Pumpkin risotto

How about pumpkin risotto? This version is actually made with barley which is a much better option. It is still vegan, vegetarian and delicious.

Pumpkin barley risotto

Lately, I have been trying to make some recipes using pumpkin. I have had this pumpkin pizza in mind for a while now. I haven’t tackled it yet but I think I will soon with the remaining pumpkin I have from making this risotto.

Have you ever used barley before? This is all I use when I decide to make risotto. It works great and still remains creamy like risotto. I must say is not as starchy as risotto rice but I think I like that better. Barley it is still starchy, jut not as much!

I have made other risotto versions using barley. This other mushroom risotto is the bomb so check it out if you are into risottos.

Do you have any great pumpkin recipes to share? Let me know if you do because besides tackling the pumpkin pizza I have in mind I don’t have any other recipes. I would like to at least make a couple more before the month is over.

On another note, next week I will be going to Seattle for the first time ever. While it will be a super short trip I am still super excited. They have told me the food there is phenomenal so I hope I have enough time to visit some recommended places.

Anyhow, I will just keep this post short and sweet. If you like pumpkin you have to try this pumpkin risotto. It is so comforting, easy and still healthy.


Pumpkin barley risotto


Pumpkin risotto

Miryam's original recipe

Yield: 6 servings

Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 3 cups barley
  • 6-7 cups warm water or vegetable stock
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh pumpkin, cubed
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, omit for a vegan version
  • 1 tsp celtic salt
  • Fresh parley, cilantro or rosemary


In a 3 qt dutch oven, or any other pot of your choice, over medium to high heat add the olive oil and pumpkin. Cook for 3 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic  until fragrant, about one minute.

Add the barley and stir with the pumpkin. Add 2 cups of vegetable stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the flame to medium low, preferably low, and don't add anymore liquid until the liquid in the pan has been consumed. Repeat this step until all your liquid is gone adding one cup at a time and stirring the risotto each time you add more liquid.

If you find your barley is still hard after the 6 cups have been used add more liquid until your barley becomes soft. It make take you an extra 2 cups depending on what type of barley you used.

When the barley is soft to your liking, make sure you still have a little bit of liquid still in the pot, as this will make your barley nice and creamy, turn the heat off. At this stage you can add the herbs and parmesan cheese. Stir and serve while still warm.

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  1. Hi Miryam, I started following you on Instagram and I am now in love with your website! :) Question: Do you think that using canned pumpkin puree would work for this recipe? Thanks in advance!!

    • You could but the chunk of pumpkin is nice in this recipe. Maybe you can add some other veggie you may have on hand instead of the pumpkin chunks. Either way it would be good :-) Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I made a similar one with wholegrain oats, but it didn’t look half as good as yours…this is really beautiful and yum!

  3. I love using barley in my risottos! And I just so happen to have pumpkin risotto on my menu this week. I was planning on doing a baked risotto with short grain brown rice, but maybe I’ll have to swap it out for barley. I like how you’ve used the chunks of pumpkin here, very lovely touch and nice to mix things with with the texture. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Looks amazing! I am really interested in trying to cook with barley :)

  5. I can’t even believe how good this looks. SERIOUSLY seriously good.

  6. Hi I was wondering if this could be made in a slow cooker

  7. I think yes. I don’t know how much time you will need though but you can experiment :-) I think at least 3-4 hrs. Let me know if you do.

  8. Hi Miryam, this looks amazing, but I have celiac disease and I can’t have barley. Could you substitute rice? And if so, which would you pick and are there any changes to the recipe? Thank you!

    • You can use regular arborio rice which is the rice used for risotto. Same quantity should be fine but you will need less water than when using barley. I would say just double the amt of water for rice. I hope that helps.

  9. Miryam, thank you – I’m just a little confused – is it more or less water for the rice? Thanks!

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