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Butternut Squash Risotto
A lot of butternut squash risotto recipes call for roasting the squash first. Not this one. Here, everything cooks in the same pot, which means the butternut squash kind of becomes the sauce too. The results are insane.
Here are the top 3 things to remember when making risotto.
1. Use hot stock.
When cooking risotto, you need to add the stock gradually. Keeping the stock warm prevents the temperature from dropping each time you add it to the arborio rice. It also means that the rice will absorb the stock more quickly, which will lead to a better (read: creamier) texture.
2. Never stop stirring.
Some see this as therapeutic, other annoying AF. There’s just no way around it. Arborio rice—the kind generally used in risotto— is extra starchy, which means it’s more likely to stick (and burn). Stirring constantly is how you avoid this.
3. Use good cheese.
Think of this a little like a fancy mac ‘n cheese. The Parmesan, or whatever whey you decide to go (sorry!), is a prominent component—not just a garnish. Pre-grated stuff is just salty and dry; freshly grated parm is nutty and peppery. It’ll also melt better into the sauce.
Risotto is a great side dish to any number of meals. Serve it with a simple roasted chicken, a perfectly cooked steak, or a buttery piece of salmon.
STORAGE SUGGESTIONS: This risotto keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for a few days.
MAKE IT DAIRY FREE/VEGAN: Starchy rice accounts for most of this risotto’s creaminess, so you can skip the dairy or replace it with the following.
Replace the butter with vegan butter or a tablespoon or two of additional olive oil, to taste. Skip the Parmesan cheese. You might like to add some nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor.
*A NOTE ON PARMESAN: I always get a few comments on recipes that include Parmesan (“It’s not vegetarian!”) but Whole Foods actually makes a great animal rennet-free Parmesan. There’s plenty of flavor in here without the Parmesan, if you’d rather leave it out.
IF YOU MUST USE WHITE ARBORIO RICE: Bake it for 40 to 45 minutes, until tender to the bite, and proceed as directed.
IF YOU DON’T HAVE A DUTCH OVEN: Use a large saucepan instead, then carefully pour the boiling broth and rice mixture into a casserole dish. If the casserole dish has an oven-safe lid, use that; if not, cover it tightly with foil. Bake as directed.
Dried sage has a stronger flavor than fresh; use 1/2 teaspoon dried sage in place of each tablespoon of chopped fresh.
Butternut Squash Risotto Serving Suggestions
This risotto will thicken as it sits, so it’s best hot from the stove. Garnish it with fresh parsley, small sage leaves, and freshly grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese. (If you’re vegan, don’t worry! The risotto is great without the cheese too.)
Round out the meal with homemade focaccia or crusty bread and a vegetable side dish. I like to pair this butternut squash risotto with a simple salad, like my Pear Salad or Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad, or roasted vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, or broccoli. Don’t forget the apple crumble for dessert!
If you have leftover risotto, it will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days. It will be thick on days 2 and 3, so I recommend reheating it on the stove with a splash of water or stock to loosen it up. Season to taste, and enjoy!
What diets is this Butternut Squash Risotto suitable for?
This Butternut Squash Risotto recipe is suitable for vegetarian, vegan, dairy free diets.
This recipe can be made suitable for a gluten free diet as long as you swap out the following ingredients for gluten free versions;
- Stock cubes
Please make sure to double and triple check all of your ingredients if you’re cooking for people with allergies.
How Weight Watchers friendly is this Butternut Squash Risotto recipe?
Weight Watchers’ new PersonalPoints plan calculates each individual’s Points allowance based on their unique food preferences and goals. This means we’re no longer able to offer exact WW points for our recipes.
The good news is that all of our recipes are still Weight Watchers friendly! If you have any questions about your Points budgets or you’re unsure how a certain recipe will fit into your plan, please reach out to Weight Watchers directly.
How many calories are in this Butternut Squash Risotto?
There are 213 calories per portion in this Butternut Squash Risotto, which means it falls into our Everyday Light category.
This Butternut Squash Risotto is perfect if you’re following a calorie controlled diet and fits well with any one of the major diet plans such as Weight Watchers.
As a guide, an average man needs around 2,500kcal (10,500kJ) a day to maintain a healthy body weight. For an average woman, that figure is around 2,000kcal (8,400kJ) a day. Obviously, if your goal is to lose weight then you might want to adjust these slightly!
Roast squash, sage, chestnut and pancetta risotto
- 1 basic risotto recipe
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 level tablespoon coriander seeds
- 2 small dried chillies
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil
- 12 slices higher-welfare pancetta or dry-cured smoky bacon
- 100 g chestnuts , vac-packed is fine
- 1 bunch fresh sage , leaves picked
- 6 heaped tablespoons mascarpone cheese , optional
- Preheat your oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Carefully cut your butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Put these to one side. Cut the squash lengthways into 0.5cm/¼ inch slices. Bash up your coriander and chillies with a pinch of salt and pepper in a pestle and mortar (or use a metal bowl and the end of a rolling pin). Dust this over your squash with a tablespoon of olive oil. Toss around until completely coated. Line up snugly in a roasting tray and bake for around 30 minutes until the flesh and skin are soft to the touch. Now get all your ingredients ready and start making your basic risotto.
- Remove the squash from the oven and lay your pancetta over it. Mix the squash seeds, chestnuts and sage leaves with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the squash and pancetta and place back in the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes until the pancetta is crisp.
- Once the squash has cooled down a little, shake off the pancetta and chestnuts and finely chop the squash – it will be quite mushy but that’s fine. I go for half of it fine and half chunky. Add this to the risotto at the end of Stage 3. Carry on as normal through the basic recipe, season to taste and serve with the pancetta, chestnuts, sage leaves and squash seeds sprinkled over the top.
- Lovely served with a big dollop of mascarpone cheese on the side.
- Try this: Place a grater and a block of Parmesan cheese in the middle of the table so that everyone can help themselves.