This Pumpkin Risotto with sausage and goat cheese is such a cozy fall meal. The flavors pair perfectly together and it is the ultimate comfort food.
Risotto is one of my favorite dishes! Risotto is an Italian dish, typically made with arborio rice. It is like a beautiful blank canvas that you can paint in so many different ways.
In this spin on risotto we are using pumpkin, goat cheese, and sausage along with some traditional fall flavors to make this incredibly cozy autumn dish. While this is a dish you need to pay attention to, it isn’t a difficult recipe and one that you are bound to love.
How to Make Pumpkin Risotto
Here is a brief overview of how this easy risotto recipe comes together. For the full recipe including all ingredients and measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Combine the broth and pumpkin. Whisk them together in a saucepan and bring to a low boil. This mixture needs to be kept warm but needs to be low and covered so that it doesn’t lose liquid.
- Cook the sausage. In a skillet, brown the sausage. Add the garlic, sage, and rosemary to the skillet with the sausage.
- Add the rice. Stir in the arborio rice to the sausage mixture and cook until it has absorbed the cooking liquid.
- Add some of the chicken stock pumpkin mixture. Continue stirring until the rice absorbs the liquid. Continue adding more cooking liquid until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this until the rice is soft.
- Add the goat cheese. Stir until it is melted.
- Add the final chicken stock. Just before serving, heat the final cup of chicken stock and stir in as much as needed to make a smooth consistency.
Using Pumpkin Puree
It is important in this recipe that you use 100% pumpkin. Pumpkin puree is pumpkin that has been cooked and mashed and doesn’t contain any extra sweeteners or spices. This is different than pumpkin pie filling, which does contain extra additives that we don’t need in this recipe.
You can buy a can of pumpkin puree or make your own. I share three different cooking methods for making your own pumpkin puree which is perfect for all of your favorite pumpkin recipes.
What is Arborio Rice
Arborio rice is a short-grain rice that releases more starch than regular rice when cooked, thus creating the creaminess you love in risotto. Because the starch content is higher in arborio rice, you cannot replace it with long-grain rice in this recipe.
Risotto refers to a dish that is created when arborio rice is cooked and combined with other ingredients to achieve a creamy consistency like in this pumpkin risotto recipe.
Adding Liquid to Risotto
A key to making risotto is adding warm liquid slowly. In this recipe, the warm pumpkin-broth mixture gets added over time, and we only add more liquid as the first batch was absorbed. Because this method can sometimes require more liquid than is called for by a few tablespoons all the way up to 1/2 a cup, I suggest having more broth on hand than what is called for. If you finish the dish and your risotto isn’t tender, warm up the additional broth and add it.
Additionally, it can be really helpful to stir in more warm broth right before serving so that it is the creamy texture you are looking for.
Alternative to Pork Sausage
If your family does not eat pork, or you are looking to cut back on calories and fat in this recipe, I highly recommend making this with Italian turkey sausage. It is a great, slightly healthier alternative.
While you could use ground beef or ground turkey, you will be missing a lot of the flavor that the Italian sausage provides.
Yes, this sausage risotto recipe is made with ingredients that do not contain gluten. Always double-check your ingredients to make sure they do not contain gluten if you are making this for someone who eats gluten-free.
Goat cheese melts perfectly into this dish to enhance the rich creaminess. While you could use another cheese in its place, I would taste it first. You might enjoy it as is without any cheese at all.
Store any leftover pumpkin risotto with sausage in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat leftovers on the stovetop over low heat or in the microwave. You may need to add some additional chicken broth while reheating to get back to a creamy almost fluid consistency.
- 6 cups chicken broth divided
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree (ensure that it is 100% pure pumpkin)
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon ground sage
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 cup dried arborio rice
- 2 ounces goat cheese
- Combine 5 cups of chicken broth and the pumpkin puree in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to combine, bring to a low boil, and reduce to a simmer, covering. This mixture needs to be kept warm to add to the risotto in batches, but needs to be low and covered so that it doesn't lose liquid. (Read more here about cooking risotto and why having more broth on hand is helpful.)15 ounces pumpkin puree
- Place a skillet over medium heat. Add the Italian sausage, casings removed, and break up, browning the meat.1 pound Italian sausage
- Add the garlic, sage, and rosemary, sautéing for about 30 seconds.2 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon ground sage, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- Stir in the arborio rice and cook until it has absorbed the cooking liquid, about 30 seconds to one minute. Turn the heat down to low.1 cup dried arborio rice
- Add in two cups of the pumpkin and chicken stock mixture. Continue stirring until the rice absorbs the liquid.
- Add more cooking liquid, about a 1/2 cup at a time, stirring every 3 to 4 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this until the rice is soft. You may not use all of the pumpkin chicken stock mixture.
- Stir in the goat cheese until it is melted.2 ounces goat cheese
- Just before serving, heat the final cup of chicken stock, and stir in as much as needed to make a smooth, almost fluid, consistency.