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Pumpkin risotto with scallops and pancetta in a bowl.

Pumpkin Risotto with Seared Scallops

Teri & Jenny
A cozy and delicious recipe for creamy Pumpkin Risotto with Seared Scallops! This meal is perfect for a special night in or a fun, indulgent weekend meal. It's a fall favorite for sure!
5 from 39 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 975 kcal


pumpkin risotto

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin purée
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground clove
  • ¼ cup chicken stock (vegetable stock is fine)
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 to 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup 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
  • 12 large scallops, cleaned and beards removed
  • salt and pepper to taste

confetti candied pancetta

  • ½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces very finely diced pancetta
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar



  • Stir together the first six ingredients for the risotto into a small pot and bring to a simmer.
  • 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.
  • With the motor running, add ¼ cup of butter into the blender, 1 tablespoon at a time. Blend until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  • Pour the mixture into a bowl and set aside until ready to use.
  • Pour the chicken broth into a medium pot and warm over low heat.
  • Place a large pan over medium heat and melt the remaining butter and olive oil.
  • Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Begin adding the warm broth to the rice, one ladle full at a time, stirring frequently.
  • Each time the liquid evaporates, add another ladle of broth and continue to stir.
  • Continue to add liquid and stir until the rice is al dente, 20-25 minutes.
  • Stir in the pumpkin puree until completely combined.
  • Stir in the mascarpone and parmesan until smooth. Fold in the thyme and season with salt and pepper.


  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet, over medium-high heat.
  • Season each scallop with salt and pepper.
  • Sear the scallops, in batches, for 3-4 minutes on each side.

candied pancetta

  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet, over medium-high heat.
  • Add the pancetta to the pan and cook until the fat has rendered off and the pancetta has become crispy.
  • Drain all but 2 teaspoons of grease from the pan and return to the stove, over medium heat.
  • Sprinkle sugar over the pancetta and stir until the sugar melts and had coated the pancetta.
  • Spread the candied confetti-pancetta onto a sheet pan lined with parchment and allow to cool and slightly harden.

assemble and serve

  • Fill 4 bowls with risotto and top each with three scallops; finish each bowl with a sprinkle of candied pancetta. Serve immediately.


  • Risotto Make Ahead: The risotto can be made and stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat: Melt a couple tablespoons but into a pot over medium-low heat. Add risotto. Stir in 2 tablespoons stock (per cup of risotto) to risotto to loosen. Cook until risotto has heated through completely. Stir in 1/2 tablespoon mascarpone (per cup of risotto) and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
  • Candied Pancetta Make Ahead and Reheat: Candied pancetta can be stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator or up to 3 days. When ready to use, place pancetta in a skillet over medium-low heat and cook until heated through.


Calories: 975kcalCarbohydrates: 108gProtein: 24gFat: 51gSaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 486mgPotassium: 665mgFiber: 7gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 17509IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 170mgIron: 7mg
Keyword pumpkin, risotto, scallops
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