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We are reposting this recipe for you because it’s one of my favorite comforting fall dishes that is familiar to everyone but with a yummy pumpkin twist. Honestly this pumpkin risotto would be an awesome base for any protein you want to plop on top.
♥ Teri

This recipe was originally posted on October 10th, 2011. 
Risotto is one of my favorite foods. EVER. I love it so much because it’s so easy to make and you can add all kinds of things to it. Getting into the spirit of fall, while trying to ignore this totally non-fall weather we’ve been experiencing in L.A. (BOO!) lately, I decided to make some pumpkin risotto. I love pumpkin almost as much as I love risotto….almost. To me pumpkin is something that’s completely underrated. Sure, there’s pumpkin spice lattes (totally yum) and pumpkin pie (again, yum), but there’s so much you can do with pumpkin that I want to see done more often, like maybe pumpkin ale beer brats?…roasted pumpkin hummus?….or even baked pumpkin chips?! Today we’re sticking with pumpkin risotto and topping it off with seared scallops(light and sweet to compliment the pumpkin flavor) and a confetti of candied pancetta (because confetti is fun and candied pancetta is awesome). You can save time on this already simple dish by making the pumpkin puree mixture a day or two a head of time. If you’re feeling ambitious you can go ahead and roast your own pumpkin instead of using canned, but I think canned pumpkin puree works just fine, plus it saves mucho time. Okay, enjoy! xx Jenny

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Pumpkin Risotto with Seared Scallops
Serves 6

pumpkin risotto:
1¼ cups pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch ground clove
¼ cup hot vegetable broth
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, divided
4 to 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese, softened
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
salt and pepper to taste
seared scallops:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus more, if needed)
18 large scallops, cleaned
salt and pepper to taste
confetti candied pancetta:
½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, micro diced (really small)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1. For the risotto: Stir together the first six ingredients for the risotto into a small pot and bring to a simmer.
2. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove mixture from the heat and pour into a blender with the broth, season with salt and pepper and blend.
3. With the motor running, add ¼ cup of butter into the blender, 1 tablespoon at a time. Blend until smooth, about 3 minutes.
4. Pour the mixture into a bowl and set aside until ready to use.
5. Pour the chicken broth into a medium pot and warm over low heat.
6. Place a large pan over medium heat and melt the remaining butter and olive oil.
7. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes.
8. Add the rice and sauté for 3 to 5 minute or until each grain of rice is coated in oil and there is a white dot in the center of each grain.
9. Begin adding the warm broth to the rice, one ladle full at a time, stirring frequently.
10. Each time the liquid evaporates, add another ladle of broth and continue to stir.
11. Continue to add liquid and stir until the rice is al dente, 20-25 minutes.
12. Stir in the pumpkin puree until completely combined.
13. Stir in the mascarpone and parmesan until smooth. Fold in the thyme and season with salt and pepper.
14. For the scallops: Heat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet, over medium-high heat.
15. Season each scallop with salt and pepper.
16. Sear the scallops, in batches, for 3-4 minutes on each side.
17. For the candied confetti pancetta:: Heat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet, over medium high heat,
18. Add the pancetta to the pan and cook until the fat has rendered off and the pancetta has become crispy.
19. Drain all but 2 teaspoons of grease from the pan and return to the stove, over medium heat.
20. Sprinkle both sugars over the pancetta and stir until the sugar melts and had coated the pancetta.
21. Spread the candied confetti-pancetta onto a sheet pan lined with parchment and allow to cool and slightly harden.
22. To assemble: Fill six bowls with risotto and top each with three scallops; finish each bowl with a sprinkle of pancetta. Serve immediately.

  1. Bev Weidner Not Specified Not Specified

    I. AM. DYING.

  2. meg Not Specified Not Specified

    CANDIED pancetta. Now that’s what I’m talking about…

  3. Jewel @ Eat.Drink.Shop.Love Not Specified Not Specified

    This is the perfect fall dish! I am so making this later this week.

  4. kristina@beancakes ★ Not Specified Not Specified

    risotto is one of my all-time favorites! and yours certainly looks delicious!!

    xo ~ ks

  5. Pure2raw twins Not Specified Not Specified

    YUM! love scallops. love pumpkin. together must be perfect combo!!

  6. Aaron from The Amused Bouche Blog Not Specified Not Specified

    Holy fall flavors, Batman! NorCal is definitely experiencing the fall weather. It’s a dreary, raining Monday. Wish I had a bowl of this right now.

  7. Kianne Not Specified Not Specified

    Yes! Making these tonight!

  8. Ana Not Specified Not Specified

    OMG. It looks amazing!

  9. Tiffany @ Savor Home Not Specified Not Specified

    I’m just getting off of work and I wish you could Fed Ex a bowl of that to me right now! Fabulous! I definitely plan to make it when things slow down for me!

  10. Sally - My Custard Pie Not Specified Not Specified

    Risotto is one of my favorite foods. EVER Totally concur. This looks DIVINE!

  11. joey Not Specified Not Specified

    I have a pumpkin sitting on my dining table…this looks like a great way to use it!

  12. Emma @ Sweet Mabel Not Specified Not Specified

    This looks incredible, I’m going to have to try it!

  13. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar Not Specified Not Specified

    This sounds absolutely fabulous!

  14. Amanda {Eclectic Snapshots} Not Specified Not Specified

    This looks delicious!
    And your blog is amazing!

  15. Kerry @ First Time Fancy Not Specified Not Specified

    This looks and sounds incredible!! We’ll be trying it tonight! Yum!

  16. Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen Not Specified Not Specified

    PUMPKIN PIE RISSOTO?!! I need this in my life. Not at this very second because it’s effing 90…but Friday when it cools down. ;)

  17. Sandy@divaeatsworld Not Specified Not Specified

    Pumpkin risotto is one of my favorite dishes. I’m in love with your take on it & the addition of the scallops. All I can say is YUM!

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  19. Kianne Not Specified Not Specified

    So my sister and I just made this and seriously it was AMAZING. If you get canned organic pumpkin pie “mix” (but its a puree), it has all the of spices this recipe calls for: nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. Saves some time!

    Also, to save on calories, we supplemented cauliflower instead of risotto for a healthier version.

    • Jenny Park Not Specified Not Specified

      Yay Kiki!! I’m so glad you guys made this and liked it! Such a good idea with the cauliflower and so very you :)

      • Kianne Holnagel Not Specified Not Specified

        Of course McKenna did most of the serious cooking but I helped. We paired the meal with a sauvignon blanc which I would totally recommend :)

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  21. Twin Tables Not Specified Not Specified

    Holy Crap! This sounds absolutely amazing! I think I might need to run to the store right now. Seriously, WOW!

  22. baobabs Not Specified Not Specified

    OMG YUM, this looks AMAZING topped with seared scallops! I was just making risottos with friends the other day and I certainly want to get my hands on some pumpkin risotto especially since they are in season right now! thanks for sharing!!

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  24. Lori Not Specified Not Specified

    I made this recipe without the pancetta because I was in a time crunch. It’s absolutely delicious!

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  27. Rachel Fields Not Specified Not Specified

    I tried making this the other night and it was absolutely delicious! Oh the not-so-successful side though, I tried to take a picture of the final Pumpkin Risotto outcome and I simply can not take beautiful photos like you two. Bravo to you!

    Evidence below:

  28. cheffresco Not Specified Not Specified

    We made this for dinner tonight – it was absolutely amazing! Perfect combination of flavors. The candied pancetta was delicious!

  29. T.J. Not Specified Not Specified

    Just gave it a try – it’s as good as it looks :) Wouldn’t change a thing.

  30. Chris T Not Specified Not Specified

    I made this last night for my girlfriend and my 1 year anniversary and it was simply amazing. One of the best things I have ever eaten. Keep up the great work, girls!

  31. kate Not Specified Not Specified

    tonight’s dinner. thank you!

  32. Kathleen Not Specified Not Specified

    Made this for dinner tonight! It was fantastic. I subbed in milk and cream cheese for the heavy cream and marscapone because I didn’t want to buy whole containers just for 2 tbsp. It didn’t seem to noticeably affect the texture. Thanks so much for posting!

  33. Maria Not Specified Not Specified

    Just made it this tonight and it was very good. I recommed not skipping the candied pancetta as it is very good!! I like sweet crispiness with each bite!

    • Jenny Park Not Specified Not Specified

      Yay, Maria! I’m so glad you didn’t skip on the pancetta! A lot of people do (and I totally don’t blame them) bc it’s another few steps to have to make them, but they really add a lot to the dish! So glad you enjoyed it!!

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  35. Sherri Johnson Not Specified Not Specified

    Loved the sound of this, so I attempted to make it tonight. I dunno what came over me, but I thought doubling the recipe would give me leftovers I could enjoy for a while. (not a good idea for trying something for the first time!) Don’t get me wrong, it came out well in the end and very yummy! But one thing about the directions, they don’t really make sense when you take it step by step. For example, step #2 says blend the mixture into broth, but not how much broth? I just guessed this part. #3, you’re putting butter in the blender with nothing else? I altered this and put the butter right into the pot with pumpkin puree. I could list more, but I’m too full from dinner.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Teri Lyn Fisher Not Specified Not Specified

      Hi Sherri, sorry you had issues. The broth ingredients at the top of the recipe states a quarter cup, so that is the quantity you would add. As for adding the butter in the blender alone, if you read #2, you’re supposed to add the mixture and the broth into the blender. Then in #3, you add the butter. I am guessing maybe for some reason you missed out on some of the quantities and directions…

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  39. Le Petit Bohemian Not Specified Not Specified

    What a perfect combination – butternut squash risotto and seared scallops. I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  40. Steph Not Specified Not Specified

    This looks amazing! I would love to try making it. One question, is it possible to switch the arborio rice with brown rice? Would it make a different in prep time or anything?

    • Jenny Park Not Specified Not Specified

      Hi! I’m sure this would work with brown rice, but you may have to treat it a bit differently (adjust cook times and liquid amounts). Another alternative is to use Farro. Good luck!

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  46. Robin Not Specified Not Specified

    I want to try this recipe, but as I was trying to make this for dinner tonight, I ran into a direction issue. When you add the broth to the blender it doesn’t specify which broth that you are to add. I added both of them since it said “broth”. I am not an amature but not a novice either in cooking, but this really stumped me. I ruined it so I will have to try again tomorrow night.

    • Jenny Park Not Specified Not Specified

      Hi Robin, sorry you had trouble with this! The 1/4 broth is for the puree (just to loosen it up) and the 5-6 cups of broth is for the risotto..hope this helps!

  47. Erika Not Specified Not Specified

    Ugh. This just looks so good. The ingredient list looks a little long and involved, but I’m sure the final product is totally worth it!

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  52. Jeff Not Specified Not Specified

    Jenny, we made this last fall and it was a HUGE hit! Gonna make it again tonight…was wondering if you recommend a wine or beer with it..? Was just gonna go with Pumpkin Ale or maybe a Pinot Grigio. Any good recommendations? Thanks again for this website, its amazing!!!!!

  53. Amanda Not Specified Not Specified

    Oh wow, this looks amazing! Love risotto, love scallops, love pumpkin, love pancetta… so many things I love in one recipe. Thanks for posting. :)

  54. Beth Not Specified Not Specified

    I’d like to try this when my friends are over next Sunday, but I am wondering if I can make the candied pancetta ahead of time? (Any do-ahead bits are helpful when I am entertaining!) Seems like it would work as it needs to be cooled, but has anyone tried that?

    • Jenny Park Not Specified Not Specified

      You can definitely make the candied pancetta ahead of time!…you can make the pumpkin purée with the butter ahead of time as well! Good luck and have fun!

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  56. Loraine Solis Not Specified Not Specified

    Made this for date night last week with my boyfriend. A-MA-ZING! :)

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  58. IW Not Specified Not Specified

    Made this a little more than a year ago. It was the best freaking thing we’ve made together! We substituted the risotto for butternut squash gnocchi and it was amazing. Cannot emphasize how much I loved the sauce.

  59. Daniela Not Specified Not Specified

    I made this tonight for dinner and it is honestly one of the best risottos I have ever had. Amazing, I was scared how it would turn out, but what a great dish, can’t wait to cook it again. Thank you!

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  61. Brenden Not Specified Not Specified

    I was reading over your comment. All people have given a positive response.
    I really haven’t thought about the Pumpkin Risotto with Seared Scallops.
    It really looks great. I must ask my wife to make this for me.
    thanks Jenny

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  66. Layla Not Specified Not Specified

    Hi, this recipe looks delicious, I am in the middle and got lost about the broth as well. You might want to adjust the recipe to specify which broth we should have added to the blender, I went ahead and added all of it!

    Also just wondering if I don’t find mascarpone, can I substitute yogurt or something else?

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  68. Elora Not Specified Not Specified

    I made this last night and it was an delicious success! Thank you for an other lovely recipe!

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  70. Jennifer Not Specified Not Specified

    This is one of my husband’s and my favorite meals! We have made it at least every other month since we first made it a year and a half ago, regardless of the season! Thank you soooooooo much for posting it!

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  76. Jessica Not Specified Not Specified

    This is one of the most delicious dishes I have ever eaten and I made it at home! I literally think about this dish several times a year and look forward to fall to eat it again. It is comfort food at its finest yet very refined. My husband can’t get enough of it either! Thank you for this delicious recipe.

  77. Visiedieni Not Specified Not Specified

    This was something out of this world. Real nice, although I still dont understand how to make perfect scallops, I still managed to make this risotto quite nice.

  78. Madison Not Specified Not Specified

    I have made this several times and it is amazing!!!

  79. Cassie Not Specified Not Specified

    This looks mouth-watering I can not wait to make this for my family

  80. Harry Not Specified Not Specified

    Amazing recipe, thank you so much for sharing it. As it tasted incredible.

  81. Susan S Not Specified Not Specified

    I made this tonight and it was delicious!! Thank you so much for reposting it. To think I almost went through my whole life without tasting this!

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