This creamy, no-fuss Instant Pot parmesan risotto is the perfect weeknight dinner. Stir in shrimp at the end for some protein or add corn & basil for a unique flavor twist.
Risotto is generally a time-intensive dish requiring frequent stirring and attention on the stove. Before we were engaged, my now-husband made me dinner for my birthday. I’ve always been the cook in the relationship, and I actually enjoy grocery shopping, so both of those things are my responsibility. As mentioned before, my husband does all the things I don’t enjoy, like laundry, mowing, and keeping the kitchen clean, so it’s a very fair arrangement for me.
Anyway, for this particular birthday, he picked the recipe, did all the shopping on his own, and surprised with amazing risotto and scallops. I knew he really loved me then, because, making real, authentic risotto is a labor of love. He proposed a month later.
Since that birthday we still make risotto sometimes for special occasions, but it’s never been a dish I considered making for a normal weeknight dinner. Until I started cooking with my Instant Pot… Amazing, creamy risotto in less than an hour with hardly any stirring required? Yes! Is it traditional? No. Would an Italian chef approve? Probably not. Does it taste rich, creamy, and as close to the real thing as you’ll get with this little effort? Absolutely! Enjoy your super quick dinner, and don’t tell your family how easy it was so they can be super impressed.
What is an Instant Pot?
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An Instant Pot is a brand name of multi-use, programmable electric pressure cookers. The Instant Pot brand offers several different sizes and there are a number of other brands on the market as well with similar features.
I have the Instant Pot Duo 6qt, so all of my instructions are based on that one. All of the pressure cookers brands and models are pretty similar; they just name things a bit differently, so refer to your manual if I reference a button that you don’t have on yours – or leave a comment in the notes and I’ll try to help you out!
How to Make Instant Pot Parmesan Risotto
Start by turning the Instant Pot on “Saute” and press the Saute button until it’s on “More”. Add the butter. When it’s melted add the finely chopped onion and salt and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the onion is softened. Stir occasionally. Then add the rice and cook for 2 minutes. Add some dry white wine and mix in, scraping up any rice that has stuck to the bottom of the pot. Then add the veggie broth and close the lid.
Close the pressure release valve and press the “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” button until it’s on “Normal” and the “Pressure Level” until it’s on “High”. Then press the +/- buttons until the time shows 00:06 for six minutes. The Instant Pot will say “On” while it’s getting up to pressure and then will start counting down.
When it’s done, turn off the Instant Pot by pressing “Cancel” then open the pressure release valve to quick release the pressure (make sure to steer clear of the steam). When the float valve is down and the pressure is released, open the lid. Turn the Instant Pot on “Saute” again and stir in the parmesan cheese. Cook for a minute or two and then serve.
Here are a few variations that I have tried successfully:
- For Instant Pot Shrimp Risotto, stir in some peeled and thawed shrimp with the parmesan cheese. Cook for 3-4 minutes. The residual heat of the risotto will cook the shrimp perfectly.
- For Instant Pot Corn & Basil Risotto, stir in some corn and dried basil with the rice. Delicious!
Looking for more Instant Pot grain-based recipes? Try this Instant Pot Enchilada Rice, Instant Pot Mushroom Farro Risotto, or Instant Pot Mushroom Wild Rice Soup, or Instant Pot Rice & Beans! If you try this recipe for Instant Pot Parmesan Risotto, leave a comment and review below and let me know how it worked out for you!
Instant Pot Parmesan Risotto
- 2 tablespoons butter (unsalted, add less salt if using salted)
- 1 white onion (finely chopped)
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (depending on salt preference)
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (or substitute vegetable broth)
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 2 oz)
Variations (see note)
- 16 oz large shrimp
- 1 cup corn, fresh or canned, with 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- Place the stainless steel pot in the Instant Pot. Press the “Saute” button until it’s on “More”. Add the butter.
- When the butter is melted, add the onion and salt and cook until the onion is softened, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the rice and stir for another 2 minutes. If using corn & basil, add with the rice (see note for variations).
- Add the wine and cook for about 1 minute, scraping up any rice that has stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Stir in the broth and lock the lid in place. Close the pressure release valve and press the “Pressure Cook” or "Manual" button until it’s on “Normal” and press the “Pressure Level” button until on “High” (High is the default). Press the +/- buttons until it says 00:06 for 6 minutes.
- When done, press the “Cancel” button to turn off the Instant Pot and quick release the pressure by opening the pressure release valve, steering clear of the steam.
- After the pressure is released and the float valve falls, remove the lid.
- Turn the Instant Pot back on “Saute” and stir in the parmesan cheese. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is melted. If adding shrimp, add with the parmesan and add another 2 minutes to let the residual heat cook the shrimp.
- Turn off the Instant Pot and serve.
Note: If you get a “Burn” notification, don’t worry! It just means that some stuff is stuck to the bottom of the pot. It’s usually happened to me when I haven’t used enough liquid or when I’ve used a tomato- or cream-based sauce that is touching the bottom of the pot. To remedy the situation, release the pressure, open the lid, and stir well, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pot. Try turning the pressure cooker on again for the remaining time. If it burns again, then release the pressure again, take off the lid, and turn the pressure cooker on “Saute” to cook the rest of the way. This method may not work well for big cuts of meat but has saved me when creating various rice and pasta recipes.