Pumpkin Cauliflower Rice Risotto

Pumpkin Cauliflower Rice risotto is a veggie-licious side dish. It’s creamy, tasty and made without rice!

It’s funny how as soon as September hits, everyone has pumpkin on the brain 24/7. That love of all things pumpkin goes all the way into November and ends with a delicious pumpkin pie celebration on Thanksgiving. And if you were the lucky person who made the pumpkin pie, chances are you’ve got half a can of pumpkin puree in your fridge.

Don’t let it go to waste! While I’ve got plenty of sweet treats you can use that on (Pumpkin Swirl Brownies, Pumpkin Oat Breakfast Cookies, Pumpkin Granola), I wanted to give you a savory veggie-filled side dish, featuring the leftover pumpkin puree– Cauliflower Rice Pumpkin Risotto. 

pumpkin cauliflower rice risotto recipe

Why is pumpkin good for you?

Before I talk about the cauliflower rice, let’s talk a little bit about pumpkin. Although the pumpkin we get in the can doesn’t look anything like the jack o’lantern sitting on your front stoop, pumpkin is a fairly straightforward fruit. Yup, it’s a fruit since the seeds are on the inside.

Pumpkin is low in calories, and it has fiber, potassium and more than double the amount of Vitamin A you need in a day. That means it’s good for your heart, blood pressure and eye health!

Whenever you’re buying pumpkin in a can, look for ones that say 100% pumpkin puree. That means it’s just pureed pumpkin without any weird additives. Use that as the base for your recipes and you’ll reap the nutritional benefits of pumpkin!

Why cauliflower rice?

Truth be told, I love regular old rice. [If you do too, check out this Buffalo Cauliflower Rice Bowl.] But I also strive to add more veggies to my diet, and cauliflower rice is a great way to do so.

If you’re new to cauliflower rice, I have a recipe that shows you how to make this at home. Or you can buy a bag of riced cauliflower in most supermarkets, including Trader Joe’s.

pumpkin cauliflower rice risotto recipe

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that is packed with fiber. You know that myth that you shouldn’t eat anything white? Cauliflower proves that wrong because it’s packed with nutrition!

And for anyone watching their calories or carbs, cauliflower rice is a great option. It’s essentially just raw cauliflower pulsed in the food processor until it resembles the consistency of rice.

How to make cauliflower rice risotto

Making homemade risotto is quite a long process, and it’s usually filled with tons of cheese, butter and cream. In traditional risotto, the arborio rice has to absorb the stock to make a creamy final dish.

Since this recipe uses cauliflower instead of rice, it doesn’t take as much time. The pumpkin adds a velvety texture to the sauce, and it helps reduce the amount of salty stock and cheese you need. Plus, you don’t need to constantly stir and tend to this risotto.

pumpkin cauliflower rice risotto recipe

Seriously, this dish is a winner. Serve it with some protein and a roasted veg to make a whole meal or just nosh on it for lunch with a salad.

5 from 7 votes

Pumpkin Cauliflower Rice Risotto

Course Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 179 kcal
Author Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD


  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 4 cups cauliflower rice
  • 1 cup unsweetened canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 16 ounces vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese


  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the butter to pot, then stir in onions. Cook onions until translucent (about 2-3 minutes).

  2. Add the cauliflower rice, pumpkin puree and salt to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  3. Add one quarter (4 ounces) of vegetable stock to the pot and bring to a low low boil. Cook for 5 minutes or until the liquid starts to reduce. Stir frequently.
  4. Repeat this process three more times or until all of the liquid has been added to the pot. The final sauce should be creamy.
  5. Turn off the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese.
Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin Cauliflower Rice Risotto
Amount Per Serving
Calories 179 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 26mg9%
Sodium 819mg36%
Potassium 649mg19%
Carbohydrates 17g6%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 10057IU201%
Vitamin C 81mg98%
Calcium 194mg19%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • Reply
    November 27, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    5 stars
    BEST IDEA EVER! Substituting the cauliflower for the rice just made me very happy!

  • Reply
    Tawnie Kroll
    November 28, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    5 stars
    Can I eat this all day every day please?! So good!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    5 stars
    This is so good!!! I need to make more asap!

  • Reply
    Liz Shaw
    December 3, 2018 at 1:19 am

    5 stars
    You are winning at the veggie recipes these days! I am so inspired!

  • Reply
    December 3, 2018 at 9:07 am

    5 stars
    Made this and looooooved it. Making it again this week!

  • Reply
    Emily Kyle
    December 10, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    5 stars
    New favorite side dish, soo good!

  • Reply
    January 8, 2019 at 11:10 am

    Thanks for the recipe. Is this made with pumpkin puree (that is unsweetened) or the kind you use for pie filling?

    • Reply
      Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD
      January 8, 2019 at 11:11 am

      Hi Erin! It’s unsweetened pumpkin puree. I’ll change the recipe to note that. Thanks for your comment!

  • Reply
    May 25, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    Will not adding the cheese change the consistency?

    • Reply
      Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD
      May 28, 2019 at 7:40 am

      Hmm, it might make it a bit more watery. I didn’t try it that way, but let me know if you do!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2020 at 9:52 am

    5 stars
    I make this with rice and the recipe says to add white wine and it tastes amazing, so for this recipe add a little less veggie broth and add white wine! Yummy!! Love it!!

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