Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Sage

This vegetarian butternut squash risotto is the only risotto recipe that you need for fall. Seasonal butternut squash is roasted and mixed into the perfect risotto. The butternut squash risotto is topped with Parmesan cheese and a crispy sage-brown butter sauce to give this recipe extra autumnal flavours!

This recipe was created in collaboration with Red Barn Market.

Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Sage- Season & Serve Blog
Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Sage- Season & Serve Blog

The Perfect Autumn Comfort Food

There are very few recipes that are more comforting than a bowl of risotto. Carby-rich arborio rice is a real stick-to-your ribs kind of meal, and is perfect for warming you up in the cool fall months. I infused this Butternut Squash Risotto with tons of flavour by cooking it in vegetable broth and white wine. Adding some other aromatics such as onion, garlic, nutmeg, and crispy sage adds incredible flavour and texture to this dish.

Apart from the rice, the roasted butternut squash really makes this recipe special for autumn. The butternut squash is in season right now and adds a slight sweetness and beautiful light orange colour to this risotto. Roasting the squash in advance, cubing it, and adding it into the risotto just as it finished cooking creates a nice chunky texture to the soft risotto.

Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Sage- Season & Serve Blog
Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Sage- Season & Serve Blog

My Tips for Making Risotto

While many people are afraid of cooking risotto, it is a lot easier than you think! Here are some of my tips for making this Butternut Squash Risotto that can be applied to other risotto recipes:

  • Use the proper rice. Short-grain rice such as arborio rice or carnaroli rice have more starch than other types of medium- or long-grain rice. This is important for risotto as it will absorb the broth without becoming soggy. You can find this in the Italian section of your local grocery store (and at Red Barn Market of course!)
  • Toast the rice. Toasting the rice in olive oil prior to adding the broth adds lots of depth and toasty flavour to the rice. This step only takes a few minutes, and is definitely worth doing!
  • Add hot broth to the risotto. Hot broth is key to making risotto quickly and helps yield the correct texture. Keep a small pot of broth on a low simmer next to the risotto and ladle in the warm broth as you cook. If you omit this step, the rice will not cook evenly throughout.
  • Add extra ingredients near the end of cooking. If you are making this Butternut Squash Risotto or any other flavoured risotto (e.g. peas, mushrooms, etc.), add it near the end of of cooking. This will avoid overcooking these ingredients and will also avoid compromising the texture of the risotto.
Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Sage- Season & Serve Blog
Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Sage- Season & Serve Blog

Get the Recipe!

Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Sage

Melissa
This vegetarian butternut squash risotto is the only risotto recipe that you need for fall. Seasonal butternut squash is roasted and mixed into the perfect risotto. The butternut squash risotto is topped with Parmesan cheese and a crispy sage-brown butter sauce to give this recipe extra autumnal flavours!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Canadian, Italian
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 2.5- pound butternut squash
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or substitute chicken broth for non-vegetarian option
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 8 sage leaves whole

Instructions
 

To Cook the Squash:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Slice the butternut squash lengthwise to expose the seeds. Scoop out the seeds using a spoon and discard.
  • Season the cut side of the butternut squash with the salt and pepper and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil on each half.
  • Place the squash cut side down on the parchment lined baking tray. Roast for 1 hour in the oven, or until soft. Once cooked, let cool while you make the risotto.

To Make the Risotto & Sage Brown Butter:

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion to the pan. Cook, stirring often for 3-4 minutes, or until the onions have softened.
  • Add 1 ladle (approximately ½ cup) of the vegetable broth to the pan. Let the onion cook for 2 minutes in the broth to soften further. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the arborio rice to the pan along with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toast, stirring often for 2 minutes, or until the edges of the rice begin to turn translucent.
  • Add ½ cup of wine to the pan and stir until the wine absorbs into the rice. Reserve the remaining wine for later.
  • Add ½ cup of vegetable broth to the pan at a time, stirring until all the broth has been absorbed. Continue this process until all the broth has been added, this should take 15 to 20 minutes.
  • As the risotto is cooking, remove the skin from the butternut squash and cut into 1-cm cubes. Set aside.
  • After 20 minutes, add the remaining ½ cup of wine, followed by the butternut squash, nutmeg, and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
  • Taste the rice—it should be tender but still have a bit of a bite in the center. Turn the heat to low to keep warm.
  • In a separate frying pan, heat the butter and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat. Once hot, add the sage leaves and cook for 2-3 minutes until crispy.
  • Place the risotto in serving bowl and garnish with extra parmesan cheese, brown butter, and sage leaves. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Keyword autumn dessert, butternut squash, fall recipe, fall side dish, risotto

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