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.
If you have a younger eater, add extra water when cooking the rice to ensure that it’s nice and soft. Taste it and if it’s chewy, add more water and continue cooking.
Shortcut Butternut Squash “Risotto”
Makes 6-8 servings (depending on who’s eating most of it!)
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup short grain brown rice
1/4-1/2 cup whole milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, optional
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Transfer the squash and onions to a food processor and puree, adding the milk to make a creamy, yet thick consistency.
4. 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.
Put it in a pouch!
Thin the mixture as needed with additional milk and serve it up in a pouch (perfect for on-the-go eating!)