Pumpkin Risotto with Spinach and Bacon
This Pumpkin Risotto with Spinach and Bacon is the perfect dish to celebrate fall flavors! It tastes warm, rich, and decadent with creamy pumpkin puree, nutty Parmesan cheese, and crispy bacon. This pumpkin risotto makes a great main dish served with a side salad or roasted vegetables. You could even add chicken breast or Italian sausage if you want more protein. The risotto also makes a great side dish to a meaty main course, just dish up a smaller serving! Not only is this Pumpkin Risotto versatile and full of fall flavor, a one cup serving of this dish is just 274 calories or 8 WW Points on the current Weight Watchers plan. To view your current WW Points for this recipe and track it in the WW app or site, click here!
Don’t be intimidated by the thought of making risotto! It isn’t difficult, it just has the reputation of being a bit time-consuming because you have to stir in the broth a little at a time until it is absorbed by the rice. This part takes about 20 minutes, but it’s well worth it to get the creamy texture of risotto!
- Rice: You’ll want to use arborio rice for this recipe, because it’s a unique type of rice that gets creamy and chewy when cooked in a risotto. This can be found in most grocery stores where you’d find the other rice. Don’t try to substitute a different type, it will not turn out the same!
- Bacon: I always use center cut bacon because it’s just a leaner cut of regular bacon and crisps up great and tastes delicious. However, if you don’t eat pork or it’s just your preference, feel free to use turkey bacon in this recipe! As a note, I used the bacon as a garnish in my photos because it looks pretty that way, but I actually stir it into the pumpkin risotto because dishing it up to serve. I like when it is spread out throughout the dish!
- Parmesan: I recommend buying a chunk of Parmesan cheese and finely shredding it yourself using a box grater so it’s fresh and melts easily. However, it shouldn’t be a problem to buy shredded Parmesan to shave off a little prep time.
- Wine: Most risotto recipes call for some wine and this pumpkin risotto is no exception! I recommend a white wine on the drier side. Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or Chardonnay are all good options. The wine will add flavor and a bit of acidity to the dish, but if you don’t have any or don’t use alcohol, you can skip it and just substitute additional broth in its place.
- Broth: Warming the broth before adding it to the pot does keep this Pumpkin Risotto from being a one pot meal, but it’s important! Adding the broth warm helps the rice absorb it and release its starches more easily, giving the risotto the creamy texture you want.
- Possible Add-Ins: If you would like a bit more protein in this dish you can always add some cooked chicken breast or Italian sausage. Both would be delicious in this dish! For garnish you could sprinkle on additional Parmesan, fresh herbs, or roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds).
More Tasty Lightened-Up Comfort Food Meals
If you’re looking for more tasty, lightened up comfort food recipes like this Pumpkin Risotto with Spinach and Bacon, check out my Chicken and Dumplings Casserole, Loaded Spaghetti Bake, Chicken Taco Rice Skillet, Swedish Turkey Meatballs, One-Pot Turkey and Veggie Spaghetti, Ham and Cheese Au Gratin Potato Bake, One-Pot Cheeseburger Pasta, Meatloaf with Gravy, Italian Sausage Bread, One-Pot Cajun Chicken and Sausage Pasta, One-Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese, Slow Cooker Chicken and Stuffing, One-Pot Cheesy Chili Mac, Chicken Pot Pasta, Beefy American Goulash, Rustic Sausage and Potato Skillet, and SO many more in the Comfort Food category of my recipe index!
Pumpkin Risotto with Spinach and Bacon
- 6 slices center cut bacon, chopped
- 5 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon light butter, (I use Land-O-Lakes light butter spread with canola oil)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ cups uncooked arborio rice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ⅓ cup white wine, (can substitute additional broth instead)
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 3 cups packed torn fresh spinach
- ¼ teaspoon ground sage
- ¼ teaspoon ground thyme
- 2 oz finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- Place the chopped bacon pieces in a 5 QT Dutch oven or a large pot and bring over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Transfer the bacon pieces to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Discard the grease from the pot and wipe it clean with a paper towel.
- Pour the broth into a medium saucepan and cover. Bring it over med-low heat on a separate burner and keep warm.
- Place the light butter into the Dutch oven and bring over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and stir. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes until the onions are softened. Add the minced garlic and stir. Cook for another 30-60 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the uncooked rice, salt, pepper, and paprika and stir together with the onions. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, to toast the rice a bit. Add the wine and stir to deglaze the bottom of the pot until the wine is absorbed.
- Add ½ cup (or a ladle full) of the warm broth to the rice mixture in the pot and stir until the rice absorbs the broth. Repeat with ½ cup of broth at a time, stirring until absorbed, until all of the broth has been added and absorbed (this will take about 20 minutes).
- Stir in the pumpkin puree and torn spinach until fully combined. Spinach should wilt quickly. Add the ground sage, ground thyme, and shredded Parmesan and stir until the cheese is melted and the ingredients are fully combined. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired. Stir in the crumbled bacon and serve.
274 calories, 41 g carbs, 4 g sugars, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 12 g protein, 5 g fiber, 726 mg sodium (from myfitnesspal.com) Weight Watchers Points Plus:
7 per (1 cup) serving (PP calculated using a Weight Watchers PointsPlus calculator and the nutrition info below)