Butternut Squash Risotto

With a creamy texture and warm flavour, this Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe is perfect for fall! It turns a basic risotto recipe into a decadent, indulgent-feeling vegetarian risotto that’s fit for company – but easy enough to make for yourself!


I can already tell that this Butternut Squash Risotto recipe is going to become a staple in my home this fall. While we’re not vegetarian, I think it’s good to have a few vegetarian-friendly recipes on hand and, honestly, this one is so good I wasn’t even thinking about meat.

The addition of warm spices and butternut squash (or pumpkin) completely changes the basic risotto recipe. This simple risotto goes from an okay side dish to a can’t-stop-thinking-about its warm, creamy and filling dinner.

If you’ve never tried risotto before, there’s never a better chance than giving this vegetable risotto a shot – it’s so worth it! And easy enough for risotto newbies to attempt for the first time!

What is risotto?

Risotto is a creamy Italian rice dish. Unlike your typical rice dish, risotto is cooked in broth until the starches are released and it becomes soft and creamy. You can season risotto in many different ways as well as add ingredients to it – just as you would rice. It can be a side dish or a main entree, depending on the add-ins. 

What Rice Is Best To Use For Risotto?

Arborio rice hands down is the classic rice to use for risotto. It is short, plump and has a high starch content which gives this dish its creamy texture. Arborio rice can absorb quite a bit of liquid without becoming mushy.

If you can’t find Arborio rice, Carnaoli is a great substitute.

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Butter – Adds fat to aid in creating a creamy texture and also helps to keep the rice from clumping together.
  • Onion – The onion should be finely diced for optimal flavor and texture.
  • Garlic – Garlic is a key flavor in this vegetarian risotto and pretty much all Italian dishes.
  • White wine – Any dry white wine of preference will work. Avoid the sweeter wines and stick with a sauvingnon blanc or pinot grigio if possible.
  • Risotto rice – I recommend Arborio and Carnaoli.
  • Broth – You can use chicken or vegetable broth, though be sure to use vegetable if you want this to be a true vegetarian risotto. I recommend warming the broth prior to adding it into the risotto.
  • Parmesan – Freshly grated parmesan is ideal. The cheese helps create the creamy risotto texture and adds amazing flavour.
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Nutmeg – Adds a warm flavor that complements the butternut squash.
  • Butternut squash – You can also use pumpkin to make this a pumpkin risotta as well.
  • Optional garnishes – Parsley pumpkin seeds, roasted butternut squash, bacon (if not vegetarian), pine nuts, pumpkin seed oil

How to Make Butternut Squash Risotto

  1. In a wide pot or skillet, melt butter and saute onion, garlic until onion becomes translucent and garlic fragrant. Add in the rice and stir constantly for another 2 minutes to fully coat the rice granules in the creamy butter and get them a little toasty.
  2. Pour in the wine and take it to almost a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until most of the wine has been absorbed.
  3. Stir in the diced butternut squash, and follow with ½ chicken broth. You can also use priorly roasted butternut squash, but make sure to roast it until almost soft. See notes below.
  4. Stir constantly and add the remaining broth slowly in the pot little by little making sure that the liquid has been absorbed by the rice before adding more each time. It should take about 25-30 minutes for all the rice to absorb all the liquid. When there is almost no liquid left add in the parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg and mix well.
  5. Serve immediately topped with chopped fresh parsley, more roasted butternut squash, pine nuts, bacon or pumpkin seeds.

Roasting Butternut Squash for Garnish

For roasted butternut squash garnish:  Place the diced butternut squash on a large baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Bake at 425º F for 20-25 minutes or until soft and golden brown. For a quicker version, cook the diced squash on a pan over medium heat until golden brown. 

What To Serve with Risotto

This squash risotto is a complete meal all on its own. The risotto is loaded up with squash and cheese to make it extra filling!

A more basic risotto recipe could be served with essentially anything, from your favourite vegetables to meats. Risotto and fish or chicken can make a quick and easy dinner! Some of my favourite dishes to serve alongside risotto are:

Tips & Tricks

  1. Warm the vegetable or chicken broth before adding to the pot. This will ensure that ricem mixture does not cool at the point liquid is being added for more ensuring a more consistent cooking temperature.
  2. Don’t try to rush the process by adding too much chicken/vegetable broth at once. Ideally, you want to add the stock just enough for it to cover the rice (and in our case squash). Wait until the liquid is vaporized and then add again and again. This process will allow the rice to cook evenly. So make sure to add stock little by little so that your rice will not end up mushy.
  3. You’ll know when the risotto is ready, it needs to have a bit of firmness in it and the texture should be creamy. If you can pull the spoon through the risotto and it slowly oozes back in place then congrats, your risotto is ready.  If it is still too thick you may need to add a little more broth and continue with the same process.

How to Store Leftovers & Reheat

Squash or pumpkin risotto is by far best when enjoyed fresh from the pan. However, if you have any leftovers, don’t worry. You can store risotto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

Reheating risotto and returning it to its proper texture is not as easy as reheating it in the microwave. Instead, you want to reheat it with a liquid on the stovetop. The general rule is 1/4 cup broth to each cup of risotto.  

However, in recipes such as this squash risotto, it’s not convenient to reheat with liquid and in fact much easier to just pop it in the microwave.

Can You Freeze Risotto?

Risotto does not freeze well. Most cooked rice does not freeze well and since risotto is creamy and starchy, its texture will change when frozen and thawed. You won’t get that mouth-watering, creamy risotto feel if it’s been frozen so unfortunately, risotto is just a dish that must be enjoyed fresh and hot. 

A bowl of vegetable risotto.

Butternut Squash Risotto

This Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe is perfect for fall. A decadent, indulgent-feeling vegetarian side dish fit for company!
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Itaian
Keyword: Butternut Squash Risotto, Italian Recipes, Risotto Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetarian Recipes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 448kcal

Equipment

  • Dutch oven or large heavy bottomed saucepan
  • Chopping Knife
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Wooden Spoon

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 1/2 cup butternut squash diced
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 3/4 cup Arborio rice
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth warmed
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese grated or shaved
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • In a wide pot or skillet, melt butter and saute onion, garlic until onion becomes translucent and garlic fragrant. Add in the rice and stir constantly for another 2 minutes to fully coat the rice granules in the creamy butter and get them a little toasty.
  • Pour in the wine and take it to almost a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until most of the wine has been absorbed.
  • Stir in the diced butternut squash, and follow with ½ chicken broth. You can also use priorly roasted butternut squash, but make sure to roast it until almost soft. See notes below.
  • Stir constantly and add the remaining broth slowly in the pot little by little making sure that the liquid has been absorbed by the rice before adding more each time. It should take about 25-30 minutes for all the rice to absorb all the liquid. When there is almost no liquid left add in the parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg and mix well.
  • Serve immediately topped with chopped fresh parsley, more roasted butternut squash, pine nuts, bacon or pumpkin seeds.

Notes

Notes:
  1. Warm the vegetable or chicken broth in advance of adding it to the pot.
  2. Don’t try to rush the process by adding too much chicken/vegetable broth at once. Ideally, you want to add the stock just enough for it to cover the rice (and in our case squash). Wait until the liquid is vaporized and then add again and again. This process will allow the rice to cook evenly. So make sure to add stock little by little so that your rice will not end up mushy.
  3. You’ll know when the risotto is ready, it needs to have a bit of firmness in it and the texture should be creamy. If you can pull the spoon through the risotto and it slowly oozes back in place then congrats, your risotto is ready. 
Storage:
Store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.  Do not freeze.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 448kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 823mg | Potassium: 408mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 5g
Tried this recipe?Mention @thedeliciousspoon or tag #thedeliciousspoon in your post!
Please Note:The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

If you liked This recipe you May also Enjoy…

Pin it For Later!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating