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Vegetarian Risotto

A dish made with quinoa that also brings the unlikely trio of pumpkin, poblano chiles and cilantro

En español

Yields 4 servings


  • 1 cup (8 ounces) quinoa
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) pumpkin, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ Poblano chile, seeds and veins removed, finely chopped
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 4 cups (32 oz) commercial or homemade vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon (½ ounce) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese or the cheese of your preference

See also: More recipes from Hispanic cooking expert Denisse Oller.

Quinoa Risotto with Pumpkin, Recipe by Denisse Oller

Quinoa Risotto with Pumpkin — Photo by Marisa Zanganeh


  1. Rinse quinoa and soak in a pan for 2 hours or the time indicated on the package. Discard water.

  2. In a medium sauce pan, combine all the broth and half the pumpkin cubes. Cook at medium heat for 10 minutes or until the pumpkin falls apart. Mix well. Keep warm at low temperature.

  3. In a separate sauce pan, heat oil to medium heat. Add onion and cook on medium-low until onion becomes translucent. Add garlic, Poblano chile and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

  4. Add the quinoa and stir until flavors are absorbed.

  5. Increase heat to medium and add salt and pepper. Add cup of white wine, stirring constantly. Once wine has evaporated, add the broth and pumpkin mixture slowly, ½ cup at a time (reserving 1 cup), stirring constantly and waiting until broth is absorbed before adding more. Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until grains are tender.

  6. Add the remaining pumpkin and last cup of broth and stir until cooked, approximately 5-6 minutes.

  7. Add butter and cilantro and mix. Sprinkle with grated cheese and serve. 

You may also like: Lidia Bastianich on the Marriage of Food and Wine.

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