This Kid-Friendly Pumpkin Risotto is a comforting dinner that the entire family will enjoy – from toddlers to grown-ups! Because everyone gets to assemble their own plates, everyone leaves the table happy and satisfied. 

Graphic for post - kid friendly pumpkin risotto - 1 recipe 4 meals. Images of a spread of food on a counter and 2 plates full of food for kids.

Kid-Friendly Pumpkin Risotto

Literally my entire family is obsessed with this Pumpkin Risotto! We’ve had it as a weeknight dinner at least four times in the last couple of weeks and non of us are getting tired of it yet!

While it may seem fancy – risotto, on a weeknight 😱, trust me when I say it’s actually super simple and there is plenty of hands-free time to make the rest of the meal plus start packing school lunches while the risotto is cooking. I promise this dish can be ready in just about 30 minutes.. give or take a couple of minutes depending on how many times you need to refill your wine glass;)

The best part – the entire family loves this meal! My 5 and 7 year old, my vegetarian husband as well as myself (which I am gluten free)!

This family meal is completely kid-friendly because I let my kids load up their own plates – as much of the pumpkin risotto as they want along with whatever toppings they feel like. It’s a true DIY kinda meal, and in my experience the more power we give kids to make their own plates, the more likely they will be to eat it.

What’s on the menu

  • pumpkin risotto
  • green salad with cucumbers (I always make a big salad and offer it to my kids, I also put a big handful of just the veggies on top so they can just grab those if they prefer)
  • pomegranate seeds
  • dried craisins
  • cooked and shredded chicken with lemon and basil seasoning (leftover from another meal)
  • candied walnuts
  • crispy sage
  • goat cheese
  • chunks of a baguette
Spread of food on a counter will a big saucepan full of pumpkin risotto.

Reasons to Love this Pumpkin Risotto

  • family-friendly
  • great for toddlers, kids and adults
  • can also be served to baby 9+ months as a chunky puree
  • good for baby-led weaning as it is chunky enough for them to pick up with their fingers
  • great for leftover lunches
  • kid-friendly
  • healthy
  • comforting and filling
  • allergy friendly – gluten-free, dairy-free (minus the cheese), vegetarian, vegan (if you use olive oil and omit the parmesan), egg-free, nut-free (minus the walnuts).

How to Make Pumpkin Risotto

I am obsessed with this pumpkin risotto! It sounds super fancy – but trust me, there is plenty of hands-off time to prep the rest of the meal plus time to start packing school lunches.

  • Prep: chop the onion and mince the garlic. Heat the broth and pumpkin until you reach a gentle simmer.
  • Brown: heat a medium saucepan or skillet and add in the olive oil, onion and garlic and sauté until just translucent. Add in the rice and sauté until just golden brown.
  • Add in Broth: add in a few ladles of broth to the rice, stirring occasionally, until the rice absorbs all of the liquid.
  • Keep Adding and Stirring: keep adding the broth and stirring until you have used all of the broth and the rice is cooked – roughly 25 minutes.
  • Finish: add in the parmesan and spices and stir until the cheese is melted and the rice is thick and creamy.
  • Serve: add your favorite toppings and serve warm.

Fun Toppings

  • goat cheese
  • crispy sage
  • candied or plain walnut or pecans
  • parmesan cheese
  • chopped bacon
  • parsley
  • rotisserie chicken
  • pan-seared scallops
  • cooked shrimp in lemon butter
  • feta
  • chopped pecans

Let me know in the comments what you are going to add to your Pumpkin Risotto.

5 and 7 Year Old Plates

5 year old – Parker was super excited about this pumpkin risotto and ate her entire portion that she spooned on her plate, she especially loved the goat cheese. She took everything that was offered except the lettuce, dried cranberries and the walnuts, which I was fine with because she took a veggie, the risotto and a protein.

7 year old – Elliette is super into salads these days (!!) and so she took a huge portion of lettuce, cucumbers, walnuts, dried cranberries, goat cheese, chicken, pomegranate seeds, slice of bread and risotto. She ate most of the meal with a few bites of the risotto leftover.

Adult Plates

mom – I am gluten-free so this was a great meal for me to enjoy with the entire family, I just didn’t eat any of the offered bread. I loaded up on the risotto with crispy sage and goat cheese (a must in my book) as well as a huge green salad with cucumber, pomegranate, walnuts and chicken.

dad – my husband is a vegetarian so I made this dish with a vegetable broth and put the chicken on the side. My husband had a big portion of the risotto with a ton of crispy sage, goat cheese as well as a salad with cucumber, walnuts and pomegranate seeds. He loved this meal and had it for lunch for the next couple of days.

More Kid-friendly Meals You will Also Love

Spread of food on a counter will a big saucepan full of pumpkin risotto.

Get the recipe: Kid-Friendly Pumpkin Risotto

5 stars (1 rating)
This Kid-Friendly Pumpkin Risotto is a comforting dinner that the entire family will enjoy – from toddlers to grown-ups!

Ingredients 

  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock or broth
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • black pepper

Instructions 

  • In a medium saucepan, bring the stock and pumpkin puree to a boil over high heat, stirring until combined. Reduce to a simmer.
  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan heat the butter or oil over medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic and let soften for 2-3 minutes. Add in the rice and thyme and cook for 2-3 more minutes or until the rice is just translucent on the outsides.
  • Add in 1-2 ladles of stock into the rice and stir. Let simmer until the liquid has evaporated, stirring occassionaly. Continue adding in ladles of stock, letting the rice simmer until the stock is evaporated and stirring until you have used up all of the stock and the risotto is creamy in texture – 20-25 minutes.
  • Add in the parmesan cheese and nutmeg and stir until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I usually don't add any salt because the stock and parmesan are salty enough.
  • Serve immediatly and top with your favorite toppings.

Notes

Age: 9 months and up (use sodium-free or low-sodium for ages 9 months – 4 years). You can serve this to babies under 1 year as either a chunky puree or as a finger food that they can eat with a spoon or their fingers. 
Yield: 6-8 servings 
Storage: store in an air-tight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Fun Toppings
  • goat cheese
  • crispy sage
  • candied or plain walnut or pecans
  • parmesan cheese
  • chopped bacon
  • parsley
  • rotisserie chicken
  • pan-seared scallops
  • cooked shrimp in lemon butter
  • feta
  • chopped pecans
 
 

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