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Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto With Fresh Herbs

Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto With Fresh Herbs

Quick, make this hearty comfort food before spring really springs! Combining roasted butternut squash – roasting enhances the squash’s natural sweetness – with creamy risotto and fresh herbs makes for a heady trio of flavors.
Roasted Butternut Squash by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013
Risotto is one of my favorite foods – it’s delicious when you first make it and even better a day or two later, because it keeps soaking up the flavors of whatever you’ve cooked with it. It’s also incredibly filling and a great thing to make for a crowd of people. It goes well with many different additions, asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, peas, pesto, etc. As long as you follow the rules– sautée the rice first, use plenty of onions, don’t skimp on the butter, use good stock, and stir, stir, stir–you really can’t go wrong!

Butternut squash risotto with thyme

Below is an adapted recipe that I created using the Joy of Cooking’s basic risotto recipe (risotto in bianco) with some additions of my own. You can roast the squash ahead of time if you like; it will keep for several days. I added some fresh herbs which add a lovely flavor that sets off the rich, gooey rice and the sweet roasted squash really nicely.

Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash
Serves 4-6

* One butternut squash (2 lbs), peeled, de-seeded, and cut into 3/4″ cubes
* One large onion, chopped
* 2 Tbsps olive oil or butter
* 7 cups chicken or vegetable stock
* 2 cups Arborio rice (risotto)
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
* 2 tsps fresh Italian parsley, chopped
* 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
* Sea salt
* Freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cubed squash with the olive oil, salt and pepper and turn out onto a heavy baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until soft, turning once, half-way through. Remove and set aside to cool.

2. Heat the stock in a saucepan (you’ll want to position this right behind whatever burner you plan to use for the risotto pan since you’re going to be ladling stock into the pan continuously during the cooking process.) Cover the stock and leave it on low at a simmer (it will need to stay hot the entire time you’re cooking the risotto.)

3. In a large, heavy bottomed pan (there are special risotto pans but although nice, they’re not necessary) melt the butter and cook the onion on medium-low heat until softened, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the rice and stir to coat all the grains with butter. Sautée the rice for 2-3 minutes until the rice becomes chalky and you can see a white dot in the center of each grain. Then add the wine and cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until it’s been absorbed.

5. Now the fun begins (by the end of this, your arm will be ready to fall off!) Add one cup of the hot stock to the pan and stir until it has all been absorbed by the rice (if you don’t stir and cook until the liquid is absorbed with each addition, the rice will get very gummy).

6. Continue to add stock, one cup at a time, stirring constantly until the rice has absorbed the liquid and starts to seem dry before adding more stock. Once you’ve added 6 cups of the stock, you should start adding 1/2 cup at a time. Keep doing this until the rice is cooked through but still a little al dente, about 30 minutes total (you may not end up using all of the stock but it should be pretty close — if you run out of stock, you can substitute hot water towards the end.)

7. Turn off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes, chopped herbs, and Parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper, mix well and serve.

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Read more: All recipes, Basics, Blogs, Eating for Health, Entrees, Food, Garden of Eating, Side Dishes, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

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Eve Fox

Eve is the creator of The Garden of Eating, a blog about food--cooking it, eating it, and growing it. She has a legendary love of aprons and can often be found salivating over the fruits and veggies at one of the many farmers’ markets near her home in Woodstock, NY. Want even more recipes, photos, giveaways, and food-related inspiration? "Like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow Eve on Twitter or Pinterest.


+ add your own
8:32AM PDT on Apr 16, 2013

Can't wait to make this!! Great recipe,thank you!

6:47AM PDT on Apr 14, 2013

great recipe, thanks for sharing

1:30AM PDT on Apr 14, 2013


2:40PM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

This looks really good. I saved it to my recipe files-Grains.

7:41AM PDT on Apr 5, 2013

Yummmmmm :)

5:08AM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

Sounds yummy thanks. I have never made a risotto.

1:01PM PDT on Apr 1, 2013


9:04AM PDT on Apr 1, 2013

Looks yummy!

5:32AM PDT on Apr 1, 2013

Thanks for this recipe...

5:26AM PDT on Apr 1, 2013

looks good

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