The BEST Vegan Risotto

This creamy vegan risotto recipe is pure magic. A few secret ingredients make it taste exactly like the cheesy, creamy risotto you’re used to, and it’s made in the Instant Pot so there’s no stirring required.

Why I love this vegan risotto recipe

I am so excited to share this recipe with you today. What started as Sookie’s magic risotto recipe in the Friday Night Dinner series I started with my friend, Ashleigh from Dash of Evans, to celebrate the Gilmore Girls revival, is now officially vegan. And, it’s still just as magical.

By adding a bit of miso paste and tahini for umami, I created a perfect dupe for parmesan cheese, and I made the risotto in the Instant Pot to make it even easier – inspired by this lemon risotto that’s is beyond amazing.

Throw together a simple salad with dijon vinaigrette and pair your risotto with your favorite meatless meatballs or glazed pork chops (not vegan), and you’ve got a complete meal.

More Gilmore Girls recipes: pork osso buco / pancetta chestnut stuffing / autumn squash soup / blueberry shortcake / chocolate pudding

side view close up of vegan risotto in a white bowl

Here’s what you’ll need to make it

Ingredient notes: If you don’t have tahini or miso paste, don’t stress. The two ingredients really team up to make an awesome cheesy flavor, but you don’t need them to get a great creamy risotto.

If you want to replace the tahini, I think a cashew or sunflower butter would work really well.

overhead view of two bowls of vegan risotto on a counter top

How to make Instant Pot risotto

Sauté the veggies. Using the sauté feature, heat olive oil in the Instant Pot. Add your onion and garlic, cooking until soft.

Add the rice. Stir in the rice and allow it to absorb the oils in the pot. Pour in the wine and let it soak into the rice. Once it’s absorbed, hit cancel on the Instant Pot.

Pressure cook. Add the remaining ingredients to the Instant Pot. Stir to combine and put the cover on with the valve in the sealing position. Pressure cook on high pressure for 6 minutes.

Release the pressure. When the cooking is done, do a quick release with your Instant Pot valve. Then stir the risotto to distribute any extra liquid.

Season & garnish. Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper and garnish with fresh chives (or whatever herbs you want) before serving.

overhead view of a bowl of vegan risotto

FAQS and tips for making the best risotto

Can I make this on the stovetop?

Yes. Simply continue sautéing instead of pressure cooking, and add about 1/2 cup of warm broth at a time until incorporated until you’ve added 4 cups of broth (that’s 1 more than listed in the ingredients for the Instant Pot). Mix in the remaining ingredients the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.

What can I use instead of Parmesan in risotto?

In this recipe, I’ve used a combination of tahini and miso paste. I think it give the risotto the best and most authentic dairy taste. You can also substitute vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast in your risotto instead of parmesan cheese.

Should risotto be soupy?

No. Risotto should be thick and creamy. There should be a bit of liquid, but not enough to be soupy. See the photos for reference, but the liquid should be thick and cling to the rice grains and they should not float in any way.

Do you cook the rice first for risotto?

No. You do not need to cook the arborio rice for risotto before adding it to the dish. Risotto rice is cooked slowly over time allowing the starches to come out into the liquid to create a thick, creamy sauce.

Do you stir risotto constantly?

Traditionally cooked risotto doesn’t need to be stirred constantly, but it does need to be tended to stirred frequently to prevent burning and to allow the liquid to evenly be absorbed by the rice. However, this recipe uses the Instant Pot and doesn’t require much stirring at all.

overhead view of vegan risotto in a bowl with a fork in it

This recipe would be great with:

More dairy free side dishes you’ll love:

overhead view of three bowls of vegan risotto and  a glass of wine on a countertop

The BEST Vegan Risotto

This creamy vegan risotto is pure magic. A few secret ingredients make it taste exactly like the cheesy, creamy risotto you’re used to, and it’s made in the Instant Pot so there’s no stirring required.

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2cup finely diced onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • Pinch of nutmeg


  1. Using the sauté function on the Instant Pot, allow the pan to heat. Add olive oil, onion and garlic, and sauté, stirring as needed until onions are translucent, about 4 – 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in rice, and cook until the remaining oil is absorbed.
  3. Add wine and cook until absorbed, stirring as needed to prevent the rice from sticking.
  4. Hit cancel to turn off the sauté function.
  5. Stir in the remaining ingredients and change the Instant Pot to the high pressure function and set it to 6 minutes.
  6. Allow the Instant Pot to come to pressure (this should take about 12 – 15 minutes). When the timer goes off, quick release the pressure according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  7. Stir the risotto until any remaining liquid has incorporated and adjust seasoning with salt & pepper, to taste.
  8. Garnish with fresh chives before serving.


  • Serving Size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 227
  • Sugar: 1.9 g
  • Sodium: 1328.5 mg
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16.2 g
  • Fiber: 0.2 g
  • Protein: 9.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 25.5 mg

Last Updated on November 12, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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    1. When there isn’t any “extra” liquid, you should be done! It should look thickened, but not dry.

  1. This recipe is excellent! I LOVE risotto, but can’t be bothered with making it the old fashioned way because it takes so long. I use my Instant Pots all the time, so figured it was worth a shot. The rice turned out perfect! Thank you so much!