A savory side dish just waiting to be served up with chicken in cranberry sauce, roast pork, or even the Thanksgiving turkey, Roasted Pumpkin Bacon Risotto is just waiting to class up the table. The tender rice is cooked to perfection with a zesty onion and garlic spice mixture and plenty of succulent bacon for extra meatiness. The pumpkin is fragrant and autumnal, serving up just the right amount of seasonal joy to make you smile. And then it adds the almond topping for crunch and contrast! Roasted Pumpkin Bacon Risotto could give mashed potatoes a run for their money as the classic holiday side dish!

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  • 2 yellow onions, cut into wedges
  • 1 butternut pumpkin, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • onion powder, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • paprika, to taste
  • sugar, to taste
  • 2 zucchinis, grated
  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • pepper, to taste
  • turmeric, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, plus more to taste
  • 12 ounces arborio rice
  • 1.5 ounces vegetable stock paste
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 lemon, zested and cut into wedges
  • 4 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 1.5 ounces butter
  • 4 ounces parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1.5 ounces almonds, flaked


Step 1 –Preheat the convection oven to 390 degrees F.

Step 2 –Line an oven tray with parchment paper.

Step 3 –Place the onions and the pumpkin on the prepared oven tray and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.

Step 4 –Sprinkle the onions and the pumpkin with the onion powder, the garlic powder, the salt, the paprika, and the sugar, tossing to coat.

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Step 5 –Roast the onions and the pumpkin until tender, about 20-25 minutes.

Step 6 –In a large frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil over high heat.

Step 7 –Cook the diced bacon in the oil until golden, about 4-5 minutes.

Step 8 –To the bacon, add the garlic powder, the sugar, the salt, the pepper, the turmeric, the 1/4 cup parsley, the zucchini, the rice, the vegetable stock paste, and the water.

Step 9 –Bring the mixture to a boil.

Step 10 –Remove the frying pan from the heat.

Step 11 –Transfer the risotto mixture to a 9×13-inch baking dish and cover it tightly with foil.

Step 12 –Bake until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 24-28 minutes.

Step 13 –Add the lemon zest, the spinach, the butter, the parmesan, and a squeeze of the lemon juice to the risotto, stirring to combine.

Step 14 –Gently add in the onion and the pumpkin.

Step 15 –Taste the risotto for seasoning.

Step 16 –Top the risotto with the almonds.

Step 17 –Serve with more parsley, to taste, and the lemon wedges.