Butternut Squash Risotto that is BAKED (no babysitting!) to creamy perfection in just 20 minutes!
Butternut Squash Risotto with Toasted Pine Nuts and Pepper Jack Cheese is easy to prepare, wonderfully smooth and creamy, super flavorful and is absolutely fool proof! This Butternut Squash Risotto recipe doesn’t require any roasting butternut squash, but instead, everything cooks in the same pot! It makes the most amazing Thanksgiving or holiday side but is easy enough for every day!
Guys, I’ve been giddy compiling all of my Thanksgiving Recipes for you and can’t wait to hear what you are making for your holiday spread! From Million Dollar Mac and Cheese to Cranberry Apple Cranberry Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf, to Double Layer Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecake (ps, have you seen the new video?), there is something for everyone no matter what you are “assigned” to bring (and the most amazing Cornbread Stuffing coming soon!).
So without further ado, I bring you one more reason to get giddy for Thanksgiving – Butternut Squash Risotto! It not only is destined to become a new Thanksgiving tradition but one of your favorite weekly side dishes.
This Butternut Squash Risotto is the perfect risotto to conquer your fear of cooking risotto because it is super easy and absolutely full proof! This risotto is baked instead of cooked on the stove so you don’t have to worry about stirring for 30 minutes, keeping your chicken broth the correct temperature, or stirring to just the right consistency. It is extremely forgiving and lends itself to adding virtually anything to it.
What is Risotto?
I absolutely adore risotto from my Parmesan Risotto to my Greek Risotto but this Butternut Squash Risotto might take the cake. Risotto is a northern Italian rice dish slow cooked in a broth until delectable creamy consistency. It often contains butter, garlic, onions, chicken broth, white wine, and Parmesan cheese.
What Ingredients do I need for Butternut Squash Risotto?
This Butternut Squash Risotto includes the common cast of charters:
- olive oil
- Arborio rice
- Parmesan cheese
with the addition of:
- chopped butternut squash
- cremini mushrooms
- Pepper Jack cheese
- petite frozen peas
- seasonings: chicken bouillon, dried oregano, dried thyme, salt, pepper
Essentially, Butternut Squash Risotto includes all the creaminess of traditional risotto but made extra creamy (if that’s even possible) because the butternut squash cooks right with the risotto then mixes with the rice to create a luxuriously creamy butternut squash sauce. Drool.
What Rice do you use for Risotto?
It is essential to use arborio rice for all risotto recipes, including this Butternut Squash Risotto. When cooked, the rounded grains of the arborio rice become creamy and chewy due to the high starch content without become mushy. You can find arborio rice at pretty much any grocery store alongside the other rices.
How do you cut butternut squash for Butternut Squash Risotto?
The only real prep work for this Butternut Squash Risotto is peeling and chopping the butternut squash. If you aren’t experienced chopping squash, I promise it s easy, here’s how:
Step 1 – Slice off the end: Cut off 1/4-1/2-inch from the bottom of the squash in an even slice. Cut off 1/4-1/2-inch from the top of the squash in an even slice to remove the stem.
Step 2 – Peel: Hold the squash in one hand to stabilize while you us the other to peel off the tough, outer layer of the squash with a sharp vegetable peeler. You can microwave the entire butternut squash before peeling for 30 seconds to help soften the skin and make it easier to peel.
Step 3 – Cut squash in half: Place the butternut squash on its side and cut it in half where the skinnier part meets the larger part. Slice both pieces in half down the middle so you now have 4 quarters which are much easier to work with.
Step 4 – Remove seeds: Scoop out the seeds and scrape away the pulp from the inside cavity of the squash (there should just be two larger pieces with seeds/pulp).
Step 5 – Chop: Lay the squash quarters cut side down on the cutting board. Working with one piece at time, cut the squash into 1/2-1″ slices. Turn these slices over and stack them, then cut them into long sticks. Finally, rotate the sticks and chop them crosswise into 1/2″-1″ cubes.
Can I use pre-cut Butternut Squash?
Yes! If you want to eliminate the step of chopping and cutting your squash, you can purchase pre-cut squash from Costco and the like. Usually these packages of pre-cut squash come with larger pieces so just make sure you chop them down into 1/2-1” chunks if they are larger.
So let’s get cooking – or should I say baking?
How do you make butternut squash risotto?
- Step 1: First, saute some mushrooms and shallots for 5 minutes then add your rice and garlic and saute for 3 additional minutes.
Step 2: Add some warm chicken stock, chicken bouillon, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper.
Step 3: Stir in your uncooked squash. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to your oven to bake for about 20 minutes.
Step 4: Once tender, remove the rice from the oven and stir in 1/2 cup chicken broth, heavy cream and both Parmesan and pepper Jack cheeses. The pepper Jack adds a wonderful multidimensional flavor without being overpowering. Vigorously stir fir just a minute or so to break down the butternut squash until everything is mega creamy.
Step 5: Stir in your peas…and just look how creamy your Butternut Squash Risotto is!
Step 6: Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan, toasted pine nuts…
And in under 30 minutes you have soft, creamy Baked Butternut Squash Risotto with Toasted Pine Nuts infused with Pepper Jack!
What Can I Add to Butternut Squash Risotto?
Here I’ve obviously added butternut squash, mushrooms and peas, but you could really use any of your favorite vegetables, or herbs you have on hand, just be sure to add any fresh herbs or peas to the very end. Here are some add-in ideas for Butternut Squash Risotto, but the possibles are endless!:
- ground beef, turkey or sausage
- sliced sausage
- sliced almonds
Happy almost Thanksgiving and happy Baked Butternut Squash Risotto forever and ever.
Want to try this Baked Butternut Squash Risotto?
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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com
Looking for more Butternut Squash Recipes?
- Butternut Squash Salad with Cranberries, Caramelized Pecans and Goat Cheese
- Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Cashews
- Slow Cooker Thai Butternut Squash Soup
- Slow Cooker Thai Chicken, Wild Rice, Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
- Roasted Maple Dijon Brussels Spouts and Butternut Squash
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