Instant Pot Risotto Sofrito

Risotto Sofrito

Welcome to my Risotto Sofrito! Upon stumbling upon this, your first question may be: “what the heck is sofrito?!” While there are many approaches to making sofrito, at the end of the day it’s a blend of herbs, onion, mild peppers (and sometimes tomatoes) in olive oil. It originates from Spain where the word “sofrito” is Catalan (a common language there) and means “to lightly fry”. That’s because Spanish recipes have you sautéing it in a pan with tomato, onion, red bell pepper, and garlic. Yet, other sofrito recipes more common to Puerto Rico and Latin America feature olive oil, cilantro, green bell pepper and garlic and have you blend it into a consistency similar to that of Italian pesto with (more common to Puerto Rican and Latin American style). From there, the sofrito is generally combined and/or sautéd with proteins, grains and veggies.

Here, I’ve decided to let my recent travels to Spain inspire me to create an outrageously delicious and easy risotto, but instead of actually making sofrito, I’m using Better Than Bouillon Sofrito Base from the Culinary Collection which will satisfy the flavor once mixed with water and transformed into a rich broth to infuse the rice as it cooks! Risotto Sofrito, a creamy rice dish inspired by a combination of Valencian paella and arroz con pollo, is now a thing.

This post was sponsored by Better Than Bouillon/Summit Hill Foods.

Watch The Video!

Instant Pot Risotto Sofrito

A Sofrito Shortcut!

Man holding jar of Better Than Bouillon
Today it’s all about making a sofrito without having to make a sofrito! Better Than Bouillon Sofrito Base from the Culinary Collection is going to take care of all of that for you. (NOTE: If you wish to make your own sofrito, I have you covered in the recipe card below).
Jar of Better Than Bouillon Sofrito Base
Are you ready for how simple this is? Take a jar of Better Than Bouillon Sofrito Base from the Culinary Collection
Scooping out base from jar
…scoop out some of the base…
Adding base to water
…add it to some water…
Mixing base with water to form sofrito broth
…and stir until combined. And THAT’S ALL, FOLKS! You now have some seriously rich sofrito flavor prepared in seconds!

Sauté Away

Adding butter and olive oil to Instant Pot
Let’s get cooking. Add some butter and olive oil to the Instant Pot (NOTE: To make this dairy-free, see the recipe card below).
Adding diced red bell pepper and onion to Instant Pot
Once the butter’s melted, add some diced pepper and onion…
Adding garlic to pot
…along with some garlic…
Adding saffron to pot
…and some optional saffron (NOTE: this stuff is seriously fragrant but can be pricey. If you have a membership, Costco sells it for the best value and a pinch goes a long way).
Sautéing everything in the Instant Pot
Sauté for a few minutes until the veggies begin to just slightly soften.
Adding chicken to Instant Pot
Time to add some chicken! I like use boneless, skinless thighs that I cut into bite-size pieces but you can also totally use breasts.
Adding seasonings to pot
And we’ll add some seasoned salt, smoked paprika, oregano, and parsley flakes for seasoning.
Sautéing it all in the pot
Sauté so the spices integrate with the chicken and veggies. Once the chicken is pinkish-white in color (not fully cooked), we’re good!
Adding arborio rice to Instant Pot
It’s time to add what makes this a risotto – arborio rice! Add some to the pot…
Stirring everything in pot
…and stir until everything is combined.
Adding sofrito broth to pot
And now it’s time to give this the sofrito treatment! Add that flavor-filled broth we quickly made earlier…
Adding diced tomatoes to pot
…along with a can of diced tomatoes.

Pressure Cooking

Stirring everything and pressure cooking
Give it all a good stir, secure the lid and pressure cook. And that’s it! NO babysitting this risotto – hit a button, set it and forget it!
Risotto after pressure cooking
Once its done pressure cooking, it make look like there’s still some liquid in the pot. This is good, but also a bit deceiving! Get a mixing spoon and dig into the pot’s contents.
Stirring pot
As soon as you begin to mix, you’ll quickly see the risotto will take front and center and will have cooked perfectly.

The Finishing Touches

Adding shredded manchego cheese to risotto in pot
For the finishing touches, I’m adding some shredded manchego cheese (but you can use any melty cheese, such as a Mexican blend)…
Adding peas to risotto in pot
…and some optional peas that were frozen and then rinsed under cold water for a few seconds to thaw them out (don’t worry – they heat of the risotto will heat them up in seconds. And if peas aren’t your thing, leave them out).
Risotto ready to serve on a mixing spoon
Once everything is combined and the risotto rests for a few brief minutes, it’s going to be creamy, dreamy, sofrito-y and ready to serve!

The Taste Test

Man with bowl of risotto
Let’s get real – this is the best part of any recipe.
Man trying risotto
Taste the amazingness you’ve just created.
Man kissing jar of Better Than Bouillon.
And give a kiss to Better Than Bouillon Sofrito Base from the Culinary Collection for making your food that much tastier, easier and convenient! Follow it up with my Churro Cake!
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Risotto Sofrito

Instant Pot Risotto Sofrito

Here, I've decided to let my recent travels to Spain inspire me to create an outrageously delicious and easy risotto, but instead of actually making sofrito, I'm using Better Than Bouillon's Sofrito Base from the Culinary Collection which will satisfy the flavor once mixed with water and transformed into a rich broth to infuse the rice as it cooks! Risotto Sofrito, a creamy rice dish inspired by a combination of Valencian paella and arroz con pollo, is now a thing.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 36 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place the oil and butter in the Instant Pot and hit Sauté and Adjust so it's on the More or High Setting. Once the butter's melted, add the onion and bell pepper and sauté until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and saffron (if using) and sauté for 1 minute more.
  3. Add the chicken and stir to coat, followed by the seasoned salt, paprika, oregano and parsley. Sauté for 3 minutes until the chicken is pinkish-white in color.
  4. Add the arborio rice and stir until coated with the chicken, veggies and seasoning for 1 minute.
  5. Add the broth and diced tomatoes. Stir well, scraping the bottom of the pot so it's freed of any browned bits from sautéing the chicken, rice and spices.
  6. Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, hit Cancel and then fit Pressure Cook or Manual for 6 minutes. Quick release when done. Don't worry if it looks like there's a bunch of liquid when done - this is good! Give it a good stir and you'll see it all mostly vanish but some will remain.
  7. Add the cheese and peas (if using). Stir until the cheese is blended into the risotto and the peas are thawed and heated up, about 1 minute. Let rest for 2-3 minutes to thicken and combine as the risotto continues to absorb.
  8. Serve topped with additional cheese, if desired.

Jeffrey's Tips

If you can't find the Better Than Bouillon Base it's easily found online here or soupsonline.com. Of course you can also use any broth of your choice (Ham or Chicken would be preferred), but since this is a Sofrito-infused dish, I'd suggest going with that.

If you wish to make your own sofrito, this is my take on combining the best of a Spanish and Puerto-Rican style. Add the following to a food processor and blend until puréed:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, roughly chopped
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves (optional)
6 cloves (2 tablespoons) garlic, roughly chopped


Once puréed, stir in the can of diced tomatoes, with their juices as already included on the ingredients list. When adding the remainder of the broth of your choice in Step 5 (I'd use chicken broth), add the sofrito purée as well. NOTE: If making the sofrito, skip the onion in Step 1 though since we're already adding one here.

For a dairy-free alternative: use 1/4 cup olive oil in Step 1 and skip the butter and omit the cheese in Step 7 and let the risotto rest for 5 minutes so it thickens just slightly before serving.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Linda H

    I was seriously hoping you would post some of the newest Better than Broth Culinary recipes. I bought them all. Thank you, I’m going to try this!

  2. Gary Kaetzel

    I currently have one serving left of your great Balsamic Mushroom Orecchiette that I added chicken to. When that’s done this will be next! I already had the Sofrito base and now I’ll have something it’s used for! Thanks again for yet another amazing recipe!!! As always my absolute very very best to you, Richard, and Banjo! Take care!!!

  3. Kelly

    Any chance of getting this as a baked/ non- instant pot recipe? I love making baked risotto + my IP is an “easy-burn-message” kinda one.
    (I also adore the BtB brand!!

  4. Sue

    Thank you for another amazing recipe. My husband said he could eat this all week long. Since it makes a large amount, I put it in freezer bags.

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