Butternut Squash Risotto

If you are still looking for that perfect Thanksgiving side dish, look no further! This rich and creamy risotto with butternut squash, sage and pine nuts is an excellent choice.

Many people believe that risotto is a time-consuming and labor-intensive dish to prepare. While you do have to stir it frequently, you still have plenty of time to prepare other foods or mingle with your guests. You only have to watch and stir it constantly for about 10 minutes. You can even enlist your family members to help with stirring in the last 10 minutes. 😉 The result is a creamy, rich and flavorful risotto that just screams fall.

Butternut Squash Risotto

Yield: 4 servings as a main course or 6 servings as a side dish


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded (fibers and seeds reserved), and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 teaspoon table salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 small onions, chopped very fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 cups Arborio rice
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 1/2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 cup pine nuts , toasted in small, dry skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes


aspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 cup pine nuts , toasted in small, dry skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 2 tablespoons oil until shimmering but not smoking. Add about 3 1/2 cups squash in even layer and cook without stirring until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender and browned, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
Return skillet to medium heat and add reserved squash fibers, seeds and any leftover diced squash. Cook, stirring frequently until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to large saucepan and add chicken broth and water; cover and bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain bare simmer.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat; when foaming subsides, add onions, garlic, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add rice to skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until grains are translucent around edges, about 3 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring frequently, until fully absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, strain hot broth through fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Return strained broth to saucepan and discard solids in strainer; cover saucepan and set over low heat to keep broth hot.
When wine is fully absorbed, add 3 cups hot broth and half of reserved squash to rice. Simmer, stirring every 3 to 4 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and bottom of pan is almost dry, about 12 minutes.
Stir in about 1/2 cup hot broth and cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed, about 3 minutes; repeat with additional broth 2 or 3 more times, until rice is al dente. Turn off heat and stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter, Parmesan, sage, and nutmeg; gently fold in remaining cooked squash. If desired, add up to 1/4 cup additional hot broth to loosen texture of risotto. Top individual servings of risotto with toasted pine nuts; serve immediately.

Recipe Note: To make this dish vegetarian, vegetable broth can be used instead of chicken broth, but the resulting risotto will have more pronounced sweetness.

Source: adapted from Cook's Illustrated, September 2005

One Year Ago: Cranberry Crumb Bars 

19 Responses to “Butternut Squash Risotto”

  1. #
    BigFatBaker — November 20, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

    OOh yummy! My mom makes a butternut squash risotto in her pressure cooker and I was always disappointed I couldn’t make it at home! I am bookmarking this for later, thank you for sharing! 🙂

  2. #
    Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide — November 20, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

    Side dish? I want this for dinner!

  3. #
    Sugar Lips — November 20, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

    I can’t wait to make this! It sounds so amazing.

  4. #
    Liz @ Blog is the New Black — November 20, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

    Been dying to make something like this! YUM!

  5. #
    Chica Andaluza — November 20, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

    That looks gorgeous – I´d eat a big bowl as a main!

  6. #
    Sarah — November 20, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

    Reblogged this on The Healing Blend and commented:
    This looks delicious!!

  7. #
    Chris — November 20, 2011 @ 9:02 pm

    Oooh! Perfect! I was just talking about wanting to make butternut squash and now I have a recipe. Thanks for this!!

  8. #
    spontaneous euphoria — November 21, 2011 @ 3:31 am

    definitely making this- how delicious!

  9. #
    shaheen — November 21, 2011 @ 6:18 am

    I am going to get me a butternut squash now.


  10. #
    The Café Sucré Farine — November 21, 2011 @ 6:41 am

    This looks fabulous and you make it sound so simple! Thanks!

  11. #
    juniakk — November 21, 2011 @ 9:09 am

    butternut and risotto sound fabulous together! anything with rice is perfect for the chilly season 🙂

  12. #
    ChgoJohn — November 21, 2011 @ 9:25 am

    I love risotto and this is a great variation!

  13. #
    Erin — November 21, 2011 @ 11:19 am

    I have never made risotto. But this looks awesome.

  14. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — November 29, 2011 @ 11:58 am

    This looks incredible!! I love the seasonal flavors!

  15. #
    Kim - Liv Life — November 29, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

    Delicious! I had a Pumpkin Rosotto at a restaurant not too long ago and can’t get it out of my mind. This looks like it would do nicely! THanks!

  16. #
    Susana — December 5, 2011 @ 9:31 pm

    I made your risotto tonight and used isreali cous cous as my grain rather than rice. Divine! Tossed in some sundried tomatoes from our local market and had it as a main course.

    • Christina replied: — December 8th, 2011 @ 9:50 pm

      Yummy! I will have to try it next time with the cous cous and sun-dried tomatoes….sounds delicious! 🙂

  17. #
    BananaLover — May 3, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

    I made this tonight and it was wonderful! I added bacon because my husband wouldn’t have touched it without it, but I can tell it’d be fabulous without it. Thanks so much! Definitely making again!

  18. #
    Kenzie — October 15, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

    I have never made my own risotto before but I am going to give this a try soon! Let you know how it goes 😀

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