Butternut Squash Risotto

After a few months of accumulating a nice little stack of magazines, I finally broke down and flipped through them feverishly the day after Christmas, frantic to find good meals to wow my mother-in-law with. Cooking Light did not fail me!

The October edition had a roasted butternut squash risotto with sugared walnuts that sounded appealing so it got tacked on to the meal plan. By the time I got around to making it, it sounded like far too much effort for my liking so I curtailed a lot of it but it still turned out amazing, as all risottos are.


Butternut Squash Risotto


  • 3  cups  (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 2  teaspoons  minced fresh garlic
  • 4  cups  fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1.5  ounce  pancetta, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1  cup  finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/4  cups  uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1  cup  chardonnay
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons thyme 
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2  cup  shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine squash and 1 tablespoon oil, tossing to coat. Arrange squash in a single layer on jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until squash is just tender. Remove from pan; stir in garlic. Set aside.

3. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add pancetta to saucepan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine; cook 1 minute or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes total). Stir in squash, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir in cheese just before serving.

We actually  made this on New Years Eve, and true to the female form, I was running late. In between drying my hair and doing my make-up, I saw this delicious sight:


A sexy Huz stirring away and a cute mutt supervising. Love it.

So, start by being lazy – buy prechopped squash.


Roast it up.


Saute some onion and garlic.


And delicious pancetta. (If I make this again, I’m doubling the pancetta. You can probably sub out bacon too.)


Stir in the rice and keep stirring!


And the vino – a whole mini bottle worth.


Then start working the chicken broth. You know the drill. This is where hired help comes in handy.


When the risotto is at the desired consistency…


… stir in all the fixings.


Stir in the parmesan and serve up.


And definitely have seconds.


13 Responses

  1. That looks awesome! I am dying to try this now. I love butternut squash. Squash and pasta dishes are my new favorite.

  2. This looks yummy! I love risotto and will definitely give this a try.

  3. How did I miss this recipe in that CL issue? Looks fantastic, especially with the sugared walnuts. What a treat!

  4. Now I need to go back to the grocery store and buy some butternut squash because that risotto looks soooo yummy! Great recipe!

  5. I love butternut squash risotto and this looks just awesome!! Sugared walnuts sound so good 🙂

  6. That looks so amazing! I love all the ingredients in this! WOW, thanks for sharing

  7. My husband hates rice but I think he’s going to be eating this soon whether he wants to or not! 🙂

  8. I have been buying pre-cut butternut squash at Costco because it is actually cheaper than buying a whole squash here. I love risotto and squash so this is a match made in heaven. Now, if I could just get my hubby to cook it for me…….

  9. Leah, this looks gorgeous, and so easy, I am definitely going to try it. Something I can get all the ingredients in England too!

  10. I love the added pancetta in this. Butternut squash risotto is good enough on its own, but adding that extra touch makes it stellar.

  11. I love risotto, and I’m all for shortcuts! Precut squash is a busy girls best friend! Great looking recipe.

  12. Awesome dish!!!! Of course, I always have a weakness for butternut squash… for breakfast, lunch and dinner

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