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Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage Brown Butter

Nov 20, 2023 | 0 comments

All in one pot, with comforting fall flavours and luxurious enough for special occasions, this lovely butternut squash risotto deserves a place on your go-to recipes list. A drizzle of nutty brown butter and crispy sage takes it to another, gorgeous level of flavour.

Butternut squash risotto on a small white plate, topped with sage brown butter and chorizo.

Risotto is always a go-to comfort food favourite for me, and this gorgeously autumnal version is so lovely for the cooler months.

It very much feels like fall on a plate with the roasted butternut pumpkin, nutty brown butter and sage, and is just such a gorgeous meal for a cold day. It’s also impressive enough for date night, Friendsgiving or dinner parties (and I share a great hack for making it ahead of time that I picked up at Le Cordon Bleu in London).

You can cut down the cooking time by roasting the butternut squash ahead of time too if you like – it will last for 5 days in the fridge so it’s a great meal prep task for a Sunday. Plus, any leftovers mean you have the PERFECT excuse to make cheesy stuffed arancini (which also make a very lovely party bite or appetizer).

Ingredients

Ingredients for butternut squash risotto laid out and labelled.
  • Rice. It’s important you use the right rice when you’re making risotto – look for anything labelled arborio, carnaroli or risotto rice.
  • Butternut squash. I like to roast it in two halves (this saves lots of tricky peeling and chopping) until it’s super soft, sweet and charred. Then it’s soft enough to scoop straight out of its skin into the risotto.
  • Stock. Use vegetable or chicken stock, whichever you prefer.
  • Wine. I like to use rosé, but you can use regular white wine. Skip it if you’d like an alcohol-free version.
  • Chorizo. This is to scatter on top of the risotto to serve. You could use bacon if you like, or leave it off to make it vegetarian.

How to make it

Slice your squash down the middle, scoop out the seeds and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until super soft and charred, about 45 minutes.

PRO TIP: You can do this ahead of time – scoop out the flesh then pop into the fridge until you’re ready to make your risotto (it’ll keep well for 5 days).

Cook the onion until soft, then add garlic. Pour in the rice and mix it through, then add the wine. Let it bubble up as the alcohol evaporates for a minute or so, then add the butternut squash flesh. Stir the squash through the rice, then you can start adding the stock.

Keep adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, until it’s absorbed by the rice. Once the rice is super creamy and al dente (cooked, with a little bite to it), add the grated parmesan and stir it through. This will make it extra creamy and delicious. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice, then brown your butter and crisp up the sage leaves in the butter to serve.

Got a question?

Can I make the risotto ahead of time?

You absolutely can. I picked up a great trick from Le Cordon Bleu in London about how to do this the way a lot of restaurants prep their risotto, and it works perfectly. Follow the recipe, but once you’ve added about half the stock, spread out the risotto on a lined tray to cool. Spreading it out helps it cool faster, so the rice doesn’t continue to cook. Cover with clingfilm and pop into the fridge.

When you’re ready to serve, just transfer the risotto back to a pot, and continue to follow the recipe, adding the rest of the stock. This should only take about 10 minutes. I tend to do this if I’m making risotto for a dinner party – that way, you’re not standing over the stove the whole time, worrying about your risotto.

Can I make this recipe vegetarian?

Yes, you can – just use vegetable stock, skip the crispy chorizo, and make sure your parmesan is vegetarian.

How can I reheat the risotto?

Either in the microwave at 30 second intervals or on the stovetop. Add a splash of water when you reheat it, just to loosen the risotto up (the rice will have absorbed a lot of the liquid as it sits in the fridge). You can store the risotto in the fridge for up to 3 days.

What to make with leftover risotto

In my opinion, there’s no better excuse to make a batch of cheesy stuffed arancini balls. Usually, I add mozzarella to the middle, but for leftovers of this risotto, I love to add brie or camembert. This makes them lovely little festive bites, perfect for entertaining over the holiday season.

  • Make little rice balls with your hands, then pop in a cube of brie or camembert (cut the rind off if you like).
  • Dust each ball in flour, then dip in egg and panko breadcrumbs.
  • Fry for a couple of minutes, until super golden and crispy on the outside.

I love to serve these with sweet chilli jam on the side, or a drizzle of hot honey sauce. To make them, follow the recipe in this post about arancini, and replace the mozzarella with brie or camembert.

Like this recipe? You might enjoy these comfort food favourites too

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below.

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Butternut squash risotto on a small white plate, topped with sage brown butter and chorizo.

Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage Brown Butter


  • Author: Kate Alexandra
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

All in one pot, with comforting fall flavours and luxurious enough for special occasions, this lovely butternut squash risotto deserves a place on your go-to recipes list. A drizzle of nutty brown butter and crispy sage takes it to another, gorgeous level of flavour.

Make the crispy chorizo and get your onions cooking while the squash is in the oven, to save time.


Ingredients

Scale

For the risotto – 

  • 1 butternut squash (roughly 1kg/2lb)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup wine (white or rose)
  • 1.2 litres/5 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

To serve –

  • 50g/2oz chorizo, casing removed and diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • A handful of sage leaves
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Roast the butternut squash. Heat your oven to 210C/400F and line an oven tray with baking paper. Slice the squash down the middle, so you’re left with two long pieces. Scoop out the squash seeds, then drizzle the cut halves of squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and scatter over 1 teaspoon of salt. Place the squash cut side down on your tray, then transfer to the oven. Roast until super soft and charred, about 45 minutes.
  2. Make the crispy chorizo. Add the diced chorizo to a small, dry pan and set it over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, until the chorizo is lovely and crispy. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. Cook the onions. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large, high-sided skillet or pot over medium heat, then add the diced onion and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring, until the onion has softened and become translucent, about 5 minutes. PRO TIP: If your onion is browning too quickly, add a splash of water to the pan. This will help the onions cook without burning them.
  4. Add the garlic, rice and wine. Once the onion is soft, add the crushed garlic and stir it through the onion. Add the rice and stir it through the garlic and onions for a couple of minutes, to lightly toast the grains. Then, pour in the wine, stir, and let it bubble up for a couple of minutes as the alcohol evaporates. 
  5. Add the butternut squash and stock. Scoop the roasted squash flesh straight from the skin into the pan with the rice – don’t worry about breaking it up before you add it, it will do it itself in the pan as it cooks with the rice. Stir the squash through the rice, then start adding the stock, one ladleful at a time. Stir the risotto as the stock is absorbed by the rice, then add another ladleful of stock. Continue this way until you’ve used up the stock and the rice is al dente (cooked, with a little bite to it). At this point, add the grated parmesan and stir it through the risotto. It should be gorgeously creamy at this point. Remove from the heat.
  6. Make the brown butter. Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat, then continue to stir the butter as it starts to foam up, change colour and smell gorgeously nutty. You should see little brown spots in the butter – this is what you want. At that point, carefully add the sage leaves (the butter may splash up as you do so be careful) and toss them through the butter for a minute to crisp up. Remove the pan from the heat.
  7. Garnish and serve. Divide the risotto between serving plates, then top with the crispy chorizo. Spoon over the brown butter and crispy sage leaves, then finish with the extra grated parmesan. Enjoy while hot and gooey.

Notes

PREP AHEAD: While studying at Le Cordon Bleu in London, we were taught the secret (FAB) way to make risotto ahead of time. Follow the recipe until you’ve added about half the stock to the risotto, then spread it out on a lined tray, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to serve, pop it back into the pot and continue adding the stock, until al dente. This should take about 10 minutes.

STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS: Any leftovers will keep for 3 days in the fridge. You can reheat the risotto in the microwave, or on the stove top. You’ll want to add a splash of water or stock when you reheat, just to help to loosen the risotto up.

INGREDIENT NOTES: Swap the chorizo for bacon, or keep it vegetarian by using vegetable stock and skipping the crispy chorizo. 

LEFTOVERS? This is your perfect excuse to make gorgeous, cheesy stuffed arancini. Stuff with mozzarella, or for a festive twist, use cubes of brie or camembert (remove the rind first). 

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 70
  • Category: pasta
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: italian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 350g

Keywords: risotto recipe, pumpkin risotto

Welcome!

I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.

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