  • Press the saute function button on your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Add oil and rice. Saute for 2 minutes.
  • Press cancel to turn off saute function. Stir in water and salt.
  • Place the lid on and cook on manual high pressure for 6 minutes.
  • While waiting for it to cook, prepare your favorite pesto. I like this vegan cashew pesto.
  • When the Instant Pot is finished cooking, carefully quick release the pressure. Fluff the risotto with a fork.
  • Gently fold in prepared pesto.
  • Serve and enjoy!
  • Stovetop Instructions
  • In a large pot bring the vegetable broth or water to a low simmer.
  • Meanwhile in a large skillet or pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add rice and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add a ladle of hot broth/water to the sauteed rice. Let sit until the broth is mostly absorbed. Repeat with remaining broth, using only a ladle a time until the all the broth is absorbed. The risotto should have a creamy consistency when finished. If it's too dry, add more broth; if it's too wet, let it cook longer until absorbed.
  • Turn off heat and stir in salt and pesto.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Please refer to the TIPS section above in the post for valuable information.
Also see: 60 Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes!
View this recipe as a Web Story.
You Might Also Like: 5 Best Mushrooms for Risotto.


Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 514kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 30g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 411mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g