Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Butternut Squash Risotto

You know how on all the cooking shows they say that risotto is one of the hardest dishes to make and virtually impossible to get done in under an hour?  Well I disagree. I had this dinner on the table in forty minutes and my rice was perfectly cooked. You could easily make this during a busy weeknight.  Just remember the key to delicious, perfectly cooked risotto is patience.  And patience is not my strong suite so if I can do it, so can you! 
I've made Butternut Squash Risotto before, but this time I decided to use squash puree (or you could use pumpkin) instead of squash pieces. This turned the dish an orangy color and added tons of flavor.  I topped mine with Chicken Sausage, parmesan cheese and a sage leave for presentation : )

If you've always wanted to make risotto but feared it was too difficult, this is the recipe for you!

Butternut Squash Risotto
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup of water
1 onion
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
2 cups of Arborio rice
1 box of cooked frozen butternut squash
nutmeg, a dash
1 spoonful of Earth Balance or 1 tablespoon of butter
1 cup of Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup of mexican blend cheese
5 sliced cooked chicken sausage
sage leaves for garnish (totally optional)
Bring 1 quart of stock plus 1 cup of water to a simmer in a sauce pan, then reduce to low.  The key is to keep your stock liquid warm.
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat with olive oil and once hot add the garlic and onions.  Add rice and toast for a few minutes.  {If you can drink unlike me, add a 1/2 cup of your favorite white wine and let cook out completely.} Then ladle stock in intervals and mix thoroughly and allow the liquid to evaporate. This is where patience comes in handy.  I probably ladled in 10 scoops of liquid before the rice was ready.
In another dish, saute your chicken sausage until lightly browned. Repeat until the rice is cooked and your liquids are gone. Defrost the squash in your microwave in a dish to collect any liquids and then add it to your risotto mixture once the rice is cooked through.  
Then season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.  I found that I needed more salt than I expected.  Taste as you go! In the last few minutes of cooking, add the cheese and butter or earth balance.  Serve warm and top with the sausage, another sprinkling of cheese and a sage leave.

 I've been eating the leftovers for the last few days and everyday I love it even more!  Such a delicious, easy meal.  I hope you make it!


  1. That is such a good idea... the puree. I actually don't like risotto very much but I tried making a butternut squash one with chunks of squash a few years ago and I thought the chunks just seemed so out of place. This looks really good.

  2. This sounds like it'd be great on my Christmas dinner plate!

  3. I've always been afraid to make risotto. That and bread. Time to conquer my fears?

  4. You are so right, risotto isn't as hard to make as cooking shows make it out to be. I think you just have to be patient. The husband and I make it all the time but have yet to do butternut squash...he would love that. Looks delicious :)

  5. This looks so comforting! I totally agree that risotto isn't that tough and can be whipped up on a weeknight.

  6. Looks tasty! I am very much intimdated by risotto.

  7. I completely agree with you in that Risotto is not so hard to make the way they talk about it on TV. They make it seem like if your name isn't Flay or Battali that you can NEVER make it.

    I even made it once where I let it boil by accident and it still turned out perfect.

    That being said I think Pumpkin Risotto is on the menu since my life loves pumpkin and she will be thrilled with this.

  8. Your risotto looks so good! Like restaurant quality. So good with sage.

  9. ooh, this sounds awesome, and great photos! i have a butternut risotto in my queue too, made with farro... just need to write the post :) Love the quinoa chili, too, have to make that! have a wonderful holiday!! and congrats on the new additions to the family auntie ;)

  10. This risotto looks delicious! I love how brilliantly yellow the rice is.