Fall is here which means pumpkin everything: pumpkin lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin beer, and of course, vegan pumpkin risotto. ????
I was first introduced to the idea of risotto by my sister of all people. Risotto is a labor of love and your bicep. I swear I get sore every time I make this dish. ????According to the general consensus of the internet, risotto is made with rice and broth plus additional ingredients like butter and parmesan cheese. That’s not the case with this pumpkin risotto recipe. The extra ingredients include a handful of spices plus canned pumpkin, vegan sausage, garlic, and onion.
Is pumpkin risotto healthy?
You can bet your bottom dollar this pumpkin risotto recipe is healthy. Vegan pumpkin risotto is packed with all sorts of nutrients. For starters let’s talk about rice. While most risotto recipes call for white rice, I prefer to use brown. Brown rice is great because it’s higher in fiber than white rice and can help lower cholesterol and assist with digestion. Plus, I prefer the texture of brown rice over white.
And of course, there’s the pumpkin. Pumpkin is one of those foods that everyone can eat. From babies to those with severe food allergies and reactions, pumpkin is known for its richness in vitamin A, as well as antioxidants that help fight free radicals in the body. One of my favorite things about pumpkin is that it’s a heavy feeling food that isn’t calorically dense so you can eat a lot of it without getting into calorie trouble.
Is pumpkin risotto gluten-free?
If you choose to omit the Tofurky sausage from this recipe, then yes, this vegan pumpkin risotto recipe is gluten-free. If you have a preferred mock sausage over Tofurky that is gluten-free then feel free to substitute in its place.
Other than the Tofurky sausage, the ingredients in pumpkin risotto include: brown rice, vegetable broth, white wine, yellow onion, minced garlic, canned pumpkin, nutritional yeast, bay leaf, fresh sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, crushed red pepper flakes, sea salt and ground almonds for topping.
Again, if need be, you can leave out the Tofurky sausage, but just know that this is where a majority of the protein in this dish comes from so if you’re counting macros, you’ll have to supplement for another protein-rich ingredient.
Why Tofurky Sausage?
I experimented with a handful of vegan sausages for this recipe including Beyond sausages and Field Roast but settled on Tofurky because of the protein content. Taste-wise you can’t really tell the difference between the brands since everything is combined together and the spices are so prevalent, but I understand the need to switch things up if Tofurky isn’t your jam.
I also like Tofurky for its price point and availability. You can find it at almost any grocery store these days. Any flavor of sausage will do. I’ve made this with both the Italian and Kielbasa flavors and they turned out great. If you end up using Field Roast, I’d go for the apple sage ones. With the Beyond, I tried the hot Italian to compliment the roasted red pepper flakes. Like I said, you really can’t go wrong with what brand you choose, but if you’re looking for protein density, stick with the Tofurky.
How to make pumpkin risotto
Vegan pumpkin risotto is definitely a labor of love. For this recipe, I strongly suggest pulling a barstool up to the stove and pouring yourself a nice glass of wine since you’ll be there for quite a while! You’ll start out by combining some water, wine, nutritional yeast, and vegetable broth in a medium-sized pot. You’ll want to keep this warm the entire time the risotto cooks so the temperature of the rice doesn’t fluctuate.
Once your broth mixture reaches a hot temperature (not boiling, just very hot!) you’ll add about a half of a cup to the rice in another pot and stir with a wooden spoon. You’ll want to stir almost constantly to ensure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pot. The broth in this pot should be simmering the entire time. When almost all of the broth has been absorbed, that’s your cue to add more to the rice. You’ll do this for about 45 minutes to an hour until the broth is gone and your rice is fully cooked.
As you reach the bottom of your broth stock, you’ll need to sauté the onions, garlic and vegan sausage and half the spices. To avoid adding any extra fat to this recipe, you’ll simply sauté them with water. When your rice is fully cooked, add the sausage mixture to the rice along with a can of pumpkin and the other half of the spices. Once the risotto is well combined, taste and add salt if necessary.
Serve immediately and top with fresh sage, ground almonds mixed with nutritional yeast, and sea salt flakes.
This is a macro-friendly recipe
When you think of rice, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Carbs. Am I right? Well, after doing some hard work, I was able to figure out the perfect balance of ingredients to make this pumpkin risotto recipe macro-friendly. This means the recipe has 23% protein 26% fat & 45% carbs and 5% alcohol.
Let’s talk about protein. This pumpkin risotto is packed with 23 grams of protein per serving which comes from the vegan sausage and nutritional yeast. Next is the fat which comes from a combination of the sausage, almonds, and brown rice.
Last is the carbs which make up the rice, nutritional yeast, and the sausage. Of course, there are other things here too like the almonds and canned pumpkin. In addition, there are 7 grams of fiber per serving thanks to the brown rice, pumpkin, and nutritional yeast.
If you try this recipe, I want to hear about it! Feel free to post your creations to Instagram or Facebook and tag Hell Yes It’s Vegan or #hellyesitsvegan. I look forward to seeing your creations!
Vegan Pumpkin Risotto
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 cups short-grain brown rice
- 4 fresh sage leaves
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 1 package Tofurky Sausage, (I used the Italian ones)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
- sea salt to taste
- additional fresh sage, for garnish
- In a medium-sized pot, add vegetable broth, water, wine, and nutritional yeast. Stir to ensure the yeast dissolves into the broth and bring the liquid to a hot temperature. Be careful not to bring to a boil as this will cause the liquid to evaporate.
- In a separate large pot, add the rice and a half cup of the broth mixture. Bring to a simmer stirring to ensure sticking does not occur. Once the broth has absorbed, add a half cup more. Rinse, wash, repeat until you run out of broth – this will take about 45 minutes to an hour.
- While the risotto cooks, finely slice the sage leaves. Mix the nutmeg, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes together in a tiny ramekin.
- Chop the onion, mince the garlic, and tear apart the sausage links into small pieces. Add onion to a skillet with a 2 Tbsp of water, sage leaves, half the nutmeg spice mixture, and the bay leaf. Sauté for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and sausage. Cook for an additional 5 minutes adding more water if needed to prevent sticking.
- Using a food processor or blender, pulse the almonds and nutritional yeast until finely ground. Add sea salt to taste.
- Once the risotto is fully cooked, add the sausage mixture, the remaining spices, and canned pumpkin to the pot. Stir to incorporate adding sea salt to taste if necessary
- Garnish with almond parmesan cheese and more fresh sage. Serve immediately.