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!

shortcut butternut squash risotto in small white bowl and large white plate

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 including squash, stock, and riceIngredients You Need

To make this Butternut Squash Risotto you’ll need:

  • small-medium butternut squash
  • fully cooked short grain brown rice
  • chicken
  • vegetable stock
  • onion
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • grated Parmesan

TIP: I like to use rice that I’ve cooked ahead, but you could also use cooked rice from the store if you prefer.

how to make butternut squash risotto step by stepStep-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at how to make this easy Butternut Squash Risotto recipe.

  1. Preheat the oven and line a sheet pan with foil. Chop your squash. (photo 1)
  2. 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)
  3. 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)
  4. 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.

butternut squash risotto for babies in small white bowl and bamboo spoonHow can I serve this 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.

Best Tips for Success

  • 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.
  • You may also like Cheesy Rice, Baked Risotto, Quinoa Pudding, and Butternut Squash Puree.

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear so please leave a comment below!

butternut-squash-risotto-in-white-bowls

Shortcut Butternut Squash Risotto

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.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Cuisine Italian
Course Dinner
Calories 216kcal
Servings 4 -6

Ingredients

  • 4 cups diced butternut squash (from about 1 medium butternut squash; discard peel and seeds)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion (from about 1 medium onion, peeled)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fully cooked short grain brown rice (cook according to package directions)
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • Parmesan cheese, optional

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.
  • Blend this smooth for a Stage 2 Baby Food.
  • Serve with as a side dish or as a vegetarian main.

Nutrition

Calories: 216kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 307mg, Potassium: 624mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 14882IU, Vitamin C: 31mg, Calcium: 83mg, Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. I aim for the majority of my recipes to be palatable for the entire family so we’re cooking once and not wasting food and it is very hard to make food taste good for all ages without salt. I also do my best to have as little added salt possible and you are of course welcome not to add it.

  2. 5 stars
    Cook this tonight for my 18 month old who is teething bad, won’t eat much of anything but he tore this up lol.

    He just got down feeding himself with toddler fork and spoon so this.Is a thumbs up recipe!

    1. I am sure it would be fine! If you want it to be in small portions, you can freeze it in an ice cube tray then transfer the frozen cubes to a zip top freezer bag. Otherwise freeze in freezer containers or even freezer bags. Thaw in the fridge and warm to serve.

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you for this delicious recipe! I’ve never had any type of risotto, and my 13 month old hasn’t had rice before. I made this with sweet potato instead of butternut squash, as it is what I had on hand. It was supposed to go with dinner tonight, but it turns out my daughter LOVES it and is currently eating it as a snack. It tastes great, but I’m so used to white rice that the texture of the brown rice is a little hard to adjust to.

    1. I’m so glad to hear that your daughter is enjoying this! And yes, brown rice is definitely a different texture than white but this is a good first way to try it. Thanks for sharing your experience, I really appreciate it!

  4. Just made a big batch of this for the week. V is still warming up to the concept (she likes the squash flavor but spits out the rice — new texture!) but I have high hopes because it tastes great. I stirred in one cup of thawed frozen peas to get a hit of green and added a bunch of Parmesan cheese because cheese. So good!!