Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto

updated Nov 8, 2023
Butternut Squash Risotto

This easy, weeknight-friendly risotto is filled with tender butternut squash and flavored with fresh sage.

Serves6

Prep5 minutes to 10 minutes

Cook40 minutes to 55 minutes

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Risotto is the epitome of fast and fancy. It may seem like a dish that’s better left to your favorite Italian restaurant to make, but it’s actually incredibly easy to master at home. It comes together fairly quickly and never fails to impress, which makes it my go-to dish for impromptu dinner parties (regardless of whether they fall on a weeknight or weekend), and also one of the first things I turn to whenever I want to treat myself to something nice for dinner without too much fuss.

This butternut squash version is the one I turn to again and again throughout the fall and winter months. It’s filled with sweet and tender chunks of squash and flavored with earthy sage. It’s creamy, comforting, and exactly what you want to eat this time of year. Here’s how to do it.

An Easy Risotto for Any Night of the Week

Since this risotto comes together easily yet feels super special, it’s as well-suited to a casual Wednesday as it is a nice Saturday dinner with friends. You’ll need 1/2 cup of dry white wine for this recipe, and while I’d typically say stick to dry Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, since we’re going the fast and fancy route, just pick the variety of white wine you most enjoy drinking so that you can sip a glass while you stir and enjoy the rest at the table.

To save time, feel free to opt for pre-cut butternut squash instead of peeling and cutting up one yourself. You’ll need about 4 cups of squash cubes; you might have to halve the pre-cut pieces, as they’re often sold in larger chunks, but it’s still easier than starting from scratch.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Butternut Squash Risotto

This easy, weeknight-friendly risotto is filled with tender butternut squash and flavored with fresh sage.

Prep time 5 minutes to 10 minutes

Cook time 40 minutes to 55 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 8 cups

    low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, divided

  • 1

    medium butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons

    chopped fresh sage leaves

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 1

    large shallot, finely chopped

  • 2 cups

    arborio, carnaroli, or vialone nano rice

  • 1/2 cup

    dry white wine

  • 1 cup

    finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces), plus more for serving

Instructions

  1. Place the broth in a medium saucepan over low heat and keep it at a very low simmer.

  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat in a large, high-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven. Add the butternut squash, sage, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper, and cook until the squash is lightly caramelized and tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the squash to a plate and set aside.

  3. Melt another 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan. Add the shallots and sauté until fragrant and beginning to soften, about 4 minutes.

  4. Add the rice and cook, stirring until the edges have turned translucent but the center is still opaque, about 2 minutes. You should also be able to smell the aroma of toasted rice. Add the wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until the wine has completely reduced and the pan is nearly dry, about 3 minutes.

  5. Begin incrementally adding the broth one ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Wait until the liquid has been almost completely absorbed by the rice before adding another ladle. After about 12 minutes, stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and begin tasting the rice to gauge how far it has cooked.

  6. Continue adding broth until the rice is al dente (still has a bit of chew), the broth is creamy, and the dish has the consistency of thick porridge, 20 to 30 minutes total (you might not use up all of the broth). If you run your spatula through the risotto, the risotto should flow slowly to fill in the space.

  7. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the reserved squash, Parmesan, and remaining 1 tablespoon butter until melted. Taste and season with salt as needed. Serve immediately, garnishing each bowl with additional Parmesan cheese.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.