Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut squash risotto is packed full of delicious flavor in every single bite. Make this simple as a side, or even eat it as a main meal!

Two bowls of butternut squash risotto with carrots and parsley.
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Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

This fun fall twist on a classic Italian dish will have you coming back for seconds...and maybe even thirds! Butternut squash risotto is a bowl full of cozy fall comfort.

Grocery stores and farmers markets are always filled with fresh butternut squash around the fall season. So I'm always making dishes like this easy butternut squash risotto and butternut squash pasta.

Made with sweet squash and a dry white wine, the combination of flavors is irresistible. It's a great date night dish, especially when paired with a hearty steak or this marinated pork tenderloin.

However, it is also simply a great quick dish to throw together for dinner. Busy weeknight don't need to become overwhelming with decision of what to make for dinner. Instead, put together simple healthy dishes like creamy risotto!

This easy recipe is something the whole family will enjoy, and you can make it time and time again without if ever getting old. Warm up on chilly fall evenings with a bowl of butternut squash risotto.

Why You'll Love this Recipe

You'll love this recipe, for a few reasons:

  • Butternut squash has loads of nutritional benefits! Get your daily serving of vegetables in the tasty form of risotto.
  • Creamy risotto is a huge hit with young kids. If you've got kiddos who are a little picky about their veggies, this is a great dish to serve to them.
  • Butternut squash risotto is perfect for meal prep since it stores and reheats very well.

What is Risotto?

Risotto is a classic Italian dish that's made from starchy, short grain rice such as Italian Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice. While some may think it is pasta, but

These special rice grains can absorb a lot of liquid, so they are often served with a cheese sauce, broth or wine sauce. It is made by slowly adding warmed broth into the rice allowing it to absorb the broth as you go.

Sweet potato quinoa bowls made with spiced apple cider-infused ingredients.

Ingredients

Before making this delicious recipe, make sure you have each key ingredient. Here is a list of everything you will need:

  • olive oil
  • diced yellow onion
  • diced butternut squash (frozen or fresh works!)
  • minced garlic
  • Arborio rice
  • dry white wine or white cooking wine
  • chicken broth
  • black pepper

Substitutions and Variations

Yellow onion seems to give the best flavor to this dish, but you could also use diced white onion if you prefer.

You can use either fresh or frozen diced butternut squash, both will work great. For the best and most fresh flavor, I recommend using fresh butternut squash.

Beef broth and vegetable broth both work in place of chicken broth. Chicken stock is a good swap too! Make vegan butternut squash risotto by using vegetable broth.

While olive oil will provide the best flavor to this creamy rice dish, you can use avocado oil in its place or another neutral oil.

Make this dish extra creamy by adding some good cheese into the mix. Parmesan cheese, gruyere, goat cheese, and cheddar would all be so tasty.

How to Make Butternut Squash Risotto

Pour broth into a small saucepan and set it over low heat.

Then, prep the whole butternut squash by dicing it into cubes. If you're using frozen squash, you can skip this step.

Dice onion and mince fresh garlic. Then add a little olive oil to a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions to the hot oil and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Add cubed butternut squash to the pan and cook for 4 minutes. Then add minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes, or until fragrant.

Pour the arborio rice into the pan and stir, letting the rice cook until the edges are translucent. Next, pour white wine into the pan and cook until almost fully absorbed. It will take about 5 minutes.

Use a ladle and pour ½ cup of hot broth into the risotto. Allow the risotto rice to absorb the broth before ladling more into the risotto. Stir occasionally, between the ladles of broth.

When there is only one more ½ cup of broth left to add the cooking risotto, taste test a spoonful of it. Risotto typically is served "al dente" but you can cook it to your personal preference.

While it rests, risotto will continue to cook so make sure you don't overcook it!

If needed, add the rest of the broth and cook until the texture of the risotto is what you want it to be. It should have a nice and creamy consistency. Top with black pepper to taste and serve!

Two bowls of butternut squash risotto with carrots and parsley.

How to Store Leftover Butternut Squash Risotto

Place leftover risotto into an airtight container and store for up to 4 days. You can also freeze leftovers in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to a month. Allow to thaw in the fridge before reheating. For reheating tips, check out my blog on how to reheat risotto.

What to Serve with Butternut Squash Risotto

Serve this easy butternut squash risotto recipe with your favorite protein. Pan seared chicken thighs go well with really anything, and pair especially well with this warm risotto.

You could stick with the fall theme and serve apple pan seared pork medallion. And if you'd like some protein directly in the bowl, these baked chicken meatballs would be absolutely perfect.

For a fun twist on Italian dinner night, make a thin crust bruschetta pizza to pair with risotto. Serve with a glass of wine for an upscale dining experience!

If you're serving risotto as the main dish and want to pack some more veggies into your meal, bacon green beans and roasted broccoli would be perfect.

Two bowls of butternut squash risotto with carrots and parsley.

Tips for Success

Here are some tips and tricks for making this recipe:

  • If you plan to use this risotto as meal prep and already know you will be reheating it, then it is extra important to cook it al dente. When you reheat the dish, it will cook the rest of the way and be the perfect consistency.
  • Make sure the cubes of butternut squash are evenly sized. This will ensure that they cook evenly and all the way through.
  • For the best flavor, use a nice quality wine. Don't break the bank buying expensive wine though! Just something with a nice flavor will produce a lovely tasting risotto.
Two bowls of butternut squash risotto.

FAQ

Should you wash risotto rice?

You should not wash arborio rice. The starch on the outside of the rice will help keep it from getting to mushy and watery after being cooked.

Can I use pre-cut butternut squash in this recipe?

Around the fall, many grocery stores sell containers of pre-cubed squash. You can absolutely use it in this recipe! However, keep in mind that the most fresh flavor comes from fresh butternut squash that you chop yourself. But if you need to save some time, then feel free to use pre-cut squash.

More Risotto Recipes

Did you make this recipe?

If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! It means so much to me when you try my recipes, and I'd love to know how it goes. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.

A bowl of butternut squash risotto with parsley.

Butternut Squash Risotto

Enjoy the fall season with this creamy and comforting butternut squash risotto.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Madison Wetherill

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 cup diced butternut squash frozen or fresh works!
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • ¾ cup dry white wine or white cooking wine
  • 32 oz chicken broth beef broth or vegetable broth
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan, pour in broth and set to low heat. 
  • Prepare butternut squash if needed. Dice onion and mince garlic. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a saucepan on medium heat, sauté onions until almost translucent, about 3 minutes. Add butternut squash and cook for another 4 minutes. Then add garlic for remaining 2 minutes.
  • Add arborio rice to pan and stir, letting the rice cook until the edges are translucent, another 2 minutes. 
  • Pour in wine and let the wine absorb almost fully, about 5 minutes, stirring halfway through. 
  • Use a ladle to pour about ½ cup of broth into the risotto. Allow risotto to almost fully absorb broth before adding another ladle. Stir risotto occasionally, between ladling in broth.
  • When there is about a ½ cup of broth left to add to the risotto, take a spoonful to test. Risotto typically is served "al dente" but you can cook it to your personal preference. When resting, the risotto will continue to cook so be sure to not overcook it during this process.
  • If needed, add the rest of the broth or more to cook to the right consistency for your preference. Top with fresh cracked pepper. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 879mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g

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