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Roasted Squash Risotto, finished with basil and parmesan, this is a hearty side dish or a delicious vegetarian main course. Either way, it’s delicious!
Risotto gets a reputation for being difficult, and it couldn’t be further from the truth. Honestly, it IS hands on, but as long as you stir it a LOT and add hot stock, you’ll get a creamy consistency, with slightly firm grains, that are not mushy. SOLD!! Check out the video/slideshow for step by step instructions.
I have a confession to make. I can make a pan of this and eat the entire lot myself. I’ve been known to make it as a side, intending to grill some chicken… then forgetting to care about the chicken, and just eating this for the entire meal.
There’s just something so comforting about a bowl of this. It’s almost porridge-like in its consistency, but it’s (obviously) savory, and of course, it has garlic and cheese in it. And we all know I love both of those things!
One of my favorites is my easy basic risotto recipe – super simple, but very much a side. THIS, however, checks all the boxes! You could still make this as a side of course. It goes exceptionally well with some simple grilled chicken and makes an EXCELLENT lunch if you happen to have leftovers.
Sometimes it helps to have a visual, so watch this video for step by step instructions:
How to make Roasted Squash Risotto:
- Step 1 Begin by heating your stock, this needs to be warm while you continually add it to the pan
- Step 2 Cook the onion in olive oil and butter until softened.
- Step 3 Add the garlic, then the rice, ensuring each grain is coated in oil.
- Step 4 Add the hot stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until it absorbs.
- Step 5 Fold in the squash, basil, and parmesan.
- Step 6 Devour
Why use hot stock in risotto?
Adding hot stock allows the cooking process to continue. Adding it cold or room temp delays the process, as you end up waiting for the stock to heat each time in the pan. Heat the stock on another burner while you make the risotto, and keep it warm.
Ingredients in Roasted Squash Risotto
- ROASTED SQUASH – see below for how to roast squash ahead for this risotto recipe!
- OLIVE OIL – we need this to soften up the onion, and to coat each grain of rice ready for cooking.
- ONION – dice it up fine, we don’t want huge chunks! It should be fairly small.
- GARLIC – mince if up finely, this is going to add a HUGE flavor base for this.
- ARBORIO RICE – this is important, arborio rice has a high starch content, making it perfect for risotto as it helps blend the flavors and get that creamy consistency. Other long grain white rice will work, but won’t be as creamy. Definitely worth seeking out!
- CHICKEN STOCK – try my recipe for homemade chicken stock, or grab it from the store.
- BASIL – this is fresh basil, folks!!
- PARMESAN CHEESE – this needs to be freshly grated – pre-shredded just doesn’t taste as good or melt the same way!
How to Roast Butternut Squash:
Make the roasted squash ahead and have it hang out in the refrigerator until you are ready to make this roasted squash risotto. It keeps well for several days, so you can roast the squash on the weekend, and make risotto the following Friday (if you can wait that long). I make a double batch, just so I could have some to add to salads during the week.
- Step 1 Peel and dice the squash
- Step 2 Season it with plenty of salt and pepper and toss with olive oil.
- Step 3 Bake at 400 until browned and softened
- Step 4 Cool until ready to use. Roasted squash keeps in the refrigerator for several days.
Kylee’s Notes/FAQs for Squash Risotto
- Don’t worry about precise measurements when pouring in the stock. It just needs to basically cover the surface of the rice.
- Simmer gently over medium-low heat – a rapid boil isn’t what we’re looking for here.
- Use hot stock!! The heat helps maintain the starch content of the rice.
- Stir REGULARLY but not CONSTANTLY.
- Heat the stock on another burner while you make the risotto, and keep it warm.
- When adding the squash, fold it in gently. The same goes for the basil and the parmesan
More Risotto Recipes
- Creamy Garlic Parmesan Risotto
- Bacon Zucchini Risotto
- Creamy Lemon Spinach Risotto
- See all Risotto Recipes
WANT TO TRY THIS VEGETARIAN RISOTTO RECIPE
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Roasted Squash Risotto with Basil and Parmesan
- Heat oil in a large pan (I use my wok). Add onion and garlic, and cook until onion is tender.
- Blend in the rice and cook for a few minutes, ensuring that all the rice grains are covered in the oil.
- Add 1 cup of stock to the pan, and cook, stirring constantly until the liquid is absorbed.
- Continue stirring in stock 1 cup at a time until rice is tender and creamy.
- Fold in pumpkin/squash and basil and heat through.
- Serve topped with black pepper and parmesan.
Kylee's Notes/FAQs for Squash Risotto
- Don’t worry about precise measurements when pouring in the stock. It just needs to basically cover the surface of the rice
- Simmer gently – a rapid boil isn’t what we’re looking for here
- Use hot stock!! The heat helps maintain the starch content of the rice
- Stir REGULARLY but not CONSTANTLY