Mealthy Instant Pot Pressure cooker Sorghum Risotto

The “grains” are springy, the zucchini melts down into a cream with little bright spots of sundried tomatoes keep things exciting. Sorghum is the world’s most-grown crop that you probably never heard of – it ranks 4th after wheat, rice, and corn.

Also known as “milo” and “large millet”, sorghum is a seed with the intact outer coating like quinoa and looks very similar to the dotted spheres of millet.  But the similarities stop there because sorghum contains five times the fiber, over twice the protein and six times the iron of millet. Sorghum is primarily grown as animal feed in industrialized nations – but it’s a substitute for grains in parts of the world, such as Africa,  where there is not enough water to grow wheat, corn or rice.  In fact, this “lowly” grain-substitute that’s packed with nutrients is slated to become the crop of the future. That’s because sorghum is both heat and drought-tolerant, does not need irrigation or fertilization, and is not picky about soil type.

Sorghum is the “whole grain” everyone should try because of its delicate un-obtrusive flavor and springy grains.

Organic Sorghum Grown in Italy



As far as I know, this is actually the first “Sorgo Risotto” that’s ever been made. So when I started playing around with this grain I wasn’t completely convinced that this recipe was a good idea.

But sorghum’s flavor is quite neutral and it does remain a lovely al dente (springy) texture after cooking so a risotto did not seem completely out of the question.  Besides, Italy already has a history of adapting different grains, such as barley and farro, to the risotto technique so at least I wasn’t navigating to a completely new territory.  You can try these alternate grain risottos in my cookbook, “Hip Pressure Cooking: Fast, Fresh & Flavorful“,  you’ll find “Orzotto” and “Farotto” on page146.

More Pressure Cooker Risotto’s

Here are the seasonal risotto’s that are already on this website along with my video tutorial and explanations (be kind, it was my very first video ; ).


Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
3 L or larger none 15 min. High(2) 10-min. Natural

2.3 from 3 reviews
Zucchini and Sun-dried Tomato Sorghotto (Sorghum Risotto) - pressure cooker/instant pot recipe
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
  • Serves: Serves 4-6
  • Serving size: ⅙th
  • Calories: 537.8
  • TOTAL Fat: 15.8g
  • TOTAL Carbs: 93.7g
  • Sugar Carbs: 4.1g
  • Sodium: 248mg
  • Fiber Carbs: 4.4g
  • Protein: 15.5g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
I use the zucchini as part of the cooking liquid for this sorghum risotto if you leave them out or want to build on this recipe to make your own "sorghotto" follow the grain to liquid ratios given in the pressure cooking chart (1:1¾).
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1½ cups (350ml) sorghum
  • 2 medium zucchini, grated
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly diced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (save one for garnish)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2¼ cups (625ml) water
  1. To the pre-heated pressure cooker add the olive oil and onion and saute'.
  2. When the onion has softened, add the sorghum - coat it in the oil and onions and toast for about 3 minutes.
  3. Tumble in the zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes.
  4. Sprinkle in the thyme, salt, water and mix well.
  5. Close the lid and set the valve to pressure cooking position.
  6. Electric pressure cookers: Cook for 15 minutes at high pressure.
    Stovetop pressure cookers: Lock the lid and cook for 13 minutes at high pressure.
  7. When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the 10-Minute Natural release.
    Electric pressure cookers: When cooking time up count 10 minutes of Natural pressure release. Then, release the rest of the pressure slowly using the valve.
    Stovetop pressure cookers: Move the cooker off the hot burner and count 10 minutes of Natural pressure release. Even if all of the pressure is naturally released before the 10 minutes are up, keep the lid closed the entire time. Otherwise, release any remaining pressure slowly using the valve.
  8. Mix well, again, so some of the zucchini strips will break down and become creamy.




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  1. Do you have a preference when using sun-dried tomatoes? In oil or dehydrated? If oil, do you rinse or if dehydrated, do you rehydrate?

    1. Ginny, I always look at the origin. Either type is fine. We’ve had a problem with Chinese tomatoes being put in Italian products and sold as Italian-style – here, in Italy! They’re easy to spot if you know how to look for them, black, leathery and not a stitch of tomato flavor left. I’m not saying the sun-dried tomatoes have to be Italian, but get good-quality dried tomatoes and make sure their origin is stated on the package so you can make an informed purchase – and a delicious sorgotto!


  2. Hi Laura,
    This recipe looks rather interesting and intriguing, Was so excited for a new recipe to try, unfortunately I am unable to source sorghum seeds in Brisbane, Australia. Everywhere has the flour, places have popped Sorghum but no one has the seeds Flannerys, health shops, whole food stores or supermarkets,
    Reason being I Think this is mainly produced as stock feed here. I was just wondering if any of your followers would know of any other places in Brisbane I may be able to source them from as I am very excited to try this recipe, it has my two favourite ingredients, sun-dried tomatoes and zucchini.

    Keep up the amazing work you do and have an amazing day

  3. Hello Laura,
    Making this as we ‘speak’–I love sorghum, and for once I actually have everything on hand! Just curious, why is the zucchini divided?

    1. Apologies, that’s left-over from my recipe testing (I have removed that note). If you watch the video I add the zucchini all at once. I had planned to brown half with the onion and then add the other half afterward, but I found the liquid calculations too unreliable – especially since not everyone “browns” and dehydrates the veggies to the same amount.



  4. Love this sorghum idea. I already use it with great success in beef Sorghum (not barley) soup.

  5. Bought Sorghum and tried the recipe using the ingredients and method as per instructions. Used stove top pressure cooker 13 minutes at pressure, released after 10 minutes natural way. Sorghum was still way too “dente”. Cooked under pressure another 3 minutes, and still way too dente. Cooked another 4 minutes under pressure with a bit more liquid added. My wife and I could barely fathom eating this, and tossed most of the meal out into recycling. To be fair, we did halve the recipe. I am normally a big fan of risottos, so not sure why this didn’t work for us.

    1. Jonathan, what is the brand and model of stovetop pressure cooker you used? What kind of cooktop did you use? I ask because the instructions assume the stovetop cooker reaches 15psi – and also if you used, for example, induction, even if your cooker reaches 15psi it may not operate at that pressure unless it was brought to pressure in a specific way.



      1. Thankyou. The Pressure cooker is a T-fal, 6 L rated for induction, ceramic, electric, gas. It is Stainless Steel. The Sorghum was from Bob’s Grains of Discovery, ‘whole grain’. I may not have mentioned but I halved the recipe, using 3/4 cup of Sorghum, and half the water, and half the oil.

        1. BTW, it’s OK to halve this recipe straight down the middle. What is the model name? Or, does your T-fal have multiple pressure settings or just one? I ask because with a single pressure setting, for example, the T-Fal Senor, only operate at 80kpa, aka 11psi, aka you should use the same timing as recommended for electric pressure cookers.

          Sorghum is a seed with an intact outer shell, as such, it’s not tender like rice and veggies where the same cooking time can apply to all pressure cooker pressures. So with tough seeds or grains (brown rice, for example) when you’re using a lower pressure you’re going to need a longer pressure cooking time.

          It was actually this difference during testing that had me add a range for electric pressure cookers as well – as I tried the 15psi (100kpa) cooking time in a 70kpa electric and the sroghum was severely under-done. I’m also in the process of adding a column in the timing chart to address the growing number of 70kpa cookers (there is already one for grains) where you can easily spot which grains are “tender” and can follow the same cooking time as any other stovetop.



          1. It was a T-Fal 6L CLIPSO with a single setting, It seems to cook everything else fine, and according to the time estimates in the charts at the back of your book under the guidelines for stove-top pressure cookers.

            1. Jonathan,

              I looked it up, your T-Fal operates at 80kpa – you should be using the pressure cooking times recommended for electric pressure cookers on this website. As I mentioned above, the difference is not great with most foods, just the densest types (like sorghum).

              I have three T-Fal Clipso instruction manuals and none of them had a recommended pressure cooking time for Sorghum.




  6. this recipe gave me totally hard and unpalatable “risotto”, I used the stove top pressure cooker and cooked 13 minutes under high pressure, then off burner for 10 minutes for natural release method.

    1. From reading your earlier comments… If you used induction, try less than maximum heat to bring the cooker to pressure, otherwise air can be trapped inside and this trapped air lowers the temperature inside the pressure cooker, which undercooks. When you see steam being vented from the ‘pin’ in the lid (this ‘pin’ is probably red in a T-fal/Tefal brand, but it can be any colour), this is when the steam gradually removes the air before the pin rises and seals the lid airtight, then it builds pressure. Normally it takes at least 7 minutes to bring the cooker to pressure (much longer if cooking lots of food, especially if the food is very cold to begin with or if using lots of liquid).

      Did you use warm or pre-boiled water? If so, best to avoid this (unless the recipe says otherwise), as hot water can bring the cooker to pressure much quicker and increase trapped air.

      I think Laura will update this recipe with timings for lower pressures than 15 psi/100 kPa.

  7. Hello again,

    Unfortunately, this didn’t work for me, either. I used a 6-quart Instant Pot. The result was tomato broth with hard sorghum. I brought it up to pressure again and cooked it for another 5 minutes; the tomatoes dissolved and the grain was still hard. Another 5 minutes, same thing. After the third time, I gave up.

    Every other sorghum recipe I’ve made required soaking the grain overnight. That hasn’t been necessary with beans, so I thought it would be okay. It wasn’t.

    1. I don’t understand, why did you have tomato broth? Were some ingredients substituted?



  8. l made no substitutions. The zucchini pretty much disintegrated and became liquid, and the tomatoes were the dominant flavor. After cooking another 5 minutes ×3, with natural release each time, the tomatoes pretty much fell apart too. The sorghum never got soft or absorbed any of the liquid.

  9. Really interesting recipe. I’d make this for my gluten-free friend, but she won’t eat tomatoes and this might not be interesting enough without them, because dried tomatoes do add so much.

    I’d be really interested in what vegetable flavoring combinations you have tried already and decided against, or which other ones you think might work with sorghum. And why no cheese? Does it go all weird when combined with sorghum or taste incompatible? I’d like to come up with a version my gluten-free friend would enjoy.

    This is a great idea, especially for gluten-free folks who have been cautioned against over-consuming rice products.

    1. Suzanne, you can take inspiration from any “risotto” for this one. So if you still want to use the zucchini for making this creamy you can go with…

      • Risotto alle Zucchine e Zafferano – add the saffron while sauteing the onions
      • Risotto alle Zucchine e Pancetta – fry a few onces of bacon or pancetta in place of the oil
      • Risotto alle Zucchine e Gamberetti – peel shrimp and save the shells to make a quick stock to replace the liquid wit it, then sautee’ the shelled shrimp while the risotto is cooking and stir them in before srving

      When testing sorghum and trying to decide a recipe to post, I made plain white risotto (no zucchini and using the liquid ratio in the pressure cooker timing chart), just sorghum cooled and mixed with a rucola pesto before serving to make a salad, and I also made a combo including soaked chickpeas (since the cooking time is the same) but I wasn’t really clear on a flavor profile – I was just testing the liquid ratio, there.

      Since sorghum wasn’t a “grain” I had used before, I wanted to try it in many different ways to see what would be the most fun to post. If any of the other dishes sound interesting, let me know and I’ll further refine and post those recipes, too!



      1. Thanks for the details, Laura. That’s exactly what I wanted to know.

        I’d love to know more about Risotto alle Zucchine e Zafferano someday when you get around to it. I’m assuming the sorghum doesn’t shed as much starch as rice, so the creamy zucchini compensates?

        And I am mad for mushrooms. But mushroom rissotto loses a lot in texture as leftovers, so I don’t make it. I’m curious if sorghum risottos keep their fresh-made texture better than rice ones. Absolutely worth trying! :-)

        1. To be honest, the risotto that keeps its shape for left-overs the best is “orzotto” – barley risotto.

          Yes, the zucchini are meant to fall apart and become creamy. It won’t be as runny as a traditional risotto, but it’s a good compromise.



  10. Hi Laura

    Finally managed to source some sorghum here in Australia, it is Sorgplus sorghum, I made your risotto for the family for lunch, followed your instruction to the letter and have perfect sorgotto, my family have said they enjoyed it very much and my son has said it is his NEW all time favourite meal,
    Flavours are intense and so creamy
    I can not add a photo as I’m not sure how
    but just wanted to say a huge thanks and keep up the good work
    Have an amazing day
    Cheers Jo

    1. That’s determination, Jo! I’m so glad to hear found something new to add to your daily meals. : )



  11. Many people commented that the sorghum didn’t soften, so I soaked the grain (1 1/2 cups) in the water (2 1/4 cups) for 8 hours before cooking it in my 6-quart Mealthy Multipot. I thought it would possibly need less cooking time after soaking, so I subtracted 3 minutes from the cooking time, then added 1 minute to adjust for my altitude (2,500 feet) like I normally do with rice. I set the pot for 13 minutes high pressure, then did a 10-minute natural release. The sorghum didn’t appear to have absorbed very much more water and was still crunchy. I gave it 5 minutes high pressure and 10-minute natural release. Still crunchy. Next, I set it for 12 minutes high pressure and 10-minute natural release. It was finally beginning to soften, so I gave it 5 more minutes at high pressure, let it steam 20 minutes before releasing the pressure and it was finally soft enough to be edible. It wasn’t ready in time for dinner, but it was finally done and truly delicious, especially with a little Parm stirred in and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. I believe I will try again with a longer soak and then guess as to the cooking time. I think it’s worth tinkering with to figure out a way to make it work. The tomatoes, zucchini, olive oil, and onion make the dish creamy and I am looking forward to having the leftovers for breakfast topped with an egg.

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