This is a perfect dish for a cozy dinner by the fire– maybe while you finish addressing those Christmas cards? Or in my case, begin choosing a card design. It’s simple enough to come together in under an hour, and yet elegant enough for company.
Butternut Squash Risotto is not difficult at all to make. You roast the squash, and then all of the Risotto happens in one pot. It may seem labor intensive to add the chicken stock in three stages, but it really comes together quite quickly. You do not need to stand over the pot stirring constantly, but watch to make sure your liquid doesn’t evaporate too quickly. Lower the heat if you feel it is.
Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto
- 1 Medium Butternut Squash, Peeled, seeded and chopped into 1-2 inch chunks.
- Olive Oil- 2-3 tbs. – divided
- Kosher Salt & Pepper
- 8 oz. white mushrooms- cleaned, and quartered (optional)
- 1 tbs. unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup Arborio Rice (Risotto)
- 3 cups Chicken Stock
- 1 tbs. chopped fresh Sage (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
- 2 tbs. Softened Lower Fat Cream Cheese
- 1 tbs. Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 tbs. Fresh Parsley
To roast Butternut Squash- Preheat Oven to 425′ and lightly spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray or olive oil. Add squash pieces to sheet, add an additional tbs. of olive oil and toss with hands to ensure oil is evenly coated. Add a pinch of kosher salt and pepper and toss again. If you are using mushrooms, add them to one end of the cooking sheet. (If you have a good bit of squash and mushrooms, you may want to use a second sheet– roasted veggies require space to roast properly. Have to let them breathe! Use parchment paper if you want to minimize the clean-up.) Roast for 10 minutes and then stir well. Roast for an additional 8-12 minutes until done. Squash should be slightly brown, tender but not too crispy. Set aside to cool.
To make Risotto-
In a large pot (I used a Dutch Oven– but anything would work– just watch it for sticking!) melt 1 tbs. butter and 1 tbs. Olive Oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook for 3-5 minutes until soft and beginning to take on color. Add dry risotto and stir for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of Chicken Stock and stir. Risotto will absorb stock slowly and will become softer. Once there is not much stock sitting in the pan and most has absorbed, add the second cup of stock and stir often. Once it has absorbed, add the final cup of stock and stir often, allowing it to absorb. Add cream cheese and stir until it is incorporated. Add squash pieces and mushrooms along with sage. Taste for seasoning and add an additional pinch of salt or pepper if needed. Top with Parmesan and Parsley. Enjoy!
(If you need to allow it to sit for a few minutes, add a small amount of milk or cream (1 tbs. at a time) and stir until creamy again just before you serve. )
Serves about 4 as a main dish with salad on the side.