A Pumpkin Risotto Recipe

When life gives you pumpkins, make risotto. Or something like that. Also because in about two weeks, you’re going to have extra pumpkins on your hands. This pumpkin risotto recipe is inspired by the island of Mustique, where pumpkin is a local staple. It’s also a shout-out to Sharon at Villa Hibiscus and her mad kitchen skills.

Pumpkins in the Caribbean 

Did you know that pumpkin was local to St. Vincent? Neither did we; it never seemed like a Caribbean thing, since we always associated pumpkins with the fall and cooler weather. But on our travels to Mustique where we stay at Villa Hibiscus, we had the best risotto of our life created by our Chef Sharon.  That woman has skills – and above that heart.  Her food, no matter how simple or extravagant, was some of the best we’ve had around the world. Even today we still dream of those lavish dinner parties Andy, our villa host and Chef Sharon would create.  Andy would fold napkins into shapes of tuxedos and other delightful themes that are impossible to recreate. (We’ve tried.)  On Mustique, the culture celebrates the elegance of the proper dinner party.

Pumpkin – A Jack of All Trades 

Pumpkin’s versatility from sweet pies to savory risotto makes it a favorite of the season, no matter where you live.  This recipe is inspired by the Mustique cookbook by Kevin Snook, A Taste of Mustique, where we added our own spin with the pumpkin version but loved his proportions of white wine, sherry and stock.  It’s a great use of those holiday pumpkins, where you can make your own puree by cutting the pumpkin into cubes and roasting for about 35-40 minutes on 400 degrees Fahrenheit until tender, and scooping the fragrant flesh out into a Vitamix and pureeing.  The house smells incredible when  you roast pumpkin – no candle can ever recreate that scent.     


1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
¼ cup dry sherry
¼ cup white wine
6 cups of heated chicken stock
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cups risotto rice
Olive oil
½ to ¾ cup grated parmesan
Fleur du sel to taste
Basil to garnish


This pumpkin risotto recipe requires you to be present.  As in standing over the pot for a good 25-30 minutes present.  The result though, will be worth it.  In a deep skillet, (or Ruffoni has the perfect risotto pan), heat your olive oil over medium.  When hot, add in the onion and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.  Take care not to brown the onions.  The onions should mirror the color and size of the rice.  They’re meant to be in the background and not draw any attention to themselves.  However onions add a subtle but necessary flavor to the risotto.  The point is, every good risotto starts with onion. Add in the rice and continue to stir until the rice is just toasted.  Pour in the white wine and continue to stir until evaporated, about 3 minutes.

For Risotto, Your Liquids Need to be Warm 

This is not just a tip for this pumpkin risotto recipe; it’s for all risottos.  Begin adding your warmed chicken stock, about ½ cup at a time as the liquid reduces into the rice.  Risotto requires more attention than a baby – this entire time you need to stir.  Continue for about 15 minutes, adding ½ cup each time, as the rice becomes thick and creamier.  Add in the pumpkin puree and sherry at about 15 minutes.  At about 17-18 minutes, add in the parmesan.  Continue adding the stock, ½ cup at a time until the rice is firm but cooked. The consistency should be thick liquid, as the rice will soak up the stock as it sits and continue to cook.  Risotto should be served immediately in shallow bowls, piping hot.  Garnish with mircogreens or edible flowers, a drizzle of olive oil and more parmesan to taste.  This is a pumpkin risotto recipe you will want to put in your standard rotation this fall.

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