This delicious and creamy vegan risotto, made with pumpkin, chestnuts and cranberries is a wonderful hearty vegan meal.
I have to admit to not being convinced that a vegan risotto could ever be as good as a traditional one packed full of cheese – until now.
This risotto with pumpkin, chestnuts and cranberries is amazing. It is creamy, delicious, full of nutritious ingredients and even better – it’s vegan. There’s no need to replace the cheese with vegan cheese – the pumpkin does a brilliant job of breaking down to create the perfect risotto texture. I’ve added a little nutritional yeast for some extra nutrients and nutty taste – but this is optional so don’t worry if you don’t have any.
What’s your favourite type of risotto? Let me know in the comments below.
How to make a great vegan risotto
You might think that the things that make risotto so wonderful – white wine and plenty of Parmesan cheese – are off limits for vegans. But don’t worry – you can still make a great risotto.
There are plenty of vegan white wines out there, which work wonderfully in risotto. In case you’re wondering why wine wouldn’t be vegan it’s often clarified with egg or filtered with isinglass – a fish’s swim bladder. Check out Barnivore if you need help working out whether your favourite drink is vegan friendly or not.
There are also vegan Parmesan cheese alternatives but I prefer to use nutritional yeast, which has a lovely nutty flavour and is packed full of nutrients.
The pumpkin or butternut squash breaks down once roasted and makes this a deliciously creamy pumpkin risotto. The chestnuts and cranberries make it taste spectacular. I promise you won’t be disappointed if you give this a try!
If you like this you might like this butternut squash and kale risotto.
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How to make vegan risotto with pumpkin, chestnuts and cranberries
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Vegan risotto with pumpkin, chestnuts and cranberries
- 500 g pumpkin or butternut squash peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 150 g arborio risotto rice
- 150 ml vegan white wine optional
- 800 ml hot vegetable stock
- 100 g cooked chestnuts crumbled
- 75 g dried cranberries
- 1 tsp nutritional yeast optional
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C/gas mark 6.
Place 500g chopped butternut squash or pumpkin into a roasting tin with 1 tsp dried sage and 2 tbsp olive oil. Stir and roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway, until cooked. When done, set aside.
Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add 1 chopped onion and cook over a low-medium heat for 10 minutes until soft.
Add 2 cloves of crushed garlic, cook for a further minute, then stir in 150g risotto rice.
Add 150ml white wine if using - if not you may need a little more vegetable stock. Stir until it’s all been absorbed into the rice
- Next add a ladleful of vegetable stock and stir until absorbed. Repeat this adding and stirring for around 20 minutes until the rice is almost cooked through.
Now add the cooked pumpkin or squash and stir through with a final ladleful of stock. The pumpkin will begin to break down but that’s ok - this is what’s going to give this risotto its delicious creaminess.
Finally add 100g crumbled chestnuts, 75g dried cranberries and 1 tsp nutritional yeast if using, stir through to warm up, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
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