Instant Pot Fennel & Leek Risotto

Instant Pot Fennel & Leek Risotto

I haven’t posted new Instant Pot recipe for a while even though it’s been getting a lot of use in my kitchen pretty much on daily basis. I love making risotto in the Instant Pot now although initially I was a bit sceptical but it really works. This Instant Pot Fennel & Leek Risotto is a doddle to make in your IP or on the hob if you don’t own one and it’s a perfect mid week dinner your entire family will enjoy!

Instant Pot Fennel & Leek Risotto

I don’t know about you but I love fennel! I do enjoy it raw in salads and love its gorgeous aniseedy flavour and aroma. My hubby, on the other hand, is not a fan of aniseed and wasn’t really looking forward to this dish at all! When I first made this risotto last year it was my first time cooking fennel and I wasn’t sure what to expect flavour wise. Would it overpower the dish, would aniseed  come through really strong? Well, I’m pleased to report that the aniseed flavour is there but it is really subtle and definitely not overpowering. My hubby and the kids really enjoyed it and we’ve had it numerous times since! Seasonal, delicious, creamy and full of goodness too! I thoroughly recommend you try it for yourself!

Instant Pot Fennel & Leek Risotto

Risotto is one of those perfect mid week meals that can be made using pretty much anything you’ve got in your fridge and cupboards. Check out my other risotto offerings like this Leeks and Smoked Mackerel Risotto or if you are partial to some gorgeous chorizo you will love this Butternut Squash and Chorizo Risotto. For some more Spring flavours and new asparagus season around the corner try this Asparagus & Sun-Dried Tomato Risotto.

I love using homemade chicken stock in my risottos! If you are not vegetarian feel free to check out my guide on How To Make Chicken Stock in Instant Pot (with instructions for hob/stovetop users too). You will never look back!


5 from 1 vote
Instant Pot Fennel & Leek Risotto
Instant Pot Fennel & Leek Risotto
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Resting time
5 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Seasonal, delicious and on your table in just over half an hour! This Instant Pot Fennel & Leek Risotto is perfect for mid-week dinner! With its delicate flavour, subtle hint of aniseed, this risotto is a true celebration of Spring!

Course: Main Course, Risotto
Cuisine: British, Italian
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Jo Allison
  • 300 g short grain risotto rice I used arborio
  • 2 leeks cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 2 celery stalks thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 fennel quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 ltr hot vegetable stock from cube is fine
  • 25 g unsalted butter or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 50 g parmesan grated
  • 1 lemon (zest of whole lemon and juice of half a lemon)
  • parmesan rind optional
  • salt & pepper
  • fennel fronds saved for garnish
Instant Pot
  1. Melt butter in the Instant Pot using Sauté function (it should be set on High, 30min) and fry thinly sliced leek and celery for couple of minutes until they start to get soft and translucent but not coloured. Make sure you stir now and again to prevent them from catching.

  2. Add sliced fennel and garlic and let these fry for another minute or so before adding rice. Once rice has been added stir everything really well as we want for the rice to be coated in buttery veggies mixture. Turn the pot off by pressing Keep Warm/Cancel button.

  3. Pour in a little bit of stock at first to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Give it a good scrape with the wooden spoon to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom. Add all of the remaining stock and stir well.

  4. Put on the lid and lock it in place making sure that the black, steam releasing valve is pointing to "Sealing". Set your Instant Pot to "Manual" on High setting for 7 min.

  5. When the time is up turn the pot off by pressing Keep Warm/Cancel button and move the black, steam releasing valve to "Venting" which will release the pressure straight away (QPR - Quick Pressure Release). Take care not to scald yourself with hot steam when moving the valve.

  6. Take off the lid and add juice of half a lemon (or to taste),lemon zest and grated parmesan. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Let risotto stand for 5 minutes before serving it with crusty garlic bread and some fennel fronds as garnish!

Traditional "on the hob" cooking method
  1. Follow the instructions for frying vegetables as above. 

  2. Add rice and stir it well making sure it's well coated in buttery veggies mixture. 

  3. Slowly start adding your stock (ladle at a time) for approx 16-20 minutes  or until all the liquid is absorbed. Make sure you stir your rice well each time you add the stock. You want the rice to have slight bite to it. 

  4. Once you are happy with consistency of your risotto add juice of half a lemon (or to taste), lemon zest and grated parmesan. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Let risotto stand for 5 minutes before serving it with crusty garlic bread and some fennel fronds as garnish!

Recipe Notes
  • I find the consistency of finished risotto perfect especially after it had a chance to rest for 5 min before serving. However, if you find it too "wet" for your liking, try stirring it first and if you still find it a bit "sloppy" turn on the Sauté function and let it reduce slightly. 
  • I'm a huge fan of ghee (clarified butter) when sautéing vegetables for risotto as unlike regular butter it doesn't burn. However, if you don't have ghee simply use regular, unsalted butter with a teaspoon or so of oil to prevent butter from burning.
  • I always keep my leftover parmesan rinds in the fridge to add to soups, stews and risottos when cooking for added flavour. Feel free to leave it out!

Have you tried my Instant Pot Fennel & Leek Risotto? Leave a comment at the bottom of this post, I love reading them!

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Instant Pot Fennel & Leek Risotto

I’m linking my Instant Pot Fennel & Leek Risotto with the following pages:

Cook Blog Share hosted by Monika at Everyday Healthy Recipes and Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie

Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by Corina at Searching for Spice

Brilliant Blog Posts hosted by Vicki at Honest Mum Blog

Recipe of the Week hosted by Emily at A Mummy Too

World-Food Linky hosted by Jess at Jess Eats and Travels


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  • Reply Corina Blum

    This sounds delicious! It’s yet another reason I need to get an instant pot one day soon. It looks so beautifully creamy and comforting x

    April 25, 2018 at 10:10 am
    • Reply joskitchenlarder

      Thanks Corina! 🙂 Oh I do love my IP although it did take me a while to get it out of the box at first, I was so glad when I did lol! It really is such a lovely risotto and Instant Pot makes it that little bit easier. x

      April 25, 2018 at 8:02 pm
  • Reply

    I have not jumped on the instant pot band wagon yet but this sure looks good! Love me all the carbs

    April 25, 2018 at 11:37 pm
    • Reply joskitchenlarder

      Thanks Patrick! I know what you mean as I resisted for a while until I finally gave in last August and haven’t looked back. Funnily enough one single function I use the most is steaming veggies and frankly it was worth buying just for that! 🙂

      April 26, 2018 at 8:19 am
  • Reply Karen, the next best thing to mummy

    I am not usually a fan of fennel, but this looks so delicious that I am going to give it another try #brillblogs@_karendennis
    Karen, the next best thing to mummy recently posted…How toxic are our toys?My Profile

    April 26, 2018 at 9:02 am
    • Reply joskitchenlarder

      Thank you Karen! 🙂 Definitely give it a try, you will be pleasantly surprised. My hubby cannot stand anything aniseedy but he really likes this risotto. Fennel definitely isn’t overpowering here. 🙂

      April 26, 2018 at 8:45 pm
  • Reply Cat | Curly's Cooking

    My Mum has an instant pot but goes abroad a lot so my plan is to borrow it and see if she notices haha. This looks lovely and fresh and summery. x

    April 26, 2018 at 8:30 pm
    • Reply joskitchenlarder

      Thanks Cat! 🙂 My IP is my best friend and a topic of conversation when people enter my kitchen as it takes over half of the counter space (slight exaggeration, but only slight lol). I so recommend this risotto it’s really delicious and the flavour of aniseed from the fennel is so lovely and mellow but definitely makes a statement! x

      April 26, 2018 at 8:40 pm
  • Reply Jessica

    YUM! I’ve never used in an instant pot… I actually don’t think I know what one is?? Haha what a good food blogger I am! Thanks for sharing to my world food linky 🙂 xx
    Jessica recently posted…Lamb shish kebabs with grilled vegetables and bulgar wheatMy Profile

    April 27, 2018 at 8:54 am
    • Reply joskitchenlarder

      Lol! 🙂 It’s one of those kitchen gadgets you are perfectly fine without and then you get it and start using it and you start wondering how you ever managed without it lol (well almost anyway)! 😉 This risotto is super yummy and no IP needed either! Pleasure to link up! 🙂 x

      April 27, 2018 at 6:44 pm

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