This Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto is grain free by using cauliflower rice, but you’ll never guess by how comforting and flavorful it tastes! You can cozy up with it as a main dish and it’s also a perfect holiday side.
I’ve seen people making fun of how much cauliflower is used as a low carb substitute for everything these days, but using it as risotto replacement is nothing to laugh at. Trust me. I was honestly surprised at how much it tasted like the real deal when I took a bite for the first time.
Paleo Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe
Because my Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto (using cauliflower rice!) was such a huge hit, I decided to create a butternut squash variation of the paleo risotto. It turned out so flavorful and it’s such a perfect side dish to serve if you are hosting a holiday dinner.
Not only that, this Instant Pot cauliflower risotto caters to so many different diets and food allergies so you can please all the guests. It’s grain free, Whole30, AIP-friendly, and vegan as well, and I love that you can save space on the stovetop and the oven with this Instant Pot method!
How to Make Butternut Squash Risotto in the Instant Pot
Because this is an Instant Pot cauliflower risotto, it actually requires way shorter cooking time than real risotto. Here are the simple and easy steps to making this paleo and Whole30 cauliflower risotto.
- Rice the cauliflower. I usually do this easily by putting the florets in a food processor and pulsing a few times.
- Sauté the aromatics in the Instant Pot, and then add the butternut squash. Since squash is a bit hardy, you’ll need to cook it for about 8 minutes so the outer layer can soften.
- Add cauliflower rice and liquids and cook in the Instant Pot for 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle starch to thicken the risotto.
- Stir in sage. Don’t forget this step. It adds so much flavor to this delicious butternut squash paleo risotto.
You can eat this dish alone as a cozy meal, or you can serve it as a side with your favorite meat dish!
Can I Make Any Substitutions?
Yes! This Whole30 cauliflower risotto is actually quite forgiving with the adjustments in ingredients and this allows you to make variations for different diets.
- While ghee is the best option because it provides so much comforting flavor, you can use coconut oil as an AIP or vegan substitution.
- If you are out of shallots, use 1 small onion instead.
- Butternut squash can be replaced with any other winter squash you love. I’m really excited to try this recipe with kabocha squash next, or even sweet potatoes!
- Bone broth can be replaced with chicken broth, vegetable broth, or even water if you don’t have any kind of broth on hand.
- If you don’t have tapioca starch to thicken this yummy Instant Pot butternut squash risotto, you can use equal amount arrowroot starch with same results.
It just takes some simple, healthy ingredients to make this delicious paleo risotto. It’s even amazing to have as leftovers so make multiple batches and enjoy for several days!
Other recipes you might love…
- Instant Pot Paleo Cauliflower Mushroom Risotto (Whole30, Vegan, AIP)
- Cauliflower Mexican Rice (Paleo, Vegan, Keto, Whole30)
- Lemon Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower (Paleo, Whole30, AIP, Keto, Vegan)
- Whole30 Roasted Squash Salad (Paleo, Vegan)
Paleo Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto (Whole30, Vegan, AIP)
- 1 large cauliflower or 5 cups pre-riced cauliflower
- 2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil for AIP or vegan
- 2 shallots chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash
- 3/4 tsp sea salt or more to taste
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper omit for AIP
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1 1/2 cup bone broth or vegetable broth or water for vegan
- 2 tbsp tapioca starch
- 2 tbsp fresh sage chopped
- Remove the leaves off the cauliflower and cut off the florets from the roots. Use a cheese grater or a food processor with a grater attachment, and grate the cauliflower into the size of rice.
- Set a 6qt Instant Pot to "Sauté" and let it heat for 5 minutes until it indicates that it's hot. Add ghee or coconut oil and make sure to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Add shallot and garlic and cook stirring for 4-5 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add cubed squash, salt, and pepper, and sauté for 8 minutes until the squash is soft on the edges.
- Turn off the Instant Pot and stir in cauliflower rice, nutritional yeast, coconut milk, and bone broth.
- Seal the lid, make sure the pressure valve is set to close, and set the Instant Pot to "Manual" for 2 minutes.
- Once it finishes to a beep, immediately release the pressure valve and open the lid.
- Sprinkle tapioca starch evenly over the risotto and stir until thickened. You can drain some of the liquid if there's too much (this depends on how much moisture was in your cauliflower).
- Add more salt, if desired, then stir in sage before serving.
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