Creamy and full of nutrition, this easy “risotto” type grain dish is a perfect simple side or vegetarian main dish. It’s Shortcut Butternut Squash Risotto that’s just sticky enough so it’s easy for your toddler to eat.
I almost always defer to vegetarian meals, despite how much I love our meat CSA, so many of our dinners feature a whole grain as a base. And while I love risotto for its creamy texture and comforting qualities, I dislike standing over a stove stirring—especially on a weeknight. This dish takes a little time, but most of it is hands off, so you can be doing something else.
This risotto is best when the rice is nice and tender. That helps it taste like the real ting! Taste it and if it’s chewy once the water is absorbed, add more water and continue cooking until soft.
This dish can make a small side dish for a family meal, or 4-6 toddler size servings.
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup short grain brown rice
- 1/4-1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese, optional
- Preheat the oven to 375 F and grease a sheet pan with olive oil. Spread squash and onion on the pan, toss with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook for 30-35 minutes or until very soft. Let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, cook rice in a medium pot according to package directions (usually 1 part rice to two parts water). Remove from burner, put the lid on, and let sit while the squash finishes cooking/cooling.
- Transfer the squash and onions to a food processor and puree, adding the broth to make a creamy, yet thick consistency.
- Stir squash mixture into rice, season to taste, and serve, adding Parmesan cheese if desired.
Add thawed peas.
Stir in cooked and diced chicken, bacon, or ham.
Use sweet potatoes instead of squash.