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Spicy Instant Pot Chard and Pinto Bean Risotto | Letty's Kitchen
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4.80 from 5 votes

Spicy Instant Pot Chard and Pinto Bean Risotto

Chard, pinto beans, green chiles, pepper cheese, and pumpkin seeds bring a Southwestern twist to risotto, the creamy Italian rice dish. Made easy with an Instant Pot or stovetop pressure cooker. Serves about 6 people, 1/2 cup each. Pepper jack cheese is not included in Nutrition estimate. Add 35 calories and make it 2.3 more grams protein per serving if you add the cheese.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keyword: risotto, chard, pressure cooker, pinto beans
Servings: 6 servings.
Calories: 276kcal


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions, about ½ large onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups short grain Italian Arborio rice
  • 3 ½ to 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 ¾ cups pinto beans, one (15-ounce) can, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup diced green chiles
  • 1 small bunch chard, stems removed, leaves sliced into ¼-inch wide ribbons
  • 1/2 cup grated pepper jack cheese, or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (see note)
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds


  • Heat the oil in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Sauté the onions and garlic about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the rice and continue to stir to coat the grains. Stir in 3 ½ cups of the vegetable broth.
  • Lock the lid in place. Bring to high pressure and cook for four minutes. Remove from heat and release the pressure immediately, following the directions for your pressure cooker. For Instant Pots, turn the top dial to Vent.
  • For Instant Pots: Press saute. With stovetop pressure cooker, return to the heat.  Stir in the pinto beans, green chiles, chard ribbons, and the remaining ½ cup of vegetable broth. Cook, stirring constantly until the chard has wilted and the beans are heated through. The risotto should be creamy yet still al dente, with a bite to your tongue. Stir in the cheese, if using, or red pepper flakes. Taste and add salt if you think it’s needed. If you like more spice, add another pinch of red pepper flakes. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds.


No pressure cooker: You will need more veggie broth—about 5 to 5 ½ cups. (Keep the broth in a separate pot on a very low simmer.) Sauté the onions and garlic 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. Begin adding the broth ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly, adding more when each addition is just about absorbed. Repeat until the rice is almost tender, 20-35 minutes. Stir in the pintos, green chiles, and chard. Continue to cook, adding more broth, ¼ cup at a time, until the chard wilts and the rice is tender but still firm, and bound with a creamy sauce. Finish with the cheese, and pumpkin seed garnish, as for pressure cooker. 


Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 156mg | Potassium: 269mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 505IU | Vitamin C: 6.1mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 3.2mg