Forget standing by the stove and endlessly stirring. This shortcut Butternut Squash Risotto has a super simple method and make-ahead steps so you can cook this family meal even when the littles are underfoot!
Easy Butternut Squash Risotto
I love to make risotto as soon as the weather cools down, but I can’t figure out how to make it with busy kids in the house who so often need my attention. And so, I came up with another way to do it. Instead of stirring a pot over the stove for a very long amount of time, this Butternut Squash recipe involves roasting the squash, pureeing it into a sauce, and simply stirring it together with cooked short grain brown rice. Easy—and with steps you can do ahead.
Winter Squash Recipe
Butternut squash is naturally sweet and rich in Vitamins A and C (as well as fiber), so it’s a flavor that little kids tend to enjoy. It pairs well with Italian flavors including Parmesan cheese, which makes it a perfect fit for risotto. The resulting Butternut Squash Risotto is earthy from the stock and rice, but also has a hint of sweetness. It’s healthy comfort food at its best.
Ingredients in Butternut Squash Risotto
To make this Butternut Squash Risotto you’ll need a small-medium butternut squash, fully cooked short grain brown rice, chicken or vegetable stock, an onion, olive oil, salt, and grated Parmesan. I like to use rice that I’ve cooked ahead, but you could also use cooked rice from the store if you prefer.
Here’s a look at how to make this easy Butternut Squash Risotto recipe.
- Preheat the oven and line a sheet pan with foil. Chop your squash. (photo 1)
- Spread squash and onion on a foil-lined pan, toss with oil, sprinkle with salt, and cook until very soft. Let cool slightly. (photo 2)
- Transfer the squash and onions to a food processor or blender and puree, adding the broth to make a creamy, yet thick consistency. (photo 3)
- Warm the rice. Stir squash mixture into rice, season to taste with additional salt if needed, and top with Parmesan cheese (if using) to serve. (photo 4)
Can I make this risotto ahead of time?
Absolutely! You can make the rice and roast the veggies ahead or make the entire dish ahead. When reheating, you may want to add a little more broth or water to achieve your desired consistency.
Is this risotto dairy-free?
The only dairy in this recipe is if you top it with the optional Parmesan cheese, so this is a vegan risotto recipe to save.
How can I serve this Butternut Squash Risotto to babies and toddlers?
This is a perfect baby or toddler meal since it’s flavorful, has a soft texture, and is a nice way to serve grains to older babies—since the sauce helps to soften them and hold them together. Simply offer on preloaded spoons or let your little one self feed.
What pairs well with this risotto?
We like this risotto as a vegetarian main dish, though you can of course serve it with fish, chicken, or even a side of meatballs. Or, try Italian-flavored white beans or even a simple side of peas.
Tips for Making the Best Butternut Squash Risotto
- Roast the vegetables until they are soft when poked with a fork to ensure that they blend smoothly.
- Season to taste with salt to ensure that it tastes good to you. (The broth you use will impact saltiness, so it’s important to taste and adjust.)
- Use fully cooked and soft rice so it has the texture of classic risotto.
Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear so please leave a comment below!Print
You can cook the rice ahead of time and do Step 1 ahead. Or make the whole dish ahead and warm to serve when needed.
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 4 cups)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups short grain brown rice, fully cooked
- 1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- Parmesan cheese, optional
- Preheat the oven to 375 F and line a sheet pan with foil. Spread squash and onion on the pan, toss with oil, sprinkle with salt, and cook for 25-30 minutes or until very soft. Let cool slightly.
- Transfer the squash and onions to a food processor and puree, adding the broth to make a creamy, yet thick consistency.
- Warm the rice. Stir squash mixture into rice, season to taste with additional salt if needed, and top with Parmesan cheese (if using) to serve.
Roast the vegetables until they are soft when poked with a fork to ensure that they blend smoothly.
Season to taste with salt to ensure that it tastes good to you. (The broth you use will impact saltiness, so it’s important to taste and adjust.)
Use fully cooked and soft rice so it has the texture of classic risotto.