Pumpkin Risotto with Seared Scallops

A cozy and delicious recipe for creamy Pumpkin Risotto with Seared Scallops! This meal is perfect for a special night in or a fun, indulgent weekend meal. It's a fall favorite for sure!

Prep Time: 10 MINS

Servings: 4


pumpkin risotto

▢1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin purée
▢2 tablespoons heavy cream
▢2 tablespoons light brown sugar
▢¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
▢¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
▢pinch ground clove
▢¼ cup chicken stock (vegetable stock is fine)
▢6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, divided
▢4 to 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
▢2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
▢1/2 yellow onion, diced
▢1 clove garlic, minced
▢2 cups Arborio rice
▢1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, softened
▢¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
▢1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
▢salt and pepper to taste
seared scallops
▢2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
▢12 large scallops, cleaned and beards removed
▢salt and pepper to taste
confetti candied pancetta
▢½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
▢2 ounces very finely diced pancetta
▢2 tablespoons light brown sugar




Stir together the first six ingredients for the risotto into a small pot and bring to a simmer.

Simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove mixture from the heat and pour into a blender with the broth, season with salt and pepper and blend.

With the motor running, add ¼ cup of butter into the blender, 1 tablespoon at a time. Blend until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a bowl and set aside until ready to use.

Pour the chicken broth into a medium pot and warm over low heat.

Place a large pan over medium heat and melt the remaining butter and olive oil.

Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes.
Add the rice and sauté for 3 to 5 minute or until each grain of rice is coated in oil and there is a white dot in the center of each grain.

Begin adding the warm broth to the rice, one ladle full at a time, stirring frequently.

Each time the liquid evaporates, add another ladle of broth and continue to stir.

Continue to add liquid and stir until the rice is al dente, 20-25 minutes.

Stir in the pumpkin puree until completely combined.
Stir in the mascarpone and parmesan until smooth. Fold in the thyme and season with salt and pepper.


Heat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet, over medium-high heat.

Season each scallop with salt and pepper.

Sear the scallops, in batches, for 3-4 minutes on each side.

candied pancetta

Heat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet, over medium-high heat.

Add the pancetta to the pan and cook until the fat has rendered off and the pancetta has become crispy.

Drain all but 2 teaspoons of grease from the pan and return to the stove, over medium heat.

Sprinkle sugar over the pancetta and stir until the sugar melts and had coated the pancetta.

Spread the candied confetti-pancetta onto a sheet pan lined with parchment and allow to cool and slightly harden.

assemble and serve

Fill 4 bowls with risotto and top each with three scallops; finish each bowl with a sprinkle of candied pancetta. Serve immediately.

Risotto Make Ahead: The risotto can be made and stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.

To Reheat: Melt a couple tablespoons but into a pot over medium-low heat. Add risotto. Stir in 2 tablespoons stock (per cup of risotto) to risotto to loosen. Cook until risotto has heated through completely. Stir in 1/2 tablespoon mascarpone (per cup of risotto) and adjust salt and pepper as needed.

Candied Pancetta Make Ahead and Reheat: Candied pancetta can be stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator or up to 3 days. When ready to use, place pancetta in a skillet over medium-low heat and cook until heated through.
Calories: 975kcal