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 (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) which work wonderfully in risotto. 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!
How to make vegan risotto with pumpkin, chestnuts and cranberries
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 ml 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 the butternut squash or pumpkin into a roasting tin with the sage and 2 tbsp olive oil. Stir and roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway, until cooked. When done, set aside.
- Meanwhile heat the remaining olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and cook over a low-medium heat for 10 minutes until soft.
- Add the garlic, cook for a further minute, then stir in the risotto rice.
- Add the 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 pumpkin 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 the crumbled chestnuts, dried cranberries and nutritional yeast, stir through to warm up, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.