Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto
nutritional information (per serving)

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nutritional information
Servings: 4
amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 6g32%
26 mg9%
1249 mg54%
dietary fiber 4g15%
total sugar 6g
Vitamin C 20 mg101%
Calcium 177 mg14%
Iron 2 mg11%
Potassium 504 mg11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) indicates how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories per day is used for general nutritional advice.

(Nutritional information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

When I think of risotto, words like rich, creamy, and filling come to mind. The thought of risotto conjures up images of a steaming and flavorful bowl of rice that's perfect on its own, but pairs just as well with other veggies or protein sources. But what exactly is risotto?

What is risotto?

Risotto is an Italian rice dish made with arborio rice as a base and various other vegetables and flavorings. Arborio rice is a short-grain white rice variety named for the region of Italy where it was originally grown. It's naturally rich in starch, which plays an important role in creating this dish's distinctive, creamy texture.

The addition of butternut squash to the risotto provides filling and playful sweet and savory flavors. While most squash pieces will retain their consistency, some squash will break down naturally. The end result is a colorful dish that is exceptionally creamy.

What to serve with the risotto

Risotto can be served as a main course, with a salad like this refreshing citrus salad, or as an accompaniment to a protein meal. Roast chicken, grilled steaks, pan-seared scallops and prawns pair perfectly with risotto, but be sure to moderate the amounts unless you're really hungry! Cooked chickpeas or fresh broad beans offer a great vegetarian protein alternative

Tips for preparing risotto

be patient

An important attribute of a properly prepared risotto is patience, which means that you should definitely not prepare this dish if you are in a hurry or impatient. A typical risotto preparation takes at least 45 minutes and requires your attention during the cooking process. Making risotto is a great respite from our fast-paced world: a chance to slow down, be mindful, and marvel at how those tiny, hard grains are transformed into something so soft, creamy, and inviting.

Use hot broth

Risotto is cooked slowly and gradually, adding small amounts of hot broth to achieve the desired creamy texture. Using hot broth speeds up the cooking process and ensures the rice cooks properly and more efficiently.

Don't forget to stir – but not too much

It may be hard to believe, but the key technique to developing risotto's signature creamy texture is simply stirring! By stirring, the rice grains rub against each other and release some of the natural starch back into the dish.

While it's absolutely necessary to stir frequently, it's equally important not to stir too much. Over-stirring could result in too much starch getting into the dish and creating a mushy consistency. As a rule of thumb, stirring every 30 seconds allows the rice to release the right amount of starch while preventing the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

It's one of those comforting and warming fall dishes that requires little effort but gives a lot in return! Sweet and tender, butternut squash pairs perfectly with salty Parmesan cheese. The sage added a new dimension to this creamy risotto and added another layer of flavor.” —Diana Chistruga

  • 4 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth

  • 1 Middle butternut squashabout 1 Pound

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 large shallots, chopped (approx 1/2 Cup) shallots

  • 2 cloves Garlicchopped

  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped sage leavesdivided

  • 1 Cup arborio rice

  • 1/2 Cup dry White wine

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine Saltplus more to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1/2 Cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the broth over medium-high heat until simmering. Reduce the heat to low, cover and continue to simmer.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Meanwhile, use a sharp, heavy chef's knife to cut off both ends of the squash. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the squash, scoop out the seeds, and cut the squash into 1/2-inch cubes.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy-duty saucepan over medium-high heat. When the oil is simmering, add the shallots and sauté until translucent and aromatic, about 2 minutes.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Add the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon chopped sage leaves, and the diced pumpkin. Sauté over medium-high heat for an additional 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Add the rice, stirring frequently, until rice is lightly toasted (1 to 2 minutes).

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. Add the wine and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the wine is absorbed into the pumpkin and rice mixture (about 3 minutes).

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  8. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add salt, pepper and 1/2 cup vegetable stock, stirring every 30 seconds until the stock is absorbed by the rice. Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring every 30 seconds until broth is absorbed. This step should take about 45 to 50 minutes, until the squash is soft and creamy and the rice is cooked through but still al dente.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  9. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the butter and Parmesan cheese.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  10. Garnish with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon chopped sage leaves and serve hot.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

recipe tips

  • Wine can be omitted and replaced with more broth or water.
  • While store-bought vegetable or chicken broth is convenient, broth you make at home can add extra depth to the dish.
  • The freshly grated parmesan or pecorino romano, added at the very end, should be of the best quality, offer a special salty and nutty flavor and provide extra creaminess.
  • Risotto will thicken as it stands, so it's best served as soon as it's prepared.


  • Risotto is extremely versatile and can be prepared on its own or mixed with a mix of other vegetables such as asparagus, sweet potatoes, delicacy squash, mushrooms, peas or broad beans.
  • Discover additional flavors like saffron, thyme, rosemary, parsley or lemon zest to liven up the risotto. A handful of lightly roasted nuts can also provide a special crunch as a contrast to the creamy risotto. If you're feeling creative, you can top the dish with fried sage leaves or crispy fried shallots.

How to store it

Store leftover risotto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat in a pan over medium-low heat and add a small amount of broth or water to help rehydrate and restore some creaminess to the dish.

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