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Chicken and Spinach Risotto in the Instant Pot

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Creamy delicious risotto with chicken and spinach stirred right in sounds complicated, but it’s super simple with the help of an instant pot.

close bowl of risotto with small bits of spinach and chunks of chicken

     Risotto is the perfect comfort food. Usually the rich flavor and creamy texture require spending some time slowly adding liquid and doing lots of stirring. This recipe gives you all the goodness with a fraction of the work. Using a pressure cooker makes it easy and you can’t tell you used a shortcut when you sit down to dinner.

      There is just something about a good risotto. It looks so simple but tastes fabulous.

       If you have ever made it, you know it is a labor of love. It is not particularly complicated to make, but it does take time and attention.

     Of course it is instantly worth it when you take the first bite. The mouthfeel is spectacular and the creamy goodness pulls you in.

browned chicken and toasted arborio rice in instant pot ready to make risotto.

      This recipe keeps all of the good parts and takes away the babysitting of the pot. It’s a whole meal in one and once the prep is done you can set the timer and walk away.

     It is not quite dump and go, but the little bit of time that goes into sweating the onions, browning the chicken and toasting the rice is well worth it. The whole process is done in just a few minutes and you are paid back handsomely with the final texture and flavor.

     After that is done, just deglaze the pan and add the liquid.  Set your instant pot and let the magic happen.

instant pot of freshly made risotto with shredded spinach, cheese and pats of butter on top ready to be stirred in.

     Just like with a pot of risotto, a bit of Parmesan cheese and a pat of fresh butter are added at the very end. That helps enhance the flavor and creamy finish.

     Then all you have to do is serve it up. Be prepared to sit back and collect the compliments.

     To be honest, I wasn’t sure what Little Dude would think about it. He’s good about eating quite a few vegetables but spinach isn’t on that list.

spoonful of steaming hot spinach chicken risotto being lifted out of the pot

     He asked what the green stuff was and I answered honestly. Though I did add that you can’t really taste it.

     He proceeded to gobble it up and ask for more! Now that’s a win!

Tips and tricks

Arborio rice is the best rice to use for this dosh, it gives that perfect texture. If you don’t have any, opt for another short grain rice if possible.

I have not tried it with a long grain rice personally. However I imagine it would still taste good, it will just lack some of that creamy finish.

fork going in for first bite of creamy chicken and spinach risotto

Try using other vegetables besides spinach. The easiest way to be sure they aren’t over or under cooked would be to cook them separately and stir them in at the end.

Adding a splash of dry white wine adds such depth of flavor to risotto, but it’s not necessary. Just replace the wine with additional chicken stock and proceed, it will still be great!

bowl of creamy spinach and chicken risotto with cheese on top in front of instant pot

Additional recipes you may enjoy

Mushroom risotto was the first risotto I made at home. It is savory, delicious and one of our favorites.

Shrimp and pea risotto is another dish can be served as a complete meal. It has a fresh flavor thanks to the slightly sweet peas and shrimp.

Butternut squash risotto is another fabulous option. It is a perfect way to turn those winter squash into something spectacular!

For a fun twist, try making farro instead. Farro with sausage and kale is an all in one meal that is easily made with the help of an instant pot.

Yield: 8 Servings

Chicken and Spinach Risotto in the Instant Pot

bowl of creamy risotto with chicken and spinach topped with Parmesan cheese in front of instant pot

Creamy delicious risotto with chicken and spinach stirred right in sounds complicated, but it's super simple with the help of an instant pot.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

For Chicken Risotto

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 pound arborio rice
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup white wine (or additional broth)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

For Finishing

  • 10 ounces chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. Finely dice onion.
  2. Turn Instant Pot on saute. Place 2 Tablespoons of butter in the pot and melt. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are translucent. 
  3. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces, about 1/2" cubes. Add to pot along with rice.  Cook until the chicken is lightly browned and rice is toasty. This should take about 5 minutes.
  4. Use the wine, or a cup of broth, to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Then add the salt, thyme, paprika, pepper and garlic. Turn off the Instant Pot.
  5. Pour in the remaining broth.  Then place the cover on top, closing the vent. Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes. Allow pressure to naturally release for 7 minutes. Then manually release the remaining pressure. 
  6. Stir in spinach, Parmesan cheese and remaining butter. Adjust seasoning to taste and enjoy!

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 331Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 1052mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 31g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

Risotto is the perfect comfort food. Usually the rich flavor and creamy texture require spending some time slowly adding liquid and doing lots of stirring. This recipe gives you all the goodness with a fraction of the work. Using a pressure cooker makes it easy and you can't tell you used a shortcut when you sit down to dinner.

Share with your friends!

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