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Risotto is an easy, inexpensive comfort dish that everyone seems to like. This Butternut Squash Risotto recipe is a light, fall/wintery take on the popular Italian dish. You can serve this as is, or with a protein of your choice. This makes 4 entree servings, but would easily make 8 servings if you were serving this as a side.
why you should make this recipe
Although Risotto gets a bad reputation as being time-consuming and overall a pain in the butt to make.. It’s really not that hard to make! This recipe takes 1 hour from start to finish, and I don’t find it labor-intensive. Risotto is also a great option for pasta lovers who are gluten-free. This butternut squash risotto recipe is beyond delicious and is a great vegetarian weeknight meal.
- Arborio Rice – Risotto is made from this Italian short-grain rice. It comes from the Piedmont region of Italy and is tastiest when toasted in the pan prior to adding broth.
- Parmesan Cheese – If you take one single piece of advice from me, it is this: never purchase pre-shredded/grated/shaved parmesan. PLEASE. Don’t do it. Grate it yourself. It’s 500% worth it.
- Herbs de Provence – I love this French spice blend! You can find it at most grocery stores.
how to make this recipe your own
- Make it vegetarian or vegan – For a vegetarian butternut squash risotto, swap out the chicken broth and use your favorite vegetable stock instead. If you want to make this vegan, use a plant-based butter and skip the Parmesan cheese!
How long can risotto stay in the fridge for?
Risotto can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Do I really have to warm the broth while adding it?
Absolutely. Adding cold stock to your hot pan will cool everything down immediately. This messes up the butternut squash risotto and interrupts the cooking process. To avoid this, keep the stock at a gentle simmer.
Enjoy, and as always, please let me know if you make this recipe – and if you do, don’t forget to tag @seasonedandsalted and #seasonedandsalted on Instagram!
- stockpot or dutch oven
- ½ of a butternut squash peeled and cubed
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter divided
- 1 small yellow onion minced
- 5 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- ⅔ cup dry white wine I use Sauvignon Blanc
- 1 cup dry arborio rice
- 3 fresh sage leaves
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp herbs de provence
- 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- Add the cubed butternut squash to a large stock pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, and cook until butternut squash is fork-tender. You should be able to easily mash the squash with a fork, about 10 minutes of cooking time once boiling. Remove the butternut squash from the pot and strain using a colander. Empty the cooked butternut squash into a mixing bowl and mash with the back of a fork. Don’t worry about leaving little bits/clumps! Set aside.
- While the butternut squash is cooking, add ½ tbsp butter to a small fry pan and cook over medium-low heat until glistening. Add the sage leaves and turn up the temperature to medium-high heat. Cook until the leaves are fried, about 2-3 minutes. Remove the sage leaves from the heat and place on a little plate lined with paper towels to drain. Set the sage aside.
- Next, we will be using two burners for the preparation of the risotto. Pour the 5 cups of chicken stock into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Then turn down the heat and keep warm. Next to the broth, heat remaining 2 ½ tbsp of unsalted butter on medium heat until melted and glistening (in either a large dutch oven or a large stock pot).
- Add minced onion, herbs de provence, salt, and pepper to the butter. Cook, stirring often, until onions are softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the arborio rice, and mix to combine. Cook until the onions start to brown and the rice toasts a bit – about 5-7 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of your pot to break up any caked bits.
- Add the white wine and cook, stirring frequently, until it has evaporated completely. Add the mashed butternut squash and stir. Crumble the fried sage and add it to the pot now. Then, start adding the hot chicken stock. I start with adding about ⅓ of the stock. I use a ladle for this part, and find it’s really easy this way. Once you add the first bit of stock, cook while stirring, until the stock has been absorbed by the rice. Then, add about a ladle or ½ a cup at a time and repeat the process (cooking until absorbed, while stirring), until all broth is absorbed. A very important tip: make sure you are scraping the bottom of your pan with a wooden spoon the entire time to break up the bits at the bottom. In total, this should take about 30 minutes.
- Once all of the stock has been faded and absorbed, take the risotto off the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese. Taste, and add salt and pepper as necessary. Serve immediately.