This creamy risotto is elevated with the addition of rich, smooth butternut squash purée, sage, and Parmesan. The sweet squash pairs perfectly with the rice, infusing it with color and flavor in each bite.
With just 20 minutes of hands on time stirring on the stovetop, you can have restaurant-worthy risotto ready any night of the week. The key is adding the broth gradually while stirring to allow the rice to release its starch.
Read on for my easy from-scratch recipe, tips on preparing the squash, and fun ideas for making this risotto your own.
- 1 small butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 3-4 fresh sage leaves, minced
- 1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Baking sheet
- Large pot with lid
- Wooden spoon
- Knife and cutting board
- Potato masher or fork
Roast the Squash
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet.
- Roast for 30-40 minutes until very tender when pierced with a fork. Let cool slightly.
- Scoop roasted flesh from skin and mash finely with a fork or potato masher. Set aside.
Make the Risotto
- In a large pot, bring the vegetable broth to a gentle simmer. Keep warm over low heat.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté shallot for 1 minute.
- Add rice and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Stir in wine and cook until fully absorbed.
- Add 1/2 cup simmering broth and stir constantly until fully absorbed.
- Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and allowing each addition to absorb before adding the next.
- After 15 minutes, stir in mashed squash, sage, Parmesan, and a few more 1/2 cups of broth.
- Continue cooking and stirring until rice is tender, about 5 more minutes.
- Remove from heat, stir in butter. Season with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with extra Parmesan, sage leaves, toasted walnuts or pumpkin seeds.
- Swirl in extra butter or olive oil for richness.
- Pair with sautéed shrimp or scallops for a luxurious meal.
- Serve alongside roasted chicken or pork chops.
- Leftover risotto can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Gently reheat on the stovetop with extra broth as needed.
- For longer term storage, portion into freezer bags, flatten to 1-inch thickness and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw frozen risotto overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Customizing Your Risotto
- Use pecan, pepitas or pine nuts for crunch instead of Parmesan.
- Mix in wilted spinach or kale for extra greens.
- Top with crispy pancetta or prosciutto bits.
- Swap out white wine for red wine or vegetable broth.
- Use roasted carrots, sweet potato or pumpkin too.
- Add Italian seasoning or red pepper flakes for extra flavor.
- Cut squash into very small pieces for quick cooking and a silky texture
- Stir frequently to allow starches from rice to release into the broth.
- Add hot broth gradually while stirring to get the creamy consistency.
- The rice should be just al dente when done. Turn off heat before fully tender.
- Season at the end with salt, pepper and cheese to keep their flavors from dulling.
With the method down, you can adapt this basic risotto to showcase any veggies!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: About 4 entree servings
More Flavorful Risotto Recipes
Once you master the technique, try your hand at more delicious risotto recipes:
- Mushroom and Thyme Risotto
- Shrimp and Lemon Risotto
- Roasted Red Pepper Risotto with Goat Cheese
- Risotto with Sausage and Kale
- Asparagus and Pea Risotto
- Beet and Gorgonzola Risotto
- Caramelized Onion and Bacon Risotto
The possibilities are endless for simple veggie risottos bursting with flavor!