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Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Kale Risotto

Lets talk easy-peasy–risotto cooked in a pressure cooker. No standing at the stove stirring here. Green ribbons of vitamin-rich kale mixed into perfectly plumped creamy rice—this kale risotto.

Creamy Pressure Cooker Kale Risotto

Before I learned to use the pressure cooker for this classic Northern Italian rice dish, I avoided making risotto. As soon as I read the exacting stir stir and stir directions, I’d just move on to a different recipe. But with a pressure cooker, risotto is a snap to make.

The bonus is that risotto loves to have vegetables stirred into it, particularly green leafy ones, like kale!

Ingredients for kale risotto

For pressure-cooked kale risotto you first sauté onion and garlic in olive oil, then stir in Italian short-grain Arborio rice. After the veggie broth goes in the pot, close the lid and bring to pressure for only 4 minutes!

You need to release the pressure immediately so the rice doesn’t get overcooked. As soon as you can open the lid, stir the kale and some sharp aged cheese into the almost-cooked rice, adding more broth to keep the risotto moist and creamy dreamy, but not soupy. It’s done when the rice gives to the bite of your front tooth, tender but still firm, al dente. Ta-da—green and white etherealness!

finished Kale risotto in pressure cooker

Kale Risotto recipe details:

  • Italian short-grain rice (affiliate link) is essential for authentic risotto. It’s able to absorb plenty of liquid, yet stay al dente, like pasta. Risotto’s sauce-like consistency comes from the starch in the rice, which dissolves into the liquid as it cooks, and creates risotto’s renowned creaminess.
  • Vegan? Skip the cheese, stir in 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, and 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice.
  • Many risotto cooks, myself included, stir in white wine as the first liquid, before adding the broth. If you don’t have or want the wine, just use all veggie broth.
Bowl of pressure cooked Kale Risotto
  • Did you know that busy modern Italian cooks use pressure cookers all the time?
  • Pressure cookers as cooking equipment hold an important place in our kitchen. Here on the blog you can learn how to pressure cook dried beans from scratch, with texture and flavor no canned bean can ever imagine. This post tells how to pressure cook black beans. And another explains how to cook garbanzo beans from scratch in a pressure cooker.
  • You’ll find all flavors and colors of soup recipes here on this blog, almost all cooked in a pressure cooker! Like this easy spicy zucchini and rice soup.
  • And oh my nourishing risottos!!! My Risotto with Bok Choy is another risotto with healthy greens added in at the finish.
  • If you’re in the market for a pressure cooker—there are many choices. I have an Instant Pot (affiliate link) as well as 2 stove-top pressure cookers, my beloved Swiss-made Kuhn-Rikon (affiliate link) plus my workhorse Italian model that I bought when I was 25 years old!
  • If I didn’t have a pressure cooker, when my soul craves creamy risotto, I might even consider standing over the stove, slowly adding liquid, patiently stirring the rice and liquid into soothing creaminess. The method is easy, it just takes time. But why, when you have a pressure cooker! (You’ll find directions for traditional risotto below.)

Here’s how to make kale risotto without a pressure cooker or Instant Pot:

  • You’ll need more veggie broth—about 5 to 5 ½ cups; keep it simmering hot in a separate pot. Sauté the aromatics in a saucepan with the oil, then add the rice, stirring until coated with oil and slightly translucent, just as you would when pressure cooking. Add the liquid ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly, adding more when each addition is just about absorbed. Add and stir and add more liquid, until the rice is almost tender, 20-35 minutes.
  • Stir the kale and herbs, and cheese, if using. Continue to cook, adding more broth, ¼ cup at a time, until the kale wilts and the rice is tender but still firm, and bound with a creamy sauce.

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious in your pressure cooker!

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  • Sounds like a great way to eat kale. Thanks for the shout out! Reply · 16 September, 2015

  • kathryn deckert

    Letty I’ve been making your Kale and Poached Eggs for breakfast. So easy and delicious.Thanks for all your inspiring yummy recipes and your wonderful way with words. Kathryn Reply · 20 September, 2015

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