An Instant Pot turns fancy Shrimp Risotto into an easy 15-minute meal! Plump, lemony shrimp adds flavor to this quick hands-off instant pot risotto, while perfectly wilted spinach adds color and nutrition. This delicious recipe is from Jenna Helwig’s new book Bare Minimum Dinners.
This simple lemony shrimp risotto is the meal dreams are made of: Restaurant-quality risotto, made with simple ingredients at home in just 15 minutes!
I am thrilled to share this recipe from a new cookbook in my collection: Bare Minimum Dinners by Jenna Helwig. And as you can guess from the title, Jenna’s book is all about making mealtime easier. So, of course, this busy mama was hooked! (Be sure to enter the giveaway for this cookbook below).
Let me tell you about Jenna’s lemony shrimp risotto, which is now on my regular rotation! And if you don't have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, you can still make this recipe on the stovetop using the same technique as our mushroom or Milanese-style risotto (I've included the instructions below).
Quick Instant-Pot risotto with shrimp
Risotto is one of those dishes that have a reputation of being fussy to prepare. If you make it the typical way on the stovetop, the process requires you to babysit your rice, slowly pouring in the warm broth as you continuously stir the rice to coax the starch out for that rich, creamy texture we all love. (You don’t rush the process, and you constantly keep your eye on the rice).
This hassle-free instant pot risotto with shrimp is a different story.
The Instant Pot takes all the stirring and babysitting of your arborio rice out of the equation. Simply add the rice to your electric pressure cooker with some sautéed shallots and broth, then close the lid shut and let the pressure cooker do its thing!
After 6 minutes or so in the Instant Pot, the rice will be perfectly cooked. From there, you’ll stir it up a bit and finish it with some butter, spinach, and of course, lemony plump shrimp (which you’ll have sautéed in your Instant Pot as well earlier).
The entire dish is made in just 15 minutes, and cleanup couldn’t be easier!
Ingredients for this Instant Pot risotto recipe
Here’s what you’ll need for this risotto recipe.
- Extra virgin olive oil – good extra virgin olive oil to sauté the shrimp. I recommend our Italian Nocellar extra virgin olive oil for this recipe.
- Raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined - You'll need 1 pound, so about 16 to 20 shrimp.
- Grated lemon zest – to add bright flavor to the shrimp.
- Crushed red pepper – this is optional if you want to add a slight kick to your shrimp.
- Chopped shallot – for a bit of delicate sweetness.
- Arborio rice – You’ll need 1 ½ cups for 4 servings.
- Chicken or vegetable broth. I used 32 ounces of chicken broth here because I love the flavor it infuses the risotto with, but vegetable broth would work as well.
- Baby spinach leaves- you'll use 4 cups or about 2 ounces of spinach leaves.
- Unsalted butter – stirred in at the end for more luxurious creaminess
How to make shrimp risotto in the Instant Pot
The Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker of your choices) does most of the heavy lifting for you in this quick and easy risotto. Here’s how to make it (print-friendly recipe below):
- Sauté the shrimp. Heat add 1 tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil in an Instant Pot set to Sauté. Add the shrimp and pinch of salt. When the shrimp has turned from translucent and gray to opaque and pink, and has firmed up a bit, it is cooked. Immediately transfer the shrimp to a bowl, and press "Cancel" on the Instant Pot. Toss the shrimp with lemon zest and crushed red pepper (if using).
- Cook the risotto. To the instant pot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the chopped shallot. Set the saute funchion again. Stir frequently the shallots until they start to soften (stirring frequently helps prevent any from sticking to the bottom of the Instant Pot). Add 1 ½ cups arborio rice and toast, stirring, for about 2 minutes, until the rice is translucent and coated in extra virgin olive oil. Add the chicken broth or vegetable broth (I used chicken broth) and another pinch of salt.
Stir to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot. (Do not skip this step.) Lock the lid of the Instant Pot and set it to cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Once the time is up, press "Cancel" and carefully quick-release the pressure (follow your pressure cooker's instructions for your safety).
- Add the spinach, butter, and sautéed shrimp to serve. Add the spinach, a tablespoon of unsalted butter, and a pinch of salt and stir just until the spinach wilts. Top with the shrimp and their juices and serve.
Tips for the best Instant Pot risotto
- Use less broth: traditional risotto will require you to use double the amount of broth to rice. So if you're using 2 cups of rice, you'll end up needing 8 cups of broth. a good 8 cups of water to 2 But when making risotto in your electric pressure cooker, no steam will be escaping and therefore you'll need to use less broth (about half the amount). In this recipe, you'll need only 4 cups of water.
- Use quality broth: Instant Pot risotto will hold onto the flavor of your chosen broth because liquid doesn’t really evaporate, so use homemade or high-quality store-bought broth. Use either chicken or vegetable broth.
- Quick-release the pressure in the Instant Pot (carefully) to help prevent your risotto from overcooking. Follow your pressure cooker's instructions for safety.
- Don't skip stirring the rice with a little butter at the end. Stirring the risotto with butter for a couple minutes before serving is what will give it creaminess and will help to thicken it/
Stovetop shrimp risotto
Don’t have an Instant Pot? No problem! You can make this recipe on the stovetop with 6 cups of broth to 1 ½ cups of rice. Here’s how to make this shrimp risotto on the stovetop
- Heat 6 cups of broth in a saucepan. Bring 6 cups of broth to a simmer over medium heat (keep it at gentle simmer). This is important, because the broth must be hot when you pour it over the arborio rice to ensure that you get risotto with the perfect texture. Hot broth helps release the arborio rice’s starch, which gives risotto that velvety creaminess. Using heated instead of cold broth also keeps everything in the risotto pot at the same temperature, whereas cold broth would cool down the portions of rice it comes into contact with (slowing down the cooking time of that rice). This can lead to risotto that’s unevenly cooked – some might turn out overcooked and mushy, some might be perfect, and some might be tough and hard. You might not need all the broth, but it is better to have it heated up, just in case.
- Sauté the shrimp. In a wide non-stick pot,heat a tablespoon or two extra virgin olive oil and add shrimp and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the shrimp has just turned pink. Move the shrimp quickly to a bowl, toss with lemon zest and red pepper flakes (if using), and set aside for now.
- Toast the risotto. In the same wide pot on medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons EVOO and the chopped shallot and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until the shallot softens. Add the arborio rice and toast for a couple minutes, until the rice is coated in oil and is translucent. Toasting the arborio rice before cooking it adds a pleasant nutty flavor to the risotto.
- Cook the risotto. Add 1 cup of hot broth to the arborio rice and stir. Continue to stir until all the stock has absorbed. If you like, you could use ½ cup white wine instead of that first cup of broth. Wine is typically used to add flavor and a touch of acidity to risotto, but you can easily leave it out and simply start with a cup of broth. Keep adding broth (about ½ cup at a time) and stir until it has been absorbed. Continue to add broth and stir until the rice is al dente (it should be tender with a bit of bite). This will take around 20 minutes, depending on your rice. Remove from heat. If you have some leftover broth, don’t feel like you need to use it! It may come in handy if you have leftovers (more on that below). Stir in the butter, spinach, and remaining salt.
- Serve. Once the spinach is wilted, the risotto is ready to serve, topped with the shrimp and their juices.
What to serve with it
Shrimp risotto is a hearty meal in itself, so you don’t need to add much else to complete the meal. But I like to start the meal with a big salad.
Leftover and storage tips
Risotto is best enjoyed right away, but if you have leftovers, store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to five days. Be sure to store any leftover shrimp in a separate container. (Cooked shrimp will keep in the fridge for about 3 days.)
To reheat, bring some broth to a boil on the stove. (Use the same type of broth you used to cook the risotto.) If you are out of broth, water will do fine. For every cup of leftover risotto you have, boil ¼ cup of liquid. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the risotto. Stir until the broth or water has been absorbed. If the risotto still looks dry, add a small amount more liquid. Keep in mind that the risotto will no longer be al dente once reheated.
Other rice recipes to try
Hungry for more? Here are all our Mediterranean Recipes!
Instant Pot Lemony Shrimp Risotto
- Instant Pot or other multicooker
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 pound raw large shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
- ¼ cup chopped shallot
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (32 ounces)
- 4 cups torn spinach leaves or baby spinach (about 2 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Set the Instant Pot or other multicooker to Sauté and add 1 tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot add the shrimp and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Sauté the shrimp until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes, then transfer to a medium bowl. Press Cancel. Toss the shrimp with the lemon zest and crushed red pepper, if using.
- Set the Instant Pot to Sauté again. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallot begins to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the rice is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and another ½ teaspoon salt. Stir to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Lock the lid and set to cook on high pressure for 6 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, press Cancel and carefully quick-release the pressure.
- Stir for a minute or two to thicken the risotto, then add the spinach, butter, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, stirring just until the spinach is wilted. Serve topped with the shrimp and their juices.
- Use good quality broth: Instant Pot risotto will hold onto the flavor of your chosen broth because liquid doesn’t really evaporate, so use homemade or high-quality store-bought broth. Use either chicken or vegetable broth.
- Quick-release the pressure in the Instant Pot (carefully) to help prevent your risotto from overcooking. Be sure to review your pressure cooker instructions for your safety.
- Do not skip stirring the rice with the butter for a couple minutes at the end, this is what will give it that rich and creamy finish.
- Stovetop option: Heat 6 cups of broth on the stovetop, and keep it at a low simmer throughout the risotto cooking process. In a wide, narrow pot, cook the shrimp with ¼ teaspoon salt and immediately move it to a bowl, along with any juices. Toss with lemon zest and red pepper flakes (if using). In the same pot, add EVOO and shallot and sauté until the shallot is softened. Add the arborio rice and toast until the rice is translucent and coated in oil. Add a cup of hot broth (or ½ cup dry white wine) to the rice and stir until the liquid has absorbed. Add another ½ cup of broth and stir until absorbed. Continue to do this until the rice is al dente (tender with a bit of bite). Add remaining salt, butter, and spinach. Stir until the spinach is wilted, and serve topped with the shrimp and their juices.
- Leftovers and storage: Store leftover risotto it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to five days. Be sure to store any leftover shrimp in a separate container. (Cooked shrimp will keep in the fridge for about 3 days.) To reheat risotto, bring some broth to a boil on the stove. (Use the same type of broth you used to cook the risotto.) If you are out of broth, water will do fine. For every cup of leftover risotto you have, boil ¼ cup of liquid. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the risotto. Stir until the broth or water has been absorbed. If the risotto still looks dry, add a small amount more liquid.
- Visit Our Shop for quality Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils and spices.