Pumpkin and Pancetta Risotto

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

Post image for Pumpkin and Pancetta Risotto

A couple of years ago I learned about a special day after Halloween, when foodies make a raid on their local pumpkin patches. I set out to find my local patch last Saturday to see what was left of their pumpkin inventory. Well, I couldn’t resist all these tiny beautiful pumpkins piled up high ready to be thrown in the trash. I pulled up my car, and packed up as many pumpkins as I could carry. I guess you can say I became obsessed with my purchase, all you can carry for 20 bucks. Since then, I have been passing out my pumpkins to my neighbors and friends who are interested in making breads or pies for the holidays. Fall’s cool weather often brings out the desire to cook up your favorite comfort foods, soups, and warm casseroles. This recipe, Pumpkin Risotto has been in my recipe box for many years, and I hope it warms up your belly like it does ours. I like to use organic arborio rice for my risotto, but if you prefer other grains, they can be substituted in this recipe.

I use Lundberg Farms Organic Rices and Grains.

  • Rich & Creamy: Risotto is an Italian technique for cooking Arborio, but this rich, creamy medium grain is versatile. It also plays well in crowd-pleasing puddings and appetizers.
  • Non-GMO Project Verified
  • Certified Gluten-Free
  • Vegan
  • Kosher
  • Grown with earth-preserving practices, our 20+ rice and quinoa varieties are cultivated to maximize the flavor of each tiny grain. Long, short, black, brown, white, red, and blended. Each variety brings something different to the table so you can get creative in the kitchen.

Pumpkin and Pancetta Risotto

Fresh pumpkin with Italian pancetta come together in this risotto for a warm and creamy Fall dish - don't forget to add a good Parmesan cheese for extra goodness!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine California Greek
Keyword dinner, pancetta, pumpkin, risotto
Servings 4
Author Mary Papoulias-Platis


  • 1/3 cup chopped pancetta
  • 2-2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 1 pound pumpkin or butternut flesh, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. About 4 cups.
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup risotto rice, Arborio
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Heat a dry skillet and fry the pancetta until browned and crisp. Drain and set aside.

  2. Heat the stock in a deep pan and set on simmer.
  3. In a large saucepan, gently saute the shallots and pumpkin in the oil for about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the rice and cook for 2 minutes to toast the grains. Pour in the wine and cook until reduced.

  5. Now pour in ¼ fourth of the stock and stir well. Cook gently until the liquid has been absorbed.

  6. Stir in another ladle of stock. Continue cooking and stirring, gradually adding the stock, until the rice is just tender and the risotto is creamy. It should take a total of 15- 20 minutes.

  7. About 2 minutes before the end of the cooking time, stir in the pancetta, mascarpone, and ½ the parmesan cheese.
  8. Check for seasonings, and then serve in bowls, with the remaining cheese.

Recipe Notes

Make this a vegetarian dish by substituting mushrooms and vegetable broth for the pancetta and chicken broth.

 I always start a recipe by gathering all the ingredients in one place.

Using a heavy casserole helps in the cooking process, cooking evenly is important and it prevents burning the bottom of the risotto.

Serve warm and when ready!

This is my obsession with fall pumpkins!

My car trunk, is full of goodness!

Here are a few more recipes to try:

Pumpkin Patties with Nutmeg

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Enjoy the pumpkin season!


© 2012 – 2022, Mary Papoulias-Platis. All rights reserved.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lizthechef

Mary, this is a beautiful recipe. I’m one of those canned pumpkin cooks, but the organic purée from Trader Joe’s isn’t bad. I can’t wait to try your risotto…

2 Jeanette

I love how creamy and comforting this risotto looks!

3 Mary Papoulias-Platis

Jeanette, Thank you! This is my go-to dish for the Fall season.

4 Mary Papoulias-Platis

Hi Liz,
This recipe is truly one of my favorite Fall dishes. And canned pumpkin is just fine.

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