Risotto is notorious for being difficult to master. So much stirring, so much time, oh the hand cramps. But it doesn’t have to be this hard, I promise. Instant pot risotto is where it’s at! This instant pot is like magic, especially when you can put everything in there, close it up, and wait! Dinner couldn’t be easier.
The benefits of an instant pot are endless, it’s by far my favorite kitchen tool. It’s my best friend. Want to make something delicious and not have to work tirelessly in a hot kitchen? Instant pot. Want to get incredible flavors in a short amount of time? Instant pot. This weekend I’ll be test running another recipe for a Short Rib Ragu. I’ve made it before but…it just hasn’t come out right, I’ll admit it. I decided that I needed to cook it longer, which is insane because the first time I tried I cooked it for 3 hours!
It dawned on me tonight, while making this meal…I COULD JUST USE THE INSTANT POT. So look out for that in the coming weeks, and of course all the other recipes that flow through my head whenever I’m even a little hungry.
Easy Instant Pot Risotto
There is no stirring involved in this recipe…well unless you count the browning of the pancetta and vegetables…so maybe a little stirring. But that’s not what counts! There is no standing over a hot stove constantly stirring the risotto as it cooks. That’s the beauty of the instant pot, it does all the work for you!
Once the vegetables are browned, the kale has wilted, and the risotto and stock go in, just close it up and relax! There’s not even that much cleaning to do so you can truly just kick back with a beer and wait for dinner to be ready. And once it’s closed up in the instant pot, it only takes 5 minutes to cook (once the pot comes to pressure.) It’s just insane, really only 5 minutes.
I had made this easy instant pot risotto the first time back in January, as a surprise for my boyfriend. And when I looked over the recipe again to remake it, I almost doubted myself…maybe I meant to write 15 minutes? But, I’m glad that I trusted my past self, and five minutes was really all this easy instant pot risotto took!
It’s All About Prep
This time around, I carefully planned out my prep work. I read my recipe over again and again making sure I knew exactly what I was doing. I find I need to go over a recipe at least 3 times before starting the meal…at least…if I want it to go smoothly with very little stress. Even my own recipes!
First you’re going to want to cut up your garlic and your onion, and set that aside in a small bowl. Then the mushrooms, and leeks can go into another bowl. That way when it comes down to getting everything into the instant pot, it’s a nice little assembly line. So easy, and so quick!
Once everything is cut up and in the bowls, it’s time to measure out your risotto. And in a large measuring cup, the chicken stock & the wine. I’ll admit there were a lot of bowls to clean up after this…but I cheated and used all dishwasher safe bowls. If my knife could just chop things by itself, I could have relaxed for the entire time.
Meal Planning During Quarantine
The night I made this, was the first time I’ve gotten to see my boyfriend in a long time. Being in a long distance relationship during quarantine has been especially tough. You can imagine how much I’ve missed him. And, really, how much I’ve missed cooking for him (or really, experimenting with ingredients on him.) The longest we’ve been apart is three weeks, and when COVID-19 started we made the decision we would hold out as long as possible. In order to keep our families safe, we spend over 3 months apart, and finally caved.
Thankfully this time I only had to wait another month before seeing him again. And this week, I was going to be ready. I meticulously planned out everything I wanted to cook for him. And I asked him if he had anything he was craving. I don’t understand why this is such a hard question for people. I guess it has something to do with being put on the spot, but apparently no one can ever think of what they want to eat when I ask.
So I started going through past recipes, trying to get some inspiration. And I came across this recipe, all the way in the beginning of my notebook. Yes I know I’m insane for not sharing this sooner! After some prying, Phil began talking about a pasta dish I made “a long time ago.” When he said January I was sure we were thinking about the same recipe. So on the first night we got to be together I made this for us.
Pancetta vs. Bacon
So off my mom and I went on our monthly shopping trip, and luckily my local grocery store sells pancetta. If this were a few years ago I wouldn’t be able to find this ingredient at my store. And today, my parents and I are trying to limit our exposure to the outside world as best we can. So there would have been no hunting through the little Italian grocers. But if you don’t have access to pancetta, there’s always bacon!
Bacon as a more smoky flavor, so it’s not exactly the same taste in the risotto but it’s the next best. Really the only difference between pancetta and bacon is the way it’s prepared. While bacon is smoked, pancetta is salted and cured. The texture of the dish will remain the same, however the flavor will vary depending on whether you use bacon or pancetta. But trust me, it will be mouthwatering and delicious either way.
Instant Pot Pancetta, Leek, and Mushroom Risotto
- Instant pot
- 6 oz pancetta diced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 large leeks chopped
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms chopped
- 3 handfuls tuscan kale
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- Set instant pot to brown and add pancetta. Cook 10 minutes, or until browned. Remove from pot and let sit on paper towel to drain the excess grease.
- Add onions, and garlic, cook 5 minutes until onions are soft.
- Add olive oil, leeks, and mushrooms and cook 10 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft.
- Add kale and let wilt, 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add rice and stir to toast, 2 – 3 minutes. Return pancetta to pot.
- Add wine and broth and stir to combine. Lock lid on instant pot and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
- Use the instant release method, stir in cheese, and serve.
- Sprinkle some extra cheese on top, and enjoy!
You’ll fall in love with this easy instant pot risotto, just like me and my boyfriend have! Make sure to follow me on Instagram to stay up to date with all my experiments.