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.
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.
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.
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.
Pumpkin Cauliflower Rice Risotto
- 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
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the butter to pot, then stir in onions. Cook onions until translucent (about 2-3 minutes).
Add the cauliflower rice, pumpkin puree and salt to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes.
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.
Repeat this process three more times or until all of the liquid has been added to the pot. The final sauce should be creamy.
Turn off the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese.