This butternut squash risotto is the perfect dish for any fall meal! You’ll absolutely love the rich, savory flavors of this dish.
Delicious Butternut Squash Risotto
Dinner is served! Butternut squash risotto is on the menu tonight, and it’s so creamy and delicious. Risotto may seem like an intimidating meal to make, but it’s rather simple.
After you read through this easy tutorial for how to make butternut squash risotto, you’ll be a pro in no time!
Why you’ll love it!
Vegetarian: looking for a meal sans meat? You found one!
Easy Dinner Idea: In just a few simple steps dinner will be ready.
Simple, Yet Elevated: what we mean by this is it tastes fancy schmancy, but is easy to make.
- Butternut squash: you have a few options when it comes to butternut squash. You can buy a butternut squash and chop it into cubes or you can buy a pre-chopped butternut squash from the store.
- Spices: we’re using coarse sea salt, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, coriander, and nutmeg. The perfect fall flavor blast!
- Light brown sugar: a little goes a long way in bringing out the sweet butternut squash flavors.
- Onion and garlic: these two fragrant veggies are essential starters in getting an incredible base flavor.
- Broth: any kind of broth works for this recipe. We’ve made it with both vegetable broth and chicken broth (our preference, but not vegetarian). Heck, you could even use our parmesan broth from The Cheese Knees!
- Fresh sage leaves: fresh sage is a must! It adds just the right amount of freshness to this dish.
- White wine: we used a Sauvignon blanc for this recipe but any dry white wine would do the trick.
- Arborio rice: make sure to use arborio rice. It’s a specific kind of rice used to make risotto.
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese: the key to a creamy and flavorful butternut squash risotto is freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Season the butternut squash. Place half of the butternut squash in a bowl and season t with brown sugar salt, black pepper, and oil. Let that mixture sit. Set aside the rest of the butternut squash for later.
- Make the broth. You are going to make a simple, yet flavorful broth for your risotto. Saute onion and garlic in a large skillet. Then, add the broth and warm spices (coriander, nutmeg, and sage leaves) to the pot and simmer it the broth over low heat.
- Sauté the butternut squash. Add olive oil to a large pot and saute the seasoned butternut squash and cook it down. When the squash is soft, smash it with the back of a fork. It will make a creamy broth.
- Slowly add liquid to the rice and veggies. Push the squash mash to the side of the pot and then add butter to the other half of the pot. Add the remaining squash and arborio rice to the pot and toast it. Mix everything together and slowly add a ladle of broth to the pan and mix. When the broth absorbs add another ladle. repeat this until all the broth has been used and the arborio rice has a bite to it.
Making risotto is a slow process. The process of adding liquid to the rice should take between 30-45 minutes. Grab a glass of wine or tea and enjoy the process.
Running short on time? If you are running short on time or don’t like chopping butternut squash, buy pre-chopped squash from the grocery store. We bought our squash pre-chopped from Fresh Thyme.
Don’t like spice? Don’t like spice? Skip the cayenne pepper or use red pepper flakes instead.
Take your time. This recipe is a labor of love, do not rush the process
Butternut squash risotto is a rich meal and would pair nicely with a fall kale salad or a simple chicken recipe.
Butternut squash is made with arborio rice, broth, parmesan cheese, and other ingredients.
Cast Iron Pan
The Great Jones King Sear is our favorite cast iron pan. It’s definitely worth the splurge to add to your kitchen collection!
Store this risotto in an airtight container once it has cooled completely for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
To reheat: Transfer the risotto to a pan and heat it over medium/low heat. Add about 1/4 cup of broth to the risotto and mix. Cook until warm.
Butternut Squash Risotto
- 4.5 cups 1-inch cubes butternut squash separated
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt separated
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- 1.5 teaspoons ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 large white onion diced and divided
- 6 cloves garlic minced and divided
- 8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 6 fresh sage leaves
- 1 cup Sauvignon Blanc
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups uncooked arborio rice
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese +more for topping
- Place 2.5 cups of butternut squash in a large bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon of salt, brown sugar, ½ teaspoon of black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Massage the oil and seasonings into the butternut squash with your hands. Let the butternut squash sit for 15 minutes.
- Add the remaining salt and pepper to a small bowl, you will use this mixture to season the risotto in layers.
- Add ½ tablespoon of oil to a large stock pot. When the olive oil is fragrant add half of the white onion to the pot and season with salt and pepper from the salt and pepper bowl. Sauté the onion for 2 minutes and then add 3 cloves of minced garlic to the pot and sauté for another minute.
- Add the broth, coriander, nutmeg, and sage leaves to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat to low and simmer until the risotto is ready to be prepared.
- Next, heat a large skillet with sides over medium/high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Add the cubed butternut squash that has been sitting for 15 minutes to the pan and toss with olive oil. Cover the skillet and let the butternut squash cook for 3-4 minutes. Uncover the squash and toss and add the rest of the onion and garlic to the skillet. Cover and let the squash cook for another 3-4 minutes. The goal is to let the squash caramelize and soften.
- Deglaze the pan with the white wine and allow the squash to cook in the wine for 2-3 minutes.
- Once the squash is soft, use the back of a fork to mash the squash into a puree. Move the squash puree to one side of the skillet and add the butter to the opposite side of the skillet. When the butter is melted add the remaining squash and arborio rice to the pan and toss.
- Turn heat to medium and add ¾ cup of the broth mixture to the skillet and stir until the broth absorbs completely. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Repeat this step until there is about ½ cup of broth left. This takes about 30 minutes. Do not rush this! After you’ve used about 7.5 cups of broth, your rice should be almost cooked. Give it a try to see if it’s close to al dente. If it’s still very hard, you’ll need to add the remaining broth.
- Add the final ½ cup of broth to the rice and let it absorb about halfway and then add grated parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted.
- Remove from heat and season with cracked black pepper and fresh sage.
Tips & Notes
- If you are running short on time or don’t like chopping butternut squash, buy pre-chopped squash from the grocery store. We bought our squash pre-chopped from Fresh Thyme.
- Don’t like spice? Skip the cayenne pepper or use red pepper flakes instead.
- This recipe is a labor of love, do not rush the process!
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Ashley McGlaughlin from The Edible Perspective.
Made this recipe for Thanksgiving. The whole family loved it! The spices balance the sweetness of the squash well. It was my first time making risotto, but the recipe was easy to follow.
You’re a risotto pro, Andrea!
So good! My “not picky” husband who said no to butternut squash originally said it was good! Definitely should have halved the recipe but looking forward to the leftovers 😋
Loved the spice in this recipe and while it was time consuming, it was easy to do and easy to do replacements with what is on hand. Delicious!
This recipe was easy but took time to make (as does all risotto)! We made 1/2 of the recipe and it was easy to do and turned out fine. The amount was just right for two people and to still have leftovers! I also used Cupcake light-hearted sav. blanc (lower alcohol and sugar content) and the flavor was still great! DEF add to your fall/winter recipe list!
This is a delicious meal and am very happy with how it turned out! Excited for the leftovers as well!
So yummy!! Perfect fall meal paired with air fryer chicken thighs. Also used frozen cubed butternut squash loved it. It takes time but worth it.
Risotto takes a while but is worth the wait! This was super good and left us with plenty of leftovers which were just as good as the first night!
Thank you for this recipe! My father and I loved it. We couldn’t find fresh sage leaves, so I used dried sage instead. I garnished the risotto with basil leaves from our garden. Turned out great!
Great risotto recipe! The flavors were wonderful for fall. The whole family enjoyed it (including the 3 and 6 year old). We served with grilled ribeye and broccolini. It is a more time consuming process to cook but so simple. Definitely worth the time investment. Excited for leftovers tomorrow!
Yum! That sounds like the perfect fall meal, Camille!
This was very tasty! I only had brown basmati rice which took more broth and more time to cook, but it turned out great!
Thanks for sharing that this worked for you, Tina!
I love a good fall recipe. The butternut squash was so tasty! I added chicken to the risotto as well. The spices all together with the heat of cayenne was surprising! I really liked making the recipe.
Yum! Chicken is a great addition.
So creamy and delicious! Butternut squash is one of my favorite foods so I knew I had to make this recipe when I saw it. I had a little encouragement from the giveaway of course(; I ended up cutting the recipe in half because I did not have a big enough pan. It was a little on the salty side but still so good.
Beautiful risotto, Elizabeth!