Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish

A Risotto Recipe to Warm You Up


I can’t believe I haven’t posted this yet! This risotto is so yummy and comforting now that it’s getting cold. I made this right after the NCLEX — the boards to become a registered nurse — and it was a welcome distraction. There’s something so therapeutic about making risotto with all the stirring and mixing. I had this idea for a pumpkin leek combination and something about it seemed like it needed some bacon. For a curve ball, I used a dry red wine (since that’s what I had), but I think it adds some depth of color to this fall dish. I should also admit I’m not sure if it made a true 7 or 8 cup batch between all my “tastings” oops. . . Here’s a recipe for Pumpkin Leek Risotto with Turkey Bacon to soothe your soul and warm you to your toes.

Ingredients (makes 7-8 c with 1 c servings).

  • 1 T light olive oil
  • 1 c leeks, sliced into halfmoons
  • 1/2 t minced garlic
  • 2-3 T fresh sage, finally chopped
  • 2 c Arborio rice
  • 1/2 c dry red wine
  • 6-8 c vegetable stock
  • 5 pieces uncured turkey bacon (nitrate free)
  • 2 c baby spinach, finely chopped
  • 1½ c pumpkin purée
  • 1/3 c parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Pumpkin seeds to garnish


  1. In a large pot, sauté oil, garlic and leeks over medium heat until leeks are soft and separating. Add rice and stir constantly for about 2 min. Pour in wine and continue to stir. Add in sage.
  2. Heat stock in the microwave so it’s steaming. In 1-2 c increments, add hot vegetable broth to rice, again while stirring constantly over medium heat. Rice should barely simmer.
  3. Once the broth is absorbed, continue adding hot broth as needed and cook for about 30 min until the rice is cooked through barely al dente.
  4. Meanwhile, cook turkey bacon according to package directions. (I prefer to place slices between paper towels on a plate and microwave to absorb the grease.) Chop 4 slices into small bits, reserving 1 slice chopped to garnish. Stir in the 4 slices bacon bits.
  5. Add chopped spinach and mix until beginning to wilt. Stir in pumpkin purée. Season with salt to taste.
  6. Remove the pan from heat, stir in freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Thoroughly mix in the cheese before serving.
  7. Top with extra freshly grated parmesan cheese, bacon pieces, and pumpkin seeds — whatever you please.
  8. Serve hot and enjoy!

Adapted from my Vegetable Risotto. Also try Risotto with Shrimp, Parmesan and Peas.

Nutrition for 1 c of risotto.
340 calories  •  3.6 g fat (10%)  •  64 g carbs (80%)  •  8 g protein (10%)  •  3 g fiber  •  6.7 g sugar
* These are estimates based off specific products I used and how I entered ingredients in a fitness tracker. This is completely subjective and used to give a rough nutritional estimate.



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